Urban explorers who may need complicated rescues will now have to pay a hefty fine for the service.
In response to recent deaths and injuries due to falls in restricted spaces — including one in Southeast Como’s abandoned Bunge grain elevator near the University of Minnesota — the Minneapolis City Council approved an ordinance Friday that gives the city the authority to charge rescue fees to trespassers.
Some are skeptical the new rule will discourage urban exploring — a pastime that involves trekking into manufactured, typically abandoned structures.
Property owners and trespassing individuals will have to pay $721 for the first two hours of rescue services and $300 per additional hour, and they can be charged for the repair of damaged rescue equipment.
However, the ordinance will be enforced at the discretion of fire department officials and won’t be imposed in cases where it’s unethical to bill for the rescue, like charging the family of a trespassing individual who died from the accident, Fire Chief John Fruetel said.
“I can’t personally imagine trying to recover a cost from a parent whose child was just hurt or even an individual who’s looking at his hospital bills,” said Ward 2 City Councilman Cam Gordon, who represents the University and surrounding neighborhoods.