Cost for rusting Governors Island ferry could sail higher for taxpayers

August 19, 2009 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

The rusting ferry that cost the state nearly $900,000 could put taxpayers out even more money.

The upstate scrap metal collector who bought the useless ship on eBay in February for $23,600 plans to sue, saying the state’s refusal to hand it over wrecked his chance to sell it.

In court papers, Donald Slovak said he suffered $171,400 in lost profits because the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corp. would not give him documents he needed to resell the M/V Islander.

Slovak contends GIPEC officials wanted him to sign a “docking agreement” before giving him a bill of sale.

Governors Island officials did not respond to calls for comment. The agency has said the ferry was not released because Slovak doesn’t have proper insurance.

Slovak was unavailable for comment. His lawyer, Lewis Oliver, did not return calls.

The M/V Islander has become a major embarrassment for the Governors Island agency, which bought the ferry in 2007 for $500,000 and sank an additional $422,645 into it for legal fees, consultants and other costs.

Afterward, an engineering firm found the Islander to be in “generally poor and wornout condition” and needed up to $7.2 million in repairs.

A state Senate committee this week slammed the agency for being careless and using “flawed judgment” in buying the boat.

GIPEC officials on Tuesday admitted it was a mistake.

“With the information now available about the condition of the vessel and the costs to rehabilitate [it]…the initial decision to purchase the vessel was a faulty one,” they said in a statement.
BY Glenn Blain

Entry filed under: Dive In, Manhattan, Public Waterfront. Tags: , , .

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