Hundreds Protest Ferry Tolls At DOT Public Hearing In Pamlico County

By: April Davis/ Lindsey Fry
By: April Davis/ Lindsey Fry

Hundreds turned out at a public hearing in Pamlico County Monday night to show their disapproval of a plan to add new tolls or increase others on ferries here in then east.

The hearing started with the Department of Transportation representative giving the state's perspective on the proposed changes. It ended with frustrated residents voicing their concerns with the ferry tolls. With picket signs in hand, hundreds of people filled the auditorium at Pamlico Community College ready to give their 2 cents on the proposed temporary rule changes for ferry tolling.

"I am completely against the ferry tax., " said Larry Summers.

Summers was the first to take the stage at Monday night's public hearing and says he hopes this will make an impression on the state legislature.

"Let them correct their mistake. I don't think they realized what they were doing when they set this up. They made a mistake and the legislature needs to correct it," said Summers.

The department of transportation says it is merely enforcing guidelines that were created by legislation. Last year, the general assembly told the board of transportation to establish tolls for ferry routes in hopes of generating an annual $5 million in revenue.

"We are still in the throws of an economic recession. Therefore, this comes as bad of time as can be expected for the citizens of Beaufort, Hyde and Pamlico County," said Joe McClees.

According to the proposed temporary rules, the ferry toll increase would affect the Bayview-Aurora, Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach, Southport-Fort Fisher, Cedar Island and Swan Quarter ferries.

