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St. Clair Flats Association
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News & Comments

A brief roundup of news and updates for HISCFA members.  Your comments are welcomed but if you have any questions it's best to email one of the board members for a more timely response.

  • January 01, 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Due to several conflicts, and in the interest of our Island residents and Membership’s health and safety, this month’s HISCFA meeting will be cancelled.

    The next HISCFA meeting will be held at 9:30 am at the Lions Hall on February 12th, 2022.

  • December 16, 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Update from Champion's Auto Ferry
    via Nextdoor, December 16, 2021

    Just a reminder that the ferry will be free to cross on Christmas Day between 6AM and 10PM for residents and their guests.

    Please note however that this does not apply to commercial vehicles. Any commercial vehicles that come across during this timeframe will still be required to pay the full fare.

    Please have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

    Jake Bryson
    Champion's Auto Ferry

  • December 09, 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    HISCFA has been a member of the Great Lakes Islands Alliance (GLIA) for a few years already. The Great Lakes Islands Alliance encourages relationship building, fosters information exchange, and leverages resources to address shared challenges and embrace opportunities to benefit islands.

    In early November HISCFA treasurer and GLIA representative, Harold Stieber, invited and hosted GLIA for a tour of Harsen's Island. 

    Peter Huston, the GLIA representative from Put-In-Bay (South Bass Island), Ohio, and his wife toured the Island on November 12, after spending the prior night (in the pouring rain) in their RV at Browne’s Field. Most of their footage was taken Friday morning using Peter's cellphone. Peter did the narrative on the original but then had a voice-over artist narrate the final version. He is trying to visit all the 19 member islands of GLIA and put together videos about each island for the GLIA members to learn, enjoy and share.

    Here's the video where you'll see Harsen's Island St. Clair Flats Association's Treasurer, Harold Stieber, providing some background for the viewers. Enjoy!

    Learn more about GLIA, its missions and goals, and the other member islands.

  • December 01, 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    From Champion's Auto Ferry:

    New rates in effect January 1, 2022

    • Regular fare will increase to $15 per round trip.
    • Price for a book of tickets will increase to $200.
    • Price for trailers with 1 wheel on each side of an axle will increase to $10 per axle.
    • Price for a motorcycle will increase from $6 to $7.
    • All self-propelled motorhomes will be charged $30 per axle (not counting the steering axle).

  • November 13, 2021 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Jacob Bryson from Champion's Auto Ferry attended the November 13, 2021 HISCFA meeting held at the Harsen's Island Lions Hall.

    Below are the notes that appear in the HISCFA Meeting Minutes for November's meeting. 

    As most people know, Champion's Auto Ferry recently put in for a rate increase. The ferry rate increase was granted November 12, 2021. The full fare price is going from $12 to $15 (cash rate). The discount commuter price is going up $1, from $9 to $10 per ticket, increasing the book rate from $180 to $200. Single wheel, single axle trailers will also increase by $1 (can still use a ticket for this). Motorcycles are going up $1: from $6 to $7. Motorhomes (e.g. self-driven RVs) will now be charged as a commercial truck, and commercial truck rates will stay the same ($30/axle). No change for walking the ferry (pedestrians remain free).

    This pricing structure is an attempt to minimize the impact to the year-round residents. All of the extra revenue is going towards fighting the inflation that everyone is being hit with right now, and wage increases (to become competitive again) to retain personnel they currently have and getting more people in the spring.

    The rate increase is effective January 1, 2022. New tickets will not be sold until January 1, 2022. Current yellow tickets are valid through the end of this year (December 31, 2021). Beginning January 2022 and throughout 2022, you can use the yellow ticket with an additional dollar (when applicable). However, yellow tickets will no longer be accepted beginning January 1, 2023 (bottom left corner of ticket reads "Ticket Value Forfeit after Dec. 2022"). If you have remaining yellow tickets in 2022 and you do not wish to provide $1 with yellow tickets on the ferry deck when crossing, you can come into the ferry office and exchange your yellow tickets plus $1 (per ticket) in exchange for the new tickets.

    Jacob Bryson reported that Champion's Auto Ferry has a captain who recently came off of an extended medical leave, so the ferry will be able to extend the hours of the second boat beginning Monday, November 15, 2021. This will accommodate two boats from 6am to approximately 6pm or 7pm. Progress on the ferry docks/ramps has been slow since Jacob has been busy driving the boat as much as necessary to help accommodate the traffic. However, now that an additional captain is returning to work, Jacob can return to the shop to continue progress for the dock/ramp construction. Work in the shop has been taking place to pre-fabricate as much as possible. Additionally, the new docks are going to be several feet longer which will ease the angle of the ramp to lessen scrapes/bottoming-out from low-clearance vehicles. Work is estimated to be completed in the spring, but it is both weather-dependent and of course progress-dependent. At the moment, there is neither a short-term nor long-term plan to re-route incoming traffic in the lineup/approach the mainland ferry.

  • September 20, 2021 11:03 AM | Anonymous

    Update from Champion's Auto Ferry
    via Nextdoor, September 15

    Due to a shortage of captains, as well as one of our full time captains being out due to a medical issue, Champion's Auto Ferry will be unable to operate a week day second boat beginning next week, September 20th. Please plan for backups and leave yourself extra time to get to appointments and work.

