Say NO to an Expensive Industrial Road through the Watershed
On Tuesday, December 7, at 6 PM the Mat Su Borough Assembly will vote on the Phase III Memorandum of Understanding of predevelopment for the
West Susitna Access Road, an industrial thoroughfare that will bisect the Susitna River drainage.
With both a new Mayor and many new Assembly Members, public testimony is vital at this meeting. The Phase III MOU item is included in the consent agenda and has the potential to be rushed though without any public input.
Testimony will only be heard from the public during the general public comment period near the beginning of the meeting. This is a VERY IMPORTANT time to testify. AIDEA has been unable to justify costs, payments, legal responsibility, and actual benefits to the borough in any of their meetings.
This area of Alaska is a rich, biologically diverse area and is heavily relied on for subsistence and personal use harvests. The Western Susitna drainage is home to some of the most critical Chinook and Sockeye salmon habitat in Interior Alaska, the Susitna Flats State Game Refuge, state designated Recreational Rivers, and traditional territory of the Ahtna and Dena’ina people who continue to use the area today.
Before this valuable area is turned into a private industrial thoroughfare – with an estimated mining truck traveling through on a private gravel road every eight minutes-- Alaskans should have the opportunity to weigh in on the future of the area and who we want our tax dollars to benefit.
It's been more than a year since the Borough signed the Phase II MOU in which AIDEA said they would do public outreach. Almost none has been done. AIDEA did NOT follow though with any aspects of the Phase II MOU, why should we dedicate more time and money for a project they won't communicate the true purpose of or the true costs to the Borough, the land owners, business owners, lodge owners, and hunters and fishermen that rely on this area?
You must call in or attend in person to testify (Radio, Facebook, and Livestream do not have those options). Public testimony is accepted in person, telephonically or over email. Testimony will occur after each hearing item.
If you would like to be emailed or texted before this specific hearing item, email Melissa@SusitnaRiverCoalition.org to be placed on a “heads up” list.
The Mayor will announce if public testimony will start with in-person or remote participants.
The Mayor will announce when public testimony is happening. You can walk up to the podium at this time.
To testify over the phone, dial 1-855-225-2326 at the beginning of themeeting. Wait for the message “joining conference” – you will be automatically muted until it is time for public testimony.
When the Mayor announces public participation press *3 to raise your hand to speak. When it is your turn (you won’t know how many people are in front of you) you will hear a “ding” and “your line has been unmuted” it will now be your turn to testify.
When you are done testifying, you will be disconnected from the line and unable to hear the rest of the meeting. We suggest also having the livestream on mute in the background so you can continue listening to the meeting when you are done testifying.
If you'd like us to review or help you draft your testimony, we are here to help. Please email us to schedule a time to talk or send us your testimony for review by Monday afternoon at firstname.lastname@example.org and