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: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6nlgn0v32c8qy88/Public%20Works%20Comm%20April%2014%202015.mp3?dl=0)
email from Mike McKenze, April 15, 2015
Rob Ney, the ferry operations manager, and his Public Works staff financial rep presented and explained and answered questions about this report to the County Council’s Public Works, Health and Safety Committee yesterday afternoon (Tue, April 14).
That committee comprises Barbara Brenner (chair), Pete Kremen, and Ken Mann. Other council members who attended were Rud Browne, newly-appointed Sidpal Sidhu, and Carl Weimer.
Greg Brown and I from the Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee (LIFAC) were present.
County Executive Jack Louws also responded to some of the Council’s questions.
This is the documentation that LIFAC has waited for since submitting a proposal for some selected fare reductions last December. Public Works, at the Council’s request, held up responding to our proposal until it had this report that was completed in late March.
Two significant takeaways:
More than 80% of expenditures in 2014 — more than $2 million of the roughly $2.45 spent fell in two categories — salaries and benefits, and rental of the Whatcom Chief and “space” (meaning, the large monthly payment to the Lummi Nation per the ferry contract). Expenditures were lower than 2013, fares and traffic were up, and the surcharge chart appears favorable to possible fare reductions.
Rob Ney has submitted dates to host an April work session with LIFAC, which will cover the goals for arriving at consideration for fare reductions, in addition to other goals that PW has for ferry operations (the most prominent of which is setting a specific plan for ferry replacement and funding — a topic that also came up yesterday afternoon.)
This meeting will be held downtown, and will be open to the public and subject to open-records and normal LIFAC meeting procedures and compliance. We’ll notify the public the moment the meeting date and time get set.