Interior governments fill wish lists for nation's stimulus plan

Posted: Monday, December 29, 2008

FAIRBANKS - Local governments in Fairbanks have responded quickly to Senator-elect Mark Begich's request for ideas on how to direct a yet-to-be-drafted national economic recovery plan, suggesting they could use help with energy and street projects.

Begich talked this week with mayors across the state about how local and state governments might best spend Alaska's share of a multibillion-dollar economic recovery proposal drawing whispers in Congress.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough suggested such help, if it came, could help launch a complex energy project that would help year-round food production and storage as well as produce heat and electricity.

The proposed power plant, which would be fueled by willow trees and household trash, also is eyed as a pilot project for smaller-scale plants in villages. A blend of private firms and public agencies would operate the plant under a plan submitted to Begich's office this week.

The plan suggests the $10 million project could create 100 permanent jobs at a proposed location on 600 acres of borough-owned land at 9 Mile Richardson Highway.

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