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Posts from the 'Local News' category

Initial results in for Upper Valley elections

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Seal of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Seal of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Initial results are in for elections throughout the Mat-Su Borough.

In the Northern Valley, the only issue on the borough ballot was a three-percent sales tax to fund the Talkeetna Sewer and Water District. Seventy-two voters turned out to the polls on Tuesday. Forty-two voted in favor of the tax, and thirty voted against. Twenty-two absentee ballots remain to be counted. (more…)

Borough, Talkeetna Community Council hold elections on Tuesday

Monday, October 2, 2017

Both the Mat-Su Borough and the Talkeetna Community Council, Inc. are holding elections on Tuesday.

In the borough election, only one item is on the ballot in the Northern Susitna Valley. Voters registered inside the Talkeetna Sewer and Water District will decide whether or not to institute a three-percent, year-round sales tax to finance the utility. Since Mat-Su Borough School Board seats are now chosen by district, and no areawide ballot questions are on the ballot for this year, no other areas of the Upper Valley have anything to vote on for the borough election. Voting will take place at Talkeetna Elementary School on Tuesday.

The Talkeetna Community Council is also choosing three members for its board of directors. There are a total of three candidates. Peg Vos, Paul Button, and Karl Swanson are running for the three available seats. Vos and Button currently serve on the board. Mary Farina, who currently holds the third seat up for election, has reached the board’s term limit. Voting for the Talkeetna Community Council, Inc. will take place at the Talkeetna Public Library on Tuesday.

Borough reports theft, vandalism, along Port Mac rail spur

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Mat-Su Borough says it has increased patrols of borough employees and a private security company along the path of the Port Mackenzie rail extension

The rail project, which would connect Houston to Port Mackenzie via rail, has stalled in recent years due to lack of funding, but the borough maintains ownership of the development, including the raised areas where the rail would eventually run.

The borough says the increased patrols are the result of theft and vandalism incidents in recent weeks, including damage or theft of locks, gates, and signs. In addition, the borough says overland travel during the fall results in deep ruts in the ground.

Some railroad tracks have been laid along the route, and the borough says the project is about seventy-five percent complete. Obtaining funds to complete the project has been at or near the top of the Mat-Su Borough’s legislative priority list for the last few years.

Officials, locals walk site of potential railroad development

Friday, September 29, 2017
Paul Farnsworth (C) goes over the Alaska Railroad's plan for development on-site in East Talkeetna. Photo by Phillip Manning - KTNA

Paul Farnsworth (C) goes over the Alaska Railroad’s plan for development on-site in East Talkeetna. Photo by Phillip Manning – KTNA

This week, officials from the Alaska Railroad and the Mat-Su Borough walked with area residents through the area the railroad intends to develop into its new section facility in Talkeetna. KTNA’s Phillip Manning was there:

 

Earlier this month, the Alaska Railroad announced plans to move some of its operations from Downtown to East Talkeetna. The railroad plans to use a lot it owns just on the east side of the tracks. When Alaska Railroad Facilities Manager Paul Farnsworth told the Talkeetna Community Council about the planned development, some people expressed concern. This week, Farnsworth led a walk of the proposed development site. Multiple area residents attended, as did Mat-Su Borough Code Compliance Officer and Talkeetna Floodplain Manager Pamela Ness. (more…)

After school program brings art to Su Valley students

Thursday, September 28, 2017
Heath Hassen (L) with his after-school art students.  Photo by Katie Writer - KTNA

Heath Hassen (L) with his after-school art students. Photo by Katie Writer – KTNA

by:  Katie Writer – KTNA

Su Valley after school art program is providing an opportunity for students to learn some new skills as well as having time to create art.

KTNA’s Katie Writer visited Su Valley on Wednesday and spoke with art teacher Heath Hassen about the art program while students were working on an art project that describes themselves.

Talkeetna Sewer and Water Sales Tax Q&A

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Last weekend, KTNA solicited questions regarding the upcoming sales tax proposal on the October 3rd borough ballot.  Below, we attempt to answer some of those questions.  Questions are in bold.  

How much money would this tax bring in?

It’s impossible to say right now.  Since most businesses in the district are not subject to any sort of sales tax at the moment, there is no requirement for them to disclose their gross sales figures.

Where is the tax going to be used? 

According to an opinion rendered by Mat-Su Borough Attorney Nicholas Spiropoulos, multiple sections of code and statute require that the funds be spent on Talkeetna’s sewer and water system. MSB Ordinance 17-075 states: “All taxes levied and collected under this chapter may only be used to finance the special services and service related capital improvements for the service area.” (more…)

Su Valley Soccer nears state tourney with impressive record

Monday, September 25, 2017

Su Valley Co-Ed Soccer played 3 games in the past week. The Rams tied Wasilla Lake on Thursday by a score of 2-2, and tied Tri Valley on Friday 2-2. On Saturday, they beat Holy Rosary 3-0.

Assistant Coach, Steve Harrison is pleased with the very successful season. During its fourth season, Su-Valley Co Ed soccer has tallied 14 wins, 4 losses, and 2 ties. There are two games left before State Championships to be played in Palmer, in two weeks.

Currently, Su Valley is ranked first in the Southern Conference and second overall.

(more…)

Candidates finalized for Talkeetna Community Council election

Monday, September 25, 2017

There will be three candidates for the three seats up for election on the Talkeetna Community Council, Inc. board of directors.

Two of the candidates are running to retain seats on the board. Paul Button and Peg Vos were both placed on the board after last October’s election. Mary Farina, who has reached the council’s term limit, currently holds the third seat. Karl Swanson is also running for the board. Swanson is newly eligible to run for the board after the Talkeetna Community Council’s boundaries were expanded earlier this year. (more…)

Talkeetna Sewer and Water Sales Tax Questions

Monday, September 25, 2017

The proposed sewer and water sales tax for Talkeetna is the only item up for a vote in the Northern Valley in the borough’s Oct. 3rd election. KTNA wants to know what questions you want answered before voting on the tax proposal. If you have questions, you can either leave them in the comments here or email them to news [at] ktna [dot] org.