FNSB Assembly passes amended Capital Improvement Program

The borough's capital improvement program caused tension at the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly meeting.
Published: Feb. 25, 2023 at 2:33 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Tensions ran high at the Thursday, February 23 meeting of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly.

At issue was the borough’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) which schedules funding for community projects around town.

Members of the Interior community gathered to ask the assembly to put 50 thousand dollars of funding for the central recycling budget back into the CIP.

However, a motion to do so failed 5 to 4.

A proposed amendment required half of the funding for two projects, a pickleball court and an accessible playground at Pioneer Park, to be donation-based.

While supporters said the projects wouldn’t be used by all community members and it’s not fair that they pay for them, the proposed change drew criticism from some assembly members, including David Guttenberg. “All of a sudden we decide the community needs to raise the money. Communally raise the money, over a million bucks. That’s like, you know, these things we do with taxes. Things we do with taxes, we build playgrounds for children. That’s what we do. We’re wanting, expecting to get money from non-profit or the feds, but we don’t want to do the scoping ourselves. Nobody gives you money until you decide what you’re going to build. It’s disingenuous,” said Guttenberg.

The amendments ultimately passed, as did the amended CIP. The marathon meeting lasted until 12:54 a.m.