Morris: Sidney ferry looks good

State Rep. Jeff Morris says, of the Sidney ferry service, “It’s not a done deal, but it’s looking like a done deal.” He says the international run is mandated in both the state House and Senate budgets for the coming two years.  

jeff_morris.jpgState Rep. Jeff Morris says, of the Sidney ferry service, “It’s not a done deal, but it’s looking like a done deal.” He says the international run is mandated in both the state House and Senate budgets for the coming two years.  

Morris said his next step would be to try to stop the roller coaster ride the Sidney route has had over the years, with fights for funding every few years. Part of the problem, he said, was that Washington State Ferries has been reluctant to sign long term leases.

He said he’d like to start a dialog about the long-term future for the run, including possibly adding money from some sort of local financing district and possibly building ferries designed exclusively for the Anacortes-Sidney service.

Morris’s comments came during a telephone conference call with Anacortes Mayor Dean Maxwell and Sidney Mayor Larry Cross Tuesday afternoon.

Maxwell said he was gratified to hear great stories during Sunday’s first day of the Sidney service for this season. He added “We don’t throw away the good things.”

Cross said his bonus out of the ferry fight has been to forge new contacts in Anacortes and elsewhere in Washington. Cross was just recently elected Mayor of Sidney. He also said BC Ferries has two surplus vessels that might be appropriate for service here.

While the international service is mandated in the proposed House and Senate budgets, both houses will need to reconcile the two budgets, which make massive cuts in other areas, including education, health care, and college enrollment.