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Chugach Electric closes sale for Municipal Light and Power

(KTUU)
Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 7:58 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Chugach Electric Association officially closed on its $1 billion purchase of ML&P Friday. State regulators approved the deal earlier this year after voters passed the proposal in 2018.

The head of Chugach Electric called it good news for customers.

“The base rates will not change until we do a rate case. That will not be until sometime in probably 2023,” said CEO Lee Thibert. “What will change come January 1st is a reduction in our fuel costs.”

Meanwhile, Anchorage is moving ahead with its plans to use $15 million from the sale to purchase the Golden Lion Best Western. The hotel at the corner of 36th Avenue and Seward Highway will be used as a substance abuse treatment facility and provide transitional housing services.

The purchase was originally outlined in a plan to buy multiple buildings to house homeless and treatment services across Anchorage. While the treatment center will not be exclusive to those facing homelessness, it could help those with substance abuse problems stay off the street.

“The administration has been looking around for places not only for homeless shelters but also for drug and alcohol recovery, which we desperately need more of,” Anchorage Assembly Member John Weddleton told Alaska’s News Source earlier this year. “You look around and see the homeless on the streets. Mental illness and drugs and alcohol addiction are key drivers there, so we need to address those if we’re going to solve this problem.”

Municipal Manager Bill Falsey said there is a provision in the deal that states if, for some reason, the plan for the treatment center falls through the money will be rolled back into a rate reduction.

Correction: This article has been updated to correct the year in which voters passed the proposal and provide clarity on the services that are expected to be provided at the treatment center.

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