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Legislature Honors North Pole's Well-Known Miller Family

Friday, April 12, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska House of Representatives today concurred with Senate changes to a bill honoring well-known North Pole icons Con and Nellie Miller, voting unanimously to name a pair of bridges across the Chena Flood Control Project after them.

Representative Doug Isaacson, R-North Pole, sponsored the bill, House Bill 94. “The Miller’s truly are pillars of the North Pole community,” Isaacson said. “I feel humbled, really, to only return their years and years of service to the Interior with these signs. It’s a gesture saying we value them and want to memorialize the important and historical role they’ve played in helping settle North Pole. Con and Nellie are larger-than-life characters, and I am so pleased to see this bill become law.”

HB 94 authorizes the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to name the north and southbound Chena Flood Channel Bridges after the pair. The northbound bridge, number 1364, would become the Nellie “the original Mrs. Claus” Miller Bridge, and the southbound bridge, number 1866, would become the Con “the original Santa Claus” Miller Bridge.

“Con and Nellie were known as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, and they coined the phrase that ‘it’s Christmas year-round in North Pole, Alaska.’ So, it’s a pleasure to have the Senate add their nicknames to the signs,’” Isaacson said. “We have television crews come through town every Christmas season, for a large part, because of the lobbying they did; they helped the community gain worldwide notoriety and gave us the iconic Santa Claus House.”

The Miller’s sons, Terry and Mike, are the only siblings to serve as President of the Senate, with Terry serving from 1973-1975, and Mike serving from 1997-1998. The Legislative Affairs Agency’s offices in Juneau are located in the old Capital School, which is now named the Terry Miller Legislative Office Building.

The Senate amended the bill to include naming a stretch of East Blue Lupine Drive in Wasilla, between Hyer Road and Hay Street, the Lowell J. Ray Memorial Corridor.

HB 94 passed the House March 22 and now goes to the Governor for signature. It takes effect 90 days from signature. Isaacson’s office hopes to work with DOT on sign replacement plans.

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