BC Ferries is hoping to finalize a property purchase in Fulford village that will allow it to get moving on terminal expansion plans, with a 2020 completion date in mind.
Speaking to the semi-annual meeting of ferry executives and the Salt Spring Ferry Advisory Committee on Thursday, vice-president of strategic planning Dave Hendry said archeological and geotechnical requirements at the historic Patterson property will hopefully be addressed in the near future.
“It’s a multi-year project but we’re hopeful the first critical phasing of closing the property purchase will be done in the next few months,” Hendry said, adding the terminal design process can begin after that happens.
Members of the public who attended the meeting were happy to hear an idea for incorporating Fulford village history into the development has support from ferries executives, including new CEO Mark Collins. In light of changes that will include removing the 100-year-old Patterson house from the waterfront, Emily Hepburn gave a delegation to “plant a seed” about installing historic photos somewhere in the new space, whether in a wall display, a bus shelter or other means. Salt Spring Archives and the Salt Spring Historical Society have agreed to supply images as needed.
“If BC Ferries is interested, we will establish a committee to get started,” Hepburn proposed.
“I can answer in the affirmative: we’d like to work with you. We’re very interested in this,” Collins replied. “We recognize it’s a massive redevelopment of that area. It will have a massive impact on the community.”
BC Ferries will also work with local First Nations to ensure their history is reflected in the space. Hendry said both components will be part of the larger public engagement process once terminal development moves ahead.