Abandoned cars and trucks litter Alaska’s landscape, marking the spots where someone’s once shiny new pride-and-joy died for the last time. At a cost of between $600 and $1,000 to remove and dispose of an individual vehicle, the cost of clean up is likely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
￫ Fortunately, the State of Alaska has a fund set aside specifically for jobs like this. Unfortunately, the fund hasn’t had any money in it for some time.
￫ Kenai Peninsula Borough Assemblyman Tyson Cox looked into it after questions from the public.
“And so I started making some calls,” he said. “I first called our roads department, Mr. Ulan. And he informed me that the state does have a budget for this, but it has no money in it.”
￫ Assemblyman Kenn Carpenter was adamant that the borough hold the state responsible for the problem.
“We're going to make it clear it is the state's responsibility to move the cars. They are hazards. They are terrible looking when we have tourists come up here. First thing you see, when are you here? When you go on the river fishing, somebody will mention about the burnt up Chevy pickup truck there in Cooper Landing,” Carpenter said. “It's on state land — it's state's responsibility.”
The discussion took place during Tuesday night’s Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting, during which the assembly passed a resolution calling on the state to fund the account.
￫ Assemblyman Brent Johnson joined Cox as co-sponsored the resolution, but Mayor Charlie Pierce and most of the other assemblymen signed on. The motion passed unanimously.