Free Weekend Bus Ride to Government Peak

GOVERNMENT PEAK & HATCHER PASS—Get your kids off the phones and onto a free bus ride to the outdoors. On Saturday and Sunday, Valley Mover buses head from local grocery stores to the Government Peak Recreation Area and more at Hatcher Pass. Check out the schedules for pickup and dropoff. Make your child a lunch, and send them off. Here's a link to the bus schedules and a radio commercial telling more.




Animal Care Partners with Pets for Patriots

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 6.37.09 PMSome furry friends need a little extra attention, such as medical and elderly care and are often passed over at the Animal Shelter. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Animal Care is partnering with the national nonprofit, Pets for Patriots, to end animal homelessness and enrich the lives of our military members.

“We’re delighted to work with Mat-Su Animal Care to give these last-chance pets a second chance at life and, in so doing, to enhance the lives of veterans in the community,” said Beth Zimmerman, founder and executive director of Pets for Patriots.


West Lakes Fire improves fire rating

laddertruckextendMAT-SU—West Lakes Fire Service Area joins the top 17 percent of fire departments in the nation by improving its Public Protection Classification from a 5/10 to a 4/10 rating. "I've got this incredible group, amazing group of responders," West Lakes Fire Chief Bill Gamble said of the audit efforts to perform through response times, training, and equipment use.



Rasmuson Gives Grant to Mat-Su Borough for Ski Area

chaletlowresANCHORAGE—The Rasmuson Foundation recently awarded the Matanuska-Susitna Borough $200,000 for the Government Peak Recreation Area project. The funds will help enhance the $1 million chalet by upgrading the kitchen and installing a fire suppression system. The award will also help begin lighting 2.1 miles of ski trails at night with LEDs. Residents would be able to ski after work, reducing the grip of winter through sweat and laughter.

"We thank the Rasmuson Foundation for investing in this regional recreation project, a place that is already becoming a destination for locals and visitors," Assembly Member Jim Colver said.


Salmon Partnership hosts 7th Symposium

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 10.38.28 AMMAT-SU—A high seas expert will give insight on potential marine threats to Cook Inlet Chinook and an Atlantic salmon expert will highlight salmon recovery at the 7th annual Mat-Su Salmon Science and Conservation Symposium.


Assembly certifies election, bids farewell to Darcie

MayfieldColliganswearinginDSC 0042Last night Assembly Member Darcie Salmon bid farewell. The Assembly certified the election. Assembly Members Dan Mayfield and Steve Colligan were sworn into office. Mayfield will represent Salmon's district at the next Assembly meeting.






Mat-Su Transportation Fair, Oct. 22

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 1.07.45 PMRAVEN HALL, ALASKA STATE FAIRGROUNDS—Did you know $50 million in Borough road construction was underway this summer, along with the State's $50 million. More is on the way next summer. Find out specifics on transportation projects at the 2014 Mat-Su Transportation Fair, Wed. Oct. 22, from 4 to 8 pm, at Raven Hall on the Alaska State Fairgrounds.



Mayfield, Tax Exemption yes at polls

borough-seal roundMAT-SU—Some 7,005 people cast their votes at the polls tonight in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, just 11 percent of voters. Candidate Dan Mayfield leads candidate Bill Kendig for Assembly district 5, by 293 votes. Voters supported another senior citizen and disabled veteran property tax exemption in unofficial results tonight.


Coming 2015: a new Talkeetna Library

Final Talketna Library PerspectivelowresMAT-SU—The new 7,840-square foot Talkeetna Public Library and Resource Center is coming in summer 2015.


Emergency Manager graduates from national academy

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 11.30.59 AMEmmitsburg, MD – FEMA PRESS RELEASE—The Matanuska-Susitna Borough's Emergency Manager, Casey Cook, graduated from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Emergency Management Executive Academy at the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) on September 11, 2014. 



House Fire Exercise on Old Mat Road

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 6.44.49 PMOLD MATANUSKA ROAD—Next Saturday, Sept. 27, firefighters from the Central Mat-Su Fire Department will exercise by fighting flames on a donated house on Old Matanuska Road. The realistic training will provide essential firefighting experience, which will ultimately benefit our community.