    Please note that we are not voluntarily suspending the second boat. This is entirely due to a staffing shortage that has hit most industries around the country. If you have a 100 ton US Coast Guard License and FCC Marine Radio Operator Permit, or know someone who does, and are looking for a part time job, please call the ferry office.

    If we are able to operate a 2nd boat during the week, even for a short time during the day, we will, but please don't plan on it as these instances will be limited. Again, please give yourselves extra time to get where you need to go.

    Also, while you may be frustrated with the wait, please do not take it out on the deckhands and captains while you are onboard the vessels. They are trying to move passengers as quickly as possible, and have no control over how many boats we are able to operate.

    Thank you,

    Jake Bryson

  • May 04, 2021 12:19 AM | Anonymous

    The HISCFA is currently preparing a grant request submission to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation for continuing infrastructure improvements on Browne’s Field and Recreation Park.

    The grant monies being requested will be used to fortify our membership dues and donations that are already earmarked for our top focus projects of permanent restrooms and a walking path.

    Stay tuned for more updates later this month!

    Craig A. Baloga
    HISCFA President

  • February 03, 2021 1:20 PM | Anonymous

    While the warmer temps and sunshine are lovely they are unfortunately prohibiting the establishment of a safely navigable path. They are going to let the ice refreeze tonight then try again tomorrow.

    Update from NOON 2/3/2021:

    Dear Harsen’s Island residents,

    Based on a discussion with our Township Supervisor at noon Wednesday 2/3/2021, the following is the current status of the ice flow and ferry situation:

    The ferry is expected to begin runs at approximately 3pm or 4pm, based on continued favorable weather conditions. During the overnight hours the ferry WILL NOT RUN. The ice has currently stopped flowing, which aids in cutting a channel for the ferry to run.

    The water level has gone down approximately one foot overnight on the North Channel near the ferry.

    For medical emergencies, please dial 911.

    The Fire Department is currently running their airboat (launching from the public boat launch near Harbor Club Marina), to transport between mainland and the Island. If an extreme emergency need arises, an airlift helicopter will be called into service.

    The Fire Department airboat has made runs earlier this morning, to deliver mail and other necessities.

    Later in the week, the weather is supposed to turn very cold and windy, along with precipitation, including rain turning to snow.

    Please plan accordingly; further updates will follow based on ice condition changes, ferry schedules, and developing weather patterns.


    Craig A. Baloga

    President - HISCFA

  • January 06, 2021 8:48 AM | Anonymous

    Now is the time to revisit your personal emergency preparedness plans for the upcoming "ice season."

    In the past, the Island has seen closures that have lasted several days or longer, depending on the ice conditions and Coast Guard activity in the area.

    Taking responsibility for ourselves and having a viable plan in place will go a long way in making an inconvenient situation a much more tolerable one. Hope for the best; plan for the worst!

    Below is a list of suggestions compiled by some of our most experienced “veterans” of ice jams. We hope it helps you establish your own plan.

    WORK/SCHOOL EQUIPMENT: If you work from home and there is high risk of an ice jam, take your computer with you going off island so you can keep working.  And don't forget your battery and chargers.

    OVERNIGHT BAG: keep an overnight bag in your car at all times if leaving the Island for more than a few hours. Be sure to include medications if possible.

    FOOD: keep enough food in the house to last at least one week, and don’t forget pet foods.

    MEDICATIONS: be diligent with keeping refills current for everyone in the household.

    HOUSEHOLD SUPPLIES: keep extra stock of laundry supplies, toilet paper, and other frequently used household items.

    LODGING: make alternate plans in advance for the mainland – friend/relative/hotel.

    DEPENDENTS: have a backup plan in place for caring for dependents, pets, and even your home should your return to the Island be delayed, or plans for the mainland if you get stuck on the Island and separated from them.

    FUEL: make a habit of filling up your vehicle before returning to the Island, and have enough fuel for your generator, snow removal equipment, etc. available for immediate use.

    EQUIPMENT: make sure your generator, snow removal equipment, etc. is tuned up and ready to run.

    NON-RESCHEDULABLE APPOINTMENTS: if you have an upcoming vacation, medical procedure, meeting, etc. that you absolutely must attend, get off the Island when you can and wait it out at a friend/relative’s house or at a hotel. If you wait and assume the ferry will be running the day you are scheduled to leave, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

  • December 05, 2020 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    The Harsen's Island St. Clair Flat's Association board does not meet in December. 

    The HISCFA board meets every second Saturday of the month at the Harsen’s Island Lions Hall. Meetings start at 9:00 a.m. May through November, and at 9:30 a.m. January through April.

    Members and non-members are always welcome to attend.

Featured Items

Harsen's Island Transportation Authority (HITA)

Contrary to popular belief, HISCFA is not part of HITA.  Our only involvement with HITA is to nominate three volunteers to the Clay Township Supervisor.  Nominees that are appointed to HITA by Clay Twp. have a 3-year term.  Please let the HISCFA President know if you're interested in being nominated to HITA.

Nomination to HITA



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