Toll booth replacement given green light

Few turn out to public open house on the proposed design plan

An open house on a proposed new toll booth design at the Anacortes Ferry Terminal in Sidney drew little response, so town council is proceeding on the advice of their advisory planning commission and pricing out the construction.

Only three people turned out to a March 11 open house on the revised design of the replacement toll booth building. Back in August 2013, Finlayson Bonet Architects presented a new design to replace this existing structure. The project was based on the needs of the ferry terminal operator (Flair Hospitality) who wanted additional ticket windows, office space and a washroom, among other improvements.

A small group of residents on Aug. 26 sent the Town a petition, citing disappointment with the design. Council last September voted to send the plan to the Sidney Ferry Terminal Liaison Committee for further review. Late in 2013, the architect came up with more options and the advisory planning commission was tasked with choosing the best option. They chose option 2B — a mix of wood beams, stonework, concrete foundation and metal roofing.

That option was the subject of the open house. Staff report that residents in the immediate area were sent letters (including the 10 on the petition) about the open house, but only three showed up.

Council voted March 17 at their committee session to go with the favoured option and have staff seek out cost estimates for its construction. The decision will still have to be ratified at a regular council meeting (the next one is March 24).

Mayor Larry Cross, citing a possible conflict of interest as he lives right across from the toll booth, excused himself from the vote.