Periodically, I have done local updates on the on-again, off-again saga of the Lummi Island ferry, Whatcom Chief. Well, it seems to be on-again. The Whatcom County Council, and the Lummi Nation, are indicating that they are close to an agreement that would allow the ferry to continue to use Gooseberry Point, Lummi Nation land, as the mainland side dock for the ferry. There are only about 900 people on Lummi Island, but they count on the ferry.
The buzz is that the county has agreed to commit millions of dollars, in addition to a $200,000 annual lease payment, to the tribe. The funds would pay for traffic and pedestrian safety improvements near the dock. The next session, when the tribe and the county will negotiate, is set for May 9, 2011. But the word is that they are close. We hope so, since the tribe has set May 15 as the drop dead date for settling the whole issue. It might be cutting it pretty darn close this time.