Service Area Frequently Asked Questions

 

​​​​

WHAT IS A SERVICE AREA?  1

HOW DO I FIND OUT IF I AM IN A ROAD SERVICE AREA?  1

WHY ISN’T MY ROAD MAINTAINED?  I PAY TAXES. 1

WHY ISN’T MY ROAD AS GOOD AS THE ROADS IN OTHER SERVICE AREAS?  2

WHY CAN’T I PUSH SNOW FROM MY DRIVEWAY INTO THE ROAD?  2

CAN I PARK MY VEHICLES ON THE STREET OR CUL-DE-SAC?  2

WHO MAINTAINS MY ROAD?  2

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF ROAD SERVICE AREA COMMISSIONERS?  2

IF I AM IN A ROAD SERVICE AREA, WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?  2

WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR BECOMING A ROAD SERVICE AREA COMMISSIONER?  3

WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR BECOMING A NON-ROAD SERVICE AREA COMMISSIONER?  3

WHAT IS REQUIRED AFTER I HAVE APPLIED TO BE A COMMISSIONER?  3

THE ROLE OF THE RURAL SERVICES DIVISION: 3

 


 

WHAT IS A SERVICE AREA?

A "service area" is a geographic area of the borough designated by ordinance, in accordance with FNSB 1.02.150 and Alaska Statute 29.35, within which the borough provides a service not otherwise provided.

 

HOW DO I FIND OUT IF I AM IN A ROAD SERVICE AREA?

ONLINE:  find “your Street Name” on the drop-down on the MAIN Rural Services page

BY PHONE:        call the Rural Services office at 459-1223

 

WHY ISN’T MY ROAD MAINTAINED?  I PAY TAXES.

Not all taxes are created equal; The Fairbanks North Star Borough is a second-class borough and, therefore, does not have area-wide road powers. Only an area that has elected to allow the borough to collect additional taxes for special services is able to maintain their roads.

 

WHY ISN’T MY ROAD AS GOOD AS THE ROADS IN OTHER SERVICE AREAS?

Each service area determines the level of service they are willing to support by voting on a funding level. Tax caps exist in each service area, so additional funds for road maintenance are not available without a majority vote of the residents of the area.

 

WHY CAN’T I PUSH SNOW FROM MY DRIVEWAY INTO THE ROAD?

Borough Code 12.01 prohibits encroachments on public roads. An encroachment exists when snow is placed on a service area road by a resident, or when vehicles are parked or abandoned on a service area road.

 

CAN I PARK MY VEHICLES ON THE STREET OR CUL-DE-SAC?

Borough Code 12.01 prohibits encroachments on public roads. An encroachment exists when snow is placed on a service area road by a resident or when vehicles are parked or abandoned on a service area road.

 

Vehicles that are parked or abandoned on a service area road may be removed by FNSB upon request of the commission. Rural Services will post the vehicle to warn a resident of an impending tow.

 

WHO MAINTAINS MY ROAD?

This is a frequently asked question by residents new to the Fairbanks North Star Borough, or by residents moving outside of a city to borough jurisdiction.

 

On January 1, 1964, Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) was incorporated as a second class borough.  A second class borough does not have area wide powers by Alaska Statute, AS 29.35.490, however, may establish service areas if a majority of residents living in the area vote to do so in a special service area election.  Without area-wide road powers, the borough may only collect taxes for road maintenance if voted to do so by the residents in the area.  FNSB has the following service areas:

·          103 road service areas

·          1 sewage disposal service area

·          1 street light service area

·          5 fire service areas

 

A list of FNSB Service Areas can be found in chapter 14.08 of the FNSB Code of Ordinances:  http://www.fnsb.us (choose the link: “Your Government”; then “Code of Ordinances”).

 

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF ROAD SERVICE AREA COMMISSIONERS?

Road service area commissioners are responsible for the day-to-day maintenance operations within the service area boundaries.  FNSB has a total of 442 commission seats for road/sewer/street light service areas.  Here are examples of some of their duties:

·          Commissioners are the first line of communication for residents in the service area.

