by Sue Deyoe ~ April 6th, 2011
The Mat Su Borough Assembly did a complete reversal on a resolution Tuesday evening dealing with the Susitna Dam.
At the March 15th meeting, a resolution was introduced by Ron Arvin that would whole heartedly supported the Susitna Dam. The resolution was unanimously tabled indefinitely after very little discussion.
The resolution came back with a two-word change and was reintroduced by Assemblyman Noel Woods Tuesday evening. Instead of stating the support should be in the legislature, he changed wording to read “in Juneau” . After a half-hour debate, the resolution passed with only Warren Keough and Vern Halter objecting.
Ron Arvin sits on the Alaska Industrial and Export Development Authority board and therefore, the AEA Board. At the last meeting, he was recused due to conflict of interest. Since that time, he asked the Borough attorney to study whether or not it was a conflict. The Borough hired an outside attorney for advice on the matter and the final decision was Arvin does not have a conflict by sitting on those 2 boards, directly named in the legislative bills.
Some Assembly members appeared NOT to be concerned with letters received from the Chase Community Council and the Talkeetna Community Council on the matter, although Cindy Bettine tried, and failed, to remove three of the ‘whereas’ statements. Arvin stated that the purpose of fully supporting the proposed project is to further study the project. Jim Colver tried at one point to refer the resolution to the Mat Su Blue Ribbon Sportsman’s committee, but that proposal was shot down.
Two residents in the audience testified in favor of the resolution. No one testified against the resolution.
The resolution was amended, omitting all references to legislative bills, and is headed to Juneau to show full support for the proposed hydro project.