Moose Pass Community
Comprehensive Plan Public Survey
Summaries of Written Comments
62 returned surveys, November 1991
Person states that visible dumpsters detract from scenic quality of highway.
Person favors plain‑view dumpsters.
Person favors Crown Point as auxiliary site.
Person would rather have events at the school.
Person suggests investigating acquisition of new hall.
Person states that the school should be the community hall.
Person states that the hall is adequate.
Person favors a new site that can accommodate park/hockey rink.
Person wants quality repair work.
Person favors existing site.
Person favors acquiring ball diamond site for community use.
Person favors using existing site as a fire station and building a new community center.
Person suggests adjusting wishes to ability to pay.
Re: Co-op central water system
No local resident would begrudge any other local resident from improving their living conditions. My negative response to this question is based on my belief that the residents would not want to bear the financial burden at this time. The problems of inadequate water quantity usually need to become serious before people are willing to bear the substantial financial burden of a community water system. In my experience, it is usually an inferior water quality that pushes small communities into a central water system. When water supplies become contaminated over a widespread area - often as indicated by illness and/or the presence of coliform bacterial in the water - then persons have little alternative but to consider a more reliable (but more expensive) community system.
In developing a community system, you will have to locate the funds for capital improvements, and you will need to address the ongoing operation and maintenance costs. "Locate funds" usually means finding grant funds - which invariably have strings attached. Grant funded systems are seldom designed for just the existing population - they are usually required to serve undeveloped lots also. Grant funded System designs are usually carefully scrutinized by the funding agency or the designated representative agency - often ADEC.
Capital improvement costs can be crudely broken into four categories: supply, storage, distribution, and administration.
1. Supply: If the equivalent of say 50 homes are connected to the system initially, with provisions for another 50 to be added later as the community grows, you will need a dependable year-round supply of at least 35 gallons per minute - possibly as much as 100 gpm. Unless there's a source that I'm not aware of, the most optimistic possibility would be development of a spring or stream above town. (Does that exist? I don't know.) Regardless of what is found, the source would have to meet strict ADEC standards. Chlorination would be required. If a surface source is developed, more sophisticated treatment might be mandated.
2. Storage: Any community system would have to have storage, which serves three basic functions. First, storage is needed for those times when the source is removed from service. Commonly you try to have at least one and sometimes two or more day's supply on hand at all times. Say 50,000 gallons as a rough guess. Second, storage is needed for those periods during the day when demand exceeds supply. Wild guess ‑ 20,000 gallons. Third, community systems are usually designed to serve a dual purpose, providing also water for fighting fires. That demand is commonly stipulated by the local fire marshal, or equivalent. The lowest fire storage quantity I have seen is 500 gpm for two hours, or 60,000 gallons. That is generally not considered adequate for any commercial establishments, unless they have sprinkler systems. Thus without doing any research, you can rough guess your storage requirements for this 100‑unit system at not less than 130,000 gallons. Based on my experience with regulatory agencies, I would not be surprised to find that a study would recommend 250,000 gallons or more.
3. Distribution: A network of small pipes could theoretically serve a community this small, but almost invariably the distribution system is designed to serve for fire protection also. If fire protection is included, a typical watermain will be 8-inches. Some short stubs might be as small as 6‑inches. Some long stretches may need to be bigger than 8-inches. The point to consider: that will cost $30 to $60 per foot installed.
4. Administration (including studies and design): Often overlooked in the early stages - will be not less than 25% of the capital cost.
Bottom line? A community system for Moose Pass designed to serve the equivalent of 100 homes would cost between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 assuming a reliable source can be found within a reasonable distance. Those figures are not an engineering estimate. That is simply a guess based on past experience. The question is not whether a system could be built for less. The question is whether ADEC would allow a lesser system to be built.
If funds are found to build such a system, the next (and major) question is how is it to be operated and maintained?
I have had experience with many small water systems in Alaska, California, and Hawaii. I don't recall ever seeing a community system of this size that I could say was well maintained. The problem is that there is insufficient revenue base to pay for a trained and licensed operator plus pay for vehicles, equipment, tools, chemicals, etc. Grant funding programs of which I am aware normally do not subsidize these types of costs. Figure what the operator, etc., would cost on an annual basis, and then divide by 100 and that will be roughly what each user will have to pay per year ‑ assuming that you have found a grant to fund 100 percent of the capital costs. If a lesser capital grant is offered, then capital amortization will need to be added to the O&M costs.
