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Alaska borough wants to give away expensive ferry

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 31, 2013 at 4:40 p.m.

— An Alaska borough stuck with a $90,000 monthly bill for maintaining a ferry it can’t use is offering the $78 million vessel free to federal, state or local governments.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough also will consider selling the ferry to a private entity.

The 200-foot Matanuska can carry 120 passengers and 20 vehicles. It was built with federal dollars as a Navy prototype in a deal that called for the borough to test it while shuttling people to Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city.

But the borough has no funding for landing sites and has found the vessel too expensive to operate.

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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