Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at kcapps@newsminer.com, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

Residents of the Denali Borough will all be getting street addresses in the coming year.

This long process, which began at the request of first responders, was finally approved by the Denali Borough Assembly and now must be implemented. Borough code has to be written and borough officials are devising a way to roll out the new system boroughwide.

When the system is in place, residents will apply for an address. That will allow the borough to avoid duplication and other errors. None of this will happen till mid-winter at the soonest, according to Chris Noel, emergency services director.

The new system is based on street length, assigning house number on the mileage from the nearest primary intersection. The numbers will be four digits long under this system.

This whole project began in 2017 and stemmed from discussions with the summer medic program. Tri-Valley Volunteer Fire Department hires professional paramedics every summer to handle the patient load. These people are not locals and do not know where everyone lives, although an attempt is made to staff each shift with locals as well. But there are more and more new residents and even locals don’t know where everyone lives anymore.

The purpose is to improve emergency services response to fire and ambulance calls, by providing dispatchers with a specific address to send responders.

It will be up to residents to mark their homes with their new addresses. Watch here for more information about when that will all happen.

Tax ordinance

The Denali Borough Assembly will decide at its September meeting whether to impose a 5% tax on marijuana and alcohol in the borough or to increase the accommodations tax by 1%, or neither.

If a tax is chosen, it will then be placed on the ballot for the November election.

The intent, according to the mayor, is to think ahead.

“State contributions are continuing to decline and the cost of our responsibilties are continuing to increase,” he said. “While we’re still doing just fine, as a borough, we do see in the future, not too far away, where we’re going to need more revenue.”

The last time any tax rate was changes was 24 years ago. Since 1995, 12 different tax proposals/ordinances have been introduced and failed.

Voters have to approve any tax hike. The borough charter requires a vote by the people.

File for election

Pick up a candidate packet from the Denali Borough office if you are interested in serving on either the borough assembly or the local school board. There are three seats up for reelection on each board. Candidates must file by Sept. 12.

Tallon Shreeve’s borough assembly seat is up and he has already filed for reelection. David Evans seat is available and so is Don DeBlauw’s.

On the school board, Vernon Carlson, of Cantwell, is retiring and his seat is available. Trista Davis’s seat in Healy is open and so is the seat held by Michelle Nelson, of Anderson.

Blueberry festival

The 5K Blueberry Dash is at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Denali Square/McKinley Chalet Resort. The Blueberry Festival and Bake-Off begin at 4:30 p.m. at Otto Lake later in the day.

The $25 registration fee for the Blueberry Dash goes to COTA for Helen L. COTA is the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, a 501(c)3 charity. Helen is a young girl who received a kidney from local Denali resident Lori Moyer.

The Blueberry Festival includes kids games, barbecue, a blueberry bake-off contest, live music and a beer garden. Epic Kayak is also returning for ultimate frisbie on the lake.

Submissions for the blueberry bake-off are due at 5 p.m. for judging. See more details at the Denali Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center Facebook page.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at kcapps@newsminer.com. Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

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