I sincerely hope that the above doesn't sound too negative. I have seen (and participated in) too many studies which are gathering dust on the shelf because the proposed costs were simply more than the community could afford.
Water quality is the big concern. Regardless of what is done, this is a potentially serious problem which cannot be ignored. Water supplies should be monitored for coliform bacteria and for nitrates. Excessive concentrations of either could indicate a life-threatening situation. Homeowners can obtain their own water samples, and have them tested for low cost. If significant contamination is found, then the cost concerns voiced above become secondary to the protection of human life.
Approach ADEC as lay citizens, and request assistance. ADEC generally wants the public to hire engineers to solve the problems. However they do have trained staff, and many are willing to help to the extent that they can. Sometimes they will take and test water samples. If nothing else, perhaps you could talk them into testing the samples obtained by the homeowners. This would need to be done on an ongoing continuous routine basis.
Regarding the problem of quantity, consider replacing conventional plumbing fixtures with water conserving fixtures. Water consumption can be cut in half with little sacrifice in lifestyle quality.
I don't mean this typed response to indicate that I consider this issue to be the most important one on the questionnaire. It is simply an issue in which I've had some training and experience and I hope that the
above comments might be useful.
Person mentions quiet, lack of traffic, respect for neighbors and respect for environment.
Person likes helpful neighbors and states that low development is essential.
Person states that to remain rural, Moose Pass should develop itself for itself, not for tourists. Rural means large amounts of undeveloped land.
Person opposes government.
Person mentions clean air and quiet.
Person mentions little development.
Person favors lack of zoning and lack of building restrictions.
Person favors zoning to preserve commercial center.
Person states Moose Pass is fine as is.
Person supports growth that is privately funded, environmentally safe and not detrimental to rural life‑style.
Person states that if he/she wanted growth then he/she would live in Seward.
Person wants little development and to keep lands wild.
Person states tourism is the easiest to pursue.
Person wants public land to remain public. States that only agencies that have resource managers should get public land. Opposes industry.
Person does not want growth.
Person favors hydroelectric development.
Person encourages tourists.
Person does not favor development and wants low impact, nonpolluting uses.
Person favors small business.
Person favors development controlled by community goals.
Person does not favor development and states that there is little interest in Moose Pass.
Person favors all Federal č State č Borough land conveyances being made homesites and states that Seward, not Moose Pass, should be the industrial area.
Person likes Moose Pass as it is now and seeks to avoid strip development, rural slums and conflicting uses.
Person states that tourist growth is good if managed.
Person states that growth is compatible with rural lifestyle.
Person states that industrial development is not compatible with Moose Pass.
Person favors handcraft/woodworking businesses.
Person would like to see small business and light industry, but without pollution.
BOROUGH/STATE LANDS CONVEYED TO PRIVATE
Person states that recreational lots shouldn't exceed 10% of total.
Person states that only a few lots should be offered.
Person favors recreational lots.
Person states that there is already enough private land and that the public land is for the public good.
Person does not want lands conveyed, would ruin area and lower value of existing lots.
Person does not favor public lands conveyed to private, too many places for sale already.
Person does not favor land conveyance and wants land left wild. Person does not want special areas conveyed.
Person wants residential lots made available in the future as needed and wants lands designated now for future use.
Person sees need for additional residential lots but also states that too many dwellings would disrupt rural appeal.
Person favors land conveyances for private, non‑commercial residences.
Person does not want land conveyances because of associated population growth.
Person feels that conveyances are inconsistent with rural lifestyle.
Person feels that multi‑family units should be accommodated within existing townsite.
Individuals are free to promote tourism at their own expense.
Person states that tourists are annoying and private funds can promote tourism.
Person wants slow, careful growth.
Person states that more access promotes more tourism and that private dollars can develop private facilities while public dollars can develop public lands.
Person does not want tourist development and states that no public dollars should be spent to promote private business.
Person does not want tourism.
Person favors tourism.
Person states that only private money should promote tourism.
Person states that tourism is clean but does not want too much.
Person states that there is already adequate development and that more people will further lessen the area's appeal.
Person wants area to stay as is and not be developed for tourists.
Person does not favor public funding of tourism promotion.
