KTNA Studio – Dave Totten, artist

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by Dora Miller

KTNA Studio

KTNA On Air Studio, Jan 2013

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by James Trump

Winter Black-capped Chickadee

winter chickadee

Photo by Robin Song

Fish Lake morning

Fish Lake morning

photo: Robin Song


Mat-Su Borough Assembly meets in Willow to discuss budget

Monday, May 5, 2014


On Friday, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly held a special meeting at the Willow Community Center to discuss the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.  More than thirty area residents attended the meeting, but only a handful spoke.  KTNA’s Phillip Manning was there, and has this report:

Most of the public testimony at Friday’s meeting came from Willow area residents requesting funding for area trails. After that, about half of the meeting consisted of comments from the Assembly Members themselves.  Jim Sykes, who represents District 1, expressed concern about the borough relying increasingly on grants in order to fund expenses.  He says that the portion of the budget paid for by borough taxes has decreased, while the amount funded by grants, mostly from the state, has increased from one-fifth of the budget to about one-third over the last decade. (more…)

Borough Staff Updates Talkeetna Council on Flood Funding

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

On Monday, the Talkeetna Community Council board of directors held its regular monthly meeting.  The bulk of the discussion centered around recovery from the 2012 flood, particularly funding for the repair of the dike and revetment on the Talkeetna River.

Casey Cook, Mat-Su Borough Emergency Manager, and Pam Ness, Borough Flood Plain Administrator, were present at the meeting to discuss the progress of flood control measures, including both state and federal funding. (more…)

Mat-Su Borough Appeals to Board of Fisheries for More Attention to Susitna Salmon

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Alaska Board of Fisheries is in the midst of two weeks of meetings on potential changes to fishing regulations in the Upper Cook Inlet.  The meetings have become the most recent venue for what are often referred to as the “fish wars.”  Commercial, sport, and subsistence fishermen all depend on a finite resource, and all of them want to make sure they get their share of the stock.  Often, discussions center around the Kenai and Kasilof, but the Mat-Su Borough is doing its best to shift some focus to the Susitna River as well.  Acting Borough Fish Commission chair Larry Engel says that sustainability has become a serious problem for the Valley. (more…)

Mat-Su Borough sued over emergency services benefits

Monday, January 20, 2014

On Friday, a class-action suit was filed against the Matanuska-Susitna Borough on behalf of emergency services personnel.  The suit claims that some Borough Emergency Services staff are owed for contributions to the Public Employee Retirement System, or PERS.  The state’s Department of Administration audited the Borough in 2012, and determined that paid on-call emergency services workers should be eligible for the program.  The Borough’s employment agreement does not include PERS contribution for emergency services employees. (more…)

Chamber Looks to Revive Riverfront Management Plan

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce is attempting to revitalize a nine-year-old Borough plan for the riverfront.  Under the plan, which was approved by the Borough Assembly in 2004, the Mat-Su Borough would lease riverfront land from the Alaska Railroad with the intent to develop campsites and establish a concessionaire to maintain the property.

The plan has never been implemented, because no agreement has been made between the Borough and the Railroad.  According to Chamber of Commerce President Beth Valentine, the Railroad is ready to look into leasing the property, but first needs a lease application from the Borough.   (more…)

Talkeetna Sewer and Water Board Concerned About System Assessment Plan

Thursday, November 14, 2013

On Wednesday, the Talkeetna Sewer and Water Advisory Board held a special evening meeting.  The purpose of the meeting was to provide consumers with a public forum to speak to both Borough staff and elected officials.  Many of the invitees canceled due to deteriorating road conditions, including the Borough staff who had planned to attend.  The weather did not keep everyone away, however.  State Senator Mike Dunleavy made the trip to Talkeetna, and listened to the concerns of both the Advisory Board and other community members.  (more…)

Mat-Su Borough Elections are October 1st

Monday, September 30, 2013

Tuesday, October 1st, is election day in the Mat-Su Borough.

Polling places are open from 7 A-M to 8 P-M .

Polling places are:

Trapper Creek precinct: Trapper Creek Elementary School
Talkeetna precinct: Talkeetna Elementary School
Susitna precinct: Public Safety Building Station 11-2 on the Parks Highway
Willow precinct: Willow Community Center Included in the Borough-wide vote are three school board seats and two ballot propositions. (more…)

Mat-Su Borough May Dry-Dock Ferry in Port Mackenzie

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Audio: 20130821Ferry (Full audio of Borough Assembly meetings is streamed at Radio Free Palmer)

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly voted five to two to negotiate a deal that would see the M/V Susitna placed into dry-dock in Port Mackenzie.  Removing the eighty-million dollar ferry from the water is one of five options presented to the Assembly by Borough Manager John Moosey.  Other options were to sell, operate, or scrap the ferry, or else continue under the current conditions, leaving the Susitna  docked in Ketchikan.  Moosey described what he envisions the dry-docking option as entailing. (more…)

Mat-Su Borough Says a Proposed Subdivision Will Remain Park Land

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Some residents in the Christiansen Lake area have received a notification from the Mat-Su Borough that a 93-acre parcel of land is being subdivided.  The land includes a portion of the Talkeetna Lakes Park, and surrounds the entirety of ‘Y’ Lake and part of Christiansen Lake’s south shore.  The Borough says there is no cause for concern, however.  Nancy Cameron, Land Management Agent for the Mat-Su Borough, says that the division is part of a process that will allow the Borough to obtain complete control over the land.  Cameron says that the land parcel was selected by the Borough as part of the Municipal Entitlement Lands project, and that while the state has allowed the Mat-Su to conduct the management of the land, it still technically belongs to the State of Alaska.

According to Cameron, the state issues specific survey requirements before the Borough can be granted complete ownership.  In this case, they are requiring that the land be broken into five parcels.  Cameron provided K-T-N-A with an email that she sent to Borough Assembly Member Vern Halter, where she explicitly states that the Borough intends to leave the land as park area.  Cameron says the park land was prioritized for surveying so that the Borough could maintain full control of the land.  She says that there is no plan for development other than for the Talkeetna Lakes Park.