MEETING MINUTES                                      

Girdwood Board of Supervisors

February 21, 2005

Glacier City Hall

 

Present:  Diana Stone Livingston, Co-Chair; Tracey Knutson, Co-Chair;

                              David Sears, Victor Duncan, Marcus Tingle

 

Call to Order:  7:00 pm, by Tracy Knutson, Co-Chair

 

Agenda:

 

Approval of Minutes:

 

1.     December 20, 2004 Regular Monthly Meeting:

Livingston MOVES to approve with corrections noted and made by secretary; Sears SECONDS; Vote: 5-0, unanimous to approve.

January 17, 2005 Regular Monthly Meeting:

Livingston MOVES to approve with corrections noted and made by secretary; Sears SECONDS; Vote:  5-0, unanimous to approve.

January 27, 2005 Quarterly Mayor’s Meeting with GBOS:

Livingston MOVES to approve with corrections noted and made by secretary; Duncan SECONDS;  Vote:  5-0, unanimous to approve.

 

Announcements:

 

          2.       Girdwood General Fund Balance Report, Diana Livingston.

                    Livingston reports the previous balance of five thousand six hundred eighty dollars

($5,680) in usable general fund has changed this month.  In February, have available seventy nine thousand one hundred ninety seven dollars ($79,197) after set-asides.  Set-asides:  a reserve for insurance:  nine hundred sixty four dollars ($964);  the 8.25% bond rating set-aside, eighty two thousand seven hundred sixty six dollars ($82,766); 2.5% operating emergency fund:  twenty five thousand eighty one dollars ($25,081).  Before deductions started with one hundred ninety one thousand seven hundred sixty one dollars ($191,761).

Sears asks about the twenty five thousand ($25,000):  was this an addition this year?  Livingston confirms. 

          3.       Don’t forget to vote in the municipal election April 5, 2005.

Knutson notes two (2) of the GBOS seats are up for election this term.

 

4.     The Mayor’s Girdwood Town Hall Meeting originally scheduled for February 16,

2005 has been rescheduled to Wednesday, March 23, 2005, at the Columbia Ballroom of the Alyeska Prince Hotel.

Knutson shares the result of the Mayor’s Meeting with the GBOS was that more MOA answers on issues would be available if the Town Hall meeting was postponed until March.

 

5.  The next GBOS Quarterly meeting with Mayor Begich is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26, 2005, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm in the Mayor’s Conference Room.

     Knutson reminds this is a public meeting and all are invited to attend.

 

6.     The next Crow Creek Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday,

February 23, 2005, 7 pm at the Alyeska Daylodge.  The Crow Creek Neighborhood

Plan Second Community Meeting originally scheduled for February 23, 2005 has

been tentatively moved to Tuesday, March 15, 2005, from 7:30-9:30 pm at the

Alyeska Daylodge.  Public notice to follow.

 

7.     A GBOS Public Work Session with MOA Parks and Recreation staff has been

Scheduled for Tuesday, February 22, 2005, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, Glacier City Hall.

                   

8.     A variety of twelve (12) week long summer internships are being offered through the

Denali Commission and are open to all Alaska residents currently enrolled in a degree program.  Application and position descriptions are available on the Commission’s website:  www.denali.gov.  Applications and other required materials are due by Friday, March 18, 2005.

 

Introductions, Presentations and Reports:

 

          9.       Assembly Members Dick Tremaine and Janice Shamberg.

(Not present yet.)

 

10. Heritage Land Bank update, Robin Ward, Art Eash.

(Not present yet.  ** Secretary’s note:  HLB did not attend meeting as planned.  A subsequent report was emailed to the GBOS on Tuesday, February 22, 2005, and is included in attachments to this set of Meeting Minutes.)

 

11. Legislative Teleconference:  7:15 pm: Senator Con Bunde and Representative Mike

Hawker.

(Will interrupt meeting when call arrives.)

 

12. AWWU update, Lynda Barber-Wiltse.

Victor Duncan to present under Board Reports, Utilities.

 

13. Economic Development Grant Update, Jacques Boutet.

Knutson notes Boutet will not be present this evening.  Project is in a ‘hold’ pattern and Knutson will report further on this during the recap of the Mayor’s Meeting.

 

14. U.S. Forest Service Update including Nissman Memorial, James Fincher and Tim

Charnon.

Knutson shares the USFS report.  Highlights include:

·       USFS is applying for a grant to partner with other organizations in restoring the historic Roundhouse at Alyeska.  The fund source is the Forest Service Centennial fund, a federal fund designated for important community projects in celebration of the Forest Service’s 100 year anniversary in 2005.  Also developing a MOU with Girdwood, Inc. to explore other avenues of mutual interest in promoting recreation development and natural resource management.

(interruption for phone call.  Report will resume after teleconference.)

 

11. Legislative Teleconference:  Senator Con Bunde and Representative Mike Hawker.

Knutson acknowledges Bunde.  Bunde responds that Lauren Wickersham, Suzanne Mullen and Representative Hawker are there as well.  His update:  Bunde has sent out an email update on issues he is dealing with currently.  Has also sent a legislative newsletter out by mail.  Asks that the enclosed survey be filled out and returned.  Several issues: 

·       Seat Belt bill:  research shows they save lives and save money (keeps insurance rates from going up).

·       Emergency ‘911’ Bill:  from MOA and Chief of Police:  Currently all pay an access charge for ‘911’;  this would expand that charge to pay for federally-mandated ‘911’ service.  Allows a responder to locate where a call is coming from. 

·       Retirement Problem:  Now the retirement system is ‘upside down’:  have over five ($5) billion dollars more in liability than have in assets.  Need to make some changes in that program.

·       Ongoing fiscal challenge.  Has sponsored Senate Bill 88:  viewing as a ‘bridge to future’.  Would allow Alaska to cover its responsibility for the next fifteen (15) years.  In essence, if spending more than taking in, would divide the additional funds needed between the Constitutional Budget Reserve and the earnings reserve of the Permanent Fund. 

