Refit The Guemes Ferry
The Board of Commissioners is considering replacing the Guemes Ferry at a cost of $26,000,000. Refitting the Guemes Ferry will keep the vessel running for at least another 20 years at a cost of less than $1,200,000 (1/20 of the new ferry. cost)
If you agree that Skagit County should consider refitting the ferry, please sign and send the following message to the Commissioners in addition to any email comments you might otherwise send.
I would like to encourage the Board of County Commissioners to direct Public Works to contact the Washington State Department of Ecology to gain all the information available about qualifying for money made available by the Volkswagen settlement to re-power the Guemes ferry.
Whether the Board believes that the proposed new electric ferry is their top priority, or not, it is only prudent that they ascertain the guidelines for receiving money from the VW settlement in order to re-power the "Guemes". From information stated in the VW settlement, "e. For Government Owned Eligible Ferries and/or Tugs, Beneficiaries may draw from the Trust in the amount of: 1. Up to 100% of a Repower with a new diesel or alternative fueled (e.g. CNG, propane, Hybrid) engine(s), including installation of such engine(s)" or "2. Up to 100% of the cost of a Repower with a new All-Electric engine(s), including the cost of installation of such engine(s), and charging infrastructure associated with the new All-Electric engine(s).""
If the Board doesn't take prompt action to inquire about qualifying for these VW settlement funds, it might be too late to qualify later based on the priorities established by the Washington State Department of Ecology who is the administrator of this fund. Additionally, Brett Rude of the Dept. of Ecology stated that none of the money in the VW settlement was going to be used in new vessel construction.