Matanuska Electric Association to Continue Discussions with Wasilla Planning and Zoning Committee Regarding Transmission Line Routing Proposal
Palmer, AK – On Tuesday, May 21 at 7pm, Matanuska Electric Association will continue its dialog with the Wasilla Planning and Zoning Commission regarding construction of electrical transmission lines along a portion of the Parks Highway Corridor in Wasilla. A week prior on the 14th, MEA began its discussion with the Commission, but after nearly 4 hours of presentations, community comments, and commissioner questions, the Commission voted to continue the hearing a week later. Additional public testimony may be taken at tonight's meeting, which begins at 7pm in Wasilla City Council Chambers.
MEA begin public discussions with the community regarding its transmission line routing options in September of 2012. Since then, seven public meetings have been held in and around Wasilla, including the recent meeting with the Wasilla Planning Commission and a presentation to the Mat Su Borough Planning Commission on May 20, 2013. MEA’s proposal is to follow the least-cost and least impact route option, along the Parks Highway corridor from its Hospital to Herning Substations. 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).
Matanuska Electric Association, Inc., Alaska’s oldest and second-largest electric cooperative, is owned and operated by its members. Covering more than 4,000 miles of power lines, MEA’s service area extends north past Talkeetna, over to the mighty Matanuska Glacier, and south to Eagle River. MEA was founded in 1941 by 201 colonist families, and celebrates 72 years of service in 2013 with nearly 58,000 points of service.