Knutson asks to interrupt with topic brought up by Mayor Begich at last quarterly meeting:  the MOA has made a request to the legislature in the transportation plan (MOA’s priority # 9) for a five hundred thousand dollar ($500,000) appropriation for roads and drainage in Girdwood.  The Mayor asked the GBOS to speak directly to Bunde and Hawker about this appropriation and ask what intents are regarding the appropriation.  Bunde answers it is a little premature:  part of capital budget.  A matter of:  ‘every dollar put in capital budget is a dollar less for the operating budget’.  Have to balance that out:  where are the greatest needs and priorities.  Doesn’t have a solid answer.  Notes the Mayor’s priorities may not be legislative priorities.  Knutson puts Bunde on notice the GBOS will ask about this at every legislative teleconference whether he will be in favor of it or not.  Also adds she ‘doesn’t think Girdwood’s needs are a trade-off for what else is going on in the state’.  Notes roads and drainage are critical to Girdwood now.  Would like to see this issue addressed.  Notes to Bunde if not able to take a stand this month hopes that next month won’t hide behind the ‘it’s easy to be the Mayor’ line.  Bunde thinks Girdwood’s schools, police protection and other public services are also important priorities:  ‘tell me where you want me to take the money from and I’ll help you’.  Knutson says it is good that this issue has been raised: notes Girdwood is also looking for a two ($2)  million dollar appropriation for a library and community center which should fit with issue on schools.  Notes the Mayor has made Girdwood his number three (#3) priority and would think the Senator would go ‘hand in hand’ with the MOA and try to help some of the infrastructure issues here.  Doesn’t think Girdwood will want to trade one for the other; will be looking for both of the appropriations.  Bunde says he understands and notes a majority of folks in his district would like to limit the growth of state spending, so will be balancing what input he receives from the majority of folks in the district.  Wants adequate infrastructure for all of the districts, but is suggesting this momentary increase in oil prices has not given a bunch of extra money to spend. 

Knutson notes to Representative Hawker this conversation will serve as a foreshadowing of GBOS’ interest:  perhaps will have more positive information for Board?  Representative Hawker says he spoke with Lynn McNamara today about library issue for about an hour; is certainly willing to discuss further.  Notes when Mayor came to Hawker’s office, handed him a one (1”) inch think document and said, ‘Here’s two (2) billion dollars in requests for the MOA.’  Hawker asked him which was really important and the Mayor responded, ‘you have to figure that out because I put in there everything that Anchorage wants’.  Is working personally on Mayor’s number three (#3) priority which is resolving major issues at Anchorage jail with Department of Public Safety, Corrections and Police Department (contract conflicts).  Burning a lot of political capital supporting the Mayor on his position there even if not popular with some of his Republican constituents.  Likes to support good policy.  Roads and drainage in Girdwood:  thinks last year worked with Senator Stevens:  there’s twelve ($12) million dollars rolling into Girdwood’s roads and drainage project improvements in the immediate future. Ten ($10) million direct for town center; another one ($1) million for the Winner Creek area; and another one ($1) million for trails improvement.  Girdwood is getting an infusion into its roads and drainage…..Knutson apologizes for interrupting, but notes the Representative is incorrect on his figures.  Also, notes that is federal money, not state money he’s referring to.  What is being talked about is what is going to be appropriated from the state budget.  Also: the economic development money that has come from Senator Stevens (not from the state legislature) is actually being ‘held over our heads’ by DOT and bled out.  Not going to go very far in dealing with any of the long overdue drainage and roads issues that Girdwood has.  Hawker requests that the Board come to him and explain these problems so that he can go to work for them on the issues rather than ambushing him.  Knutson says no intention to ambush, just wanting him to be aware of what is happening in his district.  Knutson asks if there is anything further.  Bunde says no.  Hawker adds ‘his office is open’; sometime would appreciate the opportunity to present his issues to the Board and thank you.

(Phone call is terminated.)  Knutson notes it is frustrating to hear there is not much support in Juneau when Girdwood and the Board are going through all the problems with roads and drainage that they are;  and for the legislators to  put it off on the Mayor is discouraging.

 

(USFS report continues : )

 

·       The District is partnering with Alaska Snow Safaris plus others to form a “Friends of Turnagain Pass” group interested in winter trails management.  ASS has received a State grant for trail grooming equipment.  Trail grooming will compliment the trail brushing already completed on the winter route of the Iditarod Trail. When implemented, a groomed trail will be available from Turnagain Pass, to the Granite Creek Recreation area and on to Johnson Pass.

·       The Forest has applied for federal highway funds to implement phase 1 of the Granite Creek Recreation Area (located at Mile 62, Seward Highway).  Plan is nearly complete.  Calls for improved salmon rearing habitat, day use picnic areas, improved parking, bike, hiking and ski trails, as well as group camping areas.

·       Work continues on the Whistlestop project.  The implementation and business plans are nearly complete.  Crews will be hired this summer for trail location and survey work.  Will begin the NEPA process this spring.

·       The USFS is preparing a litigation report in response to the lawsuit filed on USFS decision to approved commercially guided helicopter skiing on the Kenai Peninsula.  The deadline for filing is mid-March.

·       The District plans to partner with the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts and the Mountain Learning Center at Alyeska during a planned scouting weekend in Girdwood.  Alyeska is hosting.

·       Thanks to the GBOS for the letter to the MOA requesting permission to construct the Nissman memorial shelter.  (Knutson adds the GBOS’ intent is to bring up this issue at Parks and Rec Work Session scheduled for tomorrow and see if Parks and Rec has any objection to the Nissman memorial being placed near the proposed campground near Forest Fair Park.  Livingston adds GBOS sent a letter to Parks and Rec requesting approval of this action on February 9, 2005, and doesn’t believe an answer has been received yet. Chad Frank is present and is asked if he knows anything about it.  Says Bloom asked him about it and he responded he was in favor of it;  expects the full support of the Parks and Recreation Department on this.)

