The City of Kenai is scrambling to find a new operator of the city dock, after being informed the past vendor will not be returning and not getting any response from others.
“And I notified Harbor Commission of this the other night that our concessioner that has been operating the dock for the last couple of years, Copper River Seafoods, is not interested in pursuing that again this year. We did not find that out until a couple of weeks ago," City Manager Paul Ostrander explained to the Kenai City Council.
"I did reach out to several other potential operators, and we’re going to follow up with them. So at this point we do not have a concessioner for this year.”
But, he said he will keep looking.
“It’s quite possible that we may put out a bid package again to at least determine if there is interest in someone being a concessionaire this year," Ostrander said. "My concern is I, as I expressed to the Harbor Commission, is that we are so late in the game here is that so many of these canneries and other entities that may be interested already have their summer plans set.”
Kenai City Councilman Jim Glendening wondered if city staff can pick up the slack.
“Could some of these functions be performed by the city, should we not be successful in getting a concessionaire?,” he asked.
“Some of the functions certainly could. Operation of the crane is one thing that we currently do if needed, and it’s certainly something we’ll continue to do," Ostrander responded. "We would likely not want to run the fueling station, but certainly the cranes, if folks needed those cranes to get some things in or out of the water, we can be available to provide that kind of support.”
The Kenai City Council meets next on Wednesday, at 6 p.m.