On Tuesday, the Talkeetna Community Council Board of Directors held its regular monthly meeting. The biggest item on the agenda was approval of the Revenue Sharing Committee’s recommendations for local grants. Other issues were also discussed, including roads, House Bill 77, SPUD modification, and the permit application for a snow road from the Denali Highway to the Susitna River.
Charlie Loeb, Chair of the Revenue Sharing Committee, shared the Committee’s recommendations. He says this was a difficult year to decide how to distribute the $22,900 that the Council received in revenue sharing funds.
“We faced a more difficult task this year, I thought, than we had in previous years that I’ve been involved, because we had more requests from more really qualified applicants with good proposals that were on target.”
Of the eleven organizations that applied for grants, ten received funding. Only one group, Talkeetna Community Schools, received its full funding request. Charlie Loeb says part of the reason the Committee was able to provide full funding was that the Community Schools request was the lowest.
Of the remaining nonprofits, five asked for assistance with general operation. Those were the Denali Arts Council, Northern Susitna Institute, Sunshine Transit, the food pantry, and the Upper Susitna Seniors. Charlie Loeb says that choosing between them would have been particularly difficult.
“It was very hard to distinguish between those. They’re all good organizations with long history. We basically ended up starting out with $3000 for each one, and adjusted that up or down a little bit.”
In addition to requests for operating funds, the Committee recommended grants for the Talkeetna Historical Society, Friends of the Talkeetna Library, Upper Susitna Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Susitna River Coalition for specific projects. Funds for those projects was between $1,000 and $3,000. The Board approved the Committee’s recommendations without amendment. Funding for Meals on Wheels and the Susitna River Coalition were handled with separate votes to allow Board members with financial ties to those organizations to abstain.
In addition to the revenue sharing decision, the Council Board voted to write four letters. The first is a comment on the permit application by Cruz Construction to establish and use a snow road from the Denali Highway to the Susitna River. The Council echoed some of the concerns of the Susitna River Coalition regarding oversight and the impact of additional use. The second letter is to DNR Deputy Commissioner Ed Fogels regarding the cancelation of public meetings regarding House Bill 77. The Council wrote two letters of support. One letter was to the Department of Transportation in support of Sunshine Transit. The other was to state legislators supporting a request for funding for the Talkeetna Road Service Area.
January’s TCC Board meeting will be on January 7th.