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Borough mayor presents plan for public participation in budget process

Published: Mar. 12, 2021 at 4:04 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - This year, the Fairbanks North Star Borough is engaging in a Public Participation Plan for its upcoming budget.

At a presentation March 9th, borough Mayor Bryce Ward explained his outlook for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. “We do have a specific day set aside for a public hearing on the budget. That’s May 6th, potentially May 13th if the assembly does not close public hearing.”

This day comes in addition to opportunities for public testimony at borough assembly meetings.

According to Ward, work on the budget began in December. “It takes a lot of work to put everything together, to balance out all of our funds, to make sure that everything ties back to our projected mill levy.”

Ward’s first budget draft is due to the assembly by April 8th.

The administration’s goals include maintaining or lowering the mill rate and encouraging development and new construction in the borough “As of the last budget, 75... just over 75% of the total revenue that we collect comes in through property tax,” Ward said.

The mayor identified the major costs in the borough’s budget, which include contracts, insurance and school funding. “A very large component of what our property tax goes for is directly tied to schools. Last year our budget was 49... just over $49 million for the school district.”

Mayor Ward took questions from the public, and provided a list of times and events where public testimony can be provided.

The full presentation can be viewed on the borough’s website.

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