MSB Assembly: Yes to Talkeetna Library bid, energy policy; no to zoning ballot question

On Tuesday, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly met.  The Assembly approved adoption of a borough energy policy, and awarded the contract for the construction of the new Talkeetna Public Library and Community Center.  The Assembly defeated an attempt to place an advisory question on the October borough ballot regarding zoning in the borough.

The first item for public hearing on Tuesday was a proposal for a borough energy policy.  In essence, the policy represents a plan to make plans.  The policy calls for increasing energy efficiency in the public and private sectors, as well as promoting energy education and other measures.  The policy also directs the borough to promote development of renewable and alternative energy, while also developing more efficient use of fossil fuels.  The policy broadly includes geothermal, wind, solar, hydroelectric, and other types of power under the “alternative” label, but does not endorse any specific projects.  No members of the public spoke on the energy policy, and it passed unanimously.

The awarding of the Talkeetna Public Library contract to Palmer-based E&E Construction also passed unanimously.  According to the most recent word from the borough capital projects division, work is planned to begin this summer on the future library.

Finally, the Borough Assembly defeated an attempt by Assembly Member Darcie Salmon (SAHL-mon) to place an advisory question on the next borough ballot.  The question would have asked borough residents if they were in favor of zoning in the Mat-Su Borough.  The measure failed four-to-three.  Reasons given for opposition included the simplicity of the question versus the complexity of what zoning actually entails.  Assembly Members Sykes, Beck, Colver, and Halter voted against the ballot proposal, while Assembly Members Colligan, Arvin, and Salmon voted in favor.

The full agenda for Tuesday’s meeting is available at the borough website.  The Borough Assembly will not hold any regular meetings in July.  The next regular meeting will be on Tuesday, August 5th.

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