KENAI (AP) -- The Kenai Peninsula Borough is scoping out plans to build a medium-security private prison now that a Delta Junction prison project has stalled.
Proponents say the Kenai project would cost an estimated $80 million and could provide up to 300 permanent jobs.
The borough has issued a request for qualifications, which tries to identify firms that can team with the Alaska Department of Corrections and the borough on the project. The deadline for replying is Jan. 5.
Jeff Sinz, the borough's finance director, said the borough issued the request for qualifications because of the size of the proposed public-private partnership.
The request for qualifications was completed Dec. 15, and the first copies were distributed Dec. 17 to parties who had expressed an interest in the project. The borough will seek others who might qualify through ads in area newspapers.
The prison project arises from House Bill 53, introduced in 1998 by Eldon Mulder, R-Anchorage. The bill authorized the Department of Corrections to partner with Anchorage and Delta Junction to increase in-state prison space by constructing two new facilities.
The Anchorage prison, which will be operated by the Department of Corrections, is on schedule, according to Corrections Commissioner Margaret Pugh. The Delta Junction project was to use space being abandoned by the military at Fort Greely but now other options are being considered for the space.
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