Talkeetna Council schedules work session to deliberate tough choices

Sometimes the issues brought before the Talkeetna Community Council are controversial and require a lot of discussion. Three of the Council’s monthly meetings this year have stretched toward the late hours of the day while deliberating some of these issues, so the Council has resolved to schedule a special meeting to develop a consistent way to handle potentially divisive requests from community members.

Code-compliance disputes between neighboring land-owners, a request to support an exemption from the Historic District zoning ordinances, and a request to declare Talkeetna a Purple-Heart City are three topics brought before the council that could have implications for the whole community.  Unsure of how to fairly make a decision on individual requests that would set a good precedent, Council chairman Cary Birdsall proposed scheduling a special meeting to develop a way to deal with these issues. That work session will take place at 6:30 pm on April 10th.

The Council voted to write a letter urging the Matanuska Susitna Borough to oppose two bills in the State Legislature that would limit certain water rights to government or state entities. House Bill 77 and Senate Bill 26 would change language on in-stream flow reservations to exclude individuals and native tribes. Borough Assembly member Warren Keough introduced the resolution, saying that in-stream flow reservations are one way stakeholders can ensure enough water is flowing through area rivers and stream to allow fish to migrate, spawn. He says the State legislation that would enable only government entities to establish stream volumes disenfranchises citizens and other organizations.

The council also adopted new guidelines for dispensing Community Revenue Share to local organizations. the Guidelines establish a calendar for accepting applications and establishing the revenue sharing committee, and sets criteria for awarding funds, as well as specify the eligibility for who serves on the board.

And Kathy Trump and Sara Birdsall attended the meeting on behalf of the Talkeetna Historical Society. They distributed new Advisory Design Guidelines that illustrate recommendations on how new structures should look to conform with the historical identity of town. In order that Talkeetna maintain its Historical District classification, new buildings must conform to a certain era of design.

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