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Thu Aug 14, 2014, 07:14 AM

Mat-Su Assembly puts off decision on federal ferry grant recall


Mat-Su Assembly puts off decision on federal ferry grant recall
Zaz Hollander
August 13, 2014

PALMER -- Despite a looming deadline, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly has delayed action on a federal demand that the borough return more than $12 million spent on the never-used ferry Susitna.

The Federal Transit Administration last week gave borough officials 30 days to repay the federal grants or face potentially hefty financial penalties.

Assembly members on Tuesday emerged from a 44-minute executive session and told a small audience they made a decision to take up the FTA demand at a meeting on Aug. 21.


The twin-hulled, 195-foot ferry, a U.S. Navy prototype acquired in April 2012, is racking up bills for berthing at a dock in Ward Cove near Ketchikan. The borough never got to the point of building landings at Anchorage or Port MacKenzie at a projected cost of $40 million. Managers have failed to sell the ferry to help pay down the grants, or give it to a government entity, which could help them waive the grant obligation entirely.

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