Mountrail County RECORD
Ferry plan could work with local support
By Jerry W. Kram
Could a ferry service operate successfully on Lake Sakakwea, restoring the northsouth connection that was lost when Elbowoods disappeared under the water of the lake? Maybe.
That was the result of a feasibility study done by Ulteig Engineering with a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant through the Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP). The results of the study were presented to the public at meetings in Parshall and Twin Buttes.
The main conclusion, according to Shirley Brentup, executive director of REAP, is that a ferry service could be feasible if local supporters will take the lead to see it created. The study identified sources of funding that could fund 80 percent of the equipment cost of the project, but that funding is contingent on finding local funding for the remainder of the project.
“The project is feasible,” Brentup said. “That is if the money can be assembled and people get involved. The important thing will be to create a stakeholder group that will move the project forward. The project needs a lot of things, but it needs those stakeholders to get things rolling.”