FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A grassroots group is appealing to Alaska’s governor to keep a historic well north of Fairbanks open to the public.
The Fox Springs Task Force is looking for ways to fund maintenance at the Fox well, reported The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://bit.ly/2d3o5qd ). In its Sept. 22 letter to Gov. Bill Walker, the group says it is also considering taking action to protect the natural and historic value of the site.
The Alaska Department of Transportation acquired the property in 1966 as part of the Elliott Highway Expansion. It was a natural spring at the time, and the agency dug a well when the spring dried up.
The DOT now plans to sell the well so it can allocate more of its maintenance money to road care. A deal is in the works with businessman and adjacent property owner Patrick Kohl, and a public comment period on the sale is set to end Friday.
The Fox Springs Task Force began meeting Aug. 30. It has asked the governor to delay that sale so it can explore more options — including working with Kohl, who says he would be willing to work with any group formed to maintain the well for public use.
“We are investigating ways to fund the maintenance costs such as memberships fees, pay per use, and other ideas,” the group wrote in its letter to Walker. “Among the options considered are working with our local senators and representatives to keep the springs open, forming a non-profit entity to manage the public easement that may be in place, or creating a new easement if necessary.”
Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com