Voluntary Evacuation Notification Lifted for the Butte

 

Mat-Su— The Voluntary Evacuation Notification for the Butte is lifted for now. The water level of the Matanuska River is now below action stage and will not crest until tomorrow evening before midnight. It should stay below minor flood stage. Mat-Su borough staff will continue to monitor the levels and inform the public if conditions change.

Sandbags are still being provided by the Mat-Su Borough Emergency Services for both Talkeetna and Butte residents. For Talkeetna, the sandbags are available at the Mat-Su Borough maintenance building on Comsat Road. Business hours are from 7am-4pm Monday through Friday. The contact person is Mark Goetsch. In the Butte, sandbags will be stored at the Butte Fire Station.

If more sandbags are needed at either location after hours, people can call Palmer Dispatch at 745-4811.

For more information call: Stefan Hinman 861-8520

—end

 

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Voluntary Evacuation Still Advised for some Butte residents

 

Mat-Su— The Voluntary Evacuation is still advised for some Butte residents along the Matanuska River but could be lifted tomorrow afternoon if conditions continue to improve. There is no flooding reported but rivers are still being monitored closely with the Matanuska River remaining in an “active” stage.

Sandbags are being provided by the Mat-Su Borough Emergency Services for both Talkeetna and Butte residents. For Talkeetna, the sandbags are available at the Mat-Su Borough maintenance building on Comsat Road. Business hours are from 7am-4pm Monday through Friday. The contact person is Mark Goetsch. In the Butte, sandbags will be stored at the Butte Fire Station.

If more sandbags are needed at either location after hours, people can call Palmer Dispatch at 745-4811.

For more information call:

Stefan Hinman 861-8520

 

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Mat-Su keeps Alert Eye on Rivers

 

RiverwatchSMALLMat-Su— Residents along the Old Glenn Highway between mile 13-15, as well as Sutton, continue to wait and watch the Matanuska River as it chews on its banks. Emergency Manager, Casey Cook reported no change to the “action” status, which is determined by the river gauge placed on the Matanuska River. At this time the shelter at the old Senior Center in Palmer is ready if needed, but no residents are using it presently.

The Talkeetna River gauge is showing an “action” stage at the railroad bridge and is also being watched.

Willow Creek has shown signs of rising but is not in an “action” stage at this time.

Everyone is on alert and ready to proceed with the necessary steps if needed as the NOAA weather forecast is for more rain which could raise levels. Emergency Manager Casey Cook says the fire departments are on alert and monitoring the situation very closely.

Picture: Mat-Su Borough Emergency Manager Casey Cook inspects Matanuska River erosion.

For more information  call: Stefan Hinman 861-8520.

 

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Voluntary Evacuation Notification

Mat river floodingMat-Su— 9:05pm: There is a voluntary evacuation between mile 13-15 along the Old Glenn Highway due to high water on the Matanuska River. As of 8:30pm, the Butte Fire Department has finished door to door contact of residents informing them of the situation and will remain in contact with the residents. Approximately six homes are involved with all residents choosing not to evacuate at this time. No homes are currently flooded with the water receding slightly. We are continuing to monitor as the water level is in an action stage. However, a new weather system is moving into the area which could further raise water levels.

The Red Cross shelter is now open and is located in the Old Palmer Senior Center at 831 South Chugach Street. Pets are being allowed in the lower level of the facility. 

This release will be updated as more information becomes available.


Call Stefan Hinman PIO at 861-8520Butte map

 

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New Online Recruitment System

 

 

OnLineRecruitment2On July 14, 2014, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough will launch its new online recruitment system and will no longer accept paper applications.

This online recruitment system will improve the hiring process, making it more effective and efficient.  With this online system, individuals will be able to quickly apply online to numerous vacant positions listed at www.matsugov.us.  Interested candidates can apply for current vacancies or sign up for new openings that become available.

All candidates will need to create an account through NeoGov.  So…if you don’t already have an account set up in NeoGov you will need to create one at https://www.governmentjobs.com/Applications/Index.  You will be required to have a valid email address, and select a Username and Password. 

If additional assistance is needed, an Online Employment Guide can be found by clicking on Help & Support at the bottom of the Applicant Login page, or by going to https://www.governmentjobs.com/home/applicationguide.

We are encouraging candidates who may be applying for positions with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough after our July 14, 2014 implementation to create an online account.

Online applications will be stored on a secure site and only authorized employees and hiring authorities have access to the information submitted.

For more information call: 861-8551

 

 

 

 

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Paving the road to Port Mac

pavingatportPavement now leads all the way to Port MacKenzie. The last segment was paved recently on nearly two miles of road. It's a $700,000 project underway by Pruhs Construction, funded by a State appropriation. The job begins near the Alutiiq manufacturing plant and continues down Don Young Road to the second gate at Port MacKenzie.


Aerial video by Pat Martin of Alaska Aloft. Music by Stefan Hinman of Mat-Su Borough Public Affairs.

