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Governor Parnell Clears Way for New UAF Power Plant


June 17, 2014, Fairbanks, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today cleared the way for a new power plant at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). During a visit to the UAF campus, the governor signed Senate Bill 218, providing the university with $157.5 million of revenue bond issuance authority for the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Atkinson Heat and Power Plant.

“I appreciate the tireless efforts of the Interior delegation and the community to ensure this aging power plant gets replaced,” Governor Parnell said. “This is a worthy project that will benefit the campus for decades to come.”

The plant provides electricity and steam heat to more than 3.1 million square feet of public facilities on the main campus. The main coal boilers were put into service in 1964 and have reached the end of their 50-year lifespan. The replacement cost of $232 million will be paid for with a combination of funds, including a capital appropriation, general funds, municipal bonds and revenue bonds. The new facility is expected to be completed in 2018.

Governor Parnell also signed legislation creating the University of Alaska Building Fund (UBF). Sponsored by Senator Pete Kelly, Senate Bill 74 establishes the fund and allows the Board of Regents to designate buildings owned by the university as part of the UBF portfolio for the purposes of management, operation, maintenance, and depreciation.

While in Fairbanks, Governor Parnell also signed several other pieces of legislation.

House Bill 154, sponsored by Representative Steve Thompson, designates the Museum of the North, as well as the Alaska State Museum, as cultural and natural history repositories.

House Bill 268, sponsored by Representative Tammie Wilson, adds big bull moose derbies to the list of allowable permits for games of chance and contests of skill that can be issued by the Department of Revenue. The bill gives the Tanana Valley Sportsmen’s Association and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Rifle Team a way to raise funds through a big bull moose derby. It also allows the Valdez Advocates for Victims of Violence the ability raise funds through an ice classic.

House Bill 282, sponsored by Representative Doug Isaacson, amends the Alaska Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. The legislation incorporates changes to provide protections for both landlords and tenants by providing clarity of individual responsibilities.

House Bill 302, sponsored by Representative Steve Thompson, shortens the timeframe requirement for the Board of Public Accountancy to mail copies of any proposed rule or amendment to each license or permit holder. The bill provides consistency with other public notice deadlines.

Senate Bill 137, sponsored by Senator Click Bishop, extends the sunset of the Alaska Seismic Hazard Safety Commission by 6 years to June 30, 2020.

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