One of the concerns expressed by Mayor Foley in the transportation update had to do with the ticket booth in Farewell and concern over what was said to be a temporary closure “due to budget constraints.”
Minister Hedderson said he indicated during the meeting in January that the ticket booth in Farewell for the fiscal year was “covered.”The ticket booth in Farewell was located there on a trial basis during peak season in 2011. In September there were enough funds to keep it going and see how it operated during the off season.
“It had been intended for our peak season, but it has worked out very, very well,” he said. “I looked at other alternatives, like (payment) on the boat and going electronic, but we are not prepared for that yet because there are some flat spots on that crossing that if you are trying to run things through Visa of whatever that could pose some difficulties.
“So we will continue with the ticket booth.”
Minister Hedderson noted the lobbying effort of council, the Transportation Committee and MHA for the Farewell ticket booth.
“We did have to advise workers that it may be closed, but they will be advised now that it will continue,” he said.
Mayor Foley said that as an amalgamated Council on Fogo Island, they would continue to lobby the Provincial Government for improved services.
“In addition to our meetings and ongoing conversation with Transportation, we will soon meet again with Central Health to review the issues related to medical evacuations and the disruption this creates, especially for persons with scheduled treatments and procedures and specialist appointments off the Island.
“We are confident that by continuing to work together and with the cooperation of the residents of Fogo Island and Change Islands who rely on the ferry service, solutions will be found and we can continue to move forward together.”