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Two groundbreakings, back to back

BeckBogardlowresTwo groundbreakings, back to back, kicked off this summer’s road construction season last week in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Bogard Road is the Borough’s most complex road project ever, and the Seldon & Lucille upgrade will put a roundabout into an intersection with poor visibility that has caused many vehicle accidents and near misses. In a five-year period, 37 vehicle accidents have occurred in this intersection(2007-2011), according to State Trooper reports.

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Central Mat-Su Fire Dept. ranks in top 17 percent in nation

 

fireblacksmokelowresThe second largest fire department in Alaska maintains its great fire protection rating even with incredible growth and surges in fire calls.

 

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Economic Development Update on Agenda Tonight

boroughsealMAT-SU—Among the items on the agenda for tonight's Assembly meeting, Matanuska-Susitna Borough Manager John Moosey is giving the Borough Assembly an update on recent economic development activities and seeking direction. View Moosey's attached  document.

 

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BP Donates Platform Truck to West Lakes

 

WestLakestrucklogolowrWEST LAKES FIRE STATION 71—An arc of water, 100 feet up the platform of a fire truck, rained down on a grassy yard outside the fire station last Thursday, displaying what Big Ben can do before a group of firefighters in uniform, who were exchanging laughs, shaking hands, and craning necks to take in the force of the 1,500-gallon-per-minute spray.

 

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Updating the Long Range Transportation Plan

 

pwhwyMAT-SU—The Matanuska-Susitna Borough is starting the update to its Long Range Transportation Plan.

The Long Range Transportation Plan guides future transportation improvements over the next 20 years.

 

 

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Federal Court Rules in Favor Port Mac Rail Again

ANCHORAGE—A federal court judge, again, ruled in favor of the Port MacKenzie Railroad project, yesterday, May 27, on a third and last point of a lawsuit over wetlands.

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Longtime fish advocates honored by Legislature

 

FishCommDelegationlowres2MAT-SU—Members of the 28th Alaska Legislature commended four longtime advocates for Mat-Su salmon, Andy Couch, Howard Delo, Larry Engel, and Bruce Knowles. Tonight, Rep. Bill Stoltze and members of the Valley Delegation honored the fish experts with the April proclamation during a Mat-Su Borough Assembly meeting.

 

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McRoberts Creek update

McRoberts Creek Fire MapMATSU—Here is the latest information on the McRoberts Creek fire outside of Palmer.

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Helicopter Drops Water on McRoberts Creek Fire

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 12.52.41 PMMCROBERTS CREEK FIRE, MAY 15, 2:30 pm—Some 50 firefighters, supported by helicopters for supplies and water drops, will continue working today on the smouldering McRoberts Creek Fire, located east of the Matanuska River near Butte and north of Back Acres Ave. The Alaska Division of Forestry estimates the fire at 21 acres.

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Tax rate lower than last year for Mat-Su

 

boroughsealMAT-SU—The new tax levy for Borough property owners is lower than last year's.

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SART Supporters Recognized

SART2

Mat-Su—Mat-Su Regional Hospital hosted a ceremony recognizing contributors and the creation of the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) of the Mat-Su. Currently, the Mat-Su ranks as one of the highest in the State for sexual assault.

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Assembly Glides Through Big Issues on First Night Deliberating

boroughsealMAT-SU—In the first night of budget deliberations Wed., the Matanuska –Susitna Borough Assembly glided through big topics: funding education an additional $1.5 million, trimming the budget reserve fund and thereby freeing up some $3 million, adding four new staff positions, and investing in outdoor recreation at Butte, Jim Creek, and Hatcher Pass, and more.

 

 

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Budget public hearings close, budget on table

boroughsealMAT-SU—Some residents asked the Assembly Monday night in Palmer to spend Borough funds on matching Human Services Community grants, on contributing to SART appropriations, and on developing the downhill ski area and real estate elements of the Government Peak Recreation Area. Some residents also called into the meeting, testifying by phone for the first time in a Borough budget hearing. Wednesday, (May 7), the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly begins deliberations on the proposed budget.

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30 attend budget hearing in Willow

 

WillowcrowdWILLOW—Thirty residents from the “trail mecca” of Willow turned out on a sunny Friday night (May 2) to participate in a public hearing for the proposed budget for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Trail grooming, road work, a heating system conversion, and the Big Brothers, Big Sisters were subjects on the minds of the five who testified.

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Emergency Services, is a Borough priority

dennisEMSCENTRAL MAT-SU PUBLIC SAFETY BUILDING— The statistics are incredible on the number of cardiac saves made in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough by emergency responders, Dennis Brodigan, Borough Emergency Services Director told the Borough Assembly Thursday night, (May 1). Brodigan gave an overview on the Emergency Services Department as the Assembly gears up for the budget process.

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Rail, Roads, Visitor Center & Salmon in Capital budget

 

boroughsealMAT-SU—Funding for rail, roads, highways, schools, a fire station, a visitor center, and salmon are among the State appropriations for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in the final capital budget, adopted today (Friday).

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Army Corps available at Borough

 

boroughsealMAT-SU—The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) will have a staff person available at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s one-stop permit center throughout the summer. The Corps presence in the Mat-Su every Thursday from 8 am to 3 pm gives an opportunity for the public to work locally with the federal agency beginning April 24 and continuing through September 15.

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Weight restrictions on roads coming April 9

heavyequipWeight Restrictions on Borough roads will be starting April 9 if warm conditions continue. Recent warm temperatures and sunshine have warmed Borough roads to the point where the subsurface material is nearly thawed.

"Some paved roads are already seeping water through cracks indicating the frost under the road is dissipating rapidly. Once thawed the roadbed will be unable to support heavy traffic for several weeks," said Borough Director of Public Works, Terry Dolan.

Residents and commercial operators should expect seasonal weight restrictions of 50% axle loading to begin on or before April 9th in the southern portion of the Borough with additional restrictions being added in the north as the warm temperatures move north.

 

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Walk 'N Roll for Animals

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 11.09.09 AMMATANUSKA-SUSITNA BOROUGH—Get out in the sunlight with your pet and walk in a 5k along the beautiful new Trunk Road bike path on May 31, starting at 10 am.

The 5K (3.2 mile) event is called Walk ‘N Roll for Animals. The activity will enhance your health and your pet's by taking in a day of Spring while moving. Walk ‘N Roll will also increase awareness about your local animal shelter.

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Tree clearing begins on Bogard Road project

mikepierrewalkwebTree-clearing has begun on a 2.2 mile section of the Bogard Road Extension project from E. Arctic Avenue to W. 49th State Street.  The contractor, Jim Psenak Construction, will work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to limit disturbance to residents in the area. The project is the Borough’s largest road construction project to date.

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Port Mac Rail Open House Wednesday

PortMackRail LogoMAT-SU BOROUGH—Did you know that 12 miles of new trail access will be created by the Port MacKenzie Rail project; or that three of the six segments are more than 80 percent complete; and that a new bridge was built over the Little Susitna River? Find out more about the 32-mile rail extension to Port MacKenzie on March 19 at an open house.

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Alaska Shield earthquake exercise

boardthroughtireMAT-SU—Fifty years ago come March 27, the second largest earthquake in recorded history shook Southcentral Alaska. Local governments, & state and national agencies will be engaged in an earthquake response exercise to see how we respond to a large quake today.

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Bare Earth Hillshade maps give you cool view

Su-Valley School bare earthMat-Su—A couple recently came in to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s permit center wanting to learn more about some land they were interested in buying. The permit center techs pulled up the Borough’s new LiDAR information and immediately showed the two an aerial image as well as a newly accessible bare earth image, showing features of the land. “You guys are cooler than Google Earth,” the couple said. The instant, comprehensive information helped them make a decision on purchasing the land.

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Board of Fish Adopts Game-Changing Regs to Help Mat-Su fish

salmonartBOARD OF FISHERIES, ANCHORAGE—Beginning this summer, Mat-Su residents will likely see tens of thousands of more coho and sockeye salmon in local streams and rivers, which recently have been devoid of fish. Game-changing regulations were adopted today by Alaska’s highest fish board that add restrictions to the drift gillnet commercial fishing, allowing more salmon to pass through Cook Inlet to their northern spawning grounds.

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Mat-Su Fish Commission asks Board to change gears

macminardwebANCHORAGE, ALASKA BOARD OF FISHERIES—Members of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Fish & Wildlife Commission asked the State’s highest board of fishery regulators today (Feb. 7) to switch gears in management to allow more fish to pass up north to Mat-Su’s rivers in crisis.

Seven of the State’s 11 Stocks of Concern for salmon are in the Mat-Su. A Stock of Concern is when a fish stock is having trouble sustaining itself.

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Sonic tagging, an Aha! moment for mixed fisheries

warroomlowANCHORAGE, EGAN CIVIC CENTER—Sonic tagging may help address a fisheries management problem in Upper Cook Inlet: the incidental catch of king salmon by setnetters and drift fleet fisherman who are actually after sockeye salmon off the shores of the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers.

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Mat-Su Salmon Crisis gets hearing before Board of Fish

ADNheadlinelowANCHORAGE, EGAN CIVIC CENTER—The Matanuska-Susitna Borough and its fish team are making headlines, TV appearances, and testifying before the Alaska Board of Fisheries this weekend. Their goal: to show the State’s highest board of fishery regulators that allowing more fish to pass through the wall of commercial nets in Upper Cook Inlet to the spawning grounds of the Mat-Su drainage, is the solution to Mat-Su’s plummeting Coho and sockeye salmon returns.

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Juneau We Have a Problem: Mat-Su Salmon Returns Are Plummeting

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 9.50.01 PMMAT-SU—Tommorrow a marathon meeting gets underway at the Egan Civic Center in Anchorage that could change how fisheries are managed in Upper Cook Inlet. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Fish & Wildlife Commission is making a plea to the Alaska Board of Fisheries to allow more northernbound salmon to pass through the gauntlet of nets in the Inlet to Mat-Su area waters. The number of days anglers sportfish in Southcentral Alaska has fallen to its lowest in 37 years due to fewer fish.

