Mat-Su Borough Offering To Give Away Ice Breaking Ferry

The Matanuska Susitna Borough is offering to give away the ice breaking ferry “Susitna.”   Borough officials want to give away the ship to federal, state or local governments, because it is costing the Borough too much money to maintain it.

The Borough will also consider selling the ferry to a private entity. The “Susitna” was built with federal dollars as a U.S. Navy prototype vessel.  It can hold 20 vehicles and 120 passengers. It was supposed to serve passengers between Port MacKenzie and Anchorage. The Borough has not been successful in finding a landing site for the vessel on the Anchorage side of Knik Arm, and the Borough does not have funds to maintain the ship.

Borough spokeswoman Patty Sullivan says the borough could sell the ferry to a private company for about $7 million – enough to cover federal grants the borough may have to pay back.

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APTI Reporter-Producer Ellen Lockyer started her radio career in the late 1980s, after a stint at bush Alaska weekly newspapers, the Copper Valley Views and the Cordova Times. When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Valdez Public Radio station KCHU needed a reporter, and Ellen picked up the microphone. Since then, she has literally traveled the length of the state, from Attu to Eagle and from Barrow to Juneau, covering Alaska stories on the ground for the AK show, Alaska News Nightly, the Alaska Morning News and for Anchorage public radio station, KSKA elockyer (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8446 | About Ellen

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