Payment delays stall bulk water sales in Sitka

SITKA — Efforts to advance bulk water sales in Sitka have stalled amid missed payments.

 

Members of the Gary Paxton Industrial Park Board of Directors this week expressed frustration with the delays, but left open the possibility for groups that have been pursuing water rights to buy them if they come up with the required money.

Alaska Bulk Water Inc. had held water rights to Blue Lake for nearly 10 years. The company’s last contract ended in December, and an attempt to come up with a new three-year contract failed, the Daily Sitka Sentinel reported. A more recent proposal involving a second company, Arctic Blue Waters, stumbled after a payment deadline was missed at the end of June.

Under the arrangement, Arctic Blue Waters was to cover Alaska Bulk Water’s share of a $1.1 million deal.

Fred Paley, the president of Arctic Blue Waters, told the board Monday that his company is depending on a third party for the funds.

Alaska Bulk Water missed a December payment deadline, and subsequent extensions, on its old contract for similar reasons involving investors.

Both companies cited their experience in the market and their investment in Sitka as reasons they should get an extension. Paley had previously attempted to export bulk water from Sitka in the mid-1990s.

“We’re scrambling right now to get this done. I don’t know if it’s two weeks or a month or something shorter than that,” said Terry Trapp, president of Alaska Bulk Water.

Board member Charles Horan said the park was open to marketing water but, added: “If you bring something through the door, bring money.”

The board directed the park’s director to continue working with anyone interested in water and to look at other ways to market it.

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