JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- For six decades the St. Johns River Ferry has shortened drive times and connected communities but it now faces a funding crisis.
That's why the Atlantic Beach mayor wants his city to step up, and help pay for part of the ferry's operations.
"It's not the amount of money. It's the unity of support, collectively," Atlantic Beach Mayor Mike Borno says.
Right now, the ferry is funded through rider fares but needs an additional $600,000 to sustain operations. JaxPort recently pledged $200,000 as long as the Florida Department of Transportation, the Jacksonville City Council and supporters can secure the rest of the money. With the mayor's support, Atlantic Beach will vote Monday to help out the ferry funding crisis.
Commissioner Mark Beckenbach says he's on board with the proposal, as long as the amount is modest.
"In order to show that we're going to put a little skin in the game."
Beckenbach has talked with taxpayers and they've told him Atlantic Beach needs to take an active role in raising funds for the ferry.
"They were saying as far as a small contribution to show good faith and that's basically what it is," he says, "We need enthusiasm of all the citizens to join into this. Not just Atlantic Beach, individual citizens, private companies, government entities. It's going to take us all."
The St Johns River Ferry Commission has until September 30th to come up with the funds.