LETTER: Costs missing from ferry proposal

Two important pieces of information are‎ missing in this article.

Hundreds of Kootenay Lake residents came out Wednesday to learn more about the potential fate of the Balfour ferry terminal.

‎Re: “Residents pack Kootenay Lake ferry meeting”

Two important pieces of information are‎ missing in this article. It is important people understand:

In the ministry’s Queens Bay proposal, they have no money allocated for cleaning up the previous industrial site at the Balfour ferry landing. This must be included in their budget.‎ Maybe money for properly upgrading the facility to make it viable for tourism should be in that too. Our communities just can’t afford it otherwise.

And to compare apples to apples, all costs of the barge should be included in the Queens Bay proposal. Even if it can be multi purpose, to hide that budgeting from our Kootenay Lake community is unacceptable, especially since the real cost of upgrading Balfour is $6 million ($3 million to dredge, which is happening anyway in Queens Bay, $2 million‎ to fix the landing, and $1 million to properly fix the highway road), plus a ferry, which can also be multi purpose.

It’s funny to note in the ministry’s formal paper questionnaire that they don’t have Queens Bay as a community. This proposal and process is very biased. ‎Many excuses to leave, no reasons for staying.

There is a heavy connotation in the article that the Queens Bay argument against the ferry moving is NIMBY (Our beach! Oh no!) when realistically it is environmental:

• Installing an industrial site in a pristine environment when this side of the lake already has a site that is compromised (Balfour ferry landing and area). We don’t need another and we don’t want one.

• Slow moving waters in Queens Bay will trap foreign polluting articles from fill/dredging‎/ humans/vehicles/ferry and more. This is a long term problem.

• There are watersheds in Queens Bay the ministry has not considered. My drinking water is very important to me and there is no mitigation.

This is a lot more than NIMBY. We are building a new industrial site the will permanently alter the community and virgin ecology of Queens Bay forever. It will also severely damage the community and economy of Balfour and Kootenay Lake.‎ Stay strong everyone.

Reg P. Goldsbury, Balfour

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