Winter worries surface at community council meeting

The Mountain View Community Council meeting Monday night stretched well past 9 p.m. and covered everything from snow removal and new housing projects to park improvements and next year’s neighborhood cleanup.

While there’s still not much snow in Anchorage, several people spoke up about past problems with plowing on public streets.

“Bragaw is the main street that the kids walk down to Clark Middle School on and in 15 years, neither side of the sidewalk all along Bragaw has ever been plowed or kept clean by the municipality,” said Dan Maher, a longtime neighborhood resident.

According to a map from Anchorage’s Public Works Department, the sidewalks along N. Bragaw Street aren’t maintained by municipal crews. In Mountain View, N. Flower Street and Meyer Street are the only north-south sidewalks cleared by city plows. The Public Works plow route also includes the sidewalks along every east-west road in the neighborhood.

“The thing is, you can only walk east and west so many times before you have to go north or south,” Maher said.

Rep. Geran Tarr, Mountain View’s recently re-elected House District 19 state representative, said she doesn’t believe the current situation is safe for neighborhood kids and that she will work with the municipality to find a possible solution. Under the proposed 2015 municipal budget, the Public Works Department’s maintenance and operations division would see a .07 percent budget increase and the same number of employees as in 2014.

Besides street maintenance, council members discussed future improvements at Davis Park, Mountain View Lions Park and the intersection of Mountain View Drive and McCarrey Street. A planned roundabout at the intersection is still in the design phase, and Mountain View residents Diane Mead and Tasha Hotch volunteered to join a steering committee led by Kinney Engineering to pick some kind of “Welcome to Mountain View” feature to install in the center of the roundabout. It could be a sign, a statue or something else entirely.

“It’s a good opportunity to help us brand Mountain View,” said MVCC President Daniel George.

Members also received an update on local housing projects from Cook Inlet Housing Authority, which said unseasonably warm temperatures had paved the way for some additional progress on the 70-unit Ridgeline Terrace project. The housing development next to Glenn Square is set to open by the end of next year, and CIHA contractors are driving pile at the site this week. Meanwhile, the housing authority said duplexes along Price Street, Peterkin and Richmond Avenue are nearing completion and will all be done within the next couple months.

Because several of those duplexes are being built in the lot formerly used for the annual neighborhood cleanup, the Council is hoping to find another site capable of storing trash and toxic waste during the weeklong spring cleanup. At Monday’s meeting, a CIHA project manager said the housing authority may be able to offer several vacant lots on Mountain View Drive across from Clark.

The Council took action twice Monday; approving a revised set of bylaws by a landslide vote and confirming Lynelle Davis as the new MVCC secretary. The new bylaws give 16 and 17-year-old members the ability to vote on Council matters, and increases the mount of money Council officials can expend — without a vote of the general membership — from $50 to $200.

The next Council meeting is scheduled to take place Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Mountain View Community Center.

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