Walker’s administration is releasing $3.6 million in previously set-aside funds to start an environmental assessment of the 200-mile road to copper, gold deposits in the northwest.
With Alaska’s oil revenues shrinking in the face of falling oil prices, a mining road across the Interior that would end at a copper deposit near Ambler is among many projects being reassessed.
The city estimates about $800,000 could be collected by removing the sales tax exemption for churches, nonprofits, and other organizations in town.
Though the road is still in the preliminary planning phase, stakeholders from across the state flew in to Kotzebue Wednesday.
As the cost of simply investigating the roads feasibility continues to swell, basic questions about financing, community approval, and potential conflicts of interest remain unanswered.