FAIRBANKS — Two Delta Junction area businesses have been picked to operate area parks that previously were maintained by state employees. 

The Alaska Division of Parks and Recreation announced earlier this summer that, because of budget cuts from the Legislature, parks employees would cease providing services such as trash pickup and outhouse cleaning at six state parks around Delta Junction.

The state put those maintenance services out to bid in July. Under the contracts, the businesses are to provide services and collect fees from park visitors for amenities such as parking, camping and boat launch use. In return, the businesses pay a flat fee to the state as well as a percentage of revenues from the businesses.

The state contracted out all six Delta area parks except the Fielding Lake State Recreation Area, the most remote of the parks. This park will remain under passive management: It’s open to the public, but no services will be available. 

A crew of volunteers in Delta Junction cleaned outhouses between the end of state service

June 30 and the start of service from the new contractors. The new contracts began Monday. Five businesses submitted proposals for the contracts. The state offered one contract for Big Delta State Historical Park and another contract for the four additional parks.  

The state chose Delta Junction business K&K Operations to operate Big Delta State Historical Park. K&K is a new business created by Kim White and Karin Senatore. White is a former owner of the Delta Junction business Smiling Moose. K&K will pay the state a $300 yearly permit fee, and 3 percent of gross revenues will go into a major maintenance account for the park, said Brooks Ludwig, Alaska State Parks northern region supervisor

Delta Junction business Big Dipper Adventures LLC won the contract for the other four Delta area parks: Quartz Lake, Clearwater, Delta and Donnelly Creek state recreation sites. Big Dipper Adventures was founded this summer by Randy Duron, a construction worker, and Catherine Hadley, an emergency dispatcher at Fort Greely who also owns Alpenglow Farm and Kennels in Delta Junction.

Big Dipper Adventures will pay an annual fee of $2,000.

It also will pay the state 3 percent of gross camping revenues and 3 percent of gross canoe/kayak rentals at Clearwater State Recreation Site.  

Reached by phone Wednesday, Hadley said park users this season should expect park fees and services to be similar to what they were when the state managed the parks. Big Dipper will continue to honor passes such as state park annual passes, disabled veteran tags and Quartz Lake homeowners association passes. 

Next year, Hadley said she wants to add services such as boat rentals at the Clearwater State Recreation Site and possibly guided tours. 

The contracts are valid for this year and next year. Businesses that applied and didn’t win the contracts have 10 days from Monday to appeal.  

Contact Outdoors Editor Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter:@FDNMoutdoors.