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Darby Campbell



Joined: 23 Nov 2009
Posts: 83
Location: Western Subs - Chicago

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:19 am 
Post subject: BITA/BIBCO
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Just to let everyone know, I heard back from Ms Cook at BITA who informed me that the e-mail address posted on the Beaver Island Forum is incorrect. biboat@tds.net is the old address and that mail goes into a Spam file. She thanked me for my e-mail and will forward it onto her directors. Any comments to BITA should be directed to:

bitrans@tds.net
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Darby Campbell



Joined: 23 Nov 2009
Posts: 83
Location: Western Subs - Chicago

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:54 am 
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Doctor Powers' survey is a wonderful start to identifying positions on township consolidation. I noted several common themes in the comments section. One was the cost of the boat fares. Air transportation numbers seem to be increasing over the years while boat ridership is decreasing. Although I take the boat and don't fly, I believe people are very happy with the air service and costs for passengers and freight. This leads me to the question of how the cost of flying can be just a few dollars more than the cost of the boat when air service is privately owned and the boat is heavily subsidized by the State. WHERE ARE THE PROFITS FOR THE BOAT GOING?
If you share this concern, I know that the Beaver Island Transportation Authority would like to here from you. BITA thanked me for my comments.

bitrans@tds.net
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sbsp



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 443
Location: Beaver Island, Kalamazoo, Fripp Island, SC

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:46 am 
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Darby -
Thank you for your active interest in Island issues. As you know I have contacted BITA on several occasions and although we don't always agree, both Bob Tidmore and Mary Cook have always been most accommodating in responding to my requests. I too wonder where the profits have gone and whether BITA governs the BIBCO or the other way around. Both Bob and Mary encouraged that the public contact them regarding questions. They also encourage people to attend their open meetings to give input and express concerns.
Again, I support your efforts and thank you for your concerns. The Island is a better place than it might appear.
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Kirk
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islandliving



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 276
Location: Beaver Island, Michigan

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:08 pm 
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I have a Daughter with 4 children 1 over 12. My son in laws parents live on Beaver Island also. They can come to Beaver Island with an average size car for $545.00 round trip.
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sbsp



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 443
Location: Beaver Island, Kalamazoo, Fripp Island, SC

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:42 pm 
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John -
Someone is making a good profit off those fares. It has come to the point that my children, who make a lot more money than I do, can no longer afford to come to the Island for a visit with car, grandchildren and dogs. I don't think my family are the only ones. This is something that many of us are facing. Sad situation for Beaver Island and those of us who live there when the boat runs.
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Kirk
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islandliving



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 276
Location: Beaver Island, Michigan

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:55 pm 
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I have 3 children and 10 grandkids, 2 live in East Jordan and 1 in Boyne City. All within 20 miles of the Beaver Island Boat Co in Charlevoix. They all love the Island but usually only visit one time of year due to the expense. They all have good jobs as well, but is unaffordable for them to come. It is sad because they would come a lot more if they could afford it. They just canít.

John McCafferty
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stardust



Joined: 09 Jul 2013
Posts: 126

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:17 pm 
Post subject: boat
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I remember when it was $50.00 round trip
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conanconnor



Joined: 01 Jun 2011
Posts: 124

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:52 pm 
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It seems that when young families do set the money aside to come here (they could choose many other more affordable vacation locations), they have to forego eating out in the restaurants and shopping in the stores and gift shops, because their budget is strained simply with transportation and lodging. I think we may be pricing ourselves out of the tourist industry.
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King Conan
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sbsp



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 443
Location: Beaver Island, Kalamazoo, Fripp Island, SC

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:11 pm 
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For everyone's information, I confirmed with BITA that the Transportation Authority is the board that approves the Boat Company's fares each year. If there is a concern over the high fares, it rests with the Transportation Authority.
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Kirk
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islandliving



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 276
Location: Beaver Island, Michigan

