Future Ownership of Idled Ferryboat?
Washington PA Observer Reporter
17 September 2013
By Scott Beveridge, Staff Writer
UNIONTOWN – Fayette County will seek proposals on future ownership
of idled ferryboat Frederick on the Monongahela River to the
disappointment of those who want to preserve the relic along the
Washington County riverbank.
Fayette commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to advertise for
proposals to dispose of the ferry, leaving open the possibility it
might be sold for scrap steel or floated to another community to
become a tourist attraction.
“I’m not surprised at this point,” said Fredericktown businessman
Dennis Slagle, who, along with East Bethelehem Township
supervisors, are seeking the vessel in a donation to the town
sharing its name. “That was their opinion a week ago.”
Fayette, which operated the ferry under a budget shared with
Washington County, permanently closed the ferry Aug. 28 because it
was losing traffic and money to a new, nearby Mon-Fayette
Slagle attended the Fayette commissioners’ meeting with East Beth
supervisor Paul Battaglini and township solicitor Lane Turturice
to make a public pitch for donating the ferry to Fredericktown to
be the centerpiece of a proposed museum.
“It’s very important for our community and we would like to
commemorate it, make it part of the local history,” Turturice
Commissioner Vince Zapotosky replied, saying he spoke to people in
Fredericktown about the museum, and that Fayette needs to include
Washington County commissioners in that discussion.
“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” Zapotosky said.
Earlier, Fayette commissioner Angela Zimmerlink said Washington
County shared the cost of purchasing the ferry and would likely
need to also approve of any plan to donate or sell the vessel
built in 1948.
The East Beth representatives left the meeting early assuming
their plan would move forward, as Fayette’s solicitor was
instructed to meet with Washington County about the donation
When the ferry came up on the agenda, commission Chairman Al
Ambrosini said he wanted to offer the ferry for other proposals on
ownership, and the three-member board agreed, Zimmerlink said.
Zimmerlink said she was unaware of any other proposals for the
ferry, that a vote on its fate likely would take place Oct. 15.
Meanwhile, Slagle said it would take a lot of effort and money to
prepare the 35-ton ferry for a scrap yard, and it would be worth
just $7,000 for the weight of its steel. He said East Beth will
move forward with preparing a formal proposal to present to
Washington County commissioners have taken no action on the ferry
“We’ve been waiting to see what the final recommendation was,”
Washington County Commission Chairman Larry Maggi said Tuesday.
“We’re going to be open to anything that would benefit that
community down there and to ease the pain of losing the ferry,”
Staff writer Barbara S. Miller contributed to this story.