Now is the time to start working on comments to submit to LIFAC (Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee) about the Washington State Ferry Hiyu as a possible replacement ferry for the Whatcom Chief. Some Lummi Islanders are keen to replace the Chief with the Hiyu. Others are less convinced that this is a good idea.
Background. On January 6, 2015, LIFAC’s Ferry Replacement subcommittee submitted a detailed draft report (dated January 3, 2015) on the Hiyu option, ACQUISITION OF HIYU REPORT FINAL 5 Jan 14,and a related PowerPoint presentation. Kudos to the authors and behind-the-scenes producers of this draft report and presentation.
The report gives both objective details and subjective opinions about many issues that islanders and the County have raised about a replacement ferry. Greg Brown, a LIFAC member, stated that the purpose of the report is to assist Public Works (PW) with information and sources when PW does its legally required review of the Hiyu option.
Note: The Jan. 6 draft and powerpoint take a very strong stand in favor of recommending that the County acquire the Hiyu, based on the data and opinions presented. Whether that strong recommendation and language will be retained by LIFAC is yet to be determined.
At LIFAC’s January meeting, attendees asked questions and expressed support or concern with the Hiyu option. The public comment session was intended to give LIFAC a list of to consider for possible revision of the report. LIFAC decided to delay approving the report (with or without a recommendation to buy the Hiyu) until every committee member could review and comment on the report. Public comments were also invited. Possible revisions to the report or its recommendations are scheduled for LIFAC’s February 3, 2015 meeting at the Lummi Island Firehall.
One idea is for LIFAC to submit the report pretty much ‘as is’ plus with a list of LIFAC and other citizens’ questions. That way, County Council and Public Works (when it does its due diligence re: purchasing the Hiyu) will see the full range of issues that citizens have submitted without seriously delaying submission of the report. You can submit comments at the next LIFAC meeting, give them to any LIFAC member (preferable written) or by email. Their email addresses are:
Mike McKenzie: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cris Colburn: email@example.com
Stu Clark: firstname.lastname@example.org
Byron Moye: email@example.com
Greg Brown: firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Busch: email@example.com
Charles Antholt: Charles.firstname.lastname@example.org