AP NEWS

Alaska coal mine to sell lots to Healy subdivision residents

October 30, 2018

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A coal mining company is planning to sell land to residents who have subleased lots in a neighborhood southwest of Fairbanks.

Usibelli Coal Mine announced Friday that it had purchased the 464-acre (188-hectare) Tri-Valley subdivision in Healy and plans to begin offering residents the option to buy the land, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Monday.

Usibelli purchased the property from the Alaska Railroad Corp. in a deal authorized by the state Legislature earlier this year.

The 75-year-old company had leased the land from the railroad and began subleasing individual parcels to provide employee housing in 1977. Before that year, the company provided housing at a camp next to the mine.

The company will prepare purchase offers to sublease holders in the next few months, Usibelli spokeswoman Lorali Simon said. The prices haven’t been set yet, but the company intends to make the lots affordable, she said.

“Usibelli needs to recoup some of our initial costs into the property,” Simon said. “We have paid for roads and utilities and things like that. So we will be recouping some of those costs, but our primary focus isn’t pricing it to make money.”

People who don’t want to buy the land will be able to continue subleasing through Usibelli.

“We will honor the subleases. I think what we’ll do is, we’ll make the price available for a couple of years so people aren’t rushed into a decision, and then after that initial time period the price will probably escalate,” Simon said. “We want to incentivize people to purchase the property early.”

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

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