 

15. Girdwood Transportation Task Force Report.

Livingston says nothing new to report.  Still trying to ‘scare up’ money to build shelters and give boost for start-up operation costs.  (Will touch on during review of Mayor’s Meeting.)

16. Four Valleys Community School Task Force Report on Community School Status (if

anything to report.)

                    Marie Griffin’s written report indicates there is nothing to report for this month. A

                    few things are in process now that will result in a report in March.

 

17. Girdwood Community Center and Library Building Task Force, Brooks Chandler.

Livingston reads Chandler’s written report into the record.  Highlights include:

·       The task force met with the Denali Commission staff.  They support proceeding with the current plan for separate facilities for the Library/Community Center and the Neighborhood Health Clinic.  The staff anticipates a maximum funding level of one million dollars ($1,000,000).  Will be submitting an application before April 1.

·       Met with a group of MOA employees.  The MOA has offered to contract with a grant writer to help submit applications to potential funding sources. 

·       Held a successful fundraiser at the Post Office on February 12.  The Ugly Mug raised more than eight hundred dollars ($800) in three hours and involved a lot of community members including local school kids.

·       In March, will concentrate on completing the Denali Commission application.  Feels GBOS approval of the application at the March meeting is an important part of the process of demonstrating community support for the project.  Please place on March agenda.

GBOS may want to schedule a special meeting to review draft application prior to March meeting.  (The plan will require plan for operation which the task force would like community/GBOS input on.)

·       After application process, will concentrate on funding of the projects from state’s capital budget.  Will require a lot of letter writing from residents.  Involvement of the GBOS in this effort is important.

·       Also need for GBOS involvement in setting community priorities.  For example, the Rasmussen Foundation has been approached for funding of new Catholic Church for Girdwood;  restoring the Roundhouse as a museum;  and potential funding of the community health center.  In the next three (3) months, GBOS should call these groups together, learn about projects and determine an order of priority.

·       One can become a Friend of the Library/Community Center Building Project for a ten ($10) dollar contribution.  Checks should be made payable to Girdwood, Inc. and clearly indicate they are contributed for the Library/ Community Center project;  send to P.O. Box 1102 in Girdwood.

18. Jake Thompson report on subcommittee to amend AMC Section 21.35.020

regarding keeping large animals.

                    Thompson is not present and has no new report.

 

          19.     Federation of Community Councils Report, Ron Burson.

                    Burson offers his report for the FCC January and February,2005, meetings.

                    Highlights include:

·       Election of New Officers in January:  apparently in conflict with FCC bylaws due to consecutive terms served by current officers in excess of two (2) year limit allowed.  The issue is tabled until next meeting.

·       AO-2005-1:  revising MOA Code 2.40:  revising criteria for community councils for recognition by Assembly.  Funding and structure of FCC is also under study.  May or may not impact GBOS.

·       Reports received from School Board member, Police Department spokesperson, Teri Albrecht of the Mayor’s office and Assembly Member Janice Shamberg.

·       Burson is on a subcommittee to rebuild website for FCC.

·       Available for FCC use:  umbrella insurance for public schools for community school use.

·       Meeting attendance:  noted that when a sign is put up attendance increases dramatically.

 

20.Turnagain Arm Health Center Report, Anne Herschleb and Margaret Strachan.

Strachan gives brief update (fact sheets available).  Have created a Board and been meeting frequently.  Working on federal funding to transform Girdwood Clinic into rural health center.  Have 501C3 non-profit status.  Working on grant application:  originally was firmly set for completion on May 23rd, but now set back.  Anticipating it being changed to the end of June.  Are working on raising other funds in order to hire a professional grant writer to put together the application appropriately.  Have sent out a survey;  have tabulated the data and will share the results at a public meeting this Wednesday at the Art Room in the Girdwood School at 7 pm (understand there is a conflict with timing with Crow Creek group).  Will be serving dessert there.  The data they have supports Kerry Dorius being retained at the new clinic.  Most residents prefer to see a mid-level practitioner ( like Dorius) rather than a doctor.  By a margin of two (2) to one (1), agreement the current size of the clinic does not meet the needs  of the community.  A lot of support for increasing services and hours.  A great concern that people have reflects the quality of health service feels connected to ability to pay.  Part of the goal of a community health center would be to address this concern.  In addition, a fund-raising opportunity for the health center:  a wine tasting at the Glacier Express on the Friday night during Spring Carnival at Alyeska Resort.  Have two (2) points need to address:  the clinic had been combined with the library/community center in verbage by Senator Stevens.  Are asking the GBOS to support the removal of the health clinic from the library/ community center.  Also:  GBOS support sought for approval of current post office site as new location for health center to be built. 

 

Board Questions:

 

Knutson:  Offer on old post office?

Strachan:  Yes, made an offer and it has been accepted.

Knutson:  Why is it important to be separate?

Strachan:  The ultimate goal is for the library/ community center to be owned by the MOA.  The health center is to be a ‘stand alone’ center in order to justify the investment.

Knutson: Intent is to remove the old post office building?

Strachan:  Yes, that is the goal.  The codes for a radiology center, for example, are more conducive to new construction.

 

Public Questions:

 

Burson:  Would the GBOS like to review the resolution passed by the LUC in regard to this matter?

Knutson:  Yes, when the item is considered under Old Business, you can bring that forward.

 

          9.       Assembly Members Dick Tremaine and Janice Shamberg.

(Shamberg apologizes for them being late:  she was in a meeting for underground utilities that ran late.)

Tremaine notes the major issue of importance to Girdwood is the ballot measure for the tax cap (i.e. Girdwood controlling its own mill levy) that will be on the April ballot.

Eagle River did this last year.  The ballot measure reads:  ‘ to establish a maximum attainable mill levy rate of 6 mills for the Girdwood Valley Service Area for street construction and maintenance, solid waste collection, fire protection and Parks and Recreation services’.  Also, an explanatory paragraph sheet comes in conjunction with the ballot.  His understanding is that funds collected by the mill levy can also be used for capital construction.  Can choose then to collect above what is being spent on operations and maintenance to build capital construction fund for projects.  Eagle River did this successfully.  Knutson adds that the GBOS wants the Girdwood community to be aware that the internal process for the GBOS requires a series of public hearings before the mill levy could actually be changed by the GBOS.

