Lake Erie island won't have ferry before May ends

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SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) -- Two passenger ferries that bring supplies to a Canadian island in Lake Erie won't be running again until the end of May because repairs are taking longer than expected.

The ferries have been out of operation the last few weeks, leaving few options for businesses that rely on tourists and farmers who are unable to get deliveries of seed for spring planting. The Canadian government, which owns the two ferries, is subsidizing small aircraft flights from Windsor to the island that sits between Cleveland and Detroit, The Blade newspaper in Toledo (http://bit.ly/IGdIgi) reported.

The island's small airport cannot handle large cargo planes.

The two ferries normally make regular trips to the island, with one traveling from southern Ontario, Canada, and the other from Sandusky, Ohio.

Ferry operator Owen Sound Transportation Co. had hoped that one of its boats would be ready to go this weekend.

"At this time, our best information is that the repairs are estimated to be completed at the end of the month. The actual return to service date will be updated as the work progresses," the company said in a statement.

Pelee Island, about 20 miles north of Sandusky, is a popular summertime destination. It is known for pheasant hunting and fertile farmland, with winery tours, cottage rentals, beaches and bird watching.