PALMER — The Palmer City Council awarded four Golden Heart Awards to local citizens for their dedication and service to the Palmer community.
On Tuesday, Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ailis Vann and Randi Bernier were both honored with Golden Heart Awards as well as Joan Patterson, the city’s longest serving employee in history. Terry Snyder was also awarded a Golden Heart award for her work in the community.
While the Palmer City Council handed out awards on Tuesday, City Manager John Moosey noted that they had also received an award from the Alaska Municipal League for distinguished municipal leadership.
“The city of Palmer did get an award for distinguished municipal leadership by the AML for our work with the community on covid,” said Moosey.
On Wednesday, the Palmer Chamber of Commerce held another listening session with Agnew Beck Consulting on the proposed areas of annexation. On Thursday at 6 p.m., another listening session will be held to discuss the concerns of the residents around Palmer.
“What we wanted to do is make sure we had all the financial information so we can inform the citizens, is this something you’d like to do or not do, as opposed to just asking do you want to be a part of this. So we have continued to reach out to the public to kind of get their input and make sure the city council understands what’s involved and what the costs are going to be to the citizens, to the property owners and also too to the city of Palmer because there will be a significant cost to the city of Palmer,” said Moosey.
The Palmer city council will also hold their second strategic planning session on Feb. 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Moosey also reported that the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation had announced another round of housing relief for Alaskans.
“I just got information that the state of Alaska got some more money, $200 milion has been sent to the AHFC, that’s 200 mil for relief money for rental assistance. So soon, Alaska renters can apply for 12 months of rent and utility assistance you can find info at akhousingrelief.org,” said Moosey.
David Dahms spoke to the council during public testimony about the proposed annexation study and what he referred to as a ‘potential firestorm.’ Dahms stepped to the podium with a petition with names of 11 of his neighbors that had been collected in just hours.
“What rights do we have if we don’t want to be annexed? Can you just unilaterally do this? All my neighbors are very stirred up right now. I would like to help folks simmer down by speaking to them with some facts that hopefully you will provide me,” said Dahms. “We work one way in Palmer, relationship building. I’ll be back in two weeks on Feb 23 to present this petition against annexation.”
After the regular business had been concluded on the short agenda, the council went into executive session. Prior to executive session, Alaska Frontier Fabrication owner Mel Grove spoke to the council about his attempt to purchase the ‘Church’ property on the Glenn Highway currently being sold by the city of Palmer. Grove said that he plans to put a 15,000 square foot fabrication building for welding of riverboats in Palmer.
“It’s going to be long term, a tremendous benefit to the city,” said Grove. “If we can actually bring up raw materials to build those here in Alaska I can put more people to work in the local area. I mean it’s going to be a tremendous benefit.”