JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- This was the scene Tuesday at the St. Johns River ferry boat launch: Boat docked, gate locked and not a person in site. Services were shut down this week when a hole was found in the bottom of the boat.
Jaxport Communication Director Nancy Rubin says, "They had an inspection done of that area and they found that there's a crack in the bottom in the hull that needs to be repaired."
So how much will that cost? Rubin says they won't know for sure until the boat is taken all the way out of the water. But she tells Action News she expects it to cost tens of thousands of dollars. Action News asks, "Where is this money coming from?" "The Jacksonville Port Authority still owns and operates the vessel so we will take responsibility for it," Rubin says.
So is it worth it to make the repairs now since Jaxport will be handing over their responsibility of the ferry to the city's 'Save the Ferry Commission' in just a few weeks? Rubin says yes. "Would everyone like for this not to have happened absolutely. Will we take care of what needs to be taken care of absolutely," says Rubin.
She says they have a one-year plan in place, to shift the $600,000 a year operation fee smoothly. "We really feel at the port authority that we've been working very closely with the cities commission to make a smooth transition to ensure that the operation continues for the people who depend on it everyday," she says.