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:29 pm 
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When I built my building in 2002 the freight charges the boat co gave me was around $8,500.00 just for the rough-in package, for the whole building complete probably was double that. I tried to get a deal from the boat co because of the amount. There was a thing for years called a charter. You paid a set amount and got the boat one way, all you could fit. My materials at the time would not fill up the Emerald Isle. I offered the whole charter rate with the boat co using the rest of the space for their profit. I could only pay the 8,500.00 to get my materials over in a timely manner. A discount was offered to get my materials over at the boat companies convenience with no timeline on the delivery. Not an option when you have 8 guys working not knowing when you were going to get anything. After a lot of debate with the manager at the time trying to get some kind of a volume deal, she basically told me to go deal with Robert Gillespie to haul my freight. That's what happened. Great business do you think? At the time I wrote letters to the BITA, went to meetings to complain about the unfair freight charges, with many examples of why I thought it was unfair at the time , not just in my case, but the whole freight charging system in general. All that was done was freight charges just continued to rise. I spoke my mind to John Kurtz a year ago as did many other contractors and merchants about the proposed 15% across the board. I don't know why he met with us because all that came of the meetings was a 15% freight increase to put in a bank account. So now we are funding a savings account for the boat co. The reason it went on the freight is because they didn't want to put it on passengers and vehicles. Well if you raise the freight 15% every thing on the island goes up 15% so that tourist and vacationer is still paying more for their vacation.

John McCafferty
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sbsp



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 443
Location: Beaver Island, Kalamazoo, Fripp Island, SC

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:12 am 
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John -
To take your point a bit further. We can talk about improved services, consolidation of townships, building costs, taxes, internet coverage, health care, dental services, school population/costs, Community Center, lodging, restaurants, roads, natural beauty, tourism, increased population, etc but if we can't get people to visit and invest because of the cost of the boat, there is little chance these services or improvements will be of benefit to anyone. I see fares for passengers and freight on our State owned, BITA controlled boat as the most critical issue that needs to be addressed or all else will be for naught.
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Kirk
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islandliving



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 276
Location: Beaver Island, Michigan

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:01 pm 
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For $20.50 more than the boat I can take a 15 minute airplane ride to Beaver Island with a company that owns everything, maintains, insures, ect. With being an airplane owner and pilot know this is very expensive. And they are very limited to just a few passengers per trip. Or for $20.50 more I can take a 2 1/2 hour boat ride with a company that operates a boat and all the equipment necessary to run the business all owned by the State of Michigan. Also I understand the company gets a fairly large amount of money from the State for operating expenses of the company. Why canít the State just keep all the employees, Captains, ect. and run the company? Would this reduce fairs? Has it ever been considered. Is there a lot of unneeded administrative expenses this way? Are we afraid of a State run transportation system to Beaver Island? I think one thing we do know is currently boat transportation to Beaver Island is to high.

John McCafferty
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sbsp



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 443
Location: Beaver Island, Kalamazoo, Fripp Island, SC

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:50 pm 
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Island Airways does an excellent job on service with excellent pricing. Most Island residents use them all year long. My concern is that first time visitors and summer vacationers most likely will use the boat as their first option. That is why it is so critical to get pricing and service back under control.
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Kirk
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Myles & Sally



Joined: 07 May 2013
Posts: 42
Location: Lake G

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:48 pm 
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My son has 6 kids, when they come to the island they put their clothes in totes. This year they had to pay freight on the totes, which they have never had to do before.
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sbsp



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 443
Location: Beaver Island, Kalamazoo, Fripp Island, SC

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:25 am 
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It's not just the cost of tickets discouraging people from coming to BI. We go off Island 2 or 3 times during the summer. When going off we do not take luggage but 3 or 4 empty plastic tubs stacked into one another. Also an empty cooler. It was never a problem until recently. I now get charged per tub and cooer to take them off empty on the rack, weighing 5 pounds maybe. The cost varies between $11 and $20 depending who is charging at the desk. I asked why the new charge and was told because we know you will be bringing back with food. That is exactly what we do and we pay less for full tubs and cooler returning because we get a cage.
I wish BITA would pay more attention to what is happening to regular customers rather than just accepting all free boat tickets for BITA directors and spouses from the Boat Company. BITA approving the price of tickets each year is immaterial to them when free from the Boat Company. I have brought this to the attention of BITA and the board voted to continue the practice of accepting free tickets from the Boat Company. Conflict of interest? They say "no".
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