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U.S. transportation secretary visits Alaska

By Dave Leval 5:06 PM August 14, 2014
WASILLA –

It’s not surprising Anthony Foxx is a big supporter of planes, trains and automobiles.

He deals with them on a daily basis as the nation’s transportation secretary.

Folks in the Mat-Su Valley are hoping they have Foxx’s support.

The borough is racing the clock as it has less than 30 days to repay a $12.3 million federal grant.

The borough received the money years ago for the failed Susitna ferry project that would have connected the Valley with Anchorage.

It’s not looking good for the borough.

“The reality is, unfortunately in this situation, we’re having to take action we’d rather not be taking,” Foxx said.

Foxx met with borough leaders in Wasilla Thursday to discuss various transportation issues.

However, some leaders wanted to discuss their options regarding the ferry.

“We understand our responsibility,” said Mat-Su Borough Manager John Moosey. “But, also, we want to emphasize the impact it’s going to have on our community — $12.3 million, to put it in perspective, is about 25 percent of my annual general fund operating budget.”

Moosey is hoping Foxx will give the borough more time to repay the money, and possibly not all of it.

He and the rest of the borough Assembly will discuss their options during the Aug. 21 meeting in Palmer that starts at 3 p.m.

Sen. Mark Begich is the one who invited Foxx to Alaska. The two men will travel to Nome and the village of Unalakleet on Friday.

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