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Alaska Railroad helps Fairbanks ice park move to new location

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Posted: Friday, June 24, 2011 11:11 pm | Updated: 1:15 pm, Wed Jan 16, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — Phillips Field Road is seeing a flurry of activity as Ice Alaska switches homes from the Alaska Railroad Corp. property to a new place down the street.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly has not yet approved a grant that Ice Alaska needs to finalize the purchase the property, with some members questioning the details of Ice Alaska’s plans.

But Ice Alaska Chairman Dick Brickley is optimistic the assembly will give its approval.

By Friday, the fence that surrounded the former home of the World Ice Art Championships was gone, and the buildings that housed chilly visitors will soon go.

The railroad has leased eight 40-foot vans for the organization to fill up and is lending some tractors and lowboy trailers to the cause. Railroad workers are driving the supplies a mile to the west to a site formerly owned by the H&H Contractors President George Horner and his family. The railroad could spend up to $30,000 helping Ice Alaska move.

“We’ve said it for years — when it’s time to go, we’ll help,” said Jim Kubitz, Alaska Railroad Corp. vice president of real estate and facilities. “It’s a substantial amount of money, but we’re there.”

The original deadline for Ice Alaska to have everything off the railroad property was June 30. Since then, the organization has asked for an extension because it doesn’t look as if everything will be able to be moved by then. For one, the electrical poles are still frozen in the ground.

Railroad officials granted an extension because things are getting done.

“They’re moving,” Kubitz said. “They’re doing the best they can for the forces they have.”

Brickley said he is grateful for the railroad’s help. The railroad is leasing the vans for four months, so Ice Alaska has some time to unpack.

The railroad plans to lease the former Ice Alaska home once the site is cleaned up. The land consists of many lots that he says the railroad plans to lease to more than just one person. If somebody wants to lease more than one, that’s fine, too, he said.

“We’re getting ready to put it back on the market,” Kubitz said.

Contact staff writer Reba Lean at 459-7523.

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