This was originally posted to: Guemes Island Ferry Committee

GIFC-Minutes-2023-04-13

GIFC Meeting Minutes 4/13/2023

Call to order approximately 7:00pm

Committee Members in Attendance: Allen Bush, Becca Fong, Andy Leech, Gabe Murphy

Community Members in Attendance: Frea Gladish, Sandy McKean

No initial Public Comment

Agenda put forth was approved

Regular Committee Business:

  • Minutes from March meeting deferred. Andy submitted notes, Gabe to complete DRAFT minutes

  • Treasurer’s Report: $89 short of 3 new wheelbarrows @$100 a piece. (WB Fund Balance of $211)

  • One wheelbarrow went missing on the island on the last day of the ferry haul out.

  • Gabe, Becca, Allen, and Andy will all attend working session on 4/17/23

  • The Committee requested a meeting with SCPW, but that was deferred until after the work session.

  • Public forum resolution is still on the books, but still does not appear to be followed.

A short conversation was had about the SC Strategic Plan

Lots in the plan about the affordability and sustainability of Skagit County.

The strategic plan seems like a good guiding document to reference when advocating for fair ferry fares.

Becca gave a quick recap of her conversation with Commissioner Janicki:

Since there have been multiple working sessions with the commissioners, there will likely be significant changes to the fare proposal so there will need to be another public comment session before a new resolution can be finalized.

Commissioner Janicki supports the Youth Ride Free, and also voiced concern about fixed income families on Guemes.

Allen gave a quick summary of his Anacortes Public Outreach

The mayor of Anacortes is on the “ferry advisory committee” that advises on issues regarding the Washington State Ferries, but not the Guemes Ferry.

Allen spoke with Anacortes City Council members Ryan Walters and Christine McGrath separately. They both understand that Guemes residents and the Guemes Ferry operation have impacts on the Anacortes community.

There was a brief discussion of other opportunities for ferry funding:

  • Maritime Blue: is an initiative that supports environmental initiatives in Washington. There may be an opportunity to meet with that organization to see if we can collaborate. As well, Senator Lovelett is on the board for this initiative.

  • There is a $3.5M infrastructure fund for economic development in Skagit County, administered by an advisory committee, but the SC Commissioners have final say. Applicants need to be municipalities or public entities, but the award can be up to $500,000 per organization. This could be a possible funding source if applied for by SCPW.

  • Federal Ferry Boat Discretionary Fund, SC receives some money, but is giving some back this year because it wasn’t used/allocated.

  • There is also $11M left of the $26M in covid relief funding that Skagit County received as part of the American Rescue Plan. None has been allocated to the GI Ferry so far, but it could be.

There was a discussion about future work:

Committee members who can will go to the work session on Monday. We will see what the proposal is and figure out what to do after that.

Meeting was adjourned around 8:20 pm

Minutes taken by Gabe Murphy

Tags: linetime meeting minutes