·          Commissioners call the contractor for routine maintenance items.

·          During the first and third quarters of the calendar year, commissioners are required to have a meeting that is open to the public.  Meeting notices can be found in the Borough news section of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on Tuesdays and Fridays.

·          Commissioners take the responsibility to report damaged or missing signs, and encroachments when they see people are working without permits in place.

·          Commissioners prepare an annual budget to submit for the next fiscal year.

·          Commissioners assess roads annually, identify problem areas, and decide on the priority of work items, based on the budget.

·          Each Commission submits a long and short term plan on an annual basis during the budget process.

 

IF I AM IN A ROAD SERVICE AREA, WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?

As a resident of the service area:

·          Know your property corners.  On one side of the marker is your property.  The other side is the public road right-of-way.

·          Do not plant trees, or install anything else that will interfere with road maintenance in the right-of-way.  Do not push snow onto the right-of-way, across the street or into the street.

·          If you modify your driveway or have to replace utilities by digging into the right-of-way, contact the Rural Services Division about permit requirements: the permit cost is double if purchased post construction.

·          Keep your driveway culvert clear for spring runoff.

·          To avoid making ruts on a wet gravel road, try not to drive in the same wheel path as the previous drivers.

·          For gravel roads, the faster you drive, the more dust is created.  The dust is the fine binding material that keeps the gravel in place.

·          Stay informed: Find out who your commissioners are, and attend service area meetings when possible.

 

WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR BECOMING A ROAD SERVICE AREA COMMISSIONER?

To be considered for appointment by the Mayor for a road service area, you must meet the following requirements:

1)    Must be a qualified Alaska Voter.

2)    Own property within the service area boundary.

3)    Fill out the Road Service Area Commissioner Application, then sign and date it.

4)    Submit the form to Rural Services.

5)    And if appointed, will not serve as a voting commissioner on more than three road service areas.

 

WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR BECOMING A NON-ROAD SERVICE AREA COMMISSIONER?

To be considered for appointment by the Mayor for a sewer/light service area, you must meet the following requirements:

1)    Must be a qualified Alaska Voter.

2)    Reside within the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

3)    Fill out the Non-Road Service Area Commissioner Application, then sign and date it.

4)    Submit the form to Rural Services.

5)    And if appointed, will not serve as a voting commissioner on more than three road service areas.

 

WHAT IS REQUIRED AFTER I HAVE APPLIED TO BE A COMMISSIONER?

·          If you meet the qualifications, your application will be processed for review by the Mayor.

·          If recommended for appointment by the Mayor, the appointments must be confirmed by the assembly.

·          Once confirmed by the assembly, a letter will be sent to the applicant with the instructions to have your appointment completed by going to the Clerk’s office (located at 809 Pioneer Road, first floor).

·          At the clerk’s office you will be required to perform an oath of office.  You have 30 days after the appointment is confirmed to perform your oath of office or your appointment is voided, and will need to reapply.

 

THE ROLE OF THE RURAL SERVICES DIVISION:

·          Provides engineering, technical and administrative support for road service area commissioners.

·          Provides administration of approximately 107 service area contracts for over 485 miles of service area roads in addition to one street light district and one sewer district.

·          Assists commissioners with issues that may arise with performing the duties of a road service commissioner.

·          Issues permits for excavations within the right-of-way of service area roads.

·          Maintains databases of current service area commissioners, chairpersons, Assembly Road Service Area Committee (ARSAC) members, roads maintained, current mill levy rates, budgets and other financial information, current service area contract pay items.

·          Maintains all service area traffic regulation devices.

·          Works with clerk’s office for commission appointments and special elections for service areas, such as tax cap elections and service area boundary change elections.

·          Acts on reported encroachments within the public right-of-way in service areas.

·          Provides training opportunities for commissioners to learn about the basics of road maintenance, working with contractors, budgeting and planning.