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1st in Annual Report, 2nd in video for Borough Public Affairs

FirstPlaceAnnualReport.pngANCHORAGE—The Matanuska-Susitna Borough's Annual Report, "Incredible Heights" earned 1st place among Alaska public relations professionals Thursday, and a video called "We Do" earned 2nd place at the Alaska Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America at a Jan. 23 awards banquet. Some 130 Alaska public relations professionals are members including business and industry, military, government, and marketing strategy firms.

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Stakeholders Address Transportation Corridors Together

By John Moosey, Borough Manager

boroughsealMAT-SU—Representatives from the Mat-Su Borough, the City of Wasilla, the City of Houston, the City of Palmer, and the Alaska Department of Transportation met together all of last week, discussing and planning how to improve existing transportation and address growth challenges. Experts from McCormick Taylor, Philadelphia Engineer and Planning Consultants, led the group.

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Borough road construction update

capitaldirGeorgeJimwebMAT-SU—The Matanuska-Susitna Borough has 18 active new road projects. Learn what six Borough roads will be under construction this summer and what nine are under design, and what's pending. Listen to Mat-Su Borough's Mike Brown, the Director of the Capital Projects Department, as he updates the Assembly this week.

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Sportsfishing, personal use fish need your voice

MarcshinyfishshotBy Howard Delo—Howard Delo is a member of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough's Fish & Wildlife Commission

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve discussed why your attendance at the upcoming Alaska Board of Fisheries (BOF) meeting (Jan.31 – Feb.13, Egan Center, Anchorage) is critical for the future of Northern Cook Inlet salmon runs. I’ve mentioned some of the potential impacts that could result from board decisions on various proposals and how you can participate through written comments if you are unable to attend the actual meeting.

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Ribbon Cutting video for Government Peak Chalet

DaveMusgraveLEAPwebGOVERNMENT PEAK CHALET—Some 200 turned out to celebrate the ribbon cutting for the new 4,000-square-foot Chalet at Government Peak Recreation Area today, Jan. 11, 2014.

The project success came from the collaboration of Wolf Architect, Davis Constructors, Inc., and Mat-Su Borough Capital Projects. The Chalet will be an anchor for outdoor activity at Government Peak, including Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, skijoring, fat tire bike riding, hiking, walking, and more.

GOVERNMENT PEAK CHALET—Some 200 turned out to celebrate the ribbon cutting for the new 4,000-square-foot Chalet at Government Peak Recreation Area today, Jan. 11, 2014.

The project success came from the collaboration of Wolf Architect, Davis Constructors, Inc., and Mat-Su Borough Capital Projects. The Chalet will be an anchor for outdoor activity at Government Peak, including Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, skijoring, fat tire bike riding, hiking, walking, and more.

 

Video and photos by Mat-Su Borough Public Affairs, Stefan Hinman & Patty Sullivan

Among the speakers in this order: Assembly Member Jim Colver; Mat-Su Ski Club President Ed Strabel, Alaska Rep. Shelley Hughes, and Wasilla Chamber Dave Johnston with baby.

See the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbUBef0nTA0&feature=youtu.be

 

-end-

Winter Trails Day fun this Saturday

wintertrailsdayDane1MAT-SU—Try some winter gear you haven't tried before, this Saturday at the Mat-Su Borough's Winter Trails Day at Government Peak Recreation Area. Hop on a fat tire bike, strap on snowshoes, glide off on Nordic classic or skate skis, skijor with your pooch. Equipment is loaned out for a short time. Enjoy hot cocoa and catch the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new 4,000-square foot Chalet at 1 pm. The fun begins at 10 am until 3 pm Jan. 11.

 

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Attend Southwest Futures Project meetings early January

Southwest FuturesMAT-SU—The Mat-Su Borough has assembled a consulting team to develop a vision for the southwestern portion of the Borough reflecting the potential of a Knik Arm Crossing (KAC) bridge.    This team has developed a market-driven vision for the year 2060, which forecasts denser populations than might otherwise exist if a bridge were not constructed. This is not a binding or planned change to current Borough policy, but instead a “what if " scenario to assist policy makers in understanding the potential, market-driven outcomes of a bridge.

The denser population would be located in six “town sites” which would have water and sewer systems similar to those in Palmer and Wasilla. The town sites would feature new housing suitable for a workforce employed at future Point Mackenzie businesses, in Anchorage, and throughout the Mat-Su Borough.  

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Dog Sled Rides at the Mat-Su Animal Shelter

Highcountry3Mat-Su — Come out for family fun at the Mat-Su Animal Shelter on Saturday, January 11th (11am until 4pm). Don't let the cold weather keep you home, just dress warm and come on out. You'll be glad you did! There will be hot chocolate, hot dogs and more good food to warm those chilly bones after a dogsled ride with High Country Kennels.

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Fireworks 2014

Fireworks compositeMAT-SU— Residents inside the Mat-Su Borough are allowed to bring in the New Year with a little noise and excitement. The shooting off of fireworks in the Mat-Su Borough is allowed on Dec. 31 from 6 pm to 1 am.

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Airplane hangar fire sends responders to hospital

BUTboroughsealTE—This morning, Dec. 17,  at approximately 2 am, Butte and Palmer Fire departments responded to an airplane hangar fire at 17901 E. Maude Rd in Butte, Alaska. Four firefighters from Palmer, three firefighters from Butte, and one medic were screened for smoke inhalation at MAT-SU Regional Hospital.

