Flood preparedness, Land-use ordinances on the table at Council Meeting

The Talkeetna Community council discussed a number of familiar topics such as flood mitigation and code compliance at its January Board meeting.

National Park Service South District Ranger John Leonard told the council that the Park Service is preparing a contingency plan for spring, when the ice on the Susitna River will break up.  With miles of jumble ice on the river right now, Leonard says the Park Service wants to have to have a plan in place in case the river floods in April at the height of climbing season. The Council heard several opinions about what steps might best be taken by the community to develop a preparedness plan.
At December’s Council meeting, Mat Su Borough Emergency Manager Casey Cook told people they can expect to get wet once the river opens up, and encouraged people to buy flood insurance and have an emergency bag ready to go at moments notice. The bag would ideally contain irreplaceable documents, extra clothing and other creature comforts if town were to be evacuated.

The Council also discussed code compliance and Special Use District, or SPUD ordinance enforcement. The SPUD sets out rules on how businesses and residents can use their property in areas adjacent to public spaces. The SPUD was developed to preserve the wilderness character and appeal of Talkeetna, and the council is undertaking a campaign to make people more aware of the SPUD ordinances and help stop violations before they happen.

At the Meeting, the council heard of once instance where Code Compliance officers had visited a property in the Talkeetna area 32 times in the past two years, based on complaints from neighbors. In the council’s judgement, the office of code compliance appeared to be doing its job, and no apparent violations had occurred.

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