Anchorage Assembly approves new fire station, delays other decisions and discussions

The Anchorage Assembly approved the purchase of land to relocate Fire Station #3 at last night’s meeting. But they postponed most of the other major decisions and discussions, including the public hearing on the city’s labor laws.

Fire Station 3 is currently located near Merrill Field in Airport Heights. It’s in need of major repairs. Municipal staff says moving it to Bragaw between 4th and 6th Avenues will be cheaper than fixing the old building and make it easier for firefighters to reach both Mountain View and Airport Heights.

But Assembly Member Pete Petersen expressed some concerns over the new location. “I do think it’s important if they could figure out some way to route either the entrance or the exit off of Bragaw because of traffic congestion. Also if school happened to be getting off at the same time as there was a call, it could create a dangerous situation for pedestrians.”

The new 3-bay fire station will be next to the Alaska Native Cultural Charter School.

Despite those concerns, the Assembly unanimously approved the $1 million land purchase for the station during Tuesday’s meeting. They also passed the amended Anchorage School District budget, which the School Board approved it back in May.

The Assembly planned to hold a public hearing on AO-37 and Assembly Member Jennifer Johnston’s newer version of the labor law. But it was put off until the July 22 meeting to allow for more discussions. A repeal of the controversial law could still be included in the November ballot.

The Assembly also delayed making a decision on the Anchorage Wetlands Management plan. It will be discussed again on July 8. About ten people spoke against the plan’s new language.