Legislature(2011 - 2012)BARNES 124

03/21/2011 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 189(RES) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 89(RES) Out of Committee
         HB 146-LAND TRANSFER FROM STATE AND ALASKA RR                                                                      
2:04:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SEATON announced  that the next order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL  NO. 146, "An Act authorizing the  transfer of land                                                               
from the State  of Alaska and the Alaska  Railroad Corporation to                                                               
property owners  along the Eielson  Spur Line; and  providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
2:04:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  SEATON moved  to adopt  CSHB 146,  Version 27-LS0505\M,                                                               
Kane, 2/10/11, as the working document.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON objected.                                                                                              
2:05:01 PM                                                                                                                    
RICK  VANDERKOLK,  Staff,  Representative Tammie  Wilson,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, pointed  out that  the change  encompassed in                                                               
Version M  can be  found on  page 2, line  18. He  explained that                                                               
language was intended  to deal with different  abutting owners on                                                               
each side  of a right-of-way.   The original  legislation implied                                                               
that the right-of-way  could be conveyed to  another person other                                                               
than  the adjoining  land owner,  which Version  M corrects.   He                                                               
characterized it as a technical change.                                                                                         
2:05:56 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  asked if  Section  2 of  Version M  is                                                               
entirely new.                                                                                                                   
MR. VANDERKOLK  replied no, just  the language change on  page 2,                                                               
line 18.                                                                                                                        
CO-CHAIR  SEATON  clarified  that  Section  2  is  adding  a  new                                                               
section, and  therefore no existing  law is being  changed rather                                                               
changes were made to the proposed new language.                                                                                 
MR. VANDERKOLK noted his agreement.                                                                                             
2:07:03 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  VANDERKOLK  informed the  committee  that  in 2003  Congress                                                               
repealed  the  right-of-way  reversion provision  in  the  Alaska                                                               
Railroad Transfer  Act (ARTA).   This legislation,  he explained,                                                               
reinstates the  mechanism for landowners  along the  Eielson Spur                                                               
to receive ownership  of their property after the  easement is no                                                               
longer in use.  He emphasized  that HB 146 is only for landowners                                                               
along  the  Eielson  Spur.    He then  related  that  the  Alaska                                                               
Railroad  Corporation (ARRC)  supports this  amendment [to  ARTA]                                                               
and the  committee packet includes  a letter from the  ARRC Board                                                               
chairman.  Mr.  VanderKolk explained that in  2000 ARRC requested                                                               
assistance from  Alaska's congressional delegation  and questions                                                               
arose from  the first rail alignments  as some of the  spur lines                                                               
hadn't been used since 1985.   The simplest solution at that time                                                               
was  to repeal  section 1209  of  ARTA.   However, an  unintended                                                               
consequence  of the  repeal was  that  the reversionary  property                                                               
rights the  abutting owners had  was repealed in 2003,  which was                                                               
realized by  some property  owners in  2006.   The aforementioned                                                               
was brought to the attention of ARRC, which supports HB 146.                                                                    
2:08:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SEATON  inquired as  to why [section  1209 of  ARTA] was                                                               
MR.  VANDERKOLK clarified  that there  were some  alignment title                                                               
issues that had to be addressed.                                                                                                
2:09:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER  asked if the  land is supposed  to revert                                                               
to the  previous owner or  is land that is  no longer in  use and                                                               
merely abuts the landowner's land given to the landowner.                                                                       
MR. VANDERKOLK  answered that the  legislation intends  to return                                                               
the landowner's  previous rights in  the event that  all entities                                                               
discontinue use of the right-of-way.                                                                                            
2:09:56 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARDNER inquired  as to how the  ARRC acquired the                                                               
right-of-way from the original landowners.                                                                                      
MR. VANDERKOLK deferred to the ARRC attorney.                                                                                   
2:11:03 PM                                                                                                                    
BILL HUPPRICH,  Vice President, General Counsel,  Alaska Railroad                                                               
Corporation, explained  that this  matter goes  back to  the 1914                                                               
act  that authorized  the construction  of  the Alaska  Railroad.                                                               
Pursuant to that act, the  federal government reserved a 200-foot                                                               
right-of-way for  the construction  of railroads,  telegraph, and                                                               
telephone lines  across all federally  owned land in Alaska.   At                                                               
that time, every acre of land  in Alaska was owned by the federal                                                               
government.  Construction  of the railroad began in  1916 and was                                                               
completed in  1921.  Then World  War II occurred and  in 1947 the                                                               
U.S. Army decided  that a railroad needed to  be constructed from                                                               
the terminus  of the  original railroad at  Fairbanks to  what is                                                               
now known as Eielson Air Force  Base.  By that time several folks                                                               
had  homesteaded   along  the  proposed  railroad   route.    The                                                               
