The March GIFC meeting was held on the 16th via Zoom with Dave, Allen, Bud and John present.

Minutes from February were approved.The next scheduled haul-out of the Guemes Island Ferry will be May 14 through June 12, 2021. During this time, passenger-only service will be provided by Arrow Launch Service, and shuttle service on Guemes Island will be provided by Skagit Transit. Be advised the car ferry will be out of service over Memorial Day weekend, so please plan accordingly. More details will be released soon.

The low bid of $742,713 was submitted by Nichol’s Brothers Boat Builders, in Freeland, WA. For more information about the project and to view bid results, please visit Skagit County Request for Bids. The schedule, proposed by Nichol’s Brothers Boat Builders, was chosen as the best time for the haul-out even though it includes a holiday weekend. Better weather in May and June means passengers won’t be stuck inside waiting for the ferry and on the passenger boat. Passenger safety and COVID-19 were the most important factors in scheduling. We also want toget the car ferry out of service and back on the route well in advance of the July 4 holiday weekend.

Questions arose as to whether all of the scheduled repairs and maintenance to be completed during the haulout are indeed maintenance vs. capital. We spoke to the fact that the County has determined to proceed with ferry replacement vs. extending the life of the current vessel.

As a means to reduce tasks during the haulout and reduce drydock costs we will notice Public Works changing engines overnight sometime in the next 2 weeks.

We also will wait and see if the remaining new ferry replacement money can be obtained from the state transportation budget.

Between now and the end of April we anticipate that Public Works will present a draft Ferry Fare Target Report for 2020.

Dave will deliver the Ferry resolution list for Allen to post on the GIFC webpage.

There was debate as to how we will help determine what the public actually would like to see us work on. A survey, whether it be online or a printed piece that could be delivered and administered in person. Perhaps we could take turns canvasing the ferry lines on both sides for a defined period of time. Topics could include what type of service and the demographics of users during times of heavy traffic. No decisions were made.

Allen Bush Notetaker

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