The exercise begins at 8 am and ends before 10 pm Saturday. Black smoke and flames will be visible at times. Old Matanuska Road will be closed to through traffic between Danny's Ave. and Mickey Ave. Local residents will be able to access their homes.  The training is in accordance with standards by the National Fire Protection Association and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

For more information call Training Officer John Beebe at 907.861-8043



A safe, new path in Sutton

suttonpathbackswebMAT-SU—Some 45 Sutton Elementary school kids skipped and laughed recently along a new paved pathway from their school to the Sutton Library at a ribbon cutting event for the $650,000 project. Previously kids walked the small shoulder of a road as cars traveled along Chickaloon Way and Wright Way. The path, more than half a mile, creates a safe space to walk or bike between busy student locales.


WesPac looks to develop LNG at Port Mac

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 6.10.18 PMMAT-SU—An energy company focused on processing liquefied natural gas is looking to develop more than $600 million in LNG infrastructure at Port MacKenzie. The project would include an LNG facility, an 11 megawatt power plant, gas pipelines, and would create some 350 jobs in the first phase, WesPac's Senior Vice President Brad Barnds told the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly Tuesday. He said the next 60 to 90 days would give the company sufficient information to make a proposal.


First Two Schools Built

audiencepathwaylowresMAT-SU—Ribbon cutting ceremonies took place recently for the first two schools completed in the $214 million school bond package approved by voters in 2011.


Assembly meets in executive session on ferry letter

Susitna at Beach 4-reduced copy 2MAT-SU—Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly Members need more information to consider the options for the outstanding federal grant monies for the Susitna Ferry. The Assembly continued the meeting to Aug. 21, 3 pm in the Assembly chambers at 350 E. Dahlia Ave. in Palmer. The Federal Transit Administration sent the Borough a letter Aug. 5 requesting reimbursement of $12.3 million in grant funds.




FTA asks for grant funding back on ferry

Susitna at Beach 4-reduced copy 2MAT-SU—With regret, the Federal Transit Administration sent a letter to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough on Aug. 5 requesting repayment of $12.3 million in federal funding for the Susitna Ferry project. The Borough has 30 days to repay the grants.


Willow Creek Search for Missing Fisherman

JWarner photoMAT-SU—The search for missing fisherman, Jerry Warner, 71, of Missouri, is in its second day on Willow Creek with dogs, boats, a helicopter, ATVs, and a ground search all a part of the effort.


Moving Dirt for Landfill Growth


Landfill Cell 2AMat-Su— The Valley is growing fast.  Along with growth comes increased waste generation created in a number of forms including construction and demolition materials, household and hazardous wastes.  We design and build large "cells" to put the household waste in to protect groundwater and reduce the amount of methane gas generated from decomposition.



Port MacKenzie Proves itself by taking on Sixteen Miles of Cement Pipe


Ship Freeze 2Mat-Su—For five days, starting on July 2, sixteen miles of cement coated pipe were successfully off-loaded from a Panamanian Vessel at Port MacKenzie. After five days of work, the pipe now rests on the recently expanded Port MacKenzie barge dock awaiting transfer to a working barge sixteen miles northwest of Nikiski. From there it will be welded together and run underwater from a new natural gas oil platform to Nikiski. The pipe originated in South Korea before making its way to Mexico for the cement coating. The warm temperatures there were needed to properly cure the cement which took three months.

King Hufford III of West Pac Logistics was contracted to bring the vessel in, discharge the pipe then ground it on the barge dock. He says Port MacKenzie was the optimal choice for its large lay-down space. There were eight acres available for this project which provided ample space to maneuver the equipment around the rows of pipe.

The young port continues to prove that it can handle project cargo such as this in an efficient manner. The off-load ended up being accomplished three days ahead of schedule, on-time and under budget. Port Director Marc Van Dongen was enthusiastic about what this means for Port MacKenzie. “We’re excited to have this new commodity and expanding our capabilities here at the port.”


Watch the video here:



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




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



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.



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



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  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  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

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






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.


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.


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.



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.



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.



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.




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.


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.



McRoberts Creek update

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


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.


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.  

Last night, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly adopted a new mill levy of 9.662 after just two nights of deliberations. Right now, the ending fiscal year's mill levy is 9.85. Even with the lower tax rate the new budget includes debt for new school construction projects and a comprehensive list of appropriations for education, infrastructure, new hires, causes, services, flood mitigation, cities, economic development, and recreation.


SART Supporters Recognized


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.


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.




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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:



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.



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.  


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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). 


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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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