The fate of the Delta Junction Visitor Center became clearer on Tuesday when the city council decided to award the operation of the visitor center to the Delta Farm Bureau.
The Delta Junction Chamber of Commerce was operating the visitor center until they dissolved in December. After the chamber dissolution, the Delta Farm Bureau approached the city expressing interest in taking over the operation of the visitor center.
The council decided to publish a request for proposals to allow other interested parties to submit a proposal for the operation of the visitor center.
The Delta Farm Bureau, Alaska Home Comforts, and The Big Beluga all submitted proposals. City administrator Mary Leith commented that all three proposals were unique and each had some very interesting ideas ranging from providing locally made items for purchase, display and sale of locally produced art, and even offering outdoor sales tables and classic car shows.
Council member Pete Hallgren commented during the meeting that all three of the proposals were interesting, but that the Farm Bureau has more of a history in Delta and is made up of business people who know how to run businesses well and that they offered the best chance for the long term success of operating the visitor center.
Some of the Delta Farm Bureau plans include installing large screen televisions to show short videos about the building of the Alaska Highway, the history of agriculture in Delta, clearing farmland, and modern farming activities. They also plan on hanging pictures of farms, farming activities, and historical photos. Around the exterior of the visitor center they intend to plant some of the crops that are grown in the area. There are even plans to provide tours of the farming community.
The formal award of the contract will happen after the next council meeting on Feb. 18.