Governor signs off on Girdwood Clinic appropriation and Alyeska Snow Classic
Photo courtesy of Daryl Pederson
By Ken Smith
Governor Sean Parnell signed off on a state appropriation approving $400,000 to Girdwood Health Clinic, Inc. and a bill to allow Four Valleys Community School (FVCS) to hold an annual “Alyeska Snow Classic.” Both organizations are non-profits. The governor signed the FVCS Snow Classic into law on Tuesday, June 12.
The Snow Classic will be used to raise money to support the school. It will be set up similar to the Nenana Ice Classic that holds a contest each year to guess when the ice on the Nenana River will break up. The Snow Classic will allow people to guess the depth of snow on Mt. Alyeska when a final measurement is taken in the spring.
Rebecca Reichlin and co-chair Lynne Doran worked in conjunction with Rep. Mike Hawker and Sen. Cathy Giessel to establish a Snow Classic for FVCS. They had worked on the project for the last two years to get it included as a House bill this year.
“The community school would like to be more self-sufficient,” said Reichlin, “and we would like to not have to request GBOS grants and be able to stand on our own two feet.”
However, she said the first step was to get the Snow Classic approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor. Now with that accomplished, the work begins to establish a measuring device on the mountain specifically used for the Snow Classic.
“We are still working it all out and have no specifics to provide yet,” said Reichlin.
She hopes the Snow Classic earns about $15,000 annually to start. Five thousand dollars has been set aside for the initial work – buying and installing a measuring device being the greatest cost. They hope to have the measuring device installed by fall and hold the first Snow Classic this winter.
Girdwood Health Clinic Inc. is a newly formed non-profit that is seeking to run a non-profit health clinic in Girdwood and that goal was pushed along by the governor’s recent signing of the appropriation of $400,000. The money will allow the clinic to move forward financially to pay for increased medical staff and new equipment, and renovations to establish a satellite clinic in Hope in a log building owned by Alaska Dacha, LLC.
“We didn’t get all the money we wanted,” said Kerry Dorius the clinic’s nurse practitioner. “We were asking for five hundred thousand dollars, but we’re very excited with what we got.” She hopes to have the clinic in Hope up and running in January 2013, but renovations need to be made to accommodate meet the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The clinic is also seeking a new lease with the Turnagain Arm Health Center. The lease runs out in August, but the budget will have to be revised to reflect the new appropriation. Dorius said she expects the budget to be completed in July.
The monthly rent for the clinic located in the former Post Office building downtown cost $2,300 per month, but none of the money from the appropriation will be used to cover the rent, said Dorius.