Susitna Council solicits public input how to spend state grants

The Susitna Community Council is in the process of finalizing its 501(C)3 status as a federally recognized non-profit organization. With the formalization of the status, the council is a step closer to receive the state’s revenue share funds that have accumulated over the past three years.Altogether, there are approximately $60,000 held in trust by the Mat-Su Borough for the council.

The money has to be spent on a public purpose and that at least one public meeting has to happen for the public to comment on ideas how the funds are used. The Susitna Community Council has established a Grants Expenditure Committee to solicit and organize input from community members on how to spend the state’s grant funds. The committee is actively seeking ideas from the public on projects to spend the money and will hold two public meetings. One meeting is set for October 21 in the Sunshine area and another meeting is set for November 18 at the Sheep Creek Lodge.

Committee member Tami Hamler said that the committee hopes to present a list of project proposals to the full board of the Susitna Council in December.

The community share program is administered by the State Division of Community and Regional Affairs. Program administrator Bill Rolfzen advised that the financial boon the program provides to communities is likely to come to an end soon. If the legislature does not appropriate additional funds into the community revenue sharing fund, payments will decline by a third in 2012, by more than half in 2014 and there won’t be any funding for communities in 2014.

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