The Richmond Register

Local News

February 12, 2014

Bids out for new Valley View ferry

RICHMOND — The Valley View ferry may soon be getting a new boat to accommodate its riders.

According to Magistrate Roger Barger, Valley View Authority chair, a grant application to the state Transportation Cabinet may pay off after three years.

“We’re very fortunate the grant money is still available,” Barger said.

Getting a new boat has been a combined effort by Madison, Fayette and Jessamine counties, which jointly operate the ferry through the Valley View Authority. The state is collecting bids, which are due by month’s end, Barger said. While state official have told him they expect the bids to exceed the grant, the magistrate said he thinks the cost will be reasonable. However, the authority won’t proceed unless funds are available.

“If we can’t afford it, we won’t do it,” Barger said.

He said the boat now in use has many issues, from engine problems to general wear and tear.

“It’s got a lot of moving parts,” Barger said. “There are so many things that can go wrong with it.”

A newer model would be more efficient as well as more reliable, he added.

The ferry also will soon get a new captain, possibly within the next month, Barger said.

A man interested in the job has gone through most of the required training and will soon go to Coast Guard school to attain final certification. To be certified, the man will have to take a week-long class in which he will learn, among other things, to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The class ends with a test, and upon successful completion, the candidate will be ready to begin piloting the ferry, Barger said.

However, his predecessor will be retiring soon afterward, still leaving the ferry understaffed, he said.

Seth Littrell can be reached at slittrell@richmondregister.com or 624-6623.

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