The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

New harbor project going full steam ahead

Hearing set for bonding already approved by voters in 2014


Source: City of Valdez

This conceptual layout of a new harbor is moving ahead despite stormy seas.

After 15 years of behind the scenes efforts, the dream of a new boat harbor in Valdez is becoming a reality.

Sometimes reality hurts.

The Valdez City Council held a work session Tuesday night before its regular meeting to discuss options to trim or defer portions of the project as costs related to the new harbor have escalated from original estimates.

"This project is very complex with many moving parts and unknowns. The more we dig into it, and the more we learn of this complexity, the more expensive the project has become," City manager John Hozey said in a memorandum to the council in support of the work session.

Source: City of Valdez

This laundry list of possible project deferments was the subject of a city council work session Tuesday night.

In round numbers, the city is on the hook for $55.9 million in costs for the project, but has only $41 million in current funding available to pay for it.

"By deferring certain items until later in the project, we buy time to pursue other funding opportunities and to determine actual costs," Hozey said.

The Ports and Harbor Commission recommended that the city employ a strategy of deferrals and the potential use of additional city reserves to deal with the shortfall.

Hozey identified $13.5 million in potential grants that could be added to the pot, and also noted there is $7.5 million in city reserves in its major renovation reserve account.

A public hearing for the $20 million bond approved by voters in the last municipal election cycle has been set for February 2 at City Council Chambers.


Reader Comments

Bob writes:

Get the breakwater, the launch dock, restroom and parking lot built the rest can wait until better financial times.


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