Copper River to stop operating Kenai dock

Seafood processor Copper River Seafoods won’t be operating the city of Kenai’s dock this year.

 

The company, which has operated the dock’s heavy equipment and operating area as concessionaire since 2014, has not shown interest in renewing its contract with the city for 2018. The city is now seeking another operator for 2018, which includes nonexclusive use of three cranes, two second-floor offices on the dock, moorings, floating docks and an operating area at the Kenai Boating Facility.

The request for proposals for the two-year contract is open for questions until 5 p.m. on April 18 and for bids until 2 p.m. on April 24. The winning contractor could begin operations on May 25, 2018.

Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander said the city doesn’t really have a reason to operate the dock and equipment on its own, but hopes someone else will take an interest.

“(It’s a) great location, great facility,” he said. “I’m hopeful that we’ll find someone who has an interest, whether it’s a processor someone else.”

Copper River had been paying $65,000 pear year to use the city’s dock. The company has also run a processing plant next door to the main dock, which shares waterfront with the Kenai City Dock, where a number of recreational boaters launch each summer, primarily to access the Kenai River personal-use dipnet fishery. The processing plant is owned by the Port of Kenai, a Seattle-based private corporation.

Copper River Seafoods representatives did not return requests for comment on its plans to operate in Kenai this summer.

The bid packets for the dock can be obtained on the city’s website or at Kenai City Hall.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at eearl@peninsulaclarion.com.

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