Formal Talks on Cleveland-to-Canada Ferry Service Could Soon Begin

February 16, 2011 – Local officials in Central Elgin have agreed to begin formal discussions with the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority regarding the launch of a ferry service between Port Stanley and Cleveland.

On Monday Central Elgin municipal council passed a resolution that supports further discussions with Cleveland port officials.

Talks between the city and Port Authority are now expected to accelerate.

“Central Elgin council is enthusiastic about looking at the potential benefits that a Lake Erie ferry may create,” said Central Elgin Mayor Bill Walters. “We don’t know yet if this new ferry concept is
the right fit for our area, but we owe it to our residents and businesses to fully investigate this concept. We will be seeking public input before making any decisions.”

Port Authority CEO Will Friedman reopened discussions with Canadian officials about the ferry service last fall. The service had been contemplated for years, but did not materialize, in part because the Canadian government had not completed a long-awaited transfer of the waterfront property to local control.

With that issue resolved, and after preliminary discussions with Cleveland port representatives in recent months, Mayor Walters recommended this week to municipal council to have more serious
discussions about establishing a pilot program of cross-lake ferry service.

“We are delighted the Central Elgin officials want to discuss this potentially exciting opportunity,” Friedman said. “We believe there is interest on both sides of the lake for this service now, and we
see that interest only growing in the next several years with construction of several major developments in Cleveland, including a casino.”

Recent discussions have lead to a shift in thinking about the ferry service and the type of vessel that would be used. While the service was initially conceived of as a freighter/truck-driven service,
a pilot program would likely focus on tourism and recreation, with truck traffic a smaller part of the mix. In addition a smaller vessel capable of traveling at faster speeds would likely be used.

Friedman said HMS Global Maritime of New Albany, Ind. has expressed interest in exploring the possibility of operating the higher-speed ferry service. Mayor Walters said he looks forward to learning more about the potential service.

Port Stanley harbour divestiture deal ‘provides everything we need’

Fishing tugs in Port Stanley harbour

News Release : September 8, 2010
Mayor Tom Marks says it’s time to believe in Port Stanley’s future

The transfer of Port Stanley Harbour lands to Central Elgin sets the stage for the village to become a premier upscale tourist destination, Mayor Tom Marks said today.

“We have a magnificent opportunity to develop the harbour properties in a way that guides economic development both in the community and in the municipality as a whole,” he said at a ceremony marking the land transfer from Transport Canada along with funding from the
federal government in the amount of $13,635,118.
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Central Elgin Mayor Tom Marks tells Canadian Navy to hoist anchor

In a letter to residents of Central Elgin released this afternoon (Aug. 12), Mayor Tom Marks tells the Canadian Navy to hoist anchor and let Port Stanley determine the best location for HMCS Ojibwa. Here is the full transcript. Mayor’s Letter Submarine Aug 12 2010

C.E. council unanimously accepts Port harbour offer

With less than a dozen interested spectators in the gallery, Central Elgin council presents a united voice in Port Stanley harbour divestiture. Harbour Acceptance of Offer April 23, 2010

Central Elgin Ratepayers Assoc. address to C.E. council July 20/09

Central Elgin Ratepayers Association, CERA, was formed primarily to influence the Council of the Municipality of Central Elgin to do the right thing when it comes to the local property tax burden.

Officially incorporated on May 15, 2009, in just two months CERA now has over 240 members. A recent survey of our members indicated that the Harbour negotiations with Transport Canada was our members’ second priority, after high taxes. Thank goodness, Dan McNeil saw fit to uncover many of the shenanigans in this protracted duel between Transport Canada and Central Elgin Council.

The community is in Harbour negotiation burnout. Only 70 citizens of a population of 12,500 showed up for the re-launched edition Harbour Community Workshop! It’s a sad, misleading commentary when media releases from the municipality and the consultants extol the great turnout at the first session. How can a $100,000 grant from Transport Canada, that’s trying to dump the Harbour on Central Elgin, not positively influence their agenda?
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Ethanol worries

The point here is that ethanol can be a big problem for engines, engine systems, certain types of fuel tanks and fuel lines. So as governments, ethanol producers and various proponents promote efforts to increase the amount of ethanol in fuel to 15 per cent from five to 10 per cent now, we should all take a deep breath.
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Natives urge Port Stanley harbour cleanup

Fishing tugs in Port Stanley harbour

Fishing tugs in Port Stanley harbour

Aboriginal voices have joined the call for the federal government to dredge and remove contamination from the harbour at Port Stanley.

The Walpole Island First Nation is even willing to do the work and bury contaminated soil at a secure site on its land along Lake St. Clair, a representative said.

The Walpole Island First Nation claims the harbour and western Lake Erie as its own.

Members of Walpole Island have been watching as Transport Canada and Central Elgin continue talks that may see the harbour turned over to the local municipality. The First Nation has adopted a wait-and-see attitude as talks continue and its land claim lawsuit sits in the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.

“We are very concerned about our harbour and we want to make sure the contamination is dealt with and there is dredging,” said former chief Dean Jacobs.
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