Some $22 million in Borough-wide improvements to two pools, three ice arenas, nine trails, a park, and trail bridges will be considered by voters on Oct. 4. The Assembly agreed to move the question to the ballot last night with Assembly Member George McKee voting against it. If passed, the cost to taxpayers would be $42.24 a year, per $200,000 in assessed value.
Trail, ice, and pool advocates testified to the value of the amenities. In recent presentations, Community Development Director Eric Phillips said the Palmer pool was built in 1982 and the Wasilla pool in 1980. Since 2012, some 144,000 swimmers a year go to the pools on average, and 32,000 swimming lessons are taught. Phillips showed a rusty part at a former meeting that had to be put back into the 30-year-old pool after the demonstration.
Listen to the audio of the vote discussion posted here.
At Brett Memorial Ice Arena, some 57,000 skaters annually use the ice on average. The rink was built in 1984.
The outdoor ice rinks in Talkeetna and Willow would be renovated including added bleachers and stadium lighting.
Nine trails are in the package: the Talkeetna Ridge Trail, Wasilla Creek Headwaters Trail, Menard Sports Complex Trail System, Plumley-Maud Trail, Matanuska Riverfront Trail South, Matanuska Riverfront Trail North, Brasil Springs to Crevasse Moraine system, the Haessler-Norris Trail System, and the Herning Trail.
Willow Community Park would see a trailhead kiosk and a raised boardwalk over wetlands to a pond and pavilion.
For Big Lake, a trail bridge crossings would be built over Groomer Gully Bridge on the Iron Dog Trail and over Fish Creek.
Meadow Lakes Sports Complex would receive a paved parking area.