Mat-Su to charge for off-road rescues

Posted: Thursday, January 07, 2010

ANCHORAGE - Matanuska-Susitna Borough officials are working on a plan to charge those who need to be rescued from the wilderness.

Clint Vardeman, the deputy director of Emergency Services, said it costs a lot of money to conduct off-road rescue operations and taxpayers need to be protected.

Starting in spring, the borough plans to charge for the use of its ATVs, airboats or snowmachines during rescue missions. The price starts at $300 for the first hour and $150 for each additional 30 minutes.

The volunteer Alaska Mountain Rescue Group opposes the plan, saying people in trouble will hesitate to call for help.

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