News from Patrick Flynn

Neighborhood matters

As you’ve likely heard, last night the Assembly put the finishing touches on the 2011 budget, thereby allowing allowing us to set mill levies.  I’ll provide a few more details shortly but first a couple neighborhood announcements.

First off, Coastal Trail users will be interested in hearing of AFD’s Saturday plans:

The Anchorage Fire Department (AFD) will partner with the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department to burn invasive grasses along the west shoreline of Westchester Lagoon on Sat., April 30, 2011, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The trail may be temporarily closed during that time, depending on the weather.

Trail users may follow a detour around the east side of the lagoon. Maps are posted on site.

Grass strips will be ignited on both sides of the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail between the new fish passage  and the radio tower to help combat Reed Canary Grass, a highly invasive plant. AFD will monitor weather conditions on the day of the burn to assess suitability of ignition.

For more information regarding the invasive plant management project, please contact Scott Stringer, Municipal Forester at 343-4716. For questions regarding the prescribed fire treatment, please contact Sue Rodman, AFD Forester at 267-4902.

Next up, we’re all fortunate that DOT agreed to let the city handle most of the street sweeping in our community, as opposed to 2009 when they awarded the work to a contractor that didn’t finish the job until July.  While significant  progress has been made there remain streets needing attention (like mine, for example).  If you live or work on such a thoroughfare, allow me to once again recommend using the Street Maintenance feedback form to seek attention.  The form is available here.

Turning back to the budget, we had some success addressing neighborhood concerns:

  • The Assembly approved $50,000 to address asbestos abatement and other repairs on engine 556, located at 9th & E street.  Support was helped along by Chris Birch’s grandson, who informed Mr. Birch being able to play on the train again was very important to him.
  • We also added $17,000 to reinstate a 10 pm weeknight closing time for the Fairview Recreation Center, which had been restricted to a 9 pm closing time.  Many thanks to the Fairview Community Council for raising the issue, in part because they’d had to change their meeting times in order to accommodate the shortened hours.
  • While I wrote an amendment to restore a $20,000 cut to the Anchorage Youth Court I never offered it.  Instead, after reading my justification, the administration decided this organization’s work at redirecting young people from bad paths to good merited assistance and added it to their version of the budget.

Despite those successes there was one failure that really bothered me; the vote to restore People Mover route 45G fell one vote short of approval.  The Public Transportation Director, who works for the mayor, testified that this is their highest-ridership route and already this year there have been three occasions where riders have been left at a stop due to a lack of space on the bus.  Despite that he further testified restoration of route 45G was not necessary “at this time.”

My feeling?  With gas prices over $4/gallon ridership will continue to increase and by the time some bureaucrat decides it’s “time” it’ll be too late to react and provide the service needed along this route.  That’s more than a darn shame, that’s impacting people’s ability to get to work, get to school, get to the doctor and get to the many other places where they conduct the business necessary to their daily lives.



This contribution was made on Wednesday, 27. April 2011 at 18:36 and was published under the category Fiscal matters, Neighborhoods. You can follow comments on this entry through the RSS-Feed.

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