Meeting Notes: Ferry Committee Work Session with Tom Ballard 2009.10.27


October 27, 2009


Present:  Tom Ballard, Ron Panzero, Glen Veal, Allen Bush, Carl Cady, Terry Ebersole, Dyvon Havens

Meeting held at Skagit County Public Works 10:00 am to 11:30 pm


1.            Tom Ballard suggested that the upcoming meeting agenda with the Skagit County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) on November 10, 2009, include items that have been neglected and should be in place for 2009. The Roundtable will begin working on  a work plan to include items that need resolution or solutions in regard to the Guemes Island Ferry operation.


                Following are the main points to cover with the BCC:

                a.             Expansion of Roundtable to include more public participation.

                                i.              Submit Plan to modify Roundtable (R20040393).

                                ii.            Identify legitimate Guemes Ferry stakeholders.

                                iii.           Define scope of Roundtable to include entire ferry operations only.

                b.            Commitment to shift to a 3-person crew Dec. 1, 2009.

                c.             Retention of the current Sailing Schedule.

                d.            Work Plant items for 2010

                                i.              Fare Structure

                                ii.            Fare Recovery Model

                                iii.           Ferry Account/Deficit Report

                                iv.           Roundtable Calendar

                                v.            Cost Containment

                                v.            Ferry Schedule


2.            Fare Target Report

The Guemes Island Ferry has not met projected revenues (R20080018). The County does not expect a fare increase for 2010 however.


[R20080018 Fare Revenue Target (utilizing data from July 1~ to June 30.) The five (5) year average of ferry operating and maintenance costs as computed in the annual deficit reimbursement reports submitted to the State.  For purposes of this resolution, capital expenditures are not included in the ferry operating and maintenance costs and shall be defined as all capital expenditures defined in WAC 136-400-030 and other capital costs including financing and depreciation expenses applied to the replacement, expansion, or creation of ferry system physical elements, less the five (5) year average of the State Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax received by the County for operation and maintenance of ferries, less the five (5) year average of the State Ferry Deficit Reimbursement received by the County, the total of the above multiplied by 65%].


[Section 4. Prior to November 30 of each year, the Public Works Department shall prepare and submit a report to the Board that calculates the ferry fare revenue target pursuant to Section 3, and shall recommend a ferry rate schedule for the upcoming  calendar year with an estimate of fare revenues based on these rates.  The report shall be discussed at an Operations and Performance Roundtable meeting prior to submittal to the Board. The Board shall review the report and by resolution set fare rates for the following year.]


3.            The implementation of a 3-person crew should result in a reduction in expenses.


4.            The “bookend” ferry schedule, start and stop times, was only differed from 3 times in the past year. (R20080556)


[R20080556 “NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED AND ORDERED, that effective January 1, 2009, authority  to make emergency runs outside the sailing schedule and to revise and amend the departure schedule as necessary for exigent circumstances, demand, financial considerations, passenger needs, and other reasons relating to operating the ferry transportation system and its infrastructure, provided that the number of total daily ferry runs must not be materially increased, is delegated to the Director, Skagit County Public Works Department.]



Note taker: Allen Bush





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