Mat-Su Borough again puts gravel contract out to bid

AP PHOTO/Charles Rex Arbogast
Matanuska-Susitna Borough officials, who were earlier thwarted by a veto in their attempt to award a gravel contract, are now offering one-year sand and gravel material contracts to all qualified bidders.

Borough officials said June 20 that they would sell minimum quantities of 500,000 tons with a fixed royalty rate of 54 cents for class A and 37 cents for class C materials. A wharfage rate of $1.10 per ton was established and cost of the conveyor belt at Port MacKenzie, which is owned by NPI, will not exceed $1.54 per ton, officials said.

Borough officials were anxious to make the material available in hopes of attracting bidders interested in selling the gravel for the expansion project under way at the Port of Anchorage. Those bids for the Port of Anchorage project were initially due June 15, but the deadline was extended until June 28.

Russ Krafft of the borough’s purchasing department said the Anchorage solicitation allowed for a fixed amount of gravel to be delivered by truck, but the balance had to be brought in by water or a conveyer system. That makes the port material attractive, because they can get it to the water relatively quick, he said.

Bidders will be responsible for their own mining operations. They are required to pay a $300 application fee, submit a $20,000 performance bond, and pay a reclamation fund cost of $2,000 per acre for lands to be mined or otherwise disturbed, officials said.

Borough assembly members on June 14 awarded a one-year contract to NPI for mining and reclamation of the gravel, which NPI planned to market for the Port of Anchorage expansion project. Borough Mayor Tim Anderson promptly vetoed the contract, saying the contract awarded was substantially changed from the one bid on. Approving it would hold the borough liable to action by other contractors, he said.

The initial bid offering called for the party awarded the contract to market and sell the gravel, remove it from the area of Port MacKenzie and prepare the site within the port district for industrial development.

Anderson said the borough should have gone out to bid again with a short-term contract, which is what borough officials are now doing.

Ron Arvin, chief operating officer for NPI, who attended the June 13 meeting, initially expressed outrage over the veto, but a day later he said he was still hopeful that an agreement could be reached in time to bid on a gravel contract at the Port of Anchorage. NPI, which teamed with Kiewit Construction on the initial bid, is eligible to bid on the new offering.

Margaret Bauman can be reached at [email protected]

06/25/2005 - 8:00pm