The explanatory information will accompany the ballot measure so that people can understand:  voting ‘yes’ for this does not mean the GBOS can change the mill levy on a whim.  To the contrary:  a series of public meetings and votes that have to happen before the GBOS would have any entitlement to affect the mill levy.  Remember:  people who sit on the GBOS also have to pay those taxes.  Tremaine also adds that anything the GBOS does comes to the Assembly for approval;  anyone who feels disenfranchised by the GBOS has the opportunity to speak to the Assembly at large.  Would expect people to come and do that.  Knutson says one of the main intents:  how close the GBOS comes every year to running out of Roads money.  Livingston and Sears both state:  ‘we ran out’.  Livingston notes it was sixty four thousand dollars ($64,000) short this year.  Tremaine says this is the ONLY way around this problem.  He explains it is also a good way:  more self-control and self-determination which is important for Girdwood. 

Also, Proposition One (1) on the ballot is a residential property exemption for twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) off the value of your house/property when it comes time to pay taxes. Shifts the burden from property owners that live in their house to rental properties and businesses.  If it passes, it takes effect this year.  In order to get the paperwork going, fill out application.  If haven’t filled out what was mailed, can go to www.muni.org and check it out.  Can download the form.  Due in by March 15, 2005.

Knutson says someone called her about this:  is there any reason why I wouldn’t do this?  Tremaine says he thinks it is a ‘ no brainer’. Tax burden is shifted to non-owner occupied real property and businesses.  (Note:  everyone who has business property: the first twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) is exempt.  This is already in place.)  Major property owners will feel it.  The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, for example, has come out against it; of course they represent businesses. 

 

Board Questions:

 

Sears: This twenty thousand dollars ($20,000):  is that in addition to senior citizens discount?

Tremaine:  Yes.  Senior citizens and disabled veterans can apply for and receive a one hundred and fifty thousand dollar ($150,000) exemption mandated by state law.  This will be in addition to that:  these same people would get one hundred and seventy thousand dollar ($170,000) exemption.  And if they worked out of their house, an addition of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) exemption.

Livingston:  Can you explain the ordinances that are being considered funding administrative costs for community councils and does that affect Girdwood?

Shamberg:  The only way it would affect Girdwood is: until certain things are in place and the contract signed, the funding for the FCC in general ($108,000) will not be given to the FCC.  Not clear how it will be divided up.  Not figured out.  There are thirty eight (38) community councils out there.

Tremaine:  That’s the economic part.  Part of the question:  certain requirements about by-laws…

Livingston:  The GBOS as such doesn’t have by-laws.  What does this mean? 

Right now the by-laws are attached to the Land Use Committee:  should these be adopted?  They are recently updated.  GBOS has formal Rules and Procedures.

Shamberg:  Will have to ask how this will fit for GBOS.  There are others that don’t fit the FCC by-laws (i.e. Portage:  meeting problems;  also Glen Alps). 

Tremaine:  The short answer:  we’ll have to work it out.  The long answer: our part of town will require some exemptions.

Shamberg:  We’ll keep you informed.

Tremaine:  This has come up due to other community councils.  Have been meetings that have been ‘stacked’.

Sears: What we’re most afraid of:  as they’re solving their problems we may get ‘shot in the foot’.

Livingston:  Along the lines of ‘stacking’ meetings:  had heard that allowing proxy votes in community council meetings has come up. 

Shamberg:  Main concern is that meetings at community councils are not democratic.

 

Public Questions:

 

Ron Burson:  Comment on a 2003 letter from Chair Dick Traini:  an idea to have one (1) person speak for the FCC.  Doesn’t think that will work.

Tremaine:  Agrees.  Chairman Traini’s wife is president of FCC; has issues with how things are run.

John Gallup:  The tax cap issue: is this the same thing we did last year?

Tremaine: Yes.  We’re trying to be a little more clear about what we’re trying to do.

Gallup: Between now and April:  really have to educate the public.  Most saw the one (1) page ad in the Turnagain Times (by Trautner) and it was killed.  Was it close?

Knutson:  Yes, six (6) votes.

Tremaine:  I shouldn’t say this, but I’m going to:  if this fails again in Girdwood and you think you were sixty thousand dollars ($60,000) short last year for Roads?  You’re going to be a lot shorter than that.  There are going to be two (2) votes for you- Janice and I- and nine (9) votes against you.  The rest of the Assembly will say, ‘if you don’t get it, we’re going to explain it really clearly to you in dollars.  Your budget is now cut:  we’re going to use that cut to pay for our police, public transportation, etc.’ Girdwood won’t get the money.  That’s what’s going to happen.

I will always vote for you.  But Janice and I do not make up the majority of votes. 

The Assembly is going to say:  ‘if you can’t understand it the easy way, we’re going to explain to you the hard way:  you won’t get the funding you need’.

Shamberg:  It’s beyond me that Eagle River could pass this and Girdwood could not.  There is something really amiss.

Knutson:  I think it’s a failure of understanding what is really at issue here.  A failure of understanding how much public process it would actually take to change or move the amount of taxes to be paid.  You’ll be able to participate at every bend in the road.  The first year we don’t have it, we won’t be plowing.  We’re coming out in debt here and its not going to get any better with the municipal budget.

Tremaine:  I guarantee it.

Burson: Has there been an accounting yet from Eagle River how their program is working?  Is it more beneficial?

Tremaine:  They’re saving money to do capital improvement projects.  Like their skating rink, etc.  They couldn’t get their bonds passed.  They decided to tax themselves and are getting the things they want.

Burson:  Would I be safe in saying they are getting the things they want at the rate they want?

Tremaine: I can’t say if it’s happening as fast as they’d like, but they are moving forward and have lots more control.

