Birchwood Residents Mobilize


December 22, 2017ECHO Magazine:


The revelation of a settlement agreement between the Municipality of Anchorage and Eklutna, Inc.–signed by the parties back in January of this year—which requires the MOA to help promote Eklutna’s Powder Acres and Powder Hills developments, is now causing members of the Birchwood Community Council to seek a delay in action by the Anchorage Assembly so their concerns can be worked out.

There are those who
say it is a small group of people who are opposed to any kind of development,
explained Gretchen Wehmhoff, chair of the Birchwood Community Council task
force established to address concerns about bringing water lines into their

It took assistance
from the Ombudsman to get a copy of the agreement, which some believed existed
but did not previously know the exact terms therein.

Among the legal jargon
of the agreement, under 2.3.4:

The Municipality and
AWWU shall undertake diligent and best efforts to obtain all necessary
approvals, including, without limitation, (a) approval of the Anchorage
Assembly to submit to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska a tariff to permit
AWWU to enter infrastructure coordination agreements and pay upfront costs of
construction of the Primary Trunk Lines…

The agreement came as
part of the Methane Settlement reached January 4. According to an ADN story:
“In exchange for $5.75 million, Eklutna Inc. said it would waive future claims
over gas revenue and use the proceeds from the settlement to build dozens of new
homes in Eagle River over the next five years.

“The dispute over the
sale of methane gas, which was rooted in a decades-old land agreement, began in
2010. The city has been tapping methane produced by buried, rotting garbage at
the Eagle River landfill, purifying, pressurizing and selling it to produce
power at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.”

The Birchwood
Community Counsel is not challenging Eklutna, Inc’s right to build homes on
land it owns.

They simply do not want major water lines run through
their neighborhoods requiring assessments upon hookup.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top