FAIRBANKS — With the start of the legislative session just more than a month away, the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly will meet with the Interior Delegation to discuss its legislative and funding priorities this week.
The assembly is among a number of meetings the Interior Delegation has been holding in preparation for when lawmakers gavel in in January. The assembly meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The competition for funding will likely be stronger than in years before as the Alaska Department of Revenue has recently forecast a decline in oil tax revenue, which makes up 90 percent of state revenue.
The assembly’s broad community priorities include the high cost of energy, reversing pipeline throughput decline, development of an in-state gas pipeline, funding for the university and technical college, supporting the military, funding transportation and continued support for the Fairbanks Pipeline Training Center.
The assembly’s funding priorities include requests for continued funding to host the 2014 Arctic Winter Games, air quality mitigation and funding for several energy efficiency improvements for borough facilities.
Legislatively, the assembly is also requesting changes to the cost associated with termination of positions in the Public Employee Retirement System and a change to how the state prioritizes school construction projects.
Funding for school capital projects has been a particularly important issue because critical replacement and renovation projects have regularly been placed lower on the list than non-essential projects throughout the state. Structural improvements for Ryan Middle School are joined by a renovation for Barnette Magnet School, a sprinkler system improvement for West Valley High School Auditorium and a new roof for Tanana Middle School.
Contact staff writer Matt Buxton at 459-7544 or follow him on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.