PALMER — After two months, Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman Mokie Tew’s amendment on 20-014, the Road Improvement Projects list for the Big Lake Road Service Area, passed as amended on Tuesday night. Tew’s amendment moved to increase road reconstruction allocation to $155,000 and decrease calcium chloride treatments to $35,000.
“They gave me time to go back in front of the RSA board and talk to those folks about it and also the Big Lake Community Council, talked to those folks about it and I got overwhelming support at both of them but I am glad I had the opportunity to go talk to those folks and let them weigh in but I was glad that I got huge support,” said Tew.
The RIP list was initially presented on December 15 and postponed until the January 5 meeting. After reconsideration to divide the question on the Action Memorandum, it came before the Assembly on Tuesday under Unfinished Business. Despite the lengthy process, Tew did not receive unanimous approval for his amendment from the other Assembly members.
“It’s my understanding that that was not the resolution passed by the RSA board and that they in fact wanted the entire $135,000 to be appropriated for road improvements with nothing for the calcium chloride,” said Deputy Mayor Tam Boeve.
Tew represents District 5, which includes the majority of the District 21 RSA, however a small portion is in District 7 which is represented by Boeve.
“I take notice when RSA’s in my area are upset about things that are happening, primarily that they feel like their voice is being overridden at the last minute, so that seems to be what upset people in this, that there is a process that they think they understand and now there is a new process taking place,” said Assemblywoman Stephanie Nowers. “Just going by what has been submitted to us, so I’m having a hard time reconciling what they wrote which is that they want the $135,000 to go to reconditioned roads with what you’re doing, so I just have what’s in front of us and I do respect that you are the Assembly member for them but what I have in front for the RSA for that area is different than what you’re proposing.”
“I was at that RSA meeting and I stood up and spoke in front of all the folks there and I asked the question who wants dust control raise their hand, and over half the room raised their hand that they want dust control,” said Tew. “Exactly how their paperwork came out how it is, I’m telling you what the people wanted and that’s what they wanted and I’m sticking to what I did.”
The motion to pass Tew’s amendment passed 5-2 with only Boeve and Nowers voting in opposition.