The ferry is the “lifeline to the mainland” for about 900 island residents, reported the newspaper. But the mainland dock is located on the Lummi Nation reservation, and the previous lease expired in February 2010.
The tribe has been trying to negotiate for more money than the offered $200,000 a year for 25 years, with annual inflation adjustments. The Lummi Nation is pushing for a 35-year lease and additional sums to cover leases of upland acreage next to the dock, as well as millions of dollars in safety and pedestrian improvements in and around the dock.
The tribe has also stressed that leasing the ferry dock would increase the cost of its plans for a Gooseberry Point marina by more than $4 million, reported the Herald in March.