This Monday, Oct. 24, 2016 photo shows the Kenai City Dock in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion, file)

This Monday, Oct. 24, 2016 photo shows the Kenai City Dock in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion, file)

Kenai’s dock will go without an operator this year after CISPRI backs out

Kenai’s city dock will be without an operator this summer after Cook Inlet Spill Response and Prevention, Inc. (CISPRI) backed out of a deal with the city government to lease it for a year for $20,000.

The seafood processor Copper River Seafoods previously paid $60,000 per year to use the city’s dock and its three cranes to unload commercial fishing catches destined for its nearby processing plant, but this spring declined to renew its three-year contract, leaving the facility without an operator.

After failing to find a new operator for the dock at $60,000 per year, Kenai city administrators offered it for $40,000 a year but again received no proposals. The city then approached other possible operators, asking them to name a lease rate. CISPRI was the only one to make an offer.

At its June 6 meeting, Kenai’s City Council unanimously approved a lease of the dock to CISPRI, a nonprofit that conducts oil spill response and prevention training for member organizations including Cook Inlet’s oil and gas operators, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the Municipality of Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula Borough. CISPRI planned to use the dock for training exercises in the Kenai River mouth, an environment where controlling an oil spill would require different tactics and equipment than in open water. CISPRI occasionally does training in the river mouth from an anchored boat.

Kenai City manager Paul Ostrander told the council members CISPRI had declined the deal at the council’s Thursday meeting.

“CISPRI stated that they could not justify the expense with the limited amount of time that they anticipated using the dock,” Ostrander wrote in a later email.

CISPRI General Manager Todd Paxton declined to comment on the group’s reasons for not leasing the dock.

Those wanting to use the dock’s cranes this summer can do so by making appointments with Kenai’s Public Works Department. No fuel will sold at the dock.

Ostrander told Kenai City Council members that the dock is in good condition, and said they would have a discussion about longer term marketing plans if it remains without an operator. This calendar year the city plans to spend an estimated $290,000 — with roughly half covered by insurance — on dock maintenance and repairs for cracks and flaking on the pilings and girders supporting it, caused by the January 2016 earthquake.

Ostrander speculated on reasons for the lack of interest in the dock.

“I would guess it’s primarily driven by general economics, also because of the forecast for the sockeye fishery,” he said. “If we see a rebound in the fishery and things perk up, I’m guessing we would have interest in the dock at that time.”

Reach Ben Boettger at bboettger@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander sits inside Kenai City Hall on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Ostrander to leave City of Kenai in January

Ostrander has served as the city manager since 2017

Melanie Hardin, right, greets the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.’s Board of Trustees before her interview for the APFC’s executive director’s job Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, in Juneau, (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Permanent Fund board picks new executive director

Trustees work overtime selecting from three candidates after interviews Monday

A sign welcoming visitors to the Literary Haunted House at the Kenai Community Library can be seen here on Oct. 30, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
A sign welcoming visitors to the Literary Haunted House at the Kenai Community Library can be seen here on Oct. 30, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion file)
Libraries host haunted houses, scary storytimes, seasonal crafts

It’s all about Halloween at Kenai and Soldotna libraries

Kenai Fire Marshal Jeremy Hamilton is seen by one of Kenai Fire Department’s Tower trucks on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at Kenai Fire Department in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Get up, get out and get safe’

Kids taught about fire safety as part of prevention effort

Bob Bird, left, chairman of the Alaskan Independence Party, and former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman make the case in favor of a state constitutional convention during a debate in Anchorage broadcast Thursday by Alaska Public Media. (Screenshot from Alaska Public Media’s YouTube channel)
Constitutional convention debate gets heated

Abortion, PFD factor into forum.

Carol Freas (right) helps a voter fill out absentee election materials in Kenai City Hall ahead of the Oct. 4 municipal election on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Absentee voting already underway

Absentee in-person voting has been made available across the borough

Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara
Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara
What’s on the ballot: Reapportionment, new field house, school bond

Voters will decide on ballot measures that address schools, public safety and legislative bodies

Cars line up ahead of dismissal at Mountain View Elementary School on Thursday, September 29, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. A bond package up for consideration by Kenai Peninsula Borough voters on Oct. 4 would fund improvements to the school’s traffic flow. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Parking lot problems

Lack of space for pickup and drop-offs creates traffic jam at elementary school

Soldotna Elementary School Principal Dr. Austin Stevenson points out elements of the school building on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Aging school on the brink

Renovations are cost prohibitive at Soldotna Elementary

Most Read