As a follow up to the letter to the editor from Larry Greenlaw, work is still taking place to try and avoid the wasteful expenditure of taxpayers’ money on a new ferry which will not improve the traffic flow in a meaningful manner.
Six BACA directors met with Ministry of Transportation on December 16 in Nakusp to discuss in detail the fixed link proposal at Galena Bay. Mr. Norm Parks, Regional Director, Mr. Glenn Olleck and Ms. Shawn Grant listened to the two hour presentation by Earl Frerichs, President of Beaton Arm Crossing Association. There were 647 standard and 29 personalized letters of support, (four against) also shown to the government delegation. Earl Frerichs emphasized that the Business Case shows that a new ferry would be the wrong thing to do. The best choice is a fixed link across Beaton Arm and either go straight north to Revelstoke on the east side of the Columbia River or re-cross at Sidmouth to Cranberry Creek and use the existing Highway 23.
Norm Parkes will take BACA’s Business Case and discuss its content with government staff. He intends to make his recommendations by the end of January.
In case anyone thinks that the ferry service is free the following information may change your mind. The current ferry costs four million dollars per year to transport approximately 185,000 units per year. Quick math will show you that the average cost per unit is $22.
The new ferry operating cost will be in excess of $5 million per year. Since the increase in units carried will be minimal the cost per year per unit will increase to approximately $28.
Another component to be considered is greenhouse gas emissions. The current ferry emits 5.67 tonnes per day. The new ferry will emit 9.89 tonnes per day. This comes at a time that current legislation strives to reduce emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.
BACA has launched a new website www.ArrowBACA.ca where information about the Business Plan and other reports can be found. Comments on the BACA Facebook are encouraged. Meetings are being planned for January with the new council of the Village of Nakusp, Chamber of Commerce as well as a public information meeting.
President Beaton Arm Crossing Association