Mat-Su voters to decide on $10 million dock extension bond

Posted: Sunday, August 24, 2003

PALMER - Voters will be asked to decide whether $10 million in bonds should be issued for a dock extension at the port at Point MacKenzie.

Members of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly voted unanimously Thursday to put the bond on the Oct. 7 ballot.

"This is a very important vote in the future of the borough," said Assemblyman Bruce Bush.

Extending the dock will allow the port to accommodate deeper draft ships. The project hinges on a partnership with NPI LLC, a timber firm that hopes to begin shipping wood chips from Mat-Su and Copper River forests to Asian markets, primarily China, by late next summer.

The Assembly also agreed to accept $3 million from NPI to buy dock-building materials that take months to ship; the agreement will be canceled if the bond fails.

They also approved an agreement that gives NPI the exclusive right to move specific bulk commodities such as wood chips and gravel across the dock using an $8 million conveyor the company will construct.

The plan calls for the borough to build the expansion using as much as $10 million in bonds, to be reimbursed by the state.

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