By DENNIS PHILLIPS
Special to the OBSERVER
STOW - The Bemus Point-Stow Ferry ran with 90 school children aboard Tuesday, but was then once again shut down by state regulations.
John Cheney, director of vessels for the Sea Lion Project Ltd., which operates the ferry, said he received certification to operate the ferry through the mail from the state Friday, June 8, and went to Mayville to finalize the paperwork Monday. On Tuesday, the ferry ran, but then Cheney was told not to run again because there was a problem with the state certification.
''We didn't do anything illegal when we ran Tuesday. We have to first take pictures of the work that was done then get them notarized and send them to the state,'' he said. ''It boils down to they (state officials) made a mistake when they sent the certificate. So we're not running, but it is not that we don't want to. It is because of a technicality that we can't run.''
Last week, Cheney told the OBSERVER the ferry didn't pass its inspection last month because of state regulations that require all water vessels to have an anchor, an electric horn and automatic sump pumps with an alarm system. Cheney said, hopefully, this weekend the electrician, who donates his time, will have a chance to finish the wiring necessary to have the sump pumps and their alarms working. As far as needing an anchor, Cheney said that certainly won't be a problem either because of the support from the community.
''I've received 11 phone calls from people willing to donate anchors. I had an anchor dropped off. I don't even know who it was from,'' he said. ''I didn't know I had so many friends.''
Cheney said, for now, the plan is to run this week once he receives approval from the state.
''I'm trying to jump through every hoop they (state officials) give us,'' he said. ''I'm sure we will be able to get running in the future.''