Proposed tolls on ferries delayed for now

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A Minnesott Beach-Cherry Branch ferry crosses the Neuse River.

Havelock News file photo
Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 05:15 PM.

Proposed new toll and toll increases on coastal ferry routes are unlikely to be implemented July 1 as originally planned, officials said Tuesday.

But that delay may be only temporary.

Local ferry workers on the Minnesott Beach-Cherry Branch route informed riders Tuesday morning that the plan for tolls was off for now.

"That’s good news," said Troy Lamson, a ferry rider from Havelock. "I just bought a house two years ago because of the ferry. I work at PCS (Phosphate in Aurora). I take it to work every day."

The legislative Rules Review Commission, which approved the ferry tolls, received more than 10 letters protesting the fees, and under state law, must delay action for legislative review, according to Steve Abbott, spokesman for the N.C. Department of Transportation that operates the ferry system.

"We are now in a holding pattern to wait for the General Assembly to determine what is going on," Abbott said.

On Tuesday, the House Transportation Committee again put off debating a bill that seeks alternatives to increasing ferry tolls and instead would allow for revenue-generating activities such as advertising on ferries.

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