by Lorien Nettleton ~ February 14th, 2013
The late snows to fall in the Mat-Su valley mean the frost has been driven deep this year, and Talkeetna residents may be finding themselves facing frozen pipes. That’s according to Talkeetna Water and Wastewater operator Kate Childs, who updated the Water and Sewer Board about current conditions of the utility. Childs also confirmed previous water and wastewater operator Mike Kilgo’s assessment that the utility is functioning right now, but needed upgrades to the sewage treatment lagoon and a supply of backup equipment are going to cost money that the utility doesn’t have.
The Talkeetna Water and Sewer Board is continuing to search for emergency relief for budgetary woes that have accumulated after a number of loans for treatment equipment have come due. I their first meeting since December, 2012, the Board confirmed that they are approaching the State for Capital Funds to obtain funds to keep the utility running. The Board intends to present their case to Senator Mike Dunleavy and Representative Wes Keller when the legislators visit Talkeetna on Saturday.
The board also continues to seek a rule-change from the MAt Su Borough that would allow any property owner in Talkeetna Utility area to serve on the board. Currently, only residents can be members, and that excludes participation of business owners who have a vested interest in a well-functioning utility.
The Water and Sewer Board will continue to hold meetings twice a month while they attempt to solve the many problems that beset the utility. Representatives form the Borough’s department of Public Works will be attending the next meeting on February 23rd to get updates from the Board and community about what is needed for the utility to stay operational.