Frequently Asked Questions
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"Municipal consolidation" means
the dissolution of two or more municipalities and consolidation
of the area within the dissolved municipalities into a
single new municipality. Consolidation results in the rights,
powers, duties, assets, and liabilities of the dissolved
municipalities being taken over by the new consolidated
State law requires certain
standards and procedures be followed for consolidation,
which are explained in more detail in the 'Frequently Asked
Questions' portion of this document. This chapter provides
an overview of basic information about municipal consolidation,
however, this is a complex matter that cannot be covered
completely in this brief overview. This overview provides
information and links to applicable law, additional publications,
and staff available to provide assistance.
Who can provide information regarding
Local Boundary Commission (LBC) staff within
the Department of Community and Economic Development are
available to provide technical assistance to interested
Who can petition to
Municipal governments are consolidated
by a petition to the Local Boundary Commission (LBC). Such
a petition may be filed by
a) a city,
b) a borough,
c) a regional educational
d) a coastal resource
e) a number of voters
of each municipality proposed to be consolidated equal
to at least 25% of the number of votes cast in each municipality's
last regular election,
f) the state legislature,
g) the Commissioner
of the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
h) a party designated
by the Local Boundary Commission.
What are the "pros" and "cons" of
The advantages and disadvantages
of consolidating municipal governments will vary depending
on the communities involved and the type of municipalities
proposed for consolidation. It is important to carefully
explore the pros and cons of consolidation before initiating
any petition development effort.
Are there criteria that
guide the development of a petition?
Yes, the criteria are found
29.06.130 and 3 AAC 110.240-.250
Alaska Administrative Code.)
Those criteria should be carefully reviewed when deciding
whether to consolidate. If the prospective petitioner decides
to pursue a consolidation, the criteria should also be
used to guide the development of the petition. The Local
Boundary Commission will use those same criteria to judge
the merits of the petition.
Are state grants available
to study the feasibility and need for consolidation of
No. State funding is not available
for studies of prospective municipal consolidations.
Does the state provide
technical assistance to a prospective petitioner who
wishes to propose a consolidation?
Yes. The staff of the Local
Boundary Commission provides certain assistance to prospective
petitioners. Such assistance includes providing petition
forms and sample successful proposals, consultation regarding
policy issues, guidance regarding technical matters, and
direction concerning sources of information needed to complete
a petition. While the state can provide some assistance,
the burden of preparing a proper petition remains with
If a group opposes
a consolidation, does the state assist it as well?
Yes. LBC staff will also provide
assistance to any individual or organization that wishes
to express views opposing a consolidation proposal. Assistance
to opponents might include providing sample responsive
briefs filed in opposition to prior petitions, consultation
regarding policy issues, guidance regarding technical matters,
and direction where fundamental information needed to complete
a responsive brief in opposition to a proposal can be obtained.
Can a petition be amended
after it is filed?
The petition may be amended
by the petitioner. The LBC can also amend or impose conditions
on a consolidation proposal following a public hearing.
Ideally, however, with careful planning and proper consultation
before filing a petition, amendments can be avoided. Amending
a petition may, under certain circumstances, cause delays
in the consideration of the petition.
How long does it take
It typically takes several
months (in some cases a year or more depending on the local
effort) to prepare a proper petition. Prospective petitioners
are encouraged to work closely with the LBC staff in developing
a petition. Once a petition is completed, the petition
is filed with the LBC. The process for review of the proposal
by the LBC may take one year or longer. If the Commission
approves the petition, the state will conduct a local election
on the matter. The process for the consolidation election
typically involves about three months.
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Consolidation of municipal
governments is a complex matter and requires a substantial
commitment of time and resources. Before local residents
decide to pursue consolidation, they should carefully think
about what consolidation will accomplish and the process
involved and what the benefits will be.
- Section 1. Purpose and construction,
local self-government, local government units.
- Section 3. Boroughs, standards
required to be established, classification, method of organization.
- Section 7. Cities.
- Section 12. Boundaries.
- Section 14. Agency to advise
and assist local governments.
Alaska Administrative Code.)
- 3 AAC 110.240. Standards
consolidation and dissolution.
