Ferry Update – Meeting Notes

These notes were recorded by Ann Westhaver who attended the meeting about the new car ferry held in Blandford  on July 25.
Government Representatives:
Danielle Barkhouse – MLA, Chester St. Margarets
Dan Leopold – Director, Fleet Management
John Majchrowicz – Manager, Marine Services
Jason Keddy – Captain In Charge, Tancook/LaHave Ferries
Keith Boddy – Highway Design Engineer
Troy Webb – Acting Executive Director, Maintenance and Operations
Chris Dyke – Tancook Infrastructure Project Manager (COWI Engineering)
Annabelle Singleton – Environmental Analyst (Singleton Environmental Consulting)
14 passengers maximum upper deck
36 below covered
Decibal ratings very low – noise of a car
35 metres long – Ernst only 23 metres
Speed 8 knots
They will not rent out the house on Blandford property it will be for the province’s use.
Low impact on traffic in the Blandford area
Complete round trip 1 hour or less
One way 25 to 30 minutes
Intersection in Blandford will be straightened out a bit – no roundabout.
Still in the process with DFO about the site going forward due to lush eel grass
2 hectares of eelgrass found at site 1
1800 square meters of eelgrass at site 2 but only 500 meters affected.
Still waiting for DFO to sign off on Environmental study that is why no tenders have gone out.
Environmental study should be signed off any day now.
All Mi’kmaq groups have been contacted and all their concerns have been met. Drafting final decision letter to Mi’kmaq groups to sign.
Danielle has reached out to MODL and MODC regarding dry hydrants in Blandford and Tancook
Coastal Engineering did a wave study
Winds higher then 35 knots the ferry will not run.
Roads will be busy in Blandford during construction
It will be up to the company that wins the bid if they want to hire locals during the construction phase.
Because of wait for approval from DFO they do not expect construction to start until Spring of 2023
Ernst is in good shape and crossing fingers it will last 3 more years.
Lion share of residents understand the benefits of this new ferry.
Ferry makes sense
It will be a safe, reliable service
Monday to Thursday 6am first out of Tancook to 6 pm last out of Blandford
Friday 6:00 am first out of Tancook to 11:30 pm last out of Blandford
Saturday 9:00 am first out of Tancook to 7:30 pm last out of Blandford
Sunday 9:00 am first out of Tancook to 6:30 pm last out of Blandford
Little Tancook
Wharf is being turned over to the province
Majority of the wharf will become a breakwater and consideration has been taken for rising sea levels over 50 years
Working through the landowners to acquire land necessary for landing ferry
No environmental concerns
No place for any private boat to dock
Little Tancook construction will not start until Blandford and Big are completed.
Province will provide some type of service to Little during construction phase.
Will only be an on call service
Concerns about bikes on the 329, Danielle is hoping to get a blue route in the 5 year plan.
Zoning on the island will be important. Will be something MODL will need to look at.
Chester was not an option for ferry route. Blandford was the only option.
Blandford resident stated that there needs to be compassion for the residents of Tancook. We should have an understanding that this new service is important.
Blandford area will prosper. Everyone agreed progress is necessary..
If everything goes along without any hiccups then the ferry should be in operation earliest at Fall of 2024 or Spring 2025
Cost of ferry is 10.6 million

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