Well, after two and quarter hours of sitting about in the Regional Council Chambers, our little group of Port Robinson Ferry supporters were handed a verdict.
Only about an hour (a long hour) was spent on the ferry debates. The rest was spent on the operational budget overview and the repetitious questions that followed. The ferry part, which was fortunately moved up, began with a motion from Thorold Mayor Ted Luciani to have the Region pick up the $66,500 operating costs Thorold will no longer be receiving after March 31 of 2016. he explained that Thorold does have “some skin in the game”, a phrase which came up repeatedly, in the form of $13,000 in insurance and $9,000 in in-kind work, but it didn’t go over well. They decided it wasn’t enough skin.
Mayor Luciani’s motion was met with an amendment by Reg. Counc. Andrew Petrowski to limit the Region’s exposure to one year, a move that was soundly defeated. Then came a motion from Reg. Counc. Bruce Timms which suggested that the Region pay one half of the $66,500 ($33,250) in operating costs with an additional amount to cover an improved schedule to a maximum of $33,250 for each of two years.
There was a whole lot of discussion concerning liability, legal or otherwise, and some Councilors didn’t seem to understand the wording, though I’m not sure why but, in the end, that was the motion that passed by roughly two-thirds. It’s not engraved in stone, however, until the entire budget is passed by by-law in Regional Council, just as we do here. Hopefully it won’t trigger a whole new round of discussion.
For the sake of argument, we’ll say that the Region voted to save the Port Robinson Ferry, with Thorold’s input. So, now the ball is in Thorold City Council’s court.