Press Release: Mayor Eberhart to Question Fairbanks Natural Gas Rate Increase



Mayor John Eberhart will file comments with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) questioning a requested rate increase by Fairbanks Natural Gas, LLC (FNG).  FNG is requesting a permanent rate increase of 6.92%.


“The citizens of our community are grappling with staggeringly high energy costs.  Many families have spoken to me of possibly having to move due to unreasonable heating costs.  We need to do everything in our power to improve the quality of life for residents, rather than add to existing financial burdens, and it is not clear why FNG is asking for a rate increase,” stated Mayor Eberhart.


The matter of the proposed rate increase is open and before the RCA for consideration. The deadline for filing comments with the RCA is July 25 at 5:00 p.m.


Contact: Amber Courtney, Communications Director/PIO,, 459-6793



Press Release: Mayor Eberhart Attends Mayors’ Institute on City Design



Mayor John Eberhart attended a June National Session of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design (MICD). MICD is a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the United States Conference of Mayors and the American Architectural Foundation. MICD is the preeminent forum for mayors to address urban planning, design challenges, and development issues. The MICD session was held in Louisville, Kentucky, and only eight mayors from across the nation were invited to participate with the Mayor of Louisville. Mayor Eberhart attended with the following mayors: Mayor Greg Fischer (Host), Louisville, Kentucky; Mayor Rusty Bailey, Riverside, California; Mayor John Curtis, Provo, Utah; Mayor Betsy Hodges, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Mayor William Peduto, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Mayor George Wallace, Hampton, Virginia; Mayor Lovely Warren, Rochester, New York; and Mayor Nan Whaley, Dayton, Ohio. This was the first time in the nearly 30 years of MICD National Sessions that the Fairbanks Mayor attended and Fairbanks was the smallest city represented.

Mayor Eberhart first sought local input and then met with City staff to identify potential areas and issues in our community in need of improvement. Areas and issues considered included:

An attractive, safe, and economically vibrant Fairbanks
Walkability year round, safe, and pleasant downtown core
Vibrant downtown retail core
Affordable housing for young professionals in the downtown core
Historic and cultural retail district and/or pedestrian mall
Revitalization and/or repurposing of empty and underutilized structures

The Executive Director from MICD, Trinity Simons, came to Fairbanks in May to meet with Mayor Eberhart and City engineers, and look at the community’s challenges, successes, and opportunities. Ms. Simons then suggested a presentation focusing on the area from Pioneer Park to the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, including downtown. In Louisville, Mayor Eberhart made his presentation to design, architecture and real estate development experts on our diverse economy and issues our city faces. Questions were posed to specialists on where growth efforts should be targeted, how to enhance tourism, how to expand the downtown retail corridor, and best use practices from other communities.

City design experts also gave presentations on topics chosen to address the case studies presented by the mayors, followed by roundtable discussions. The presentation offered a rare opportunity for the mayors and experts to discuss these issues candidly and to explore solutions. The final report and findings from MICD in response to Mayor Eberhart’s presentation is expected soon.

Contact: Amber Courtney, Communications Director/PIO, 459-6793

The City of Fairbanks Welcomes Two New Employees:

The City of Fairbanks Welcomes Gibran Sandine and Chord Tozier, Public Safety Assistants for the Fairbanks Police Department. Both Gibran and Chord began in this new position for the Police Department 7/7/14.


Gibran’s Biography- “I was born in Bangladesh but grew up in Washington State. I am a 1995 graduate of Washington State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications – Broadcast Journalism. I worked in radio and television news, the corporate arena, and most recently at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital in both the administrative and clinical areas. I enjoy reading, music, going to the gym and working on her never ending household projects. I moved to Fairbanks in 2005 where I live with my husband and daughter.”


Chord’s Biography- “I grew up in the Fairbanks area and have had a typical Alaskan childhood in the great outdoors. I have been involved in the Fairbanks community for most of my life; spending five years in 4-H and the last three years in the Law Enforcement Explorers program with the City of Fairbanks Police Department. I am very interested in community service, especially in the realm of Law Enforcement, and have career goals in law enforcement at a local and possibly federal level.”

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Council Action Notice – 07/07/14

To view the Council Action from the Regular Meeting of July 7, 2014 click the below link.

Council Action Notice – 07/07/2014

Engineering Intern for the City of Fairbanks

The City is pleased that we have been able to have Engineering Interns for the summer:

One of the Interns is Jacob Rahlfs:


Jacob: “I am currently in my senior year of undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering at UAF. I plan to complete my undergraduate studies in the spring of 2015 and begin graduate studies the following semester. The current plan upon completing my studies at UAF include staying in Fairbanks, practicing civil engineering while working towards becoming a professional engineer, and raising a family.”

Engineering Intern for the City of Fairbanks

The City is please that we have been able to have Engineering Interns for the summer:

Elliot Clausen is one of the interns working with us:  I1

Elliot: “I grew up in Fairbanks and have traveled as far North, East, South, and West as Circle, Boundary, Ketchikan, and Manley respectively. I fish in the summer, hunt in the fall, and trap in the winter. I enjoy getting out and seeing different parts of Alaska and have been on almost every section of navigable water on the Tanana. I received my B.S. in Civil Engineering from UAF and am a second year graduate student in Arctic Engineering; a degree that I believe will best prepare me for work in Fairbanks and the Interior where I’d like to stay.”


Geraghty Fire Investigation Leads to Indictment






The Fairbanks Police Department investigation of the January 29, 2014 fire at 3550 Geraghty Street, has led to the indictment of Conar Groppel, DOB 5/26/96.  Charges include Murder in the First Degree, Murder in the Second Degree (three counts), Manslaughter, Arson in the First Degree and Second Degree, Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, Burglary in the First Degree (two counts), and Tampering with Evidence (two counts).


The bodies of two women, Jane Connolly, age 50, and Kristina Pence, age 39, were found on the premises after the fire.  Numerous people were also treated for smoke inhalation, burns, and exposure.  The building had 18 apartments on the second floor and a store and offices on the first floor.  Both deceased women were residents of the apartment. The building was substantially damaged, collapsed, and subsequently demolished after investigators completed on-scene evidence recovery and investigation.


Conar Groppel is currently incarcerated on an unrelated incident involving another law enforcement agency and will be remanded on the new charges.  Due to the ongoing investigation, no interviews or additional information will be given at this time.


Anyone with information regarding this case, please contact Detective Scott Adams at 450-6552.


Contact: Amber Courtney, Communications Director/PIO 459.6793 or



Council Agenda Packet – 07/07/14

To view the Council Agenda Packet for the Regular Meeting of July 7, 2014 click the below link:

Council Agenda Packet – 07/07/2014

The City Welcomes a new Human Resource Director


Barbara Sunday brings robust human resources experience with her and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management. Barbara most recently worked for Tanana Chiefs Conference (since 2009), and Fairbanks Native Association before that. Barbara has the advantage of working with hugely diverse populations and cultures as an US Air Force dependent, and moved every three years for most of her life until she landed here in Fairbanks in 1981 with the US Army.

Council Action Notice – 06/23/14

To view the Action Notice for the Regular City Council Meeting of June 23, 2014 click the below link.

Council Action Notice – 06/23/14