Lummi Island Ferry Dry Dock 2015 Info

UPDATE 7/27:  New great article about the dry dock experience by Isaac Colgen.

The Whatcom County’s Public Works ferry site has links to information about the 2015 Lummi Island ferry dry dock (Sept. 10 – Oct 1), including the passenger ferry schedule, van service on the island and van stop maps.  Basic timing of dry dock is here – very important is the time of the last car ferry run on September 9!Read More »

2015 Lummi Island Ferry Drydocking, Repair and Maintenance Bid and Costs

Here’s the link to Whatcom County’s 2015 bid document for the annual drydocking, repair and maintenance of the Whatcom Chief, ferry to Lummi Island. (The pdf file is located on the searchable, public Whatcom Ferry Documents Archive).  It includes all the specific required work, including photos of areas needing repair or replacement.

The successful low bidder was Puglia Engineering (multi-state corporation) for $464,289, which was approved by the County Council in June 2015.

This should reinforce, for everyone, the need to get moving on planning for a new ferry.  In the meantime, I personally hope that Whatcom County Public Works is/will be working with other counties with ferries to ensure that drydock bids are as reasonable as possible.

County Fare Relief Proposal June 2015

UPDATE August 4, 2015:  The Count Council will hold a public hearing tonight (Aug. 4) prior to voting on the new fare ordinance:

2. Ordinance amending Whatcom County Code Chapter 10.34, Ferry Rates, and the Whatcom County Unified Fee Schedule (AB2014-426B (Clean) and AB2014-426B (Strikethrough) 

In reading the proposal, note that our present (the old) fare schedule does not show the $3/ticket surcharge in the fares. Read More »

Three Consultant Reports on Hiyu Feasibility and Cost

Part 3 of Report on May 19, 2015 Meeting with Jack Louws.

County Executive Jack Louws, at the May 19, 2015 Town Hall meeting on Lummi Island about ferry issues, said that consultants estimated the cost of adapting the Hiyu and both of the island and mainland terminals for use by the Hiyu at $7,000,000. (written summary of the meeting here; link to audio and some video, with audience questions, here)

That amount was based on the following three county-commissioned reports ($8,000 cost to taxpayers) Read More »

Recap: Ferry Issues Meeting with Jack Louws

Meeting Report: Part 2

The following is a summary of some highlights from Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws’ presentation about ferry issues at the public meeting held on Lummi Island on Tuesday May 19, 2015 (Nancy Ging and Wynne Lee, authors).  About 120 people, mostly islanders, attended. Some non-tribal residents from Gooseberry Point also were present.  Rhayma Blake, president of Protection Lummi Island Community (PLIC), published another, briefer summary on the PLIC website.
Read More »

Position Opens up on Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee

The Chair of the county-appointed Lummi Island Citizen Advisory Committee (LIFAC) has announced that Bob Busch resigned his position on the LIFAC. The opening and application form are posted on the County Council website. The remaining partial term expires 1/31/2016. The position could be filled by County Council with either an island resident or a non-resident.

First and foremost,  great thanks to Bob Busch for volunteering to serve on LIFAC since its inception in 2012. His commitment to serving Lummi Islanders and the County in this and many other ways is an admirable example of the kind of person who has helped make the Lummi Island community so remarkable. 

 My hope for his replacement. I really, really really hope that someone will apply who has a deep and abiding fervor for and skill at keeping LIFAC communications freely flowing.  While LIFAC has worked hard on many issues, the fact is that only those who attend their meetings (not feasible for most people) have any chance to find out what’s going on in a timely manner. While meeting minutes and some LIFAC documents are eventually published on the county’s LIFAC website, backlogs of months are common  As of today, May 18 2015, minutes from their January 6, 2015 meeting are the most recent ones posted, and NO documents (like the report on the Hiyu) have been posted.  While it’s apparently ‘legal’ to have regular 4-month+ delays in publishing their minutes, it’s  dysfunctional from the perspective of respectful communications with their fellow citizens, as it leaves hearsay and the often needlessly contentious and misleading rumor mill as the only way for most people to find out hear what LIFAC is up to. 
For various reasons I cannot volunteer for this position, but I sincerely hope that someone will step forward who is willing and able help facilitate complete and timely LIFAC communications in the future.

Ferry Financial Report 2014

This is the all-important Public Works Ferry Ops Financial Report 2014 – Final that Rob Ney (of Public Works) presented to the County Council PW committee yesterday (April 14, 2015). Mike McKenzie forwarded quickly to islanders. Mike’s email below includes his summary of two main take-away messages.  (note: Bill Fox posted a full audio (11of the meeting in a DropBox account on NextDoor Lummi Island. I think that you can listen if you, too, have a DropBox account: More »