GBOS continues discussion of capital improvement list
Turnagain Times Correspondent
The Girdwood Board of Supervisors continued their discussion on formulating a capital improvements projects list at the regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 15, which will be presented to state legislation.
So far, the top six being presented on the list (in no specific order) include: Girdwood Service Area Drainage Road Rehabilitation, Alyeska Highway bike path safety, Girdwood Industrial Park, the Alyeska Highway and Hightower Road safety, Girdwood Recreation Center, and Little Bears facility.
Although the board decided that the top six would not be presented in any order, many in attendance argued that Little Bears should be at the top of the list, to make it clear that it is a priority that needs to be funded.
Others contended that after the day’s earlier meeting with the Municipality of Anchorage, it is known that Little Bears is a priority, and that there are other items that have been on previous lists that haven’t been funded.
Assemblywoman Jennifer Johnston said that although the CIP list presented by the GBOS is of extreme importance, it is also necessary for the community to lobby on behalf of the projects they would like to see done.
Other projects on the list include a Girdwood Cemetery, Glacier Valley Transit equipment upgrade, a Parks and Recreation bundle that would include maintenance of the tennis courts and skate park, Girdwood Nordic Ski Club multi-use trail system, Girdwood Center for Visual Arts, Airport Access Road Construction, completion of the Roundhouse Museum, and a secondary Girdwood Access Road.
Projects that are funded but not yet completed also made the list. Those include Town Square improvements, Olympic Mountain Loop improvements, Arlberg extension, breathing apparatus for the Fire Department and Seward Highway safety corridor improvements about 10 miles south of Girdwood.
A representative from Alyeska Resort was present to explain mountain zoning upgrades that include platting of a subdivision, a new 50-60-room hotel and a new lodge. The representative was advised to pay special attention to drainage and culvert issues.
GCI was gave an update of the status of the cable, internet and digital phone service they will be providing in Girdwood. Representatives said that by Sept. 15 cable programming with more than 80 channels and internet service will be available to cable subscribers.
Girdwood TRAILS Committee member Brian Burnett was present to report on the committee’s grant proposal for Winner Creek Hand Tram upgrades.
“This is especially relevant given the events of the past week,” said Burnett. He was speaking in regard to an Aug. 9 incident when a 3-year-old fell 50 feet from the hand tram platform.
Land Use Supervisor Erin Eker also reported that the Forest Service has been in discussion with an alternative to the hand tram crossing.
Girdwood Fire Chief William Chadwick said there will be a Basic EMT class that will start on Sept. 12 and go for five weeks. It is open to the community and costs $650.
The board informed there were five applications for nonprofit grants totaling $46,850. Challenge Alaska is applying for $10,000; Four Valleys $15,000; Girdwood Community Club $7,000; Girdwood Art Institute $4,850; Little Bears $10,000.
The board had a discussion about the amount of money they would give to each non-profit, but has not come to an agreement. Public work sessions will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 31, and Wednesday, Sept. 14, with a final vote on the budget scheduled to take place on Oct. 3.
Jonnie Lazarus presented the board with two potential ideas for Moose Meadows parking lot improvements. She is still in the process of finding a final concept and the cost of the project.
The next regular GBOS meeting will take place on Monday, Sept. 19.