New hearings scheduled on proposed ferry tolls

sunrise

A ferry crosses the Neuse River at sunrise between Cherry Branch and Minnesott Beach. New hearings on proposed ferry tolls have been scheduled for March.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock News
Published: Friday, February 22, 2013 at 16:52 PM.

The state has announced two public hearings on planned ferry tolls, and a leading toll opponent said it is important for the public to attend sessions in Raleigh and in Pamlico County.

The tolls include first-time fees for the Minnesott Beach-Cherry Branch and Aurora-Bayview ferries. The issue dates to 2011, when the General Assembly ordered the Department of Transportation to increase annual ferry revenue by $5 million.

A one-year moratorium was implemented in the spring of 2012 by former Gov. Bev Perdue. Barring legislative changes, the tolls go into place July 1.

The new hearings are planned for March 11 in Raleigh and March 18 at Pamlico Community College on N.C. 306 in Arapahoe. Both meetings are at 7 p.m.

A Pamlico County public hearing on tolls drew hundreds of protestors in the spring of 2012.

Larry Summers, an Oriental commissioner and one of the local leaders in the anti-tolls movement, said he hopes to get as many as 100 people to attend the Raleigh hearing.

“It is important that we have a presence at both hearings,” he said. “We will get publicity in this area. If we can get the publicity from the Raleigh meeting, we could get that extra nudge to get rid of it. I am not politically naïve. I know that publicity is what makes people change their minds.”



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