Warren County Supervisors sell ferry boat for $25,000

Published 12:00 pm Friday, September 22, 2023

Warren County is down one ferry boat following Monday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

The board accepted a bid of $25,000 from Smith Towing of Vicksburg for the Kings Point ferry boat, which had been out of commission for almost two years. Instead, the county privatized the ferry service in 2022 through a contract with Yazoo River Towing.

“You had a combination of the boat aging and new Coast Guard regulations that had gone into effect over the last couple of years. It made it increasingly expensive to keep the boat operable and within federal regulations,” Board President Kelle Barfield said. “The county is still paying for ferry service, but does not have a ferry boat.”

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One other bid for the boat was denied, from J.J. Merchant Sales and Auctions of Purvis for $7,777.

Barfield added that the contract includes reduced hours as determined by the county and landowners on Kings Point Island.

“Some of the people who make use of the ferry service question why we can’t keep providing the same kind of service the county was able to provide 40 or 50 years ago,” Barfield said. “There’s a combination of federal regulations and cost of business that make it cost-prohibitive to do so. Our current budget for ferry service is almost $475,000 a year. While it would be great to provide around-the-clock service as some are accustomed to from years past, it’s simply cost-prohibitive.”

The boat was declared surplus and the sale of the ferry boat was put up for bids on Sept. 6.