Eagle residents decry dust control project

Posted: Monday, January 28, 2008

FAIRBANKS - A $1.3 million dust control project in the town of Eagle has been approved by the city council, but many residents say they don't want it.

The plan, funded by the state Department of Transportation, would cover three miles of road with EnviroKleen, a chemical that reduces dust.

Critics say the plan would ruin the look and feel of the small town on the Alaska-Canada border.

"Most people come to Eagle in the middle of or later in life," said David Small, an Eagle resident who started a petition to stop the project. "They love it for what it is and that's why they settled here. The concept of it being changed for the sake of being changed is very destructive to the community."

Several busloads of tourists come to Eagle daily throughout the summer and leave clouds of dust in their wake. The city currently employs a water truck to sprinkle the unpaved roads twice a day, but supporters of the dust mitigation plan say that's not enough.

"It helps but it doesn't take care of the job at all," Eagle Mayor Jerry Nelson said.

Bo Faye, assistant mayor of Eagle, says he was mislead about what the plan entailed when he voted for it in September.

"It was presented as a low-key type of thing," he said. "It was not presented as a $1.3 million project."

Transportation officials said they have scheduled a public hearing in Eagle on Feb. 5.

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