Last Saturday, more than twenty Talkeetnans met with a facilitator to discuss issues and solutions facing the area. Sheldon Air Service sponsored the meeting, which was held at the Talkeetna library. That sponsorship included bringing in Dennis McMillian, a consultant and former CEO of the Foraker Group.
Initially, the meeting was billed as an opportunity to discuss bus traffic and other related issues. As the date approached, however, the scope expanded to include sewer and water, emergency services, and the Mat-Su Borough’s bed tax.
Attendees were given a white paper, prepared by Holly Sheldon-Lee, which outlined some of the concerns and potential solutions. One of those potential solutions, the creation of a new borough, spurred a great deal of discussion early in the meeting. Some of the meeting’s attendees feel that the Upper Valley does not get the attention from the borough government in Palmer that it needs, and that a new borough, from the northern edge of Willow north to the boundary of the Denali Borough, would better provide for area residents.
Dennis McMillian and some meeting attendees suggested that the creation of a new borough could be explored, but that there might be intermediate steps to address concerns. McMillian suggests that issues such as bus traffic in and near downtown could be helped if local residents come up with a workable solution in concert with the tour companies that operate those buses.
The result of the meeting was a list of issues to be explored. According to Holly Sheldon-Lee the list includes bed tax, sewer and water, bus and RV traffic, emergency response, flood mitigation, and the option of a new borough. Some of the issues are already being addressed by existing entities. For example, the Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce is working on some traffic issues, and the Talkeetna Community Council is corresponding with the borough on sewer and water issues, since the sewer and water advisory board is currently defunct.
No follow-up meeting was scheduled, but it is likely that the issues raised at Saturday’s meeting will continue to be a topic of discussion for various community councils and other entities.
by: Katie Writer – KTNA
Delicious Rhubarb Pie
Homemade Pies are a wonderful treat that can bring that Roadhouse charm into your home.
Don’t let the making of the pie crust intimidate you, as this recipe is simple and a matter of mixing flour, butter and chilled water.
With each one you roll out, you’ll be amazed how fun it is to shape the crust. Your friends and family will love you and pies are wonderfully unique for Birthdays. Read More »
On Wednesday, a Willow man evaded the Alaska State Troopers, but was later arrested.
Shortly before 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, troopers arrived at a residence on Lucky Shot Trail in Willow seeking a known fugitive. While there, they contacted 33-year-old William Veitenheimer. Troopers determined that Veitenheimer had an outstanding warrant for driving with a revoked license. Veitenheimer escaped arrest by jumping from a rooftop and running into the trees. On Wednesday evening, troopers received a tip that Veitenheimer was driving south on the Parks Highway. Veitenheimer’s vehicle was stopped near mile 53 of the highway, and he was arrested on the warrant charge as well as charges of assault and resisting arrest. He is being held without bail at the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility.
The Talkeetna sewer lagoon has had its share of difficulty this year. In July and August, the amount of dissolved oxygen in the treated water was too low, and the amount of fecal coliform bacteria was too high. Now, efforts are underway to try to get the system back into balance.
Terry Dolan, Director of Public Works for the Mat-Su Borough, says that fecal coliform measurements for September are not complete, yet, but that dissolved oxygen is back within compliance. Oxygen is part of the natural process that the lagoon uses to breakdown unwanted bacteria in the treated water. Last month, borough staff began using pumps to introduce more air into the mix in the hopes that the system would come back into compliance. Read More »
On Tuesday, the Su-Valley coed soccer team played a home game against Holy Rosary Academy. The two teams remained tied at zero until about halfway through the second half when a penalty kick found its way past Su-Valley goalkeeper Aiden Jolley. The Rams struck back with the equalizing goal with just a few minutes left in the game. When the final whistle blew, the score stood at a one-to-one tie.
Su-Valley will also play home games on Friday against Lumen Christi beginning at 3:00 p.m. and Saturday against Birchwood at 2:00 p.m.
Pictures from the match are available at the KTNA Facebook page.
The remains found on Saturday on a sandbar in Willow Creek have been identified as those of Jerry Warner, 71, of Missouri. Warner was reported missing on August 3rd of last year. He had walked upstream of a campground near mile 71 of the Parks Highway to fish. At the time, it was reported that Warner did not have survival gear or a cell phone with him.
Rescuers searched for Jerry Warner for six days before calling off active efforts. The search included dogs, ATVs, divers, and aircraft.
A grouse hunter found Warner’s remains last Saturday about half a mile downstream of the Parks Highway bridge over Willow Creek. The State Medical Examiner positively identified Jerry Warner’s remains on Monday.
The amount of the 2015 Permament Fund Dividend is $2,072. The amount of the check paid out annually to most Alaskans came after comments from Governor Bill Walker about the state’s current financial woes. Walker says that, for the first time ever, the Permanent Fund provided more funding to the state than oil revenue, a consequence of last year’s crash in oil prices. Seventh-grader Shania Sommer of Palmer made the announcement of this year’s dividend. Alaskans will start receiving their payments next month.