JUNEAU, Alaska — Officials are lowering the asking price for a state ferry that has been tied up since 2015.

The Alaska Marine Highway System had put the ship up for sale in March, but no one responded by the Tuesday deadline, CoastAlaska News reported (http://bit.ly/2r5hrC5 ) Wednesday.

After being on the market for a minimum bid of $1.5 million, the new minimum bid for the ship is $700,000, spokeswoman Meadow Bailey said.

“This gives people who expressed an interest in the vessel a little bit more opportunity and perhaps makes the vessel a little bit more attractive to them,” she said.

Some potential buyers did step forward before the deadline.

“They’re kind of quiet about exactly what their intentions might be and what would be holding them back,” Bailey said. “It is a business deal, so there’s a certain amount of reluctance to talk about the details,” she said. “But we’ll see if this makes it a sweeter opportunity for people and if we get some responses, which is our hope.”

Taku, which is docked in Ketchikan’s Ward Cove, accommodates about 350 passengers and 50 vehicles. It has 40 staterooms, a cafeteria, observation lounges and a covered solarium.

The new deadline to bid on the vessel is May 31. The state plans to look at other options if no one expresses interest in the ferry, Bailey said.

Information from: KTOO-FM, http://www.ktoo.org

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