Legislators give opponents of ferry tolls some hope

Published: Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 22:04 PM.

ORIENTAL — North Carolina legislators gave people some hope Saturday that proposed tolls for the Minnesott-Cherry Branch and Bayview-Aurora routes are being fought in Raleigh.

Sen. Norman Sanderson, R-Pamlico, and Rep. Michael Speciale, R-Craven, joined Rep. John Torbett, R-Gaston, at the meeting, which drew about 25 people to Oriental’s Town Hall.

The meeting was conducted by Don’t Tax Our Highways, a grassroots group that formed in 2012 after the General Assembly ordered new and increased tolls for the seven coastal ferries.

The changes includes first-time tolls for the Minnesott-Cherry Branch and Bayview-Aurora routes, used primarily by commuters and by veterans and others going to Craven and Carteret counties for medical appointments.

Speciale, who introduced a bill against the tolls, said the current legislative session will end June 1, and by that time, it should be clear if the tolls are enacted or not.

When the tolls were first announced, the state was looking at a $2.5 billion shortfall but that is no longer the case, he said.

“It looks like right now right now we will be ahead,” Speciale said. “It made since looking at everything then. But not now.”



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