Connor’s Bog selected for new snow dump, dog walkers wonder what it will bring

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 7:30 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Plans to put a new municipal snow dump near a popular dog park are taking some pet owners by surprise, but Project Manager Melinda Tsu said the city decided on the site in Connor’s Bog after a process that started several years ago that included public input.

Tsu said that the city needs a reliable place to store snow. Right now the municipality is leasing a state-owned site that is managed by the airport which is very close to Connor’s Bog, but the site is expensive and the lease has only been available year-to-year. Tsu said the city searched for a place to build a new site in West Anchorage on city owned-land, and the 32-acre parcel at Connor’s Bog was determined to be the best fit. If all goes according to plan, construction will start in 2023.

“We need the assurance that we are going to have this facility available to maintain our roadways in a safe manner,” Tsu said. “So we need a place to put the snow once we haul it.”

Still, some dog walkers have concerns. Gina Azzam walks her dog at Connor’s Bog nearly every day. Azzam said the park is a peaceful place and she’s worried about what will happen if the snow dump is built.

“It’s a concern for us because of the pollution,” she said. “There’s a lot of wildlife and moose and, you know, wetlands. I don’t know how that’s going to affect everything.”

Tsu said the new snow site — while larger than the old one on state land — will actually be further from the trail than the current site. She said it will include landscaping and while some wetlands will be impacted, efforts will be made to keep environmental impacts low.

“Having a berm that retains a lot of the existing vegetation, as much as we can, was important to us,” she said. “So in our concept design we are actually looking at how we can retain existing stands of trees, to recognize this is a beautiful place.”

While the site has been approved, there are still several hurdles. A Planning and Zoning Commission hearing on a conditional use permit for the site is likely to be scheduled in June of 2022, according to Tsu. Voters will also need to approve the funding for the project. Tsu said the plan is to build in two phases with bonds on the 2023 and 2024 ballots tentatively totaling around $9 million dollars.

Tsu said they are still collecting public input.

People with questions or concerns can email them or visit the project website.

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