Ferry tolls could come up at pair of meetings

ferry

Vehicles exit the ferry at the Cherry Branch terminal after crossing the Neuse River from Pamlico. The ferry toll issue could come up at a pair of meetings later this week.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock News
Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 19:16 PM.

Two committee meetings are planned this week by the Down East Rural Planning Organization on the subject of ongoing transportation projects in Craven, Pamlico, Jones, Onslow and Carteret counties.

The matter of proposed ferry tolls by the state Department of Transportation is not listed, but may come up for discussion during 10 a.m. meetings Thursday in Jacksonville and Friday in New Bern.

The Technical Coordinating Committee meets Thursday in Jacksonville and the Transportation Advisory Committee convenes at 10 a.m. Friday at the O. Marks Building in New Bern.

The General Assembly in 2013 funded operations for the coastal ferry system but put the matter of paying for replacement vessels in the hands of local RPOs — via a request to DOT. The requesting local board would be the Transportation Advisory Committee.

Public sentiment has run strongly against increased or new tolls — such as for the Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach route — in the past three years. It was evident again earlier this month with more than 200 people at one of a series of seven coastal public hearings at Pamlico Community College.

A key provision in the 2013 legislation is that the local planning groups are not required to make a decision or a request on tolling.

Pamlico County’s TAC representatives, County Commissioner Chris Mele and Minnesott Beach Mayor Josh Potter, have said they do not intend to bring the matter up during the Friday meeting.



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