KENAI (AP) -- The Kenai Peninsula Borough will spend $75,000 to learn if building an industrial park in Nikiski would benefit the economy of the peninsula.
Assembly members acknowledged that the study could show an industrial park is not warranted, but said it might demonstrate that such a park would prove a boon to new businesses. Assembly members approved the study last week.
Assembly members and borough administrators said they have been approached by business owners over the past year who indicated interest in relocating to the Kenai Peninsula, specifically the Nikiski area, because it has oil and gas development and dock facilities.
One inquiry came from an equipment salvage company seeking a location at which to refurbish, auction and ship salvaged heavy equipment from the North Slope, said Assemblyman Bill Popp.
Meanwhile, an existing company, Alaska Petroleum Contractors, wants to expand its Nikiski facility, a move might attract new support businesses to the peninsula, Popp said. Alaska Petroleum Contractors has a dock.
Assemblyman Paul Fischer of Kasilof cast the only vote against the measure and called it premature. Nikiski currently has empty office and warehouse space, including some in what he said was an existing private industrial park. Those spaces, he said, ought to be filled before a new park is built.
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