A lot of interesting stuff has been happening in the MSB this Spring.
We should all try to figure out exactly what the MSB is up to because the MSB never, ever discloses an entire plan up front so people have to play a GUESSING GAME.
Here are some clues:
Today someone noticed a train on the Rail Spur and posted about it on one of the local Facebook groups:
Is the AK Railroad (with help from the State and MSB) going to begin working on the completion of the Rail Spur soon?
The Alaska Railroad Board discussed the A2A proposal at their most recent meeting but in EXECUTIVE SESSION:
The MSB is trying to plat a subdivision (“Iron Horse Run”) by the Rail Spur Corridor. It claims it has no set future plans for these parcels. Right.
The MSB quickly issued an RFP and approved a big project to pave/fix W. Susitna Parkway, which is the main road leading to the area of the proposed Iron Horse Run subdivision. Also – the project completion date is very fast. It must be done by June 20, 2019.
The fiscal note says that the funds are coming from a “State Grant.” This could be earthquake money…(However, I recall seeing some RSA meeting minutes that W. Susitna was NOT damaged in the earthquake, but I will check)…
So maybe this “State Grant” money is leftover State Grant money from the big Rail Spur grants. Does the MSB needs to make sure this road is in good shape for some sort of big industrial project being located nearby?
The MSB is trying to set up a some sort of quarry near Wolverine Lake. Members of the Lazy Mountain Community came to a recent Assembly meeting to complain that this was an absolutely terrible idea given the topography and the poor road there. Some of them mentioned that the plan was to transport the gravel from Lazy Mt. all the way to the Rail Spur at Point Mackenzie.
At last night’s meeting, this topic was brought up again by Assembly members George Mckee and Jim Sykes. Mckee said the idea was not workable because the road would need millions and millions of dollars of repairs first. Sykes asked why the MSB staff failed to ask the locals with knowledge before going ahead with the RFP.
MSB Manager Moosey, who seemed very defensive about the whole idea, said he was looking into the concerns but that there may be millions of dollars worth of riprap gravel there.
What does the MSB plan to do with the riprap? It is needed to finish the Rail Spur?
The MSB Planning Director wants to do away with setting up any more Lake Management Plans.
Why would the MSB want to get rid of the public’s ability to set up a lake management plan? Hmmm…
The “Iron Horse Run” subdivision borders some lakes and the proposed Wolverine Quarry borders Wolverine Lake.
MAYBE SO THE PUBLIC HAS NO RECOURSE IF/WHEN THE MSB TRIES TO SET UP INDUSTRIAL OPERATIONS ON THEIR LAKES?
UPDATE – found another clue –
Assembly Member Leonard’s proposed Ordinance re: Amending how the Motor Vehicle Tax revenues are distributed. He wants them distributed to all “service areas” – not just road service areas…and he wants these service areas to be allowed to use the funds for more than just road paving…He wants these “service areas” (i.e. Port Mac Service Area – which is our only special service area which fits his ordinance) to be allowed to use the Motor Vehicle Tax Revenues to build railroad crossings for example. Hmmm
Yet another clue –
MY CONCLUSION –
The MSB is going ahead with the A2A plan to ship Bitumen through our Valley with or without the Public’s approval. Everything is in motion. The public won’t get a chance to weigh in on this until it is far too late.
Here is what I think happens on a regular basis. The MSB Manager, Asst Mgr, Internal Auditor, Directors and the Attorney and their various consultants hold meetings (or a series of meetings) behind the scenes and plot out how they will make stuff happen (We need to go the Platting Board to do such and such; we need to get Public Works to issue an RFP for blah blah blah; we need the Planning Dept to get the Planning Board to gut the Lakes Management Plan procedure etc)..but they don’t disclose the entire PLAN to the public up front. They don’t explain that each piece is part and parcel of a much bigger project.