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Talkeetna Community Council sends Susitna Dam concerns to legislature

by Sue Deyoe ~ April 6th, 2011

The Talkeetna Community Council is busy writing letters this week.  The Council board of directors, after hearing from meeting attendees Monday evening, voted to send a letter to legislators and the governor concerning the Susitna Dam and the bills currently under consideration in Juneau.

About 18 people showed up at the monthly meeting, perhaps attracted by the one single topic on the agenda – the proposed Susitna Dam.  Many people applauded the council and said the draft letter that had been written and presented by the newly formed Susitna Dam committee was thoughtful and well written.  A few suggestions were made and once the revisions are finished, the letter will be sent directly to Senator Charlie Huggins and Representative Mark Neuman and copied to the Governor and the rest of the legislature.

The letter will also be an attachment to the Mat Su Borough assembly along with a short letter asking them to reject a proposed Borough resolution supporting the dam.  The Susitna Dam committee is not taking a side on whether or not the dam should be built, but questioning lack of process and oversight in the legislature as well as true cost of the project.

At the same time, the Chase Community Council sent their letter of disapproval on the Borough resolution to all the members of the Assembly.

The Council also voted to send a letter to Senator Charlie Huggins in reference to work slated at the Talkeetna State Airport this summer and asking him to hold a town hall meeting in Talkeetna about the project and its impacts on residents and pilots.  The letter will cover at least 3 points: the proposed pedestrian pathway that abruptly ends at the Railroad tracks without taking pedestrians safely across the tracks; the number of trees to be removed appears to be excessive and perhaps detrimental to the floodplain; AND there doesn’t appear to be sufficient funding to complete the project as proposed.

Communications and council business can be found on their website at tkacouncil.org. The next meeting of the council is May 2nd.

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