All responders have been evaluated. Two remain at the hospital under evaluation and are expected to be released by noon or earlier. One responder was admitted to the hospital.

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Governor Invests in Roads, Rail, & more of MAT-SU

LIOroundtable2MAT-SU—Alaska Governor Sean Parnell included in his proposed capital budget some $200 million in projects for the MAT-SU region, including funding for roads, highways, the Knik Arm Bridge, the Port MacKenzie Rail Extension, the Knik River public target shooting facility, and the South Denali Visitor Center.

“I’m impressed with the investment Gov. Parnell is making in our road system,” said Borough Manager John Moosey. “We need his help. Our roads and highways haven’t been keeping pace with our tremendous growth in population.”

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Borough facilities closing at 3 pm today

boroughsealMAT-SU—Offices and facilities of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough are closing at 3 pm today due to deteriorating roads from freezing rain. This includes, pools, ice rink, landfill, libraries, and offices.

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Glenn Highway northbound at Eagle River hill closed

(ANCHORAGE, Alaska)  The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities cautions motorists to be extremely careful as roads are very icy throughout the Central area.

The northbound lanes of the Glenn Highway are currently closed as of approximately 1:30 p.m. at Eagle River Hill due to an accident.  Local law enforcement is detouring traffic to the Highland exit.

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Expect dangerous roads, slow down

boroughsealMAT-SU—THURSDAY 10:31 AM—Another freezing rain event has Borough road maintenance contractors are out in force managing icy roads. Residents should be careful driving. Radar shows a band of rain heading here in an hour or more.

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Mile 47 of Parks Highway closed Friday night

EdlundbusrollMAT-SU—6 pm Friday—The Parks Highway north of Wasilla near mile 47 of the Parks Highway will be closed for an undetermined amount of time due to a crash involving a semi-truck and two cars that happened at 4 p.m. It’s unknown the severity of the injuries sustained from this crash. People wanting to travel through this area can detour around the crash by using Pittman Road to Church Road, or vice versa, according to Beth Ipsen with the Alaska State Troopers.

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Iced up MAT-SU roads leave many drivers in distress

edlundbusroll2MAT-SU—Some 65 road incidents in the MAT-SU were called into Alaska State Troopers, from 7 am to 1 pm today, with the distress ranging from collisions, minor injuries, ditch-diving, to momentary loss of vehicle control, according to Megan Peters, with the Troopers. At one point a Trooper said some 20 vehicles were idle in a dip on hilly Vine Road, by either sliding off the road, stuck in place with no traction, or blocked, Peters said. Road crews for the State and the Borough have been out in force, serrating ice, sanding and chipping. Two school buses slid into ditches. A semi-tractor trailer rolled on the Parks Highway at mile 49 temporarily closing that main highway.

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Freezing rain wreaking havoc on roads

MAT-SU—Freezing rain showed up later than forecasted, turning dry roads into ice just as elementary students were at bus stops and after older students had arrived at school. Dozens of auto accidents began occurring around 8:30 am. At least three separate school buses were in accidents. A semi tractor trailer is in the ditch at mile 55 of the Parks Highway. Borough Public Works is out in force sanding and chipping dangerous roads. A winter weather advisory is in effect for freezing rain through the afternoon, with up to six inches of snow expected tonight. 

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Redington High community update Thursday

Redington School SiteMAT-SU—Learn about the largest Borough school construction project in the last 25 years—the $65 million Joe Redington Sr. Jr/Sr High School on 103 acres, where a middle school will be added later. The completion of this school project will significantly reduce the 20 portables at Wasilla Middle & High schools. Join us for a community meeting update this Thursday, Nov. 21, from 6 pm to 8 pm at Goose Bay Elementary School gym.

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Open House for Seldon & Lucille upgrades, Dec. 4

boroughsealThe MAT-SU Borough invites you to a public Open House on Dec. 4 for the Seldon Road and Lucille Street Upgrades project. The purpose of the meeting is to present the proposed design for the project and discuss the potential right-of-way needs.

The project limits along Seldon Road begin at Wards Road and extend east to Kintrye Lane.  The project limits along Lucille Street begin at Spruce Avenue and extend north to Lochcarron Drive.

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Public Works efforts on Slippery Roads

boroughsealMAT-SU—Matanuska-Susitna Borough Public Works Director Terry Dolan reports that our road crews were ready to respond to the recent freezing rain last night and today.  The National Weather Service extended the Freezing Rain Advisory until noon Thursday Nov. 14.  This freezing rain is expected to change to isolated rain and snow showers by this afternoon.  With temperatures near the freezing point, roads may be slick, and drivers should continue to drive cautiously.

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New Sullivan Bridge celebrated in Butte

SykesQuaaslowresButte—In the winter shadow of Pioneer Peak, at just 12F degrees, a small group, including State Rep. Bill Stoltze, cut a surveyor tape to celebrate the new $1.44 million Sullivan Bridge today in Butte.

