• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
News Alert: Latest updates on McHugh Fire - Read More
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 49s

FTA demands Mat-Su Borough repay grants

By Shannon Ballard Photojournalist: Jacob Curtis - 6:52 PM August 7, 2014
PALMER –

The Mat-Su Borough has a big debt to pay and only 30 days to do it.

The federal government says the borough failed to keep a promise and now owes millions of dollars.

Ten years ago the Federal Transit Administration gave the Mat-Su Borough grants to get a ferry running between the borough and Anchorage.

A lot of money was spent, and because the project ultimately failed, the FTA sent a collection notice this week for the $12.3 million it invested.

$6 million of that was spent turning the MV Susitna from a navy vessel into a ferry, $4 million on a ferry terminal at Point Mackenzie and $2 million on design plans for ferry landings on both sides of Cook Inlet.

Some would call it money wasted because the boat never served its purpose. It has been docked in Ketchikan for years.

The FTA wants all the money it gave returned. Now, the hard part for the borough is figuring out how to come up with the cash.

“It has been part of our challenge as we have the boat in Ketchikan that we have monthly costs and at the same time we have this grant from the FTA that needs to be resolved. So we’re getting pinched both ways on this issue,“ said Mat-Su Borough manager John Moosey.

Ideally the borough would like to sell the MV Susitna and use that money to resolve the issue.

Unfortunately, there are not a lot people in the market for an ice-breaking, catamaran-style ferry.

The borough has been trying to sell it for years with no luck.

“At first I thought this wouldn’t be a hard thing to do. It’s an $80 million vessel; it shouldn’t be hard to sell it for maybe 50 cents on the dollar. I’ve since learned that we’d be lucky to sell it for $6 million,” said Mat-Su Borough Port Director Marc VanDogen.

While the FTA gave the borough 30 days to come up with the $12.3 million, the borough expects it will take longer.

That could lead to interest and penalties, according to the collection notice.

The Mat-Su Assembly will hold a special meeting on Aug. 12 to figure out what they are going to do.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Hundreds gather to bury final slain Baton Rouge officer

    by on Jul 25, 11:45

    BATON ROUGE, La. - Hundreds of law enforcement officers from around the country streamed past the casket Monday of a slain Baton Rouge police officer, some solemnly saluting and others making the sign of the cross as they paid their respects and mourned one of their own. There were so many people who tried to attend […]

  • DayBreak

    Story Time w/ Aunt Phil: William Seward’s Alaska arrival

    by Daybreak Staff on Jul 25, 11:43

    This week in 1869, William Seward arrived in Alaska for the first time. His trip came two years after negotiating its purchase from Russia. Author Laurel Downing Bill told Daybreak about the former secretary of state and his love of Alaska Native people and their art. She also recounts the tale of how Seward almost […]

  • News

    McHugh Fire 35 percent contained, 778 acres burning

    by KTVA 11 News on Jul 25, 11:06

      Lower 48 Hotshot crews are expected to head out of Alaska Tuesday, to fight higher priority wildfires in California, after progress was made on the McHugh Fire over the weekend, incident commander Tom Kurth said during a Monday morning press briefing. According to Kurth, the fire burning just south of Anchorage is 35 percent […]

  • Politics

    Former DNC leader Wasserman Schultz won’t gavel convention open

    by Associated Press on Jul 25, 10:41

    Outgoing Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman says she won’t gavel her party’s national convention to order on Monday afternoon. She abruptly cancelled that plan just a few hours before she was to gavel open the nominating convention. In a brief phone conversation with the Sun Sentinel newspaper of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Wasserman Schultz said: […]

  • News

    2 dead, almost 20 injured in Florida teen club party shooting

    by CBS News on Jul 25, 8:35

    Last Updated Jul 25, 2016 10:48 AM EDT FORT MYERS, Fla. - At least two people were killed and nearly 20 total were injured in a mass shooting during a party for teenagers at a Florida nightclub early Monday morning. CBS Fort Myers affiliate WINK-TV reports the incident at Club Blu in Fort Myers happened around 12:30 […]

  • News

    Hiker missing in Denali National Park found after search

    by Associated Press on Jul 25, 7:29

    A missing hiker has been found in good condition after a two-day search at Denali National Park and Preserve. A helicopter crew spotted the 42-year-old hiker Sunday night about six miles from where he was last seen Friday. Park officials identified him as Mukunda Egen from California, who is seasonally employed in the area. No […]

  • Weather

    Officials warn ‘imminent’ flooding may occur after steady rain along Matanuska River

    by KTVA 11 News on Jul 25, 6:14

    After three days of rainfall along the Matanuska River, emergency officials are preparing for “imminent” flooding. Portions of the bank began to show signs of breeching Sunday between the Maude Road Extension and Mile 15 and Mile 13 of the Old Glenn Highway, according to a release from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Department of Emergency Services. There is no […]

  • Crime

    Caught on video: Driver rams SUV with toddler inside

    by Eric Ruble on Jul 24, 23:07

    An Anchorage couple is asking for help identifying the driver of a blue Ford F-150 after being chased and rammed repeatedly by the unknown vehicle Friday evening. Cell phone video making rounds on social media this weekend shows couple’s view from inside their sport utility vehicle as it was hit repeatedly by the pickup truck. Grace […]