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Reinstating Customs in Marine City may be a challenge for Bluewater Ferry

Reinstating Customs in Marine City may be a challenge for Bluewater Ferry

Morgan Dalgety said his family doesn’t want to sell its ferry in Sombra, Ontario.

But they’re also frustrated, he said, that reinstating operations with U.S. Customs and Border Protection across the St. Clair River in Marine City may be what’s preventing an offer from moving forward.

The Bluewater Ferry has been closed since January 2018 after heavy ice flow collided with the causeway connecting mainland Canada to the ferry dock and Canadian Customs building. What followed was a 17-month effort to first attempt to raise funds to cover costs to repair the damage before taking the Canadian government to court.

Dalgety said the process has begun to drain them financially and that they’re considering a conditional offer to purchase and repair the ferry causeway to keep the service alive. The family is keeping specifics of the conditional sale confidential, though he said one of those conditions is that the U.S. CBP commits to staffing the port building in Marine City.

“Now, they’re saying they have no staff,” Dalgety said. Three attempts to reach a CBP spokesman in Detroit for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

“We haven’t given up, (but) we do not have the funds. The causeway needs to be built,” he added. “… We don’t want to sell. This is a fifth-generation family business.”