Knutson:  Similar frustration when last met with Parks and Rec:  heard they were going to do a ‘public process’ with ‘study’ when Girdwood has had the same projects on the same list for over eleven (11) years.  That’s the issue:  if we could just have some forward momentum and not feel like we’re dog-tagging behind the municipality.  It’s a great administration:  they’ve announced that Girdwood is their third priority.  It’s not going to get any better than this.

Tremaine:  Change of subject: re: large animal ordinance.  Staff is coming forward with some alternatives.  Will be a public committee meeting one more time in March.  Sometime will be scheduled in front of Planning and Zoning, probably in April.  Then on to the Assembly after that.  Thinks there will be some very definitive policy choices presented. 

 

21. From Land Use Committee:  In March, Mr. Tom Nelson, MOA Planning Director, will

present information on Title 21, Chapter 9 and the possibility that only Chapter 9 may be approved in 2005, ahead of the balance of Title 21.  A vote of the LUC with its recommendations to the GBOS will be conducted at that meeting or a future meeting as deemed appropriate by the LUC.

Burson defers to Nelson to give explanation and report.  Adds only that the timing for MOA is critical to have this opportunity of passing Chapter 9; also, that the Girdwood subcommittee that worked on Title 21, Chapter 9 will meet and have a ‘refresher’ meeting prior to the March LUC meeting.   Nelson reiterates presentation given at LUC last week.  Notes that the current code is forty (40) years old.  Process to rewrite is at two (2) years in length now.  Talked to Assembly about a month ago to set out a schedule and process for the passing of Chapter 9.  New land use regulations and standards for Girdwood were started well in advance of the update of regulations for the rest of the Municipality.   Feels that they are further ahead in Girdwood with this process.  In looking at work program and schedule for 2005, saw an opportunity to go forward with Chapter 9 (use districts and design standards specific to Girdwood) this year through the public hearing process and have the Assembly adopt Chapter 9 and have it take effect after the adoption.  Couple of benefits in doing this:  1) Girdwood has been waiting a long time;  has different issues than other areas;  2) a lot more attention now by the review bodies than waiting and having it only be a part of the whole Title 21 package;  3) don’t honestly know the outcome of Title 21.  Objective:  get this to Assembly for their action prior to October; in October, the Assembly will be consumed with budget through the rest of the year.  Nelson offers a schedule that takes the process from April through September, 2005, to ready Chapter 9 for consideration for action by the Assembly in October.  If the schedule is favorable, will be going out with a Public Hearing Draft on the week of April 4th.  Set up formal public hearing mid-May.  A few things that need to get wrapped up:

·       Reconvene subcommittee in Girdwood that worked with Chapter 9 to review.

·       Resolve a master planning process for commercial/recreational development.

·       Review of use tables.

·       Revised use districts (now:  Girdwood has one (1) district:  recommending break into several districts (commercial, residential, industrial)  with standards for each.  Use districts should be directly responsive to the GAP land use application map.  (This portion should be completed tomorrow.)

·       Had some illustrations that need to be revised.

·       In preparing ordinance that adopts Chapter 9:  have to have connections made to existing Title 21, so regardless what happens to Title 21, Chapter 9 can be put into use upon adoption.  Also, if Title 21 passes in the future that

Chapter 9 would be brought into the whole package.

                    Subcommittee meeting has been postponed from tomorrow to get more members in

                    attendance.  Wants to emphasize:  don’t have to come into agreement with every-

                    thing prior to next meeting with LUC in March.  But to become comfortable with it to

                    where can go forward;  prepare the Public Hearing Draft; go through the process up

                    until September with opportunities to do fine-tuning.

 

                    Board Questions:

 

                    Sears:  What are looking for the Board to do?  A resolution? A letter?

                    Nelson:  Want the Board to help determine that moving forward with Chapter 9 is

                    what the community wants to do.  Sees an opportunity;  wants to make sure it is

                    what the community wants and sees the benefit.

                    Knutson:  The GBOS structure:  that discussion will happen at the LUC level and

                    their recommendation will be brought forward.

                    Sears:  History:  thinks there may be a GBOS Resolution pertaining to Title 21,

                    Chapter 9.  (Knutson asks secretary to research.)  Livingston says remembers some

                    Discussion at meetings but unsure of action the Board may have taken on this.

                    Assembly Members:  No objection to moving forward with this.

                    Nelson notes tentative subcommittee meeting:  March 3, 2005, 4 pm.

 

                    Public Questions:

 

                    Burson:  Can the public attend subcommittee meeting refresher meeting?

                    Nelson:  It is open to the community.  In order to be effective, most of the discussion

                    should focus on subcommittee members.  There will be opportunity for questions. 

                    Not really interactive.

 

22. GBOS Report on Quarterly Meeting with Mayor Begich and Staff date of January 27,

2005, Tracey Knutson.

Knutson highlights main topics discussed at Mayor’s Meeting . ( Secretary’s note:  detailed minutes from the Mayor’s Meeting are available upon request.)  Knutson reviews the following issues from those Meeting Minutes:

·       Internal transportation for Girdwood: trying to coordinate a meeting with different entities to discuss inter-modal transportation

·       HLB projects:  Girdwood golf course issue; Glacier/ Winner Creek progress; Crow Creek Land Use Study; Cabana land swap (with a HLB commission meeting scheduled for tomorrow)

·       Ten ($10) million dollar economic development grant:  problem with   SOA/DOT won’t release funds to MOA.  May affect start date in 2005.

·       Dedication of trails: not done yet; to be packaged with all trails.

·       House numbering, street name changes:  comes down to ‘five digit numbers, same street names; or, short house numbers, changes to approximately eighteen (18) street names’. 

Sears points out at a prior meeting with the Mayor, technology seemed to be at a

place where Girdwood could keep the street names.  Now it is no longer the case.

Knutson notes that the issues mentioned were the bulk of what was talked about

at the meeting.

