The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has extended the deadline for public comment on the future of the Balfour inland ferry terminal by three months, giving Balfour and area residents until Oct. 6, 2016 to provide input.
The issues the ministry is facing with the current terminal require action, and doing nothing is not an option. The ministry is considering either the relocation of the ferry terminal to the Queens Bay area, or improvements to the current facility at Balfour. To remain at the current location, the ministry would have to address the challenges posed by the narrow channel and increasingly shallow lakebed, which may require dredging to maintain the existing operation.
Local input is a major consideration for the ministry as the options are assessed and the consultation deadline has been extended until Oct. 6, 2016, to ensure all local residents have the time to offer thoughtful comment. The ministry has received significant feedback to date and the communities’ engagement and participation in this process is appreciated.
An online survey is available at: www.gov.bc.ca/balfourterminal
The discussion guide and most recent technical feasibility study are also available online for further information.
Ferry service on Kootenay Lake currently operates between Balfour on the west side and Kootenay Bay on the east side. The distance is about nine kilometres, with a crossing time of about 35 minutes. The MV Osprey provides year round service with the MV Balfour supplementing the summer service. Balfour ferry terminal has been in place since 1947.
The Government of British Columbia invests approximately $29 million annually into operation of its 14 inland ferry routes.
Information on the Balfour Terminal Relocation consultation is available at: www.gov.bc.ca/balfourterminal