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Sistersville Ferry receives federal grant funding

By Staff | Aug 31, 2011

The Sistersville Ferry will benefit in the amount of $85,600 from a grant awarded by the Federal Highway Administration. The grant application was submitted by the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WV D.O.T.) in cooperation with the Tyler County Development Authority (TCDA).

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply in June for federal funding from fourteen grant programs. Requests poured in from every state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. more than 1,800 applications, totaling nearly $13 billion, which was more than 30 times the amount of funds available.

The funds to be received to support the Sistersville Ferry will come from the U.S. D.O.T. Ferry Boat Discretionary Grant Program. Program funds are made available to ferry systems, and public entities responsible for developing ferries. The states, including eligible U.S. territories, submit applications to their local FHWA division office. Eligible public entities, such as the Sistersville Ferry, must receive the funds through their state transportation agency.

“This was the third consecutive year an application for funds from the U.S. D.O.T. ferry boat grant program had been submitted by the TCDA through the WV D.O.T. I am very pleased that this time, it seems, persistence paid off,” said Eric Peters.

“I certainly want to acknowledge the support have we received in this effort from WV Secretary of Transportation Paul Maddox, as well as from Rob Watson and his WV D.O.T. Planning Division staff.”

“While these funds must be dedicated to boat maintenance and improvements, along with enhancement of the ferry boat landing, the grant will allow income from passenger fares to be directed at payroll, insurance and fuel expenses, instead of the occasional unexpected repair expense,” Peters added.

“Continued operation of the Sistersville Ferry is important to our county’s economic and community development as a vital transportation link and tourist attraction. The TCDA certainly recognizes that. That’s why the TCDA’s support of efforts to keep the ferry in operation are ongoing. We plan to continue to work with the Sistersville Ferry Board and Mayor Fox to that end,” Peters stated.

Congress created the discretionary grant programs to give FHWA the latitude to support projects that maintain the nation’s roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable. FHWA awarded these funds through a competitive process.

The D.O.T. started work on the Sistersville Ferry Landing earlier this month. While crews are working in the area, the ferry operation has been moved one block north to the boat dock landing located at Charles and Riverside Drive.

The ferry will operate at the temporary location in accordance with the regular schedule: Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information on the Sistersville Ferry, call 304-652-6361 or 304-771-9731.