 

 

Public Comment:  Persons offering comment must state their full name and address.

Public Comment is limited to three (3) minutes per individual and must be on subjects not listed elsewhere on the agenda.

 

                    Terry Onslow:  P.O. Box 744.  Would like to see in the Roads department of the

                    GBOS:  a program for dust control.  It’s mandatory for several reasons:  1)

                    it’s a nuisance ;  2) visual pollution (in a tourist-oriented  town) ;  3) probably some

health issues.  If one wonders  why the roads are so rough, look in the air:  it’s the road binder that holds the roads together.  Really urges the Board to program that in.

                    Sooner is better than later.  Also urge there is a section of town at the other section

                    of the valley that also gets dusty.  Knows the issue is dollars, but sees one (1)road

                    that’s been added in the last twenty (20 ) years.  It’s not a hard surface road.  The

                    houses are more expensive;  ‘I pay more taxes on what I have.  We have more

                    money, more houses:  why can’t we do it?’

 

                    Knutson:  Not sure if it is appropriate to respond to Public Comment, but am going to

                    do it anyway:  Your statement there, Terry, is one of the best arguments I’ve heard

                    so far on this tax cap issue.  We flat out don’t have the money.  We don’t have more

                    money in the budget because of the tax cap we are under with the MOA.  So we are

                    paying taxes to the MOA and unless we have the ability ourselves to affect our mill

                    rate down here…..we all sat here all summer long and fielded the phone calls saying

                    exactly what you’re saying, Terry, and all we could say is, ‘could you please drive

                    over here and look at the checkbook?’  We don’t have it.  If we want to take care of

                    the roads in the summertime, we have to make that choice ourselves.  The one and

                    only way to do it is to set our budget ourselves.  So I appreciate your comment.

                    Onslow:  My perspective:  my taxes have gone up considerably.  I see my neighbors

                    houses are more expensive, bringing more money in. The roads are the same.

                    Presumably there’s more money and it’s gone someplace else, I don’t know where.

                    Would really like to see some dust control.

                    Sears:  I can see Terry’s point, the rationale.  Yes, more expensive homes; yes,

                    they are taxable.  But, whenever Anchorage comes to us (and Anchorage has a set

                    tax cap) and they need, for example, more police in the Turnagain area because

                    they can’t tax any more:  they reduce Girdwood’s budget to get what they need.

                    The taxing power is here; the money is here. We’re trying with the tax cap ballot

                    to give ourselves the ability to tap it.  Anchorage now can say:  I’m sorry, you have

                    the potential but you can’t use it because you’re under our tax cap (Anchorage).

                    I had to make a decision last summer with a constricted budget:  do I do dust control

                    or plow in the winter?  I decided to plow because I’d much rather get an ambulance

                    through two (2) foot of snow than have them drive through dust.  That was the cut

                    we had to make.  I don’t want to have to make that cut.  I want to have enough

                    money to do everything.

                   

                    Burson:  We don’t have paved roads out here.  We’re aiming to be a world class

                    resort.  I’ve been to resorts all over the world:  they don’t have dust and lack of

                    plowing, etc.  Thank you to the Board for all your time on this.

 

Old Business:

 

23. From Land Use Committee, Resolution supporting a separate, independent facility

for Turnagain Arm Health Center.  Community approval has been given for the community health center.  This resolution provides further definition. 

Livingston reads the motion passed by the LUC and the results.  The motion was: the LUC recommends approval of a separate location and entities for the Girdwood Library /Community Center and the Turnagain Arm Health Center; and for the Turnagain Arm Health Center to be located in Girdwood Town Square on the site where the old U.S. Post Office is located.  It was duly made and seconded.  Those in favor:  twenty three (23); those opposed: one(1);  no abstentions.  GBOS Resolution 2005-01 is read into the record  which reflects support of the recommendation as forwarded by the LUC. 

Livingston wants to point out the Resolution provides a clarification that the Denali Commission wants.  The language in the congressional record did say ‘joint facility’.  They want the community to be clear that they want separate facilities for the library/community center and health center.  Believes this provides that clarity.

 

Sears MOVES to approve Resolution 2005-01 as presented; Livingston SECONDS;  Vote:  5-0, unanimous in favor. 

 

24. The ongoing issue of decommissioning the wellhouse by Glacier Creek is being

addressed by HLB in a letter to Cherrier King Cherrier Partnership.  HLB wishes to

state in their letter that GBOS approves decommissioning the well and structure on

Tract B, Alyeska Basin Unit II, adjacent to Glacier Creek.  This problem structure has

been reported repeatedly by the Roads Supervisor.  A vote of approval is sought so

HLB can state there is GBOS support for this action.

                    Sears notes the GBOS has pointed out in the past and urged on several occasions

decommissioning of this well.  It represents a safety and flooding hazard to community.  Has a potential of contaminating the ground water if compromised.

 

Sears MOVES the GBOS write a letter stating support of these efforts to remove the

wellhouse be sent to HLB, allowing the support to be used in HLB’s correspondence to CKC on this matter;  Livingston SECONDS;  Vote:  5-0, unanimous in support.

Sears to write letter to HLB.

 

New Business:

 

25. From Land Use Committee, approval of task force newly formed to design, apply for grant funding and further support of a new skateboard facility and/or other recreational facilities in the town center or other locations in Girdwood.

                    Knutson calls on Chad Frank to share information.  Frank reads motion passed at

LUC:  content includes: ‘whereas, interest has been expressed by members of the community for a skateboard park;  and, whereas, grant money or other funding may be available for construction of such recreation facilities;  and, whereas, community interest and involvement is essential for the success of acquiring these grants and approvals;  therefore, be it resolved that the LUC form a committee to research depth of interest in the community and the liability of acquiring such grants’.  Motion approved by John Gallup, seconded by Anne Herschleb; passed:  24-0, 2 abstained.

Tingle offers that another meeting has been scheduled by the skateboard committee task force.  Frank says he will add more to this subject later during his Parks and Recreation report.

