Nenana Borough Testimony

Land Grab

Land Grab


It is simple. I do NOT want a borough out here. IF I had wanted to live in a Borough, I would have continued to stay in the Fairbanks North Star Borough where I owned a home and some land. The steady rise in taxes was the determining factor in selling it all and moving out beyond the tentacles of power exerted by people elected to work on our behalf. But it never fails, as soon as they find themselves in a position to spend, they remember things they have seen in other places and decide that we will all benefit from expanding. They spend like drunken sailors on their first shore leave in a year. Sorry, Sailors, I know not all of you fall into that category. But Politicians seem to, nice until elected, then suddenly drink the koolaid and become bloated bureaucrats.
A Borough has no other duty than to appraise your property, and collect taxes on it. Once you have a Borough, you are stuck with it. Manley, Minto, Rampart, what have they said to make you think life will be any better overseen from Nenana by a group that can not spend within their means and are using you to bail them out of the hole they have dug themselves deeper and deeper into? This is not the first time Nenana has spent money it did not have.
Look back a very long ways to the village of Nenana getting an airstrip. They contracted my husband, Charlie Stowell, to construct a rough clearing and airstrip so they could show good faith in getting a real airport. He took his crew and equipment to Nenana and cleared the area and put in a rough airstrip that met the size requirments they asked for. As soon as he was finished and asked to be paid, he was informed there was no money, Sorry Charlie.
He told them at that time, if they had been honest with him from the start, he would have constructed it, but on his own, without having to pay his crew or pay the taxes, unemployment, social security etc. for that crew out of his own pocket. As it was, he footed the bill for the entire thing and never was paid a single dime for Nenana getting an airport.
Now Nenana again finds itself in deep doodoo and again wants someone else to bail them out. Well, just do like most of us do, learn to live within your means, Nenana.
What a turn around for Stevens village, if they are indeed in favor of becoming part of this Borough. Through all the years I have lived up here, any time any of the villages anywhere near them, Manley, Minto and Rampart, wanted to do anything to upgrade their ability to make their lives a bit easier, whether it was roads kept open, upgraded or being built, to exploration on their own lands, Stevens Village has made sure to oppose it. If there were hearings being held, it was a given, if they were there, they were opposed. Is it somehow because now you need something? Or have you decided to let other people pay for things you want?
Look to Delta to see the best way to continue as a free entity. Delta has successfully managed to ward off annexation and still be a viable community, without the overbearing presence of a taxing body hovering over them, waiting to pounce on anyone unable to pay their taxes for no services, just the fact that they have to live somewhere and are unlucky enough to be under the thumb of oppressive Borough government. Most people that live out of town and Borough do so for many reasons. Some of the best reasons are the fact it is the ONLY place a person truly owns their property. Anyone that can lose their property for nonpayment of taxes actually is only leasing their property from the Borough, with the Borough holding the power to foreclose on their land if they are ever unable to pay the assessed taxes.
The only reason Nenana wants such a huge amount of property to be under their thumb, is the amount of taxes they can raise and spend to their evil little heart’s content. At present, that would mostly be by taxing the pipeline and the two pump stations included in their massive grab. The gold mining at Livengood is a bonus, but Livengood was not included on areas notified or for hearings to be held. By the time the oil quits flowing, someone is going to have to pick up the slack from lost revenue. Guess what? That will be the rest of us caught in the eddies of their power hungry grab. We are already in compliance with State Law, being listed as an Unorganized Borough, we do not need to be in an organized Borough.

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A Small Rant

It seems like every time Politicians/City Council Members/Communities spend beyond their income, they start looking around for some Patsy to pay for their indiscretions and poor planning.
Currently, it looks like Nenana and Stevens Village have gotten themselves so deeply into debt that they are going for a major land grab by encompassing a huge chunk of the State for themselves a Borough. Yay for them, it sounds so good to have all that tax money pouring in for absolutely no services provided to the Patsies that will be forced to pay to live on their own land or lose their homes.
Why would anyone in their right mind blindly accept being forced into this new borough? There is absolutely no plus side for the people involved. I can see where Nenana and Stevens Village will come out ahead, someone will have to pay for their inability to live within their means. Their poor planning does not constitute an emergency for me. However, if they succeed in getting their new borough, then I will definitely have a major problem.
I live on a fixed income. There is little chance of getting a job out here to meet the cash that will be needed to pay property taxes. There are many in my position and if we lose our homes due to inability to pay property taxes, then we will become a drain on the nearest town which would be Fairbanks which would not even be the cause of our losing our homes yet bearing the brunt of supporting us. We get no services from the towns in question and that is fine, we do not ask for any. However, if we are going to be in the position of having to support their grandiose ideas of what they need in those towns, they better be offering some really good services to all of us living out here in the Bush.
It’s really great that Politicians live better off YOUR money than YOU can afford and expect YOU to be happy to keep supporting their lifestyle.