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Salmon Symposium coming up Nov.13-14

GoProFishMAT-SU—The MAT-SU Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership is hosting the sixth annual Salmon Science and Conservation Symposium in Palmer, November 13 & 14, 9 a.m. to  4 p.m. at the Palmer Community Center (Depot). 

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Beck, Sykes, sworn in as Assembly Members

BecksworninDSC 5909MAT-SU—Matthew Beck and Jim Sykes took the oath of office as new Assembly Members tonight during the first Assembly meeting ever in the new Assembly chambers in Palmer. Beck raised his right hand to be sworn in by Matanuska-Susitna Borough Clerk Lonnie McKechnie, and Sykes took the oath over the phone.

 

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9th Circuit Court says No a third time to halting construction

boroughsealMAT-SU—For a third time, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a request to stop construction on the Port MacKenzie Rail Extension, upholding a federal court’s ruling today.

“The (U.S. Army) Corps reasonably determined that such culverts and buildings can be effective in maintaining wetland hydrology, and the record supports the conclusion that the surrounding wetlands will be sufficiently benefitted by those conditions to avoid irreparable harm while this case is pending,” stated the 9th Circuit opinion today.

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Canvass Board corrects error in election tally

boroughsealMAT-SU—The Canvass Board corrected a clerical error yesterday in the race for District 2 in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough election. The vote spread between candidates Matthew Beck and Assembly Member Noel Woods grew smaller by 100 votes.

Beck still leads with 735 votes to Woods’ 712 votes as of Oct. 2. However, 229 absentee votes have been received so far for the district and remain to be counted, according to MAT-SU Borough Clerk Lonnie McKechnie.

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School Roads In, Alcohol Tax Out

boroughsealMAT-SU—MAT-SU voters say Yes to bonds for school road projects and No to a tax on alcohol, according to unofficial results tonight with 16 percent of voters turning out.

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More than $100 million in road projects underway

pointmacrdpavedMAT-SU—More than $100 million in road projects are gaining traction in the MAT-SU from design to construction. Some $63 million of the projects are from the voter-approved bonds in 2011, another $43 million in projects are funded from State appropriations.

Capital Projects Consultant Joe Perkins recently gave the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly an update on every project, saying all of the projects are either under construction or under design except the Big Lake intersections.

Listen to Perkins give the Assembly the update here.

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Borough election in two weeks

boroughsealMAT-SU—The regular election on Oct. 1 in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough is just two weeks away. Two Assembly seats and three School Board Member seats will be decided by voters. Two propositions are on the ballot. Proposition B-1 is a 5 percent tax on alcoholic beverage sales boroughwide. Proposition B-2 is a 50 percent state match for Borough road bonds for projects that access some schools. Here is a link to the exact language of the propositions and a list of the candidates. http://www.matsugov.us/clerk/elections

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Macknicki to lead Borough IT

larryMMAT-SU—Larry Macknicki was named as the Information Technology Director in September.  Macknicki is a current Borough employee who has a diverse background with more than 15 years of IT related experience in both the public and private sector.  Throughout his career, he has excelled at project management, systems integration and deployment, relationship and vendor management, leadership and team development.

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Army Colonel, Blackhawk pilot heads busy Borough Public Works

By George Hays

dolan terrywebMAT-SU—Col. Terrance "Terry" Dolan joined the Matanuska-Susitna Borough as Public Works Director this month. Dolan comes to the Borough after a career of more than 29 years with the U.S. Army at bases around the world including Panama, Korea, Germany and Iraq. He has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal four times for service in combat between 1991 and 2013.

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Regional Responder Training Center discussed Monday night

hydrantssmallMAT-SU—Two new roads will give responders a place off an urban street for exercises like hydrant training. Learn more of what’s planned for the Southcentral Regional Emergency Services Training Complex off Knik Goose Bay Road near Vine by attending a community meeting Monday from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. at station 6-2.

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River watch in MAT-SU for flooding

MatRiverMAT-SU—Sept.4—Nearly a year after a federal flood disaster here, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough is again monitoring creeks and rivers that are near flood levels. However Borough officials say the dry summer this year created a better scenario for absorbing rain and mountain runoff than last year’s wet summer.

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Maps like never before in the MAT-SU

wasillafloodMAT-SU Borough—New, highly detailed, highly accurate mapping data for 3,680 sq/mi of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s developed area is changing the way business is done. 

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22 Poms, 5 Parrots seized

thumb parrotAnimal Care officers in the MAT-SU Borough removed 24 dogs and 5 birds from the home of resident Wendy Rayburn yesterday (July 31). Officers had to walk through animal feces to gather the pets.

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MAT-SU Community Recycle Center Awarded $225,091 Rasmuson Grant

VCRSentryMAT-SU—The Rasmuson Foundation has awarded a $225,091 grant to the MAT-SU Borough for improvements to the Valley Community for Recycling Solutions (VCRS) Community Recycling Center. These improvements will allow for a safer environment for both the customers dropping off recycling material as well as the workers assisting them. The Rasmuson Foundation’s money will go toward matching a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration.

