Jody's Assembly News
Jody's Assembly News
From: Jody Simpson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2003 22:42:35 -0800
Subject: Coal Bed Methane info
Coal Bed Methane (CBM) , or Shallow Gas, drilling continues to be the hot topic of discussion around the Valley. Three community meetings were hosted by the Mat-Su Borough recently and all were very well attended. In response to a deluge of citizen requests, the State's Department of Natural Resources has extended the comment period on the proposed coal bed methane leases through November 14, 2003.
Here is the public notice on the state's website: http://www.dog.dnr.state.ak.us/oil/programs/shallowgas/susitna_extension_call.pdf
Here is a state site that includes a map of the leases already awarded and those under consideration:
Here is some information on State's Oil and Gas Division: http://www.dog.dnr.state.ak.us/oil/
Here is info on accessing the State Statutes and the Alaska Administrative Code: http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/statutes.htm and
Water rights have featured prominently in the CBM discussions.
Here is a DNR fact sheet on water rights: http://www.dnr.state.ak.us/mlw/water/mgmt/wrfact.htm
Here is the site for DNR's Division of Mining, Land and Water, and its water resources program, which includes downloadable forms for filing for water rights:
Here is information on the State's water quality standards: http://www.state.ak.us/dec/dawq/wqs/index.htm
According to a handout provided by DEC at recent meetings, DEC does not have a set of specific regulations for coal bed methane activity. Instead, as with mining, the regulations are within the authority of separate divisions of DEC. Here is a list of contacts for DEC staff:
Here is the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation's website: http://www.state.ak.us/dec/
Surface Water Discharges
Sharmon Stambaugh, Air and Water Quality, Water Discharge Permits, Anchorage, (907) 269-7565 Sharmon_Stambaugh@dec.state.ak.us <mailto:Sharmon_Stambaugh@dec.state.ak.us>
Greg Drzewiecki, Air and Water Quality, Non-Point Sources, Anchorage, (907) 269-7692 Greg_Drzewiecki@dec.state.ak.us
Oran Woolley, Environmental Health (Water Permits), Soldotna, (907) 262-5210 Extension 227 Oran_Woolley@dec.state.ak.us <mailto:Oran_Woolley@dec.state.ak.us>
Lynn Lowman, Environmental Health (Drinking Water Compliance),Wasilla, (907) 376-5038 Lynn_Lowman@dec.state.ak.us <mailto:Lynn_Lowman@dec.state.ak.us>
Solid Waste (Drill Cuttings Disposal)
Bob Blankenburg, Environmental Health (Solid Waste), Anchorage, (907) 269-7690 Bob_Blankenburg@dec.state.ak.us
Spill Prevention and Response
Lydia Miner, Spill Prevention and Response (Industry Preparedness), Anchorage, (907) 269-7680 Lydia_ Miner@dec.state.ak.us
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Assembly Report for 12/05/02 meeting jody simpson …892-5639…email@example.com
Common State and Federal Priorities for MSB and Municipality of Anchorage: On December 3, the Assembly adopted the following common federal and state legislative priorities for the MSB and the Municipality of Anchorage for 2003. These priorities were developed by reviewing last year's list of joint priorities and through discussions by both assemblies over the past year. The Anchorage Assembly should consider similar resolutions in the coming weeks. Joint MSB and MOA Federal Priorities are: Funding for Safe and Drug Free School Programs; Increase Funding for Special Education; Reauthorization of TEA –21; Increased Funding of Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT); Regional Trail Project; Funding Program for Marine Ports; Knik Arm Crossing – EIS; and Urban Wildland Interface Fire Prevention. Joint MSB and MOA State Priorities are: Full-Funding and Inflation-Proofing of Education Operating Assistance; Revision of Education Capital Project Criteria; Full-Funding of DOT/PF's Operation and Maintenance Budget; Full-Funding of State Parks Budget; Full-Funding of Capital Grant Matching Program; Full-Funding of Safe Communities and Revenue Sharing Programs; Glenn Highway Illumination - Knik Bridge to Eagle River; Full-Funding of Mandated Tax Exemption Programs; Knik Arm Crossing - EIS; Development of Regional Trail System; and Urban Wildland Interface Fire Prevention. Both bodies will consider and submit individual, municipality-specific lists to the state and federal delegations, as well. MSB will consider its lists at the December 17 regular meeting.
New School Bond Proposal: According to the Dec. 3 Manager’s Report, the School Board is considering four potential bond propositions: new sprinkler and fire alarm systems, with a 70/30 debt reimbursement, as well as a number of other projects that are eligible 60/40 debt reimbursement: a career/voc tech center, a nutrition center, a Wasilla area elementary school, a Palmer area elementary school, and permanent facilities for the Academy and Midnight Sun charter schools. The Assembly and School Board will discuss these bond propositions at a joint meeting in School Board chambers on December 10. A special public hearing on an ordinance authorizing the issuance of general obligation bonds and submitting the question of issuance to the voters has been tentatively set for January 14. If approved by the Assembly, this question would go to the voters in a special election in April, 2003.
