Your local forum for discussion, participation and comment in matters of concern to the community. WACO promotes the social, cultural and economic welfare of the Willow area.
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This website is a service for the community of Willow, Alaska. Find WACO meeting minutes and agendas as well as information about committees, the community center and, local groups. Committee and group news or announcements are also posted as received. View the calendar for the schedule of local activities/events.

WACO meetings are the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00 PM at the Willow Community Center.

WACO Meetings

WACO Community Meeting

The first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM

Willow Community Center

Latest News

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WACO Board/Community Meeting 10/6/21
Call to order: 700pm

Quorum - 7 board members and 5 community members

Pledge deferred
August minutes deferred

Agenda accepted – additions added to reports in the consent agenda:
Matt Beck added to persons to be heard.
From the chair - Regarding Liability Insurance, Linda had a phone meeting with Matt and Jennifer Evans of Northern Advantage Agency who are brokers for Church Mutual. This insurance company focuses on non-profits, both 501c3’s & 501c4’s. (We are a 501c4) They would add all of our grooming equipment into the coverage (currently only one piece of owned equipment is covered for loss but they are all covered for use) and they expect that the price will remain about the same as it is with Integra. They are looking into adding coverage for increased use of the ice rink and looking into directors insurance.
Currently we have only the basic insurance which excludes anything not stated as covered. Their goal is for us to get ‘special form’ which covers everything unless it is stated as excluded so would no longer need special event insurance. They will be attending our next meeting with a quote. It sounds very promising. Our policy runs through December 20 so if we decide to switch, hopefully we can just switch over then and only pay one company.
LeeAnn will hold off discussing the tshirt art update until the next carnival meeting.
Youth Forum will meet at Newman Park 7 October at 1pm.

News from the Borough with Tam - 23 October is National Prescription Take Back Day at the community center from 10a - 2pm
18 October is early voting in Houston.
2 November is election day at the elementary school.
Election officials still needed. You can apply to the borough online, training is required and it pays approximately $200.00. Hours are 6a-about 9-10P.
There are 3 candidates on the ballot for mayor but Caudle has pulled out of the race. Tam Boeve and Ron Bernier are running for assembly. Also on the ballot; a $60M road package.
16 November is Mayor Halters last assembly meeting.
The Mat-Su Borough uses a fog machine to disinfect and we could possibly use it before and after WACO meetings.

New business –
Lisa - how should we get back into the community center? We should be able to get back in by 1 November and once we have the building back we can set our own rules. No insurance covers covid but if we do all possible for prevention, we cannot be held liable. So we need to decide what type of guidelines we would like to put in place. As far as anyone knows, no one has filed a claim based on covid. We are also checking into stronger filters.
The Iditarod is going to Nome no matter what. Everyone participating is vaccinated. They are not yet sure about using the community center. They may just use the outdoor areas. We do still have a lot of time to decide how this will affect the community and a lot could change in these months. We will find out when they need to know for sure that they can use the inside or outside. We are also checking to see if we are still on for 1 November.
After much discussion by all meeting attendees, we are putting off a decision on when or how to open until the next WACO meeting when we will decide on a solid plan for reopening so that we can set an expectation. The kitchen will need a full cleaning.

Community reports:
Chief Snell for Fire/EMS - Fire crew membership is up to 19. There were 21 calls in September. Fire with fatality yesterday. It has been found that most power outages by downed trees are in previous fire areas. Looking at possible further clearing. The dept. is ready for winter with snow tires and plows. Montana Mountain land has been purchased for better reception in the area. The library has been inspected and found to be very well protected. It’s Fire Prevention Month and they are looking into an outdoor activity at the ice rink.
Chief Snell thanked Tam Boeve for all of her support of the fire dept. and there may be a new public safety building.
Julie Mitchell- The library has now been open for 2 weeks and the meeting rooms are already being booked. 2/3 of the furniture has yet to arrive and there is a temporary front door but the parking lot is now nicely lit.
Dog Mushers - There will be a rabies clinic this Saturday from 10a - 2pm at the Baptist Church and all are welcome.
WHWF - There was a recent Open House which was required for a received grant. Some finishing products are still on back order and they acquired an additional $100,000 for a well, septic and restrooms. An opening date is being discussed.

