Fox Water Station

Linda Lazzaro fills up several drinking water jugs at the Fox Water Station Wednesday afternoon, June 3, 2015. "I just like to avoid the chlorine that's added to it," she said of chosing the Fox water over city water. Lazzaro, who has been getting her drinking water in Fox for about a year, has well water at her home that she filters, but says that even her dog likes the Fox water better. She had heard that the DOT may no longer manage the station and are looking for a public entity to take over the Fox spring or it will be sold. "I think the people will have an uproar over that," she said. The popular watering hole is located about 10 miles north of Fairbanks on the Elliott Highway. DOT spends about $50,000 annually to maintain the spring, including clearing ice to maintain proper water flow in the winter. Expected budget cuts are behind the decision, DOT spokeswoman Meadow Bailey said.

FAIRBANKS — The comment period for the sale of the Fox well has been extended into September as the Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District explores ways to keep the popular watering hole open to the public.

A spokeswoman for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities said the agency has received six comments on the proposal to sell the well to businessman Patrick Kohl, who owns 70 acres adjacent to the well property. 

The DOT has been looking to sell the well because of a decreasing funds available for maintenance. The comment period was originally set to close on Thursday. 

Kohl has said he plans to keep the well open and maintain it for a few months, but only long enough for a co-op or some other group to form to operate the well, which costs about $50,000 per year to maintain and is subject to water quality regulations enforced by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

The soil and water conservation district is in the early stages of getting together a task force to manage the well. 

Joni Scharfenberg, coordinator for the agency, said she is looking to set up a meeting of potential task force members along with a meeting with the DOT during the coming week.  

DOT spokeswoman Meadow Bailey said the new deadline to submit a comment to the DOT about the proposed sale is in late September. 

Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7587. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.