by Phillip Manning ~ January 6th, 2015
This story has been updated to better reflect the Mat-Su Borough’s role in the float plane lease program on Christiansen Lake.
On Monday, the Talkeetna Community Council board of directors held its regular monthly meeting. Most of the discussion centered around float planes on Christiansen Lake, but other topics got attention as well, including flood mitigation and nuisance beavers.
On the issue of flooding, the board noted on Monday that the process of including East Talkeetna in the Talkeetna Flood Service Area is making progress. Currently, all of Talkeetna east of the railroad tracks is not covered under the Mat-Su Borough’s flood service area. That means that the borough cannot currently allocate funds or conduct any work on flood control in the area. The issue is in the hands of the borough clerk, and will ultimately require a vote by all residents of both East Talkeetna and the current flood service area.
The felling of trees by one or more beavers along the river has been a growing concern in Talkeetna. Large portions of the area known as Government Lot 9 have begun to erode, and there have been reports that beavers are taking down trees in the area of the Talkeetna River revetment as well.
The bulk of Monday’s meeting dealt with the ongoing issue of the borough’s float plane lease program on Christiansen Lake. A confusing mix of maps, lake management, and the Christiansen Lake SPUD, led to conflict last year between a local business and recreational users of the lake. After consulting with the borough’s legal counsel, Land Management Specialist Emerson Kreuger says the borough was in error when it leased the dock site to Above Alaska Aviation last year. Since the site had been unused for a number of years, Kreuger says it should have lost its grandfather status, and reverted to the Christiansen Lake SPUD, which does not allow commercial usage. Ultimately, the TCC board voted to pass on the recommendations of the Talkeetna Parks Advisory Committee, which would eliminate one of the dock sites and specify that the other lapsed dock can only be leased for private use.
The conversation then shifted to the future of float planes in the area as a whole, Drew Haag, owner of Above Alaska Aviation, says that there should be an alternative site, since a change in property ownership has reduced access to Fish Lake as a float plane base. He suggests using borough-owned land on Fish Lake to create a new dock and recreation area. The board decided to refer the issue to the Talkeetna Parks Advisory Committee as an initial step.
The next meeting of the Talkeetna Community Council board of directors will be on Monday, February 2nd.