This week, Mountain Rescue Aspen gained some financial flexibility.
Mountain Rescue Aspen, or MRA, is a search and rescue organization that mostly relies on private donations and Pitkin County money for funding.
Their last agreement with the county was in-kind funding, not actual money. So, MRA depended on the county for simple things like routine vehicle maintenance. MRA President Justin Hood says - that’s not ideal on a tight rescue schedule.
"We’re always trying to be rescue ready. So, if something breaks down - and they can’t get to it for two weeks - that puts us in a quandary," said Hood.
A memorandum went into effect this week that gives Mountain Rescue cash instead - about 30,000 dollars a year. Half goes to maintaining their gear and vehicle fleet - half is for liability insurance and fuel. County funding accounts for less than 10 percent of MRA ’s annual budget.
The new agreement is valid for ten years.