The June meeting of the Talkeetna Community Council took place on Monday night. The Council heard from several visitors from Palmer, Wasilla and Houston, and addressed a number of Community issues.
Lauren Kruer from the Borough’s Planning office presented the Build-Out study that the borough recently completed. The Build-out study is a forecast of the day that all available land in the borough is lived on. Currently, there are just under 89,000 people in the Mat Su, and at its full capacity, the Planning Office predicts the Borough will have a total living capacity of more than 4 hundred-thousand folks. Part of the purpose of the study is to forecast where density will be the highest, so the Borough can plan schools and public safety locations to best serve areas of highest population.
Assembly Member Vern Halter was in attendance at Monday’s meeting, he gave an update on his efforts to get the Talkeetna Library and Community Center included in the Borough’s Capital Budget. The initial request for 1.2 million dollars did not make it into the original budget, but Halter was able to get 375,000 dollars approved for design and planning. The Library has already been approved for a State Matching Grant for a new facility, and is working on coming up with their share of the 5.6-million-dollar facility.
The Council has been in contact with the Borough’s office of Code Compliance concerning enforcement of Talkeetna’s Special Land Use District, or SPUD regulations. In situations where a land owner commits a violation of the SPUD Regulations, the Code Compliance Office is authorized to issue a fine. The Council is looking in to creating an Awareness Campaign that will familiarize land-owners with provisions in the SPUD, which were established in 2003 to preserve elements of character and consideration in the community.
The Council also voted to write a letter of support for the Borough Assembly’s Resolution to request the Air Force take a “small-footprint” approach to their requests for more airspace in which to fly battle simulations over the Talkeetna Mountains. The Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex issued an Environmental Impact Statement for their plans to allow aircraft to fly within 500 feet of the ground over a large section of Central Alaska. The current restrictions allow flights at 5-thousand feet and higher. The Borough Assembly will discuss the Resolution at tonight’s meeting. Also, the comment period for the JPARC EIS has been extended until July 9th.