PETERSBURG-AK Petersburg officials will address questions and concerns over the town’s borough petition in a public forum tonight (4/16). The borough would incorporate 43 hundred square miles of land and water. Supporters say the plan would broaden the tax base for local education, maintain or increase several sources of state and federal funding, and help ensure more local control over planning and development in the area. Borough opponents have raised concerns that outlying residences and communities will have to pay taxes for services they don’t receive….and they worry about losing their local autonomy under a new layer of government. The city council finalized the proposal in February after two years of work by consultants, staff and a commission of area residents. However, it’s still short of the signatures the city needs for submission to the state’s local boundary commission. Tonight’s forum will be the city’s first effort to discuss the finished proposal with the public…..many of the questions will go to Jim Brennan, who serves as the borough attorney in both Petersburg and Wrangell. Matt Lichtenstein asked Brennan about tonight’s forum and a couple of the issues that are likely to come up.
Borough forum preview