by The Associated Press
Saturday, March 20, 2010
FAIRBANKS, Alaska -- Ice Alaska is in danger of melting away.
The nonprofit organization formed 20 years ago cannot pay a steep rent increase to the state-owned Alaska Railroad Corp. for the land where it stages its annual ice sculpture and artwork event.
The railroad wants to develop its land into a business park. Hotel and restaurant owners have also expressed interest in leasing the land.
But Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins is trying to negotiate better lease terms and a borough takeover of Ice Alaska's lease. And Ice Alaska Chairman Dick Brickley is pressing for a hearing before the Alaska Legislature on whether the state should give away the land.