Sears asks about the problem of liability.  Says the existing facility is a kind of ‘outlaw’ facility.  Anchorage didn’t accept the responsibility of the liability.  Who would be responsible?  Frank answers that Lori Schanke, in charge of MOA skateboard park in Anchorage, confirmed she’ll be at March, 2005, meeting to address this.

Knutson adds the MOA attorney may have to answer this question.

Knutson asks what is being asked of the GBOS at this point.  Ron Burson answers ‘nothing at this point’. 

Discussion between the Board and public follows.   Some of the comments:  Knutson offers there has been discussion about the skateboard park being placed across the highway on the corner of Hightower Road and Alyeska Highway.  Says she will ‘lead the resistance’ to that location.  Burson says that corner was only talked about as it was the only known available land; it is not suitable from the standpoint of being in a floodplain as well as its proximity to the Town Square renovation.   One of the tasks of the committee is to research possible locations.  Sears adds the idea of moving it from its current location was due to its proximity to daycare (due to foul language, etc.).  Tingle notes the result of the first meeting was to have the skateboard park in close proximity to the fire hall and new library/ community center so there is the chance of being informally monitored.  Denise Dargan adds this isn’t the librarian’s job or desire to monitor the skate park, nor would she have the expertise to do so.  Knutson notes that the discussion is just beginning on this.  Burson says discussions will continue; are looking to September 1, 2005, hoping to have information in place to apply to the Tony Hawke Foundation for a grant.  Livingston adds there are a few broad parameters to keep in mind:  1) current skateboard park is right next to Little Bears’; not a desirable location;  2) place it where skateboarders can be observed without difficulty but without direct supervision;  3) the people that use the skateboard facility currently are under-served;  need a decent place to ‘play’.  Burson closes with comment:  Scott Liska and Kerry Barnes as well as Lewis Leonard note that the community and kids who use the park need to get involved to help with the design of the new park.  Dargan adds she gives her full support for the new skateboard park; sees safety issues with kids using school grounds, etc., currently.

 

26. (a misplaced agenda item:  disregard)

 

27. Introduction of application for Library and Community Center Building Project

funding from the Denali Commission with a  vote expected at the March 21, 2005 GBOS meeting.  We will not have the full application to present at this meeting, but expect to have the pertinent portions in March.

Knutson notes the GBOS has a process.  Cannot vote unless introduced at previous meeting.  Vote will happen at March 21, 2005, meeting.  Already had a report on status of project from Brooks Chandler’s written report earlier this meeting.

 

Other Business from the Board:

         

28. Victor Duncan, report on February 1, 2005 Girdwood Chamber of Commerce meeting;  GBOS representative to be appointed for March 1, 2005 GC of C meeting.

Duncan reads GC of C report.  Highlights include:

·       Minutes from January meeting approved.

·       Treasurer Report:  Rachel is looking to step down from treasurer’s position.

Looking for a member to step in.

·       Brochure:  looking into the cost of ordering an additional 10,000 brochures.

·       Database:  Marie will update the list and create a new directory for 2005.

·       Website:  Updates to members information on the website is done on a quarterly basis.  Marie will have a formal proposal to do this instead of Sundog.

·       Ethan Tyler brought information in re: to a large conference coming this October.  The Alaska Travel Industry Association Annual Conference is expected to have 600 attendees and will have a huge impact on Girdwood.  Need local businesses to assist on Community night Wednesday, October 5, from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm.  Anyone interested in participating:  contact Ethan Tyler, Alaska Heritage Tours: etyler@ciri.com.

·       Girdwood Market is going to be a project for the summer again.  Need help from the membership to make it happen.  Wendy is interested and Lions Club was a great partner.

·       Chris Flynn:  Resort TV station idea; is looking to work with members to advertise on the TV station for Girdwood Resort TV.  Needing approximately $5,000 in capital to start it.

·       Meeting adjourned:  7:00 pm; next meeting:  March 1, 2005 at Glacier City Hall at 6:05 pm./ Livingston agrees to attend the March meeting as representative from the GBOS.

 

Board Reports:

 

          29.     Land Use Supervisor, GBOS Co-Chair, Diana Livingston.

a.     Title 21, Chapter 9:  information handled earlier by Tom Nelson.

b.     Heritage Land Bank Report, Crow Creek Land Use Study:  no new report as meeting has been postponed until tomorrow night for the advisory group.  Knows there are some changes.

Wants to add to Ron Burson’s Land Use Committee report:  if there is a desire to be on Burson’s email distribution list for LUC information, send email to ron@burson.org.  General public will be blind copied so their email addresses will not show.

 

 

30. Parks and Recreation Supervisor, Marcus Tingle.

c.  Trails Committee Report and Update:  Highlights include:

·       Not on agenda:  Melanee Raney and Chris Roberts (Twirl) to conduct guided hiking and snowshoeing outings, primarily on Winner Creek Trail and Iditarod Trail.

·       1.  Nissman Memorial update:  Carl Skustad, USFS, has been working on an estimate of total cost of the project and recruiting volunteers.

·       2.  Winter Grooming Report:  there are six (6) trained volunteers.

·       3.  Trails Issues:  Athabaskan Trail Update:  no report;  Four Corners Hand Tram Update:  shut down for repairs.

·       4.  Beaver Pond Trail Report:  a volunteer crew to flag trail to the Seward Highway Bike Path.  Volunteers are to meet at the DOT maintenance yard at 10 am on Saturday, March 5.

·       5.  Request to AK DOT/PF for mitigation funds due to Crow Creek Road project displacement of users:  no report at this time.

·       6.  Ken Chapman and Alisa Moffatt from AK DOT/PF presented plans for trail crossings of Crow Creek road coincident with the upcoming improvement project.

·       Chad Frank reported on purchase of a new snow machine for trails grooming.

d.  Parks and Recreation Update, Chad Frank.

     Frank shares Parks and Recreation Report.  Highlights include:

·       GBOS/ Parks and Recreation Work Session:  tomorrow.  Already touched on earlier in the meeting.