The rules review commission will evaluate the proposed changes, and if they object the Department of Transportation can either rewrite them or not. Just weeks ago, the governor ordered a temporary one-year halt on toll changes.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Mr. Really Location: MHC on Mar 20, 2012 at 02:43 PM
    This whole thing is simple...Ineffective leadership! Actually from a lot of points but lets start with Mr. Harold Thomas. The man went from an Engineer in charge of himself to Director! No supervisor experience or educational background! None! He just has no clue. While all other state agencies are in a hiring freeze...he keeps on hiring. He cuts runs but his people still make "scheduled" overtime. People stand around with nothing to do bit they still make overtime. Of course he says he's had to hire extra people to collect tolls but he has never stopped hiring. It is simple...or should I say he is! A real manager would cut all overtime, lay off all temporary workers, cut runs and make due with what he has. Make real budget reductions (any for that matter) and possibly the ferry tolls would not be needed! Apparently the former Director Mr.Fitch was a terrible people person but he was on the right track. So if you want to blame someone look at Director Thomas. Ask him what he' doung about it and you'll get his uneducated, big worded canned response!
  • by Easy solution on Mar 20, 2012 at 02:10 PM
    MOVE...... No one is forcing you to pay for the ferry.... Grow up
  • by Cboy on Mar 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM
    One thing no one has addressed here is the comparative cost to all taxpayers. Roads and bridges ain't cheap to build and maintain but it's a drop in the bucket compared to these ferries. Would love to see a long term per mile cost of asphalt verses ferries, bet if those figures were released you would have the majority of NC taxpayers calling for much higher "tolls".
  • by jokerdod Location: washington on Mar 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM
    there is no proposed charge for the hatteras ferry, could somebody explain this
  • by Just me Location: Greenville on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:24 AM
    Just to make a point: I think what the Legislature should do is abolish the parking fees ECU charges. If someone does not have to pay to use the ferry to get to work, why should I have to pay to park on state property?
  • by John Location: Oriental on Mar 20, 2012 at 08:42 AM
    Seems to me the protesters have it right. has anyone truly looked at the issue in depth about the Cherry Pt/Minnesott Branch ferry being an intregal part of Rt 306 and if the Legislature has a legal right to place a toll in the first place?
    • reply
      by Yes on Mar 20, 2012 at 09:32 AM in reply to John
      Yes I have and no they do not. Not that one nor the Bayview ferry. They are changing the rules to suit their hidden agenda. I hope they are knocked down, holler "I've fallen and can't get up" and everyone walks away. (But I don't want anyone hurt).
    • reply
      by I'm with you on Mar 20, 2012 at 09:47 AM in reply to John
      These freeloader are a pain....
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:02 AM in reply to I'm with you
        Self-serving people are worse. You can see on by looking in the mirror.
  • by Roy on Mar 20, 2012 at 08:04 AM
    vote for Obama again and see what else is cut out. Do you people know that your tax money is going to a lot of lazy people instead of helping some poor guy trying to go to work and cross a river without being charged.? hope and change at work.
  • by Doing just fine Location: ENC on Mar 20, 2012 at 07:47 AM
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but we are in an economic recession; therefore, if the state of NC is going to decrease revenue, they should NOT impart a ferry toll or rate increase just to pad their own pockets! The recession is NATIONWIDE! Mayne Perdue should have curbed spending, saved some of the FEMA state funds, or maybe the politicians and Deans od State colleges should take salary cuts. No more treveling to China, Perdue... you can eat at Wong's Palace like the rest of us! Keep the ferry tolls the same (and free for those that are free). Impose you tolls and increased rates when the economy is not in such dire straits!
    • reply
      by Shocked on Mar 20, 2012 at 09:28 AM in reply to Doing just fine
      What do you mean we are in a recession? Just the other day obummer's cronies said things were looking up, unemployment was down, and we were on our way to recovery. Are you saying he lied again? What is this world coming to when you can't trust your elected officials? Oh wait, I know ... the end of democracy as we know it.
  • by Daniel Location: Eastern NC on Mar 20, 2012 at 07:16 AM
    It costs money to run the ferry, someone has to pay for it!
    • reply
      by Terry on Mar 20, 2012 at 09:23 AM in reply to Daniel
      Somone already does. Taxes from N.C. residents. And before you say you don't ride the ferry, I don't travel on the new by-pass in Washington nor the new roads in the western part of the state but I pay for them just the same. We do not just supply monies for roads we personally use but ALL roads and ferries which are an extention of the highways. Let the out-of state travelers start paying for the roads they use instead of double taxing N.C. residents.
      • reply
        by you ride - you pay on Mar 20, 2012 at 09:46 AM in reply to Terry
        stop whining... Things cost money....
        • reply
          by To you ride - you pay on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:06 AM in reply to you ride - you pay
          You people are the ones whining. The riders are already paying and feel it unfair to be double charged. They are standing up for their rights.
    • reply
      by Witness on Mar 20, 2012 at 09:25 AM in reply to Daniel
      The problem is every one has to pay for it.
      • reply
        by Snow Hill Resident on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:00 AM in reply to Witness
        Everyone has to pay for all roads and most people never use 80% of them. Why aren't you complaining about that? It is the exact same thing. I've never used the new by-pass around Washington but I'm paying for it. If you are going to be fair, don't just complain about ferries. Complain about the beltlines being around the cities in the Peidmint that most of us in ENC never use and the needless by-passes around towns we never go to. They cost more that the ferry service ever will. Why are you singling out one small group?
  • by pit boss on Mar 20, 2012 at 06:18 AM
    $10 to go to work in the morning on the Bayview ferry and $10 to return home in the evening. That means I'm working 1 hour and 15 minutes every day just to pay for my ferry ride. There's no relief for the working man.
    • reply
      by anonymous on Mar 20, 2012 at 09:14 AM in reply to pit boss
      Did you deduct the taxes, etc. out ofthat hour and fifteen minutes? If not, you would likely pay closer to 2 hours a day to pay for the ride that your taxes already pay for. Double taxing should be against the law.
    • reply
      by Witness on Mar 20, 2012 at 09:25 AM in reply to pit boss
      Better than driving the extra hour around and still having to work the 1 hour and 15 minutes to pay for the gas to drive around. Stop complaining. Maybe PCS should start their own ferry that carries employees across the river. Why transport the cars and people? They could transport the people across the river quite easily and leave the cars on the other side.
    • reply
      by You can always move on Mar 20, 2012 at 09:45 AM in reply to pit boss
      your not forced to live there..... Pay up
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:04 AM in reply to You can always move
        You move ... to Kenya. You and obummer can be neighbors when he loses.
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