Person does not favor public funding of tourism promotion.
Person feels that visitor's bureau does a fine job.
Person favors lodging and recreational cabins.
Person states that existing laws already address this and that
local law would not have prevented the 1986 formaldehyde spill.
Person favors Borough development of park with campground nearby.
Person wants it left alone.
Person states that if the Borough gets the diamond, then Moose Pass won't have a say in its management.
Person states that it should be community property for community events.
Person favors development and a charge for its use.
Person favors Borough developing the area for day use only.
Person opposes overnight camping.
Person favors leaving as is.
Person states Moose Pass has no means to manage area.
Person favors park, but not RV park.
Person favors development of facilities.
Person favors creating community park with camping limited or prohibited.
Person is concerned about litter/sanitation.
Person wants it closed.
Person does not want rights-of‑way across private land.
Person states that easements would be adequate.
Person does not want trail rights‑of‑way on private land.
Person thinks that there are already rights‑of‑way across public lands.
SPRUCE BARK BEETLE INFESTATION
Person wants action now.
Person says NO to herbicides.
Person favors prescribed fire and opposes herbicides and pesticides.
Person favors prescribed fires.
Person thinks that the Forest Service won't make plans or take aggressive action concerning beetles.
Person states that Moose Pass should concentrate on manageable things such as bike path, community hall, ball diamond and not on big things such as a hockey rink.
Person expresses concern that two people from same household serve on the commission.
Comment 1: I think it is good the community plans ahead for its future potential growth, but please try to not use the bikepaths to segregate nature and human or business growth: growth can complement nature if carefully planned.
Comment 2: It is important now to analyze potential dangers, and it is best to be cautious and protective, rather than lose a child's life. I place in your decisions the length of extensions needed to establish the possible protection.
Comment 3: Currently the family is not residing in the community. During the time of residency the dumpster sites were adequate. If the community is planning on growth - future dumpster locations should be planned. Maybe with a good selection of bushes and trees -- in time a proper screening will develop.
Comment 4: Naturally, yes to all three. All adults are responsible for all children. Kids need all the education and support they can get. If we don't plan ahead, how can we expect our children to be able to plan ahead?
Comment 5: Again the community has the chance to expand and try to plan. If the borough or state does the planning then little will be left for the community
Comment 6: It is a lot cheaper now then it will be later. If there is no site to relocate for future expansion then work and plan with what you have. Maybe the library and community hall could be combined!
Comment 7: As our property does not have a well or septic system, we cannot state the quality of water. I feel a community well, if one is created, should be for emergency supply only and not used for normal supply.
Comment 8: Public money should never be used to promote economic development. Public money can be used to enhance development, i.e., good schools, police and fire protection, low taxes, etc. As far conveying public land to private holdings -- this should only happen after extensive planning. The importance of value to your statements are as follows: 1,7,4,8,12,2,10,3,11,9,5,6.
Comment 9: If the state and borough obtains some land, naturally Moose Pass will or should be able to obtain some land. Some land can be set aside for future growth that will restrict the impact of other lands being conveyed to private lands. If some lands are set aside for the town -- the town should support private property, which in turn will help support the public lands through taxes.
Comment 10: If the state gets land (and the borough), the land can be obtained for community and private growth. This can also be accomplished without the extra land. With hope and foresight private business can provide its own financing. The town can enhance growth by keeping the taxes lower, not being over restrictive in zoning, support and creating public events, etc.
Comment 11: Just by living humans create wastes, that are problems: some even toxic and hazardous. I suggest the committee plan now for the wastes they have now and plan now for the future. Naturally I suggest we keep all industries out -- that cannot prove they can control and contain its wastes. I also feel the town can stop the state or borough by zoning and other measures.
Comment 12: To this problem I can only suggest an idea. If part of the ball park is large enough and if the layout is arranged well enough -- why not prepare part of the park for RV camping and charge a nominal fee. That fee could help support the ballpark.
Comment 13: Develop the trails and protect the area now -- while it is not too late.
Comment 14: There are always alternatives to chemicals. Surely, the Spruce Bark Beetle has natural enemies, besides man.
Originally, I obtained the patent, and then it was transferred to my folks. I have answered these questions since I know the area better. I will participate in learning fire fighting and I can also be at your disposal, to help, if you request.
3901 Merrill Dr.
Anchorage, Alaska 99517