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

Signs direct voters at the Kenai No. 3 precinct on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion file)
Signs direct voters at the Kenai No. 3 precinct for Election Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Local candidates report support from state PACs

Labor unions and the National Education Association are among the groups putting money into Kenai Peninsula state election races

Signs and examples on the recycling super sack at the Cook Inletkeeper Community Action Studio show which plastics are desired as part of the project in Soldotna, Alaska, on Aug. 11, 2022. Plastics from types 1, 2, 4 and 5 can be deposited.(Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Local nonprofit accepting plastics for synthetic lumber project

The super sack receptacles can be found on either side of Soldotna

This July 28, 2022, photo shows drag queen Dela Rosa performing in a mock election at Cafecito Bonito in Anchorage, Alaska, where people ranked the performances by drag performers. Several organizations are using different methods to teach Alaskans about ranked choice voting, which will be used in the upcoming special U.S. House election. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Groups get creative to help Alaska voters with ranked voting

Organizations have gotten creative in trying to help voters understand how to cast their ballot, as the mock election featuring drag performers shows

A school bus outside of Kenai Central High School advertises driver positions on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Staff shortage, gas prices change school bus routes

The changes do not apply to the district’s special education students

The cast of “Tarzan” rides the Triumvirate Theatre float during the Independence Day parade in downtown Kenai, Alaska on Monday, July 4, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
The show goes on as Triumvirate seeks funding for new theater

The troupe has staged shows and events and is looking to debut a documentary as it raise funds for new playhouse

Aaron Surma, the executive director for National Alliance on Mental Illness Juneau and the Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition, leads a safety plan workshop Tuesday night hosted by NAMI and the Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition. The workshop was a collaborative brainstorming session with Juneau residents about how to create a safety plan that people can use to help someone who is experiencing a mental health or suicide crisis. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Study shows a rise in anxiety and depression among children in Alaska

Increase may indicate growing openness to discussing mental health, according to experts

Alaska Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer addresses election information and misinformation during a press conference on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022. (Screenshot)
With a week to go, officials work to clear up election confusion

Officials provided updated ballot statistics, fielded questions from reporters and clarified misconceptions about the current election cycle

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 21 new COVID deaths; cases down from last week

20 of the reported deaths took place from May to July

A closeup of one of the marijuana plants at Greatland Ganja in Kasilof, Alaska, as seen on March 19, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly streamlines process for marijuana establishment license applications

License applications will now go straight to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly for consideration

Most Read