The drama continues in the Mackinac Island ferry dispute. Chris Shepler continues to run boats to the Island even though officials told him he is breaking the law.
This week, Shepler's Mackinac Island Ferry extended service up until December 4th. Usually its boats stop the first of November. Chris Shepler says the change shows he wants offer better service to Islanders.
Shepler's is embroiled in a battle with city officials, and has filed a federal lawsuit. It claims the city is trying to put the company out of business in order to create a single ferry service with a monopoly.
Chris Shepler says he didn't know extending service was illegal until he was contacted by the city's attorney.
"So we implemented this not knowing about the ordinance. So instead of maybe coming to us and saying, 'You're in violation of the ordinance, but people love this so get us an application,' instead they chose to write us through a lawyer to tell use to cease operation," he says.
Kelly Trierwiler says, when she heard Shepler was defying Island officials, she drove up from Harbor Springs just to ride.
"I literally dropped everything and drove up here for my act of civil disobedience," she said on the ferry Thursday. "I think it's unfortunate at best and appalling at worst, because this has gotten completely out of hand. It's affecting not only the island, but working families in three counties."
Shepler's could be fined up to $500 dollars each time it docks on the island. The city says it's reviewing what action to take.
Chris Shepler says, at this point, he has no plans to stop running his ferries until December.