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New Bridge Opening in Willow Honors Kenny Getts

Deneki1MAT-SU— On June 29, The Kenny Getts Bridge was opened honoring the man who built the original bridge out of old box cars.

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Updated MAT-SU Borough Parcel Viewer Is Back Online

Parcel Viewer 1MAT-SU—On June 28th, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough released an updated parcel viewer available at http://maps.matsugov.us/webmaps/. The updated viewer delivers a simple mapping experience that allows users to find properties by owner, address, or just by browsing around and clicking on parcels of interest.

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Fireworks Are Illegal In Most of MAT-SU

Combo Fireworks copy copy copy
MAT-SU—Fireworks are prohibited in the majority of the MAT-SU Borough. The only exceptions are in Houston on private property with the owner's permission and on New Years Eve for a very limited time when the fire danger is low. With all the hot dry weather we have enjoyed, the fire fuel is primed for ignition with just a spark. There are currently 109 fires burning in Alaska. Rain has downgraded the risk only slightly. If people are caught using fireworks illegally, they could be fined.

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Yentna River flood advisory

boroughsealMAT-SU—As the unusually warm temperatures continue in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, rivers and creeks are at high levels. Please be careful when enjoying the waterways right now. Floating debris is dangerous to boaters on the Yentna River. Last Sunday, two kayakers were rescued in the swift, cold Little Susitna River.

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Redoubt Drive Road Closure for construction

thumb redoubtMAT-SU—Redoubt Drive will be closed during construction on Monday, June 17, at 8 am through July 7, 7 pm while crews work on a Cottonwood Creek culvert replacement project near Snowshoe Elementary. The detour will be to use West Halter Way to Harness Drive and to Riverdale Drive. See the map of the detour.

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Port MacKenzie Rail Groundbreaking

legislatorGovshovelMAT-SU—On June 4, 2013, some 150 people enjoyed a groundbreaking ceremony for the Port MacKenzie Rail Extension. Gov. Sean Parnell was among the speakers for the event, situated atop a ridge with the future one-mile rail loop on one side and a clear blue view of Knik Arm on the other. View a gallery of images of the event.

 

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Bumper Drag June 14-30

boroughsealMAT-SU—If you have an unwanted vehicle on your property you can have it towed away for free as part of the annual Bumper Drag event beginning June 14 through June 30.

"It's a service for the community that benefits everybody," said Kendra Johnson, Matanuska-Susitna Borough Code Compliance Officer.

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Army Corps staff at Borough for summer

wetlands2MAT-SU—The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) will have a staff person available at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough’s one-stop permit center throughout the summer. The Corps presence in the MAT-SU every Thursday from 8 am to 2 pm gives the public an opportunity to work locally with the federal agency through September 15.

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28 dogs from lot removed

dogshaw2Twenty-eight dogs were taken into protective custody at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Animal Care facility Thursday afternoon from a dog lot in Big Lake after dogs were found with serious skin conditions and in stages of starvation.

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Air tankers slow Point Mac fire tonight

pointmacfiremay30MAT-SU—Two air tankers with the Alaska Division of Forestry have dropped 2,000 gallons of fire retardant, so far, slowing the spread of a 10-acre fire at Point MacKenzie that has taken one cabin and a shed.

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Assembly approves 2014 budget

boroughsealMAT-SU—Last night the Assembly for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough adopted a budget, described by Mayor Larry DeVilbiss, as the most scrutinized Borough budget in his career of public service. Forty-two amendments were debated, several large projects funded, and cuts were made in some departmental spending. 

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32 amendments considered in Borough budget work

boroughsealMAT-SU—Last night the Assembly for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough continued deliberating amendments, up to 32 now, on next year’s Borough budget. Work continues on Wed. May 22.

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10 amendments, more to come in Borough budget

boroughsealMAT-SU—Last night the Assembly for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough began its budget deliberations in earnest. The Assembly adopted ten amendments that both reduced spending and funded new items, including a new mechanic for West Lakes Fire Service Area, a full-time fire chief for the growing Caswell & Willow fire service areas, and the requested three percent increase for education funding.

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More roads close from wet spring

wetspringRothburyFairview copyMAT-SU—A wet, slow-to-arrive spring, eight months after a federal flood disaster has officials at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough monitoring and responding to saturated roads, wet neighborhoods, and high water in creeks and rivers.

“The ground is so saturated that the water has nowhere to go and so is running fast on the surface,” said Borough Emergency Manager Casey Cook on Monday.

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Wet roads, high creeks on watch in MAT-SU

 

MAT-SU—A wet, slow-to-arrive spring, eight months after a federal flood disaster has officials at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough monitoring and responding to saturated roads, wet neighborhoods, and high water in creeks and rivers.

 

“The ground is so saturated that the water has nowhere to go and so is running fast on the surface,” said Borough Emergency Manager Casey Cook on Monday.

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Caswell Lakes Road closure, detour

Caswell Lakes Road closureMAT-SU—Due to wet conditions, Borough Public Works had to close a 2.2 mile section of Caswell Lakes Road—from Amundsen Ave. to Hidden Hills Road—possibly for a week.
A heavy frost is holding water on the surface. Driving on it is leading to road failure. This is the third year in a row that Public Works had to close this road, says the road superintendent.
 

