Fairview fears future as homeless hub after ML&P sale
Fairview residents are worried that if Proposition 10 authorizing the sale of Municipal Light & Power passes in the April election, their neighborhood will be taken over by the homeless.
The Fairview Community Council unanimously passed a resolution asking the Municipality of Anchorage and potential ML&P buyer Chugach Electric to include them in future discussions about buildings in their area.
“Anchorage's answer to homelessness and social ills in our city has been to sweep it in a corner and forget about it and that corner is the north of Fairview,” said council secretary SJ Klein.
He says the community council has not taken a position on the sale, backed by Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, but does have concerns about what happens to ML&P’s Fairview campus if the sale goes through.
The buildings that operates from sit next to Bean’s Cafe, the Brother Francis Shelter, the Anchorage Jail and the Anchorage Safety Patrol and Safety Center. If voters pass Proposition 10 and allow the $1 billion ML&P sale, Chugach has said they would eventually consolidate redundant services.
Members of the Fairview Community Council fear that Chugach would give the Fairview buildings back to the muni, paving the way to put in more services for the homeless.
“The neighborhood feels the brunt of the city's response to homelessness, and we feel we understand the problem as well as everyone else that's involved in kind of deciding what to do,” Klein said.
Klein wants a seat at the table when Chugach Electric decides what to do with the buildings. Chugach’s communications director says while that’s a long way off, the co-op is listening to the people in Fairview.
“It's going to be several years before we fully integrate both utilities if we get a positive vote on April 3, but we know eventually there will be decisions that have to be made about the assets and the buildings -- and we welcome the community's input,” said Julie Hasquet.
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