Hospital foundation, Fairbanks eye land swap

FAIRBANKS — Fairbanks officials are considering a proposal to give up a section of street to gain an additional parking lot.

An ordinance set to be introduced at Monday’s City Council meeting would authorize a land trade between the Greater Fairbanks Hospital Foundation and the city.

The Fairbanks Daily News Miner says the proposal calls for the foundation to give the city a vacant lot it owns.

In return, the city would give the foundation a section of 11th Avenue to where it dead ends at the foundation-owned Tanana Valley Clinic parking lot. Under the proposal, the foundation would use the street to reconfigure the clinic’s chronically congested parking lot.

The foundation initiated the land-swap plan, according to city property management director Pat Smith.

“It arises from the foundation’s goal to improve what is probably the worst parking lot in Fairbanks. It’s so congested,” he said. “They’ve had traffic safety issues and they see those as gradually worsening over time, and they would like to take corrective steps to redesign the parking lot.”

Smith said the foundation has submitted preliminary plans to the city.

Even though the city would lose a portion of a street, the deal would give the downtown fire station needed parking space.

“Parking is so tight now that sometimes a fire fighter who is coming on shift has to wait in his vehicle for a firefighter who is coming off shift to open up a parking space so that he can even park,” Smith said.

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