Port MacKenzie: Also on December 3, the Assembly approved the addition of 3000 acres in the Lake Lorraine area to the port district. The additional acreage expands the total port district to some 8000 acres. Of that acreage, around 3000 acres are developable. The balance of the acreage is made up of wetlands or soils that will not support development. That land is valuable, however, in that it provides scenic and sound buffers, wildlife corridors, wetlands banking, and water quality recharge functions. There are 11 different studies or construction projects associated with the Port project in various stages of completion, from contour aerial mapping to gravel sampling to commodities studies to electric/telephone line installation. Also underway are environmental assessment and feasibility study of the Ferry and Deep Draft Dock proposals.
Parks Highway to Port MacKenzie Transportation Corridor: Tryck Nyman and Hayes has been retained to define rail and highway routing between the Parks Highway and Port MacKenzie. The goal is to attract significant new shippers to the port by demonstrating advantages, including competitive shipping rates and convenient multi-modal access. TNH will be reviewing the alternatives previously identified. The Assembly selected a preferred route in 1992 that runs from Houston through the Big Lake area to the port. In response to community input, the scope of work has been changed to allow review of a route between the Willow area and the port. The Federal Highways Administration provided funding for this study. For more information, contact Norm Gutcher at 279-0543 or 1-800-770-0543 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Emergency Services: The Borough’s Division of Emergency Services is compiling and analyzing response time data on all ambulance services since the July 1 reorganization. According to Interim DES Director Jack Krill, the response data in the first four months of FY 03 indicates that there has been a “remarkable improvement in the overall emergency response capabilities of all services.” According to Krill, the average response times for all borough ambulance services for FY02 was 18 minutes. For the first four months of FY 03, the average response time was 7 minutes and 30 seconds. Response times for Wasilla Ambulance dropped from and average of 15 minutes in FY 02 to two minutes so far this year. Response time for the Big Lake/Meadow Lakes district fell from 19 minutes to six minutes. DES will continue to track this data through the remainder of the year.
Trails: MSB and State Parks continue work on dedicating the portion of the Iron Dog trail that runs from Crooked Lake toward Little Cow Lake and back down to intersect with the existing Crooked Lake Trail. DNR is currently soliciting public comment on the creation of a multi-use 50-foot winter-use-only trail. Comments should be submitted by December 23, 2002, to Cliff Larson at email@example.com , 269-8508 or fax 269-8913. MSB is finalizing the details on a cooperative management agreement with the Aurora Dog Mushers Club and DNR for the sled dog mushing track system south of Big Lake. WM Contracting has completed work on the Ayrshire Road trailhead in the Point Mac area. In addition, MSB was awarded more than $50,000 in SnoTRAC grant funds through the State’s Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. Borough projects are: West Lakes Blvd. Trail Tube, $15,000; Alaska Snow Cats, Petersville Road grooming and signing, $15,000; BAART, $15,000; and Lake Louise Wolf Pack youth snowmachine safety program, $5,250.
The Assembly and the School Board meet jointly at 6 p.m. this evening in School Board chambers at Palmer High to discuss $81 million in two proposed bond propositions:
1) Under a 70/30 debt reimbursement scenario:
Palmer Jr.Middle - sprinklers and piping ~$1.23 million
Iditarod, Snowshoe and Su Valley - fire alarm systems $550,000
Big Lake Elementary - siding and door/window replacement $200,000
Colony High - ventilation improvements $200,000
Administration Bldg (Sherrod retrofit) $3,500,000
2) Under a 60/40 debt reimbursement scenario:
Career/voc tech center - $18,600,00
Nutrition Services Facility - $12,000,000
Iditarod Remodel - $400,000
Wasilla area elementary school - 12,000,000
Palmer Alternative, Phase 11 - $1,000,000
Palmer area elementary school - $12,000,000
Permanent facility for the Academy Charter School - $7,800,000
Permanent facility for Midnight Sun Family Learning Center Charter School (incl site acquisition)- ~$8.1 million
The corresponding mill rate equivalent for the 70/30 projects is estimated at 0.042 mills. The mill rate equivalent for the 60/40 projects is estimated at 0.746 mills. The bond proposition would also include issuance costs and could be as much as 0.010 mills. The cost for a special election could be somewhere around $35,000.
A special public hearing on an ordinance that would authorize the issuance of general obligation bonds and submit the question of issuance to the voters has been tentatively set for January 14, 2003. If approved by the Assembly, this question would go to the voters in a special election in April, 1, 2003.