Person of interest - Matt Beck - Running for mayor.
Served 2 terms on the sssembly. Please ask any questions you may have via email.
Brenda McCain (CERT)- Tomorrow the State of Alaska will be at the elementary school with flu, covid and booster shots. And again the following day at Susitna High School.

Adjourn 845pm

Attending – Linda Oxley, Lisa Schooler-Nuss, Debbie Cook, Al Felt, Barb Ensley, LeeAnn Reicks , Trygve Erickson, Tam Boeve, Brenda McCain, Steve Charles, Julie Mitchell and Chief Snell.

Respectfully submitted,


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Comment on Facebook

Tam Boeve regularly attends WACO meetings. Matthew Beck has attended the last two WACO meetings. Community Council meetings are a great way to stay informed on local issues.

Thank you for the update. Question : Can WACO invite Ms Boeve, Mr Bernier,also Edna Devries and Matthew Beck to an informal night for willow community? Can the library accommodate us? If not can the Willow School auditorium accommodate this? It would be so helpful to the community. Thank you 😊

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October Willow eBreeze - https://mailchi.mp/5fac307c3955/j1z4t300oh

Time to clean out the medicine cabinet and dispose of old medications safely! ... See MoreSee Less

Youth Forum Meeting
Thur. Oct. 7 at 1pm
Newman Park
Hope to see as many as possible for wrap up and updates on the summer park!
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Comment on Facebook

Glad to see most of the logs are original.

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Willow Winter
Carnival Meeting!
Tonight 6-8pm
Newman Park
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Notes on information provided by Sabrena Combs, long time MEA employee at WACO informational meeting September 1, 2021.

Being offered to the community because of concerns surrounding electricity outages and length of time for service to be resumed in areas of Willow service area.

Please call MEA directly for your specific home’s electrical issues: 907-745-3231 (main line) 907-746-7697 (outage line)

MEA will be having two Lunch and Learn seminars on net metering (solar, wind, etc.) on 14 and 21 September. The links to the Zoom sessions are on MEA Facebook page and website.

Electric charging stations are being installed in the Parks Highway corridor between Homer and Fairbanks.

There are currently 12 job openings with MEA. See MEA.COOP for more details regarding application.

Operation Roundup - apply for grants for nonprofits online. Third quarter deadline is September 30th.

Outages experienced in Willow-
Response time:
Crews are on the clock usually until 7pm. When an outage occurs after hours, crew members must be called in and there must be at least 2 people to go on a call. Crew members need to respond to the MEA stations within 40 minutes but holidays can take longer. Then the crew assures truck ready to go; usually takes about 2 hours to get to the area of the outage once MEA aware.

Planned outages are communicated to affected customers by email and website. Crews will do as much work as possible while the lines are live before having to cut power to finish maintenance.

Finding/fixing the acute problems:
Pings to towers can make it easier to isolate an outage but outside of their range, walking the line is required. Spruce bark beetle falling trees is a high cause of outages. Many spans of wire have been replaced that were over 35 yrs old with newer and bigger conductors installed, this has helped reduce overall numbers of outages.

MEA redirects current from the different substations which gets the power back up for many customers once they have narrowed the area for searching the outage source.

Communications staffs are on call 24/7 to update the website about outages. The on duty staff must notify these folks within 15 minutes who update from home computers.

Other info:
There were several scheduled outages during the early summer for various upgrade projects.
The July outage for 1000 customers was a giant tree down that required manual work including getting the equipment across the creek. This took significantly more time to resolve.
Danger tree requests can be filled out online for free removal of trees near residential power lines.
Damage from power surges can also sometimes be reimbursed by filling out an online form.
Off peak pricing is currently not cost effective but they are evaluating for the future.
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September 2021 Willow eBreeze - https://mailchi.mp/871788026113/d9hig9tko3

Comment on Facebook

There are no FDA approved shots in the U.S. so quit misleading people

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