$78M Alaskan ferry free to any good government entity
ANCHORAGE — Take my ferry. Please.
An Alaska borough stuck with a $90,000 monthly bill for maintaining a ferry it cannot use is offering the $78 million vessel free to any government entity — federal, state or local — that will have it.
The Matanuska-Susitna Borough also will consider selling the ferry, the 200-foot Matanuska, for pennies on the dollar to a private company.
The borough appealed for a taker last week with a letter to the Passenger Vessel Association, a trade group for companies that operate ferries, dinner cruises, tour boats and gambling boats.
“We're trying to hook a buyer, and those are folks who might be using or needing ferries,” said borough spokeswoman Patty Sullivan.
If sold to a private entity, Sullivan said, the borough is seeking $7 million to cover the cost of paying back federal grants that may have to be reimbursed if the ferry is not used for municipal public transportation.
The largest communities in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough are about an hour's drive from Anchorage over a sometimes icy highway. Mat-Su officials have long dreamed of shortening the commute with a two-mile crossing over Knik Arm, a finger of saltwater separating Alaska's most populous area with one that has room to grow.
The borough more than a decade ago sought help from the federal government.
Former Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, promoted a plan to have a ferry funded by the Defense Department. The Navy paid for the vessel as a high-speed prototype of an amphibious landing craft for northern climates.
Prototypes often are scrapped, Sullivan said, but in this case, a deal was struck for the boat to move Alaska commuters as the Navy monitored how it performed.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Some Texans fear military training mission has ulterior motives at Obama’s direction
- Obama’s planned trip to Ethiopia riles some emigres
- Anti-Clinton crowd looks left to Sanders
- Volunteers key in marine rescues
- Pentagon leery of Russia’s ‘hybrid warfare’
- Believers at S.C. church acknowledge pain, anger challenge their tenets
- After year of Washington legal pot sales, taxes top $70M
- Arizona prison says 700 inmates again ‘refusing to comply’
- Washington’s wildfire season gets off to an early, unprecedented start
- 66 riders safely evacuated as 400-foot Ferris wheel stops in Florida
- After years in obscurity, Medal of Honor recipient to be reburied with military honors