MEA to Present Transmission Line Routing Proposal to Wasilla Planning and Zoning Commission
Palmer, AK – On Tuesday, May 14 at 7 p.m., Matanuska Electric Association will seek approval by the Wasilla Planning and Zoning Commission for construction of new transmission lines along the Parks Highway. MEA’s proposal is to follow the least-cost and least impact route option. The City of Wasilla Administration has expressed strong opposition to the proposed route and has instead pushed for either undergrounding the transmission system upgrades along the Parks (at an additional cost of approximately $31 million) or to move the project out of the City by following Fairview Loop to Cottle Substation (with an additional cost of approximately $4.175 million and significant additional impacts on residential properties).
On Monday, May 13, Matanuska Electric Association was slated to address the Wasilla City Council itself about the issue in an informational presentation designed to get the elected body up to speed on the project prior to the Tuesday Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. The presentation was at the request of Wasilla Councilwoman Dianne Woodruff, who expressed strong concerns that the Mayor and staff were “presenting Wasilla’s official opposition to MEA’s preferred route without consulting with the City Council or Planning Commission.” However, in a 5-2 vote on Monday night, MEA was dropped from the agenda by the City Council. Councilman Brandon Wall supported Councilwoman Woodruff’s request that the presentation go forward, while Councilmembers Steven Lovell, Leone Harris, A. Clark Buswell, Colleen Sullivan-Leonard, and Mayor Verne Rupright voted to eliminate the discussion.