Eaglexit says first phase of financial report is complete

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 12:28
  • Two men look at comments from an online survey conducted by the EaglExit group following a meeting on Friday, May 3, 2019 at the Eagle River Lions Club. About 100 people attended the meeting, which was organized by a group hoping to detach the district from the Municipality of Anchorage. (Matt Tunseth / Chugiak-Eagle River Star)

A financial report that will be used to guide a group that wants to detach Chugiak-Eagle River from the Municipality of Anchorage is now complete.

The Eaglexit group announced the completion of the 18-page, $27,000 report compiled by Northern Economics in a March 4 video posted to its Facebook page. In the video, director Gordy Banfield thanks those who helped fund the “phase one” report.

“It’s only possible because you donated a lot of money and helped put this cause together and we thank you for that,” Banfield said.

On Thursday, Eaglexit Chair Michael Tavoliero said the all-volunteer group still needs time to evaluate the numbers — but promised the report should be available on the group’s website by the end of the month.

A 2007 Northern Economics study commissioned by the state to look at the financial impacts of detachment found taxes would likely go up and services would go down were Chugiak-Eagle River to separate from the muni. However, Tavoliero said the numbers in the new report “were great” and that he’ll give a presentation about the report during an upcoming “Pasta with Purpose” spaghetti feed fundraiser at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 7 at the Eagle River Lions Club.

Tickets for the event are available at the group’s website, eaglexit.com, or at Trustworthy Hardware in Eagle River. The cost is $25 for adults or $10 for kids age 12 and under. In addition to a spaghetti dinner, the event will feature a silent auction with a variety of gift baskets.

Working toward a goal

Eaglexit formed last spring with the intent of breaking away from the municipality and forming its own government. Since then, the group has been collecting donations for the feasibility study through a Texas-based anti-abortion nonprofit run by San Antonio attorney Allan E. Parker and Eagle River law professor Clayton Trotter. Trotter serves as general counsel for The Justice Foundation and is an advisor to Eaglexit — though he’s said that he is not acting in any official capacity for the local group.

Eaglexit has not incorporated as a nonprofit itself and instead collects money through the foundation, which Eaglexit directors have said is a cost-saving measure meant to streamline the donation process.

Now that the group has its study in hand, the next step in its detachment plan will be to fund “phase two” of a feasibilty study before presenting a proposal to the state’s Local Boundary Commission, a five-member panel tasked with establishing and modifying municipal boundaries.

Last month, both Trotter and Eagle River’s Larry Wood were appointed to the commission by Gov. Mike Dunleavy. However, according to Dunleavy spokesman Jeff Turner, Wood and Trotter would have to recuse themselves from the issue if it comes before the commission because they live in the area under consideration for a boundary change.

Email Star editor Matt Tunseth at [email protected] or call 257-4274

Facebook comments