European company bids on unwanted Susitna ferry
Authorities at the Matanuska Susitna Borough Friday opened a single bid for the ice breaking ferry, Susitna. Borough spokesperson Patty Sullivan says the bid came from Europe.
“The sealed bid was opened today from a Dutch marine company and they offered $751,000 to buy the Susitna ferry.”
The bid came from Workships Contractors, BV based in Rotterdam.
But Sullivan said Borough officials are not making any decisions on the sale of the ferry just yet. There are other options on the table
“It was one bid, and that is one option. There is also still on the table, the avenue of transferring the vessel for free to an eligible government entity in the US who would put it into ferry service. And the Borough is also accepting unsolicited bids to buy the ship.”
She says the sealed bids were an official process, but the Borough will consider an unsolicited bid if one comes in.
“What’s going to happen next, is the [Borough] manager will talk with the FTA, the Federal Transit Administration, and learn our options. If the Borough sells the ship to a private company, we would like to know what amount of our financial obligation is relieved. If the Borough gave the ship to a government entity in the US, how much of the financial obligation would be relieved. So we need to know those answers before the decision makers can take a look at it.”
Any action on the ferry has to be approved by the Borough Assembly. Sullivan says that two US government agencies have expressed interest in the ferry. Letters have been received from Los Angeles County, which would like to use the ferry between LA and Catalina Island, and the US Virgin Islands would like to use it on a run between two islands.
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