Mayor Bryce Ward delivers State of the Borough address

(Courtesy Fairbanks North Star Borough)
(Courtesy Fairbanks North Star Borough)(Fairbanks North Star Borough)
Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 4:48 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - On Wednesday, April 7th, Borough Mayor Bryce Ward gave his annual State of the Borough address at the Juanita Helms Administration Center.

At the address, Ward presented an overview of his Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget.

The total amount recommended this year is $173,496,346.

The Mayor hopes to maintain or lower the mill rate in the borough, and balance the budget using $5 million from the general fund.

Ward also discussed using $1 million to fund Explore Fairbanks, which needs a larger percentage of bed tax revenue - an income source that took a large hit last year.

“It’s for the same activities that Explore Fairbanks has been doing to build the economy for the tourism economy. It’s the trade shows, marketing our community to other areas around the entire United States, and then around the world. Many of the programs are going to be the same things that Explore Fairbanks has been doing, but we’re really looking at maintaining that level,” said Ward

The borough is also looking to manage the Carlson Center, starting July 1st.

Pioneer Park Manager, Donnie Hayes, presented a plan for use of the facility.

Many activities, including University of Alaska Fairbanks hockey, trade shows and concerts will continue.

According to Hayes, after-school activities, youth soccer, and a playground are also being considered. He said, “We are looking for a transition to move from a privately-managed facility to a publicly-managed facility. We are also looking to develop a schedule to maximize the usage of the building for community-based activities and events. We also wanted to operate the facility with a reasonable fee structure, one that all users could be able to access, and that was also balanced across all of Parks and Recreation. We also wanted to create a sustainable plan to allow for growth that was based on success.”

We will continue to follow the budget process as it develops.

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