·       Town Square Park:  letter granting Chugach Electric permission to conduct work within Town Square Park was sent along with a signed permit to Michael Tullius on February 11, 2005.  No response yet.

·       Trails Seminar:  Tingle and Frank attended seminar on how to accomplish goals within an organization.

·       Little Bears Playground Committee:  Little Bears Playground Committee has met twice, once in January and once in February.  Was voted unanimously to work with Leather and Associates Playground designers.  Next meeting:  Friday, March 11 at 10:00 am.

·       Girdwood Community Skate Park:  A task force was formed for research into a community Skate Park at the February Girdwood LUC Meeting. Still in the brainstorming phase.

·       Sister Cities International:  Girdwood is participating in a sister cities program at a cost of $135 annually.  Information will be passed on to Marcus Tingle.

·       Trails Committee:  Immediate research will be conducted into a matching grant for trail restoration via the MOA and the USFS.  Last year:  $8500, matched for a total of $17,000.

·       Hand Tram:  Disabled until further notice.  Rope needs replacement.

·       Alyeska Resort:  A meeting re: ways Parks and Recreation and Alyeska Resort can work together took place on Friday, February 18, 2005 with Larry Daniels.  Main topic:  implementation of Frisbee Golf Course along the lower runs of the mountain.

 

31. Public Safety and Fire Supervisor, Tracey Knutson.

e.     Fire Department Report.  Highlights include:

·       January responses:  included a major structure fire, several vehicle fires and an electrical pole fire as well as several smoke calls and a natural gas leak.  Two major vehicle accidents.  Most EMS calls were ski/snowboard related.

·       Wildfire and Burn Ban:  Open burning is currently allowed for spruce beetle kill only.  Information:  267-5020.

·       Training in January:  live structure fire exercise at burn trainer in the industrial park. Also had a session on ice and winter inlet rescue.

·       Training in December:  hypothermia and cold injuries.

·       Fire Department has hired Rich Parry to replace recently retired Matt Shields as Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Administrator.

·       Chief Chadwick will be on medical leave for the month of March.

·       Roster:  49 active medic and fire personnel.

·       Have identified the following projects for Grant applications in 2005:  New rescue boat;  Hose Drying Tower;  Thermal Imager for Rescue 41;  Assorted Wildland firefighting gear;  “Knox Box” Emergency access system for commercial properties.

f.      Trooper Report:  no report.

 

32. Road Supervisor, David Sears.

g. Road Budget to Date:  January 2005 Road Maintenance expense was forty four thousand six hundred seventy eight dollars and twenty five cents ($44,678.25).  Major portion of expense:  sanding for icy roads.  Current balance in Roads Budget:  one hundred ninety five thousand four hundred one dollars and seventy five cents ($195, 401.75).  We start 2005 with a budgeted and approved amount of two hundred forty thousand eighty dollars ($240,080), a decrease from the 2004 budget amount of three thousand six hundred and sixty dollars ($3,660).  Should be noted:  overspent the 2004 budgeted amount by sixty two thousand eight hundred thirty four dollars and thirty five cents ($62, 834.35).

h.  Monthly Road Report:  Incidence of cars parked on street remaining low. 

     Thank you.  Roads continue to be icy and dangerous and will be so for

     probably the next month.  Please slow down.

 

          33.     Utilities Supervisor, Victor Duncan.

i.   Undergrounding Utilities:  no report this month.

j.   AWWU report (submitted by Lynda Barber-Wiltse):  Highlights include:

·       Girdwood Water Improvements Phase IIB:  Will complete a 5,500 foot loop from the school to the existing transmission main near the wellhouse on the east side of Glacier Creek (pending EPA approval).  The exact location of the proposed pipeline is pending HLB Crow Creek Neighborhood Plan recommendations.

·       Girdwood WWTF Facility Plan Update:  The final draft is due from CH2M Hill in late spring 2005.  Funding decisions and schedules for future capital improvements will be made at that time.

·       Girdwood Sewer I&I:  AWWU engineers and their consultant, Matt Stephl, are reviewing the data gathered by the AWWU CCTV crew.  Matt has identified about twenty (20) manholes that can be fixed from the inside of the manholes. Tam Construction will perform this work in the next few months.  VEI continues to work with AWWU on the flow meter data gathering project.  Note:  The UAA engineering class toured the AWWU system on January 21.  The next step is for the class to review the data and information and propose some fixes to the I&I problem acting as if they were consultants on the project.

·       PME Girdwood Town Square Street and Drainage Improvements:  Discussions continue between ADOT, PME and AWWU regarding the water, sewer and road projects for this area.  AWWU will construct pipelines in Girdwood Place and Holmgren Place so that all properties will have access to public water.  AWWU is prepared to construct a larger sewer pipeline in Hightower between the Alyeska Highway and the northern entrance to the new Post Office to accommodate future growth projections.

 

Public Questions:

John Gallup:  Is AWWU expecting us to take action Wednesday (CAC) on where to locate that waterline?  Board answer:  No.

 

Sears MOVES to adjourn; Livingston SECONDS;  Vote:  5-0, unanimous to adjourn.

 

Meeting adjourns:  9:22 pm

 

Minutes respectfully submitted,

Jane Barber

Secretary’s note:  copies of the following reports are available:

-        Legislative update from Con Bunde

-        USFS report

-        Girdwood Library Building project report

-        LUC meeting report

-        MOA document:  Adopting Chapter 9:  next steps and proposed schedule, Tom Nelson, MOA Planning Department Director

-        GBOS Resolution 2005-01/ support of site for Turnagain Arm Health Center

-        Skate Board Park Task Force Meeting minutes/ February 11, 2005

-        GC of C Meeting minutes/ February 1, 2005

-        Girdwood Trails Committee Meeting minutes/ February 1, 2005

-        Girdwood Parks and Recreation Report

-        Girdwood Fire Department Report/ February

-        February 2005 Roads Report

-        AWWU report

-        HLB report (received day after meeting)