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Off-road recreation park, Library discussed at Susitna Community Council meeting

by Lorien Nettleton ~ October 7th, 2011

Off-roading and ATV enthusiasts could have a new playground on Montana Creek by the summer of 2013.

The Susitna Community Council heard entrepreneur Ryan Murphy’s  plans to purchase a piece of land on Montana Creek Road for the purpose of building a private park designed with the off-road enthusiast in mind. Park features could include a large obstacle course consisting of boulders, logs, and mud traps. Murphy said the park would operate on the weekends, be gated and fenced, enclosed by a noise barrier, and the area of wetlands within the 40-acres would also be fenced off to minimize impact.

Murphy said plans to construct the park would take place during the summer of 2012 with the park becoming operational in 2013.

Councilmembers asked if the park would be located near existing residential areas. Murphy said he thought there were two houses within two miles of the proposed park.

Board member Terrence Shanigan commented that an impact study for Montana Creek Road and the surrounding area, which includes forest and wetlands, would be a good idea. Shanigan was concerned that Montana Creek Road, a rough and unimproved road, would likely need to be upgraded to support increased traffic, and upgrades to the road could potentially impact the Montana Creek drainage and the ecology that supports fishing and moose habitat. Shanigan compared it to Caswell Lakes Road, saying the improvements to that road that had impacted the drainage and ecology of the area.

The Council also heard from Ann Yadon, who asked them to write a letter to the Borough Assembly in support of the Talkeetna library. The Community Development department plans to ask the Borough Assembly for permission to apply for state grants to help fund the construction of a new library. Susitna Community Council members discussed the library’s location, and wondered if the Susitna Council area would be better served by a library closer to their population center. No decision was made whether the Susitna Community Council would write a letter of support.

The Talkeetna Council’s appeal to the Borough for permission to apply for state grants will be delivered at the Borough’s regular meeting on October 18th.

The Montana Creek Moto Mushers asked the council for a letter of support for their application for a grant to replace a snow machine used for trail grooming. The Council approved the motion unanimously.

Two of the six candidates running for Susitna Community Council Directors seats were present for the candidate’s open forum at (Last night’s / Thursday Night’s) council meeting. Robert Coleman and Bill Stearns introduced their candidacy and fielded questions. Elections take place in November.

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