homesteading  documents   and  eventual  patents  for   the  land                                                               
included  a  reservation  for a  200-foot  right-of-way  for  the                                                               
Alaska Railroad.   Based on that reservation, when  the U.S. Army                                                               
constructed  the  Eielson branch,  it  exercised  that right  and                                                               
didn't have  to pay any  of the homesteaders along  the right-of-                                                               
way for any land.                                                                                                               
2:13:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SEATON returned the gavel to Co-Chair Feige.                                                                           
2:13:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  P. WILSON  related  her  understanding that  this                                                               
isn't all  of the land owned  by ARRC, but only  the Eielson Spur                                                               
line that hasn't been used by  ARRC for 18 continuous years.  She                                                               
further related  her understanding that the  landowner would also                                                               
have to request return of the land.                                                                                             
MR. VANDERKOLK said that is correct.                                                                                            
2:14:36 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ inquired  as to what happens  in a situation                                                               
in  which  the  land  has  been sold  numerous  times  since  the                                                               
original act.                                                                                                                   
MR.  VANDERKOLK  answered  that he  believes  the  current  owner                                                               
abutting the right-of-way will [receive the right-of-way land].                                                                 
2:15:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER inquired  as to  why HB  146 should  only                                                               
apply to the Eielson Spur [right-of-way land].                                                                                  
MR. VANDERKOLK deferred to Mr. Hupprich.                                                                                        
MR. HUPPRICH explained  that it only applies to  the Eielson Spur                                                               
because  that branch  is unique  as it  wasn't constructed  until                                                               
1947 at  which time there were  a handful of homesteaders  on the                                                               
Eielson branch.   The aforementioned  situation is unique  to the                                                               
Eielson Spur and is unlike any  other area of the railroad, which                                                               
stretches  from  Seward  to Fairbanks.    When  construction  was                                                               
completed  in  1921, there  were  no  other landowners  that  had                                                               
patents to  the land along  the railroad right-of-way.   However,                                                               
by 1947  people were starting  to move  into the state  and along                                                               
the Eielson Spur there were five to six homesteaders.                                                                           
2:17:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  FEIGE  pointed out  that  there  are existing  railroad                                                               
rights-of-way, specifically  along the Matanuska  River, although                                                               
the tracks  were taken up  years ago.  He  asked if HB  146 would                                                               
apply to those properties along those existing rights-of-way.                                                                   
MR. HUPPRICH replied no, and specified  that HB 146 is written to                                                               
only apply to the Eielson Spur.                                                                                                 
2:17:47 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON asked  if  the military  used the  Eielson                                                               
Spur right-of-way to  move artillery and tanks  to training sites                                                               
in the Tanana  Valley.  He then asked whether  the military needs                                                               
that right-of-way any longer.                                                                                                   
MR. HUPPRICH  clarified that the  right-of-way is owned  by ARRC,                                                               
not the U.S. military.  The  ARRC routinely runs trains into Fort                                                               
Wainwright  and  Eielson  Air Force  Base  for  various  reasons,                                                               
including to bring coal into  the bases for the coal-fired plants                                                               
and to move  the Stryker Brigade.  Therefore,  the [rail service]                                                               
is still needed for military purposes.                                                                                          
2:19:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR FEIGE announced that HB 146 would be held over.                                                                        
2:19:48 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 2:19 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB0146A.PDF HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 146
HB0146B.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 146
HB146 Sponsor Statement.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 146
HB 146 Request for Hearing_HRES_.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 146
HB146-CCED-ARRC-02-25-11.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 146
HB 146 Chronolgy Final.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 146
Dec_17_RR_letter[1].pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
Corp_ARTA_2005_excerpt.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 189 Hearing Request.PDF HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 189
HB 189 Sponsor Statement.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 189
HB0189A.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 189
HB189-DOR-AHFC-03-18-11 AGDC.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 189
Legal Opinion-Confidentiality.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 369.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HB 369
AS01.10.070.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
AS38.34.030.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
AS38.34.050.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
AS40.25.110.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
AS40.25.120.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
AS40.25.220.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HJR 21 Hearing Request.PDF HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HJR 21 sectional.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HJR 21 Fiscal Note.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HJR021A.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HJR 21 Sponsor Statement.PDF HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
HJR 21 Powerpoint.pptx HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
land ownership.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
S.O. 3310 Congress bypass.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
S.O. 3310 Land use planning.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
S.O. 3310 parnell reax.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
S.O. 3310 release.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
S.O. 3310 Wilderness Inventory.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
S.O. 3310.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
Who owns AK Map.pdf HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM
Media Advisory on Oversight Hearing on Wild Lands Policy.PDF HRES 3/21/2011 1:00:00 PM