Eagle River residents mull over secession

Posted: Monday, August 06, 2001

ANCHORAGE - The idea that Eagle River should secede from Anchorage has reemerged since Anchorage voters in April rejected a bond proposal to pay for a new high school in Eagle River.

"If we win the right to control our own destiny, we can build a new high school," Rep. Fred Dyson, an Eagle River Republican, wrote in a recent column in the local newspaper the Alaska Star.

The effort to detach from an established municipal government has rarely been successful. The Alaska Constitution favors a minimum number of local governments and says a borough must embrace areas with common interests.

Anchorage owns a major water treatment facility at Eklutna. The Anchorage landfill is near Eagle River's Hiland Road. Chugiak and Eagle River residents are responsible for a share of the entire city's bond debt as well as for debt in specific road or park service areas.

Breakup advocates would have to prove the split is in the public interest and the new government would be economically viable, said Dan Bockhorst of the state's Local Boundary Commission.

If the five-member commission approved a new borough or city, Eagle River residents would vote on it, and the Legislature would have a chance to veto it.



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