- 3 AAC 110.250. Local option.
- 3 AAC 110.260. Standards
detachment from cities.
- 3 AAC 110.270. Standards
detachment from boroughs & unified municipalities.
- 3 AAC 110.280. Commission
standards dissolution of cities.
- 3 AAC 110.290. Local option
- 3 AAC 110.300. Best interests
- 3 AAC 110.310. Commission
standards dissolution of boroughs & unified municipalities.
- 3 AAC 110.320. Local option
- 3 AAC 110.330. Best interests
- 3 AAC 110.340. Application
of incorporation standards.
- 3 AAC 110.350. Best interests
standard for a proposed second class city in the unorganized
- 3 AAC 110.360. Best interests
standard for a proposed first class city in the unorganized
- 3 AAC 110.370. Best interests
standard for cities within an organized borough.
- 3 AAC 110.400. Applicability.
- 3 AAC 110.410. Petitioners
authorized petitioners, signature requirements.
- 3 AAC 110.420. Petition,
form, supporting brief, exhibits.
- 3 AAC 110.425. Legislative
review annexation petitions.
- 3 AAC 110.430. Consolidation
- 3 AAC 110.440. Technical
review of petitions, Commerce review, deficient petition.
- 3 AAC 110.450. Notice of
petition, time limit and method for providing notice.
- 3 AAC 110.460. Service of
petition, recipients and method of delivery, availability
of all petition documents for public review.
- 3 AAC 110.470. Proof of
notice and service.
- 3 AAC 110.480. Responsive
briefs and written comments, filing with Commerce, affidavit
of delivery to petitioner.
- 3 AAC 110.490. Reply brief,
filing with Commerce, affidavit of delivery to respondent.
- 3 AAC 110.500. Limitations
on advocacy, adherence to regulations, commission contact
with interested parties.
- 3 AAC 110.510. Informational
sessions, Commerce determination of adequate public information
- 3 AAC 110.520. Departmental
public meetings, notice, affidavit of posting, presiding
officer, meeting summary, postponement, relocation.
- 3 AAC 110.530. Departmental
report, draft review and comment.
- 3 AAC 110.540. Amendments
and withdrawal, time limit, petition signatures, notice,
- 3 AAC 110.550. Commission
public hearing, notice, public service announcement,
- 3 AAC 110.560. Commission
hearing procedures, presiding officer, commission quorum,
limit on comments, witnesses, sworn testimony, timely
submission of documents.
- 3 AAC 110.570. Decisional
meeting, time limit, commission quorum, change to comply
with law, minutes, statement of considerations, decision,
- 3 AAC 110.580. Reconsideration,
time limit, denial or acceptance of request.
- 3 AAC 110.590. Certain local
action annexations, applicable regulations.
- 3 AAC 110.600. Local action/local
option elections, election by director of elections under
AS 15, election by municipality.
- 3 AAC 110.610. Legislative
review, amendment to consider as local action/option
procedure, legislative review of commission decision.
- 3 AAC 110.620. Judicial
review, appeal and judicial review in accordance with
Administrative Procedure Act.
- 3 AAC 110.630. Effective
date and certification, Voting Rights Act approval, certification
of election, legislative review deadline, certificate
of change, recordation.
- 3 AAC 110.640. Scheduling,
chairperson order setting/amending schedule, timeline,
- 3 AAC 110.650. Resubmittals
and reversals, denial of previous similar petition, request
for reversal of decision.
- 3 AAC 110.660. Purpose of
procedural regulations, relaxation or suspension of procedural
regulation, commission discretion, guidelines.
- 3 AAC 110.900. Transition,
submission of transition plan; assumption of powers,
duties, responsibilities, assets, and liabilities; time
limit on execution of plan; approved agreement.
- 3 AAC 110.910. Statement
- 3 AAC 110.920. Determination
of community, factors considered in determining whether
the term community applies.
- 3 AAC 110.970. Determination
of essential city or borough services, guidelines.
- 3 AAC 110.980. Determination
of best interests of the state, guidelines.
- 3 AAC 110.990. Definitions.
select "Landscape" in