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Public Hearings Conclude on Borough Budget 2013

 

Budget assemblyMAT-SU—In May 2013, dedicated residents finished testifying before the Assembly of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough on the $418.5 million proposed budget. Deliberations begin on Monday, May 6, which will mark a difficult multi-day stretch for the Assembly as it combs through and shapes the budget into its final adopted form.

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80 people show at Port Mac Rail open house

portmacrailopenhouseMAT-SU—More than 80 people attended an open house for the Port MacKenzie Rail Extension Wed., April 24, at Houston Middle School. Guests looked over several display boards on the project learning about the 17 crossings and culverts for trails & access. They saw which construction firms are on the three segments already under construction, and read about the highlights of each of the six segments.

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Prescription Drug Take-Back is Saturday, April 27

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough hosts three sites where you can safely dispose of your unused, unwanted, or expired medications. It is an anonymous service where everything collected is boxed up and taken for incineration by Alaska State Troopers.

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Business & community leaders rallying Borough econ plan

economic workgroups 036MAT-SU—Thursday at the Menard Sports Complex more than 65 economic development volunteers met to share their progress and ideas on executing the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Economic Development Plan.

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Port MacKenzie Rail open house tonight

PortMackRail LogoThe Matanuska-Susitna Borough and the Alaska Railroad invite the public to an open house tonight, April 24, from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Houston Middle School gym to learn about the latest developments in the construction of the 32-mile rail extension from the mainline near Houston to Port MacKenzie. Project team members will present updates and discuss developments on each of the six segments of construction. Three segments are under construction now. Construction on a fourth segment will begin in late summer.

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Manager presents proposed 2014 Borough budget

Moosey1 HeadshotMAT-SU—Borough Manager John Moosey presented the proposed Borough budget to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly yesterday. Moosey also gave an overview of highlights that Borough staff and the Assembly and local Legislators have achieved on behalf of the MAT-SU Borough, including capable response to the 2012 federally-declared flood disaster, the ongoing construction of Port MacKenzie Rail, funding for increasing salmon returns, and 7.5 km of new Nordic ski trails at Government Peak among many other efforts.

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Rail, fire halls, roads for MAT-SU region in capital budget

MAT-SU—Matanuska-Susitna Borough officials greatly appreciate the $143 million in area funding for rail, roads, state highways, fire halls, schools, tourism and fisheries at a time when the State capital budget is tightening.

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Salmon passage is featured in 2013 Borough poster

2013 BorougPosterwebMAT-SU—Salmon passage is featured in the 2013 poster for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Artist Ruth Hulbert was selected to portray the significance of MAT-SU salmon fisheries to MAT-SU residents.

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S. Big Lake Road Realignment Open House

sbiglakeroadslideditMAT-SU—The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Public Works Dept., and HDR Alaska, Inc. invite you to see what is happening with the South Big Lake Road Realignment project. A new road alignment will improve safety and mobility. Improvements have been indentified and all right-of-way easements have been acquired.

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Access road to Nordic Ski closing for spring thaw

AccessRoadMAT-SU—Warming temperatures and deteriorating road conditions are causing the closure of the access road to the new Government Peak Recreation Area. The road, Mountain Trails Drive, will be closed beginning tonight, April 2. The 7.5 km of Nordic ski trails are still in great shape. Alternate access to the trails will be via Edgerton Parks Road and Moose Lick Circle. Space is available for 15 cars.

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Dutch company one option in effort to dispose of ferry

swirlsviewMAT-SU—A sealed bid was opened today from a Dutch marine company for $751,000 to buy the Susitna Ferry from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Also still on the table, is the transfer of the vessel for free to an eligible government entity in the U.S. The Borough also remains open to unsolicited bids to buy the one-of-a-kind ship.

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Standing out by the numbers, MAT-SU & Neal Fried

valleypickupartMAT-SU—Did you know that 36 percent of Alaska's new home construction was built in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in 2011? Learn how MAT-SU stands out by the numbers from the State Economist who's been analyzing MAT-SU outliers for years. Neal Fried gave an overview to the Borough Assembly this week. You can hear his talk and look at his slides here.

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How tax funds were distributed in 2012

borough-seal roundMAT-SU—As the Assembly for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough begins working on next year's budget, Mayor Larry DeVilbiss takes a look at last year. See a breakdown of taxes and how they were distributed in this memo from the Borough Finance Department.

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$88 million in construction work on Port Mac Rail underway

scrapersrailMAT-SU—Work has begun on $88 million in construction projects for three segments of the Port MacKenzie Rail Extension. Contracts were recently awarded to three construction companies. Up to 200 jobs in the construction industry could be created this summer.

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By snowmobile to future townsites

fishcreekrideLast weekend the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Mayor, Manager, and Assistant Manager rode 48 miles roundtrip on snowmobiles from Big Lake to the future Fish Creek townsite in the Fish Creek  Management Area. The 160-acre site will be located west of Big Lake. The actual site has not been identified yet among the 10,000 acres of the management area.

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