At its most recent meeting, two separate funding applications were before the assembly. One allows borough staff to apply for $850,000 in community development block grant funding. According to the resolution, that is the maximum grant size that the borough is eligible for.
Talkeetna’s sewer lagoon has seen a number of regulatory compliance issues in the last few years. As a result, the borough has been in negotiation with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation regarding those permit violations.
Assembly Member Randall Kowalke says that money could be used to make fixes to the system that may be required by ADEC.
“We’re expecting some directives to come from negotiations that we’re having with DEC—to have some money available to make those corrective actions.”
The other resolution permits borough staff to apply for more than seven-and-a-half-million dollars in loans from the Alaska Clean Water Fund. Kowalke says those funds would be needed in the event the system needs replacing, and that taking out a large loan has only recently become a possibility.
“We have been precluded from getting any loan monies because of no revenue stream. With the passage of the tax, we’re lining this up. In the event we don’t need the money, certainly we won’t accept it and won’t take the loan.”
The new revenue comes in the form of a year-round, three percent sales tax approved by voters living in the sewer and water district.