facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

$80 million boat gets $751,000 bid

March 31, 2013 at 2:07 AM   |   Comments

PALMER, Alaska, March 31 (UPI) -- An Alaska borough has found itself saddled with an $80 million boat it can't afford to keep and which attracted only a single bid of $751,000, officials say.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough, where Wasilla is the largest town with its 7,800 residents, got the pricey boat, named the Susitna, in 2011 through a partnership with the U.S. Navy. The local government had visions of using it as a ferry boat between Anchorage and Port MacKenzie while the Navy had in mind a fast landing craft, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The money to build it came mostly from the Defense Department thanks to earmarks inserted in the federal budget by then-U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who died in a 2010 plane crash, the newspaper said.

But officials for the borough, akin to a county government, haven't been able to arrange suitable docks or come up with a business plan that covers the overhead, which runs $75,000 a month for insurance, maintenance, fuel, docking fees and other expenses. The Susitna can carry 134 passengers but only 20 vehicles, and burns through 375 gallons of fuel an hour while similar ferries use about 55 gallons.

The Daily News said besides the $751,000 offer from Workships Contractors BV of the Netherlands, other parties that have expressed some interest include Los Angeles County, the U.S. Virgin Islands and a Danish entrepreneur representing Chinese investors interested in turning it into a floating casino off Singapore's coast.

"I was expecting more offers and higher offers, even if it was just for scrapping the vessel," said Marc Van Dongen, the borough's port director.

Topics: Ted Stevens
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
Merkel urges Putin to withdraw Russian troops from Ukraine Merkel urges Putin to withdraw Russian troops from Ukraine
2
Lindsey Graham fears ISIS will come kill us all, in a not at all hysterical way Lindsey Graham fears ISIS will come kill us all, in a not at all hysterical way
3
Shark attacks surfer at Santa Cruz beach Shark attacks surfer at Santa Cruz beach
4
Rush Limbaugh: Women actually are consenting when they say 'no' Rush Limbaugh: Women actually are consenting when they say 'no'
5
Census: number of Americans living in poverty down, still above 45 million Census: number of Americans living in poverty down, still above 45 million
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback