A legislative townhall on February 18, 2023 at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center drew a large crowd of constituents eager to voice their concerns. Representatives Stapp and Dibert and Senator Kawasaki hosted the event. They gave an update on what the legislature was working on in Juneau and then opened up the floor for questions. The two issues brought up the most were educational funding and the Kinross ore haul. Concerns about the trucking plan ranged from negative impacts to tourism, safety of children catching the bus to school, road and bridge damage, and turning our public highways into industrial haul roads. Many questioned why the state is effectively subsidizing the cost of operations for one industry when the returns to the state from mining are so low. Several members of the Advocates for Safe Alaska Highways were present and handed out flyers to attendees.
Representative Ashley Carrick also held local constituent meetings on February 18 and 19 at Lulu’s Bread and Bagels. The same two topics dominated the conversations. It is clear that the public is very dissatisfied with the Kinross trucking proposal and want their legislators to seriously review it, ask the hard questions of DOT and Kinross, and pursue better alternatives than using our public highways as industrial haul roads.
Local TV news story: Three interior legislators hold town hall event in Fairbanks