Gateway Communty Council

Bogard extI attended the Gateway Community Council meeting last night.? Community councils serve as local ?town meetings? for different parts of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.? They allow people to discuss issues concerning their neighborhood and?pass their concerns?to the borough assembly.

Among the issues discussed were:

  • Matanuska Electric Association plans for a coal fired power plant
  • Trunk Road realignment
  • Bogard Road extension to the Glenn Highway

The MEA coal fired power plant was the most contentious.? MEA currently buys all it?s power from Chugach Electric.? According to the?general manager?s report,?the contract with Chugach Electric?expires in 2015 so they are planning to bring their own generators online at this time.? They feel they will need about 200 megawatts of power and intend to build two 100 mw plants.? One will be gas powered and one coal powered.

The coal powered plant will use circulating fluidized bed technology which is said to reduce the pollution associated with burning coal.? This is the plant that proves contentious.? Many people associate coal with the dirty smoke stacks of the early industrial era.? I?m not really crazy about the smell of coal smoke myself but I?m willing to explore the issue with new technology.? We certainly have the resource here in the valley and I?m all for producing something for ourselves for a change.? Let?s just put it downwind of my house?

The Trunk Road realignment has been put off for another year.? I think I?ve heard that for about 10 years now.? But it really is moving forward this time.? DOT has actually acquired quite a bit of property along the right-of-way.? We know that is true because we are helping one couple buy a home with the money from the state.? Here is the current map for the new Trunk Road. Notice that it will pass directly east of Shellywoods Subdivision and also just east of Pioneer Peak Elementary.

Bogard Road Extension is moving forward. It is scheduled for construction in 2009.? Here is the current map showing the two alternatives.? There is a place on the website to leave comments should you have any.? It seems that Dowl Engineering is doing a good job using the web as a public meeting.?? This extension along with the Seldon extension out to Church Road will do a great job relieving the congestion on the Palmer-Wasilla Highway.

Speaking of the Palmer-Wasilla Highway, it sounds like there will be four added stop lights this summer.? There will be one at Equestrian Street, Wagon Road, Hyer Road, and one more location that I can?t recall.? I think I?ll use the Parks Highway from now on.