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Talkeetna Community Council Notes for 10-7-13

by Phillip Manning ~ October 8th, 2013

On Monday, the Talkeetna Community Council Board of Directors held its regular meeting.  The agenda was largely made up of unfinished business and committee reports, with one new business item to appoint the revenue sharing committee.

After the usual procedural issues, the Council Board moved on to correspondence.  Items included that were not attached to other agenda items included announcements of two new Borough officials.  Col Terry Dolan has been named as the Borough’s new Public Works Director, and Larry Macknicki was named as the I-T Director.  The State Division of Forestry announced two timer sales in the Valley near Houston and Willow.  The Council also received a copy of a letter from the Chase Community Council to the Department of Natural Resources continuing to request information regarding the sunken bulldozer that broke through a frozen lake in May.  Finally, Ted Stevens International Airport announced that Lake Hood will begin using a single identifier for both the lake and gravel strip.

The remainder of the correspondence and persons to be heard pertained to other agenda items.

Charlie Loeb, Chair of the Revenue Sharing Committee, gave the committee’s report.  He says that the committee has approximately $20,000 to give.  Applications are available online, at the Post Office, and at the Talkeetna Library.  He says the Committee plans to have recommendations ready for the board by the December meeting.  He later suggested a motion to the Council Board to appoint the revenue sharing committee for the next year, which was passed without objection.

Whitney Wolff gave the report for the Susitna Dam Committee.  She says the committee’s recent focus has been the Technical Working Group meetings recently held by AEA.  She says that concerns were raised regarding variances to the original study plans.  Those variances are due to weather factors, such as this year’s late break-up, as well as access issues with regard to land owned by Alaska Native Corporations.  She says the next round of Technical Working Group teleconferences will begin in mid-November.

Unfinished business began with the discussion of two conditional use permits, or CUPs, for Twister Creek Restaurant.  The Council Board, having not heard new objections from the community, opted to write a letter in support of both CUPs.  One permit is for a Beverage Dispensary License, and the other extends the allowable footprint of the building to include the existing deck.

The remainder of unfinished business centered around follow-up to previous communication between TCC and the Borough.  First, the Council’s appeal of the renaming of part of Saddlenotch Rd. is on hold, due to a paperwork delay at the Borough level.  Also, the Council’s appeal of the Fairview Inn’s CUP was not registered, due to an error in filing.  The Council also received a response to their letter asking for the removal of the fence surrounding the old landfill in the Talkeetna Lakes Park area.  That response says that the Borough believes the fence surrounds the cap on the landfill.  The Council Board plans to continue to follow-up on all of these issues.

The final item under unfinished business pertained to Talkeetna Sewer and Water.    The letter from the Council to the Borough had asked for consideration of a number of measures to increase the financial solvency of the utility, including grant funding and debt forgiveness.  The Borough’s response, written by James Jenson, touched on the upcoming state-funded study of the system, which will assess the current state of the system’s equipment as well as continuing financial feasibility.  Chamber of Commerce President Beth Valentine also suggested a community forum to discuss the Sewer and Water utility with the Borough as well as state elected officials.  Board Chair Cary Birdsall says he will follow up with Borough Assemblyman Vern Halter on his plan to hold a community issues meeting that would address Sewer and Water, as well as other issues.

The next meeting of the TCC Board is scheduled for November 4th.

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