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Monday, August 21 2017 @ 03:44 PM AKDT

Public Notice - Acquisition, Big Lake

Public NoticesSubmitted by a Reader

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough (MSB), Land & Resource Management Division, proposes to acquire Government Lot 16 (MSB Tax #17N04W27C020) from the Mental Health Trust Land Office (MHTLO) for purpose of retaining the parcel for public use. The parcel has been used for many years as a connector for the Big Lake Trail system (aka ice road) between Flat Lake and Mirror Lake. The channel between the two lakes rarely freezes; therefore, the trail has traversed across uplands owned by MHTLO. The Trust Office proposes to sell the parcel under competitive bid which could cut off access and the borough proposes to purchase the land for its assessed value in order to ensure public access and use in perpetuity.

Supporting material is available for public inspection during normal business hours on the 2nd floor of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough building in the Land Management Division, 350 E. Dahlia Ave, Palmer, AK 99645 or visit the Public Notice Section on the borough’s web page www.matsugov.us. Public comment is invited on this request. If you have any comments please mail or deliver them to the borough offices no later than April 30, 2017. If you have questions about this request: call Nancy Cameron at 861-7848 between 8:00-5:00, or you can send an e-mail to: LMB@matsugov.us (PLEASE REFER TO MSB007257 / MENTAL HEALTH LAND ACQ, WHEN SUBMITTING COMMENTS).

Source and More Information: https://www.matsugov.us/publicnotice/public-notice-acquisition

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Public Notice - Acquisition, Big Lake | 2 comments | Create New Account
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Public Notice - Acquisition
Authored by: Dan Mayfield on Tuesday, April 11 2017 @ 09:08 AM AKDT
Big Lake is connected to two other lakes via small water channels that were put in by the Army Corp of Engineers in the 60s and 70s. From East to west, you have Big Lake, connected to Mud Lake, connected to Flat Lake by these water channels. The land at Mud Lake was previously owned by the Mental Health Trust and the land at the Flat Lake channel is currently owned by the Mental Health Trust.

The further west you go on Big Lake, the fewer roads exist. Many residents and property owners on each of these lakes have water only access to their homes. During the summer, they must take a boat to and from their homes on Mud Lake and Flat Lake using the water channels. During the winter, volunteers plow a road network over the ice (the main road is called Ice 5) to gain access to their homes. Unfortunately, the water channels never freeze properly due to the constant flow of water between the lakes. Over the years, visitors and other inexperienced folks have sometimes attempted to drive their cars, trucks and other vehicles through the channel only to fall into the water causing many rescues in freezing cold water (visit www.flatlake.com for some recent pictures and stories). Due to safety concerns, the citizens who need access to their properties utilized the land next to the channels to develop overland passages between the lakes. These overland passages became important to commerce in the area, assured a minimum number of winter rescue efforts, provided access to owner properties in both summer and winter and provided access to recreational activities.

The problem is that these overland passages were and are in trespass on Mental Health Trust land. Even though these transportation corridors have been used for almost 50 years, the Mental Health Trust is not subject to prescriptive right claims. In 2011, the overland passage at the Big Lake/Mud Lake area was sold to a private party but before that sale was consummated, the Trust recognized the importance of the overland route to the local economy and required that a 25 foot wide easement be set aside for public access.

Acquiring an easement across the Flat Lake overland passage or developing a deal to trade other Borough land for that land has been rejected by the Mental Health Trust, however, they are interested in a sale to support their mission. I believe this purchase is in the best interest of the residents of District 5 and will return some benefit for the tax dollars these people pay with little return on their investment in services.
Public Notice - Acquisition
Authored by: DG on Tuesday, April 11 2017 @ 01:51 PM AKDT
Thank you for the extra information and clarification.