This was originally posted to: Guemes Island Ferry Committee

Meeting Notes, 2018-02-26

GIFC Meeting Minutes

Call to order

A meeting of Guemes Island Ferry Committee was held at Guemes Church on February 26, 2018. Meeting was called to order at 7:08pm by Chairman Steve Orsini. Other attendees included Allen Bush, Bud Ullman, and Sandy McKean via speaker-phone for a portion of the meeting. Guests in attendance included Martin Taylor.

Proposed Agenda

1. Review of Draft Minutes

2. Introduction of Martin Taylor

3. Review of Draft Agenda for March 2 meeting with Public Works

4. Review of “Small Boat” letter.

5. Adjourn

Approval of Draft Minutes

Bud Ullman made a motion to approve minutes from January 29th as presented via email. This motion was seconded by Allen Bush and passed with a unanimous vote

Introduction of Martin Taylor

Martin Taylor was introduced as a possible appointee to replace Tom Fouts who resigned

unexpectedly It was determined by unanimous decision to interview other candidates and have all standing members of the committee physically present to determine Tom’s replacement.

Review of Draft Agenda for March 2 meeting with Public Works

The following was discussed and deliberated and emailed (2-27) to Public Works Staff

PROPOSED AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF

SKAGIT COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS AND THE GUEMES ISLAND FERRY COMMITTEE

Friday, March 2, 2018 Anacortes Public Library

1. Ticketing. As we read the Glosten report, it is saying that making two runs an hour with the new boat will require more expeditious ticketing. Is this a correct reading? Assuming so, what can we do to facilitate the process?

2. Avoiding pricing folks off the Island. We are concerned that tax increases and fare surcharges may price long-time residents of the Island. Whatcom County has a needs-based discount program they say works.

Does something like this make sense for Skagit County?

3. Cost estimate for more modest project. We sense a strong need to show that less expensive alternatives have been seriously considered. Can we ask Glosten to provide a cost estimate for a 26 or 28 car boat with fewer rescue requirements?

4. Funding. Any progress on other funding sources? What is CRAB’s response to the funding proposal submitted in December? What are the next steps and timetable with CRAB? How involved will CRAB be in the remaining design effort for a new boat? Will obtaining CRAB’s approval (say in April) in any way restrict future design flexibility (e.g., boat size, propulsion system)? How many designs/propulsion systems were submitted to CRAB?

5. Frequency of meetings. Is meeting quarterly sufficient to meet our needs? Should we be guided by CRAB

feedback?

Review of “Small Boat” letter.

The following was discussed and deliberated and emailed(2-27) to Public Works Staff noting it will be the intent of the Guemes Island Ferry Committee to send directly to the Board of Skagit County Commissioners following

Public Works review

The Guemes Island Ferry Committee (GIFC) is sincerely appreciative of Skagit County’s work on the M/V Guemes replacement Proposal. We continue to think that Glosten is an excellent choice for the engineering and related work on the Proposal and we are anxious to work with Glosten and the County as the Proposal is refined.

Accordingly, we offer the following thoughts in an effort to better discharge our responsibility to work with Glosten, the County, and ferry patrons to facilitate the Proposal’s transition to a new vessel.

In our effort, the GIFC has put forth a short list of matters that we feel strongly deserve attention as the Proposal moves forward now that the CRAB application deadline has been met. (Please see our letter of December 19,2017, to Glosten and County officials.)

Of that list, one matter in particular deserves prompt action. That is a request to Glosten to provide a cost estimate at reasonable expense for a somewhat smaller boat than the 32 car vessel in the current Proposal, with fewer rescue demands placed on it. There are several reasons for such an evaluation, among them:

· The need to demonstrate to taxpayers and farepayers that the County is carefully considering cost control measures to minimize the burden on them. The importance of this in community relations is both obvious and impossible to overstate.

· Taxpayers and farepayers were earlier told that a smaller boat than the current 32 car Proposal would be satisfactory. Eliot Bay Design Group, which was hired by the County to lay the foundations on which thecurrent Proposal has been built, specifically said it recommends that a moderately larger ferry [than the Guemes] be built to supportthe moderate growth in ferry demand. The new vessel should increase the vehicle capacity by four vehicles to a total of 26 or 18%. The new vessel should also be designed to accommodate the current terminal facilities.

EBDG Ferry Replacement Plan, November 22, 2013, pp. 12-13. Again, taxpayers and farepayers need to understand how much might be saved by following this earlier recommendation.

· The Proposal includes requirements that the vessel be able to respond to both catastrophic events and long-range emergency rescues which are not mandated by the Coast Guard, for example the complete evacuation of the Island. Glosten Concept Design Report at pp. 76-77. There are two issues here: (i) it is not clear why these requirements are imposed, and (ii) it is not clear how much they add to the cost of the Proposal. It would be useful to know the cost of these non-mandated requirements so they can be evaluated against the necessity and benefits of the requirements.

· The current Proposal uses County-wide growth predictions to inform vessel capacity needs. It is not clear that Guemes will grow at the rate of incorporated areas of the County, nor that Guemes can absorb that level of growth (as suggested, for example by existing water limitations on the Island). It would help Islanders if they knew how much a smaller boat, keyed to more modest growth estimates, would save.

Accordingly, the GIFC respectfully requests that Glosten be asked to provide estimated cost savings that would accrue by reducing the Proposal to a 26 car boat as recommended by EBDG, or perhaps a 28 car boat as mentioned by Glosten, and by eliminating the non-mandated rescue requirements currently included in the Proposal.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

These minutes were taken by Allen Bush

Adjournment

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 pm

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