The North Carolina Department of Transportation is adding three additional locations to the schedule of public meetings about proposed toll changes on its ferry routes. The additional hearings will be held in Washington, Hatteras, and Morehead City.
Also the date for the Ocracoke meeting has been changed to Wednesday, Feb. 12.
The new schedule of public hearings is as follows:
Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 7-9 p.m.
Knotts Island Elementary School
413 Woodleigh Road
Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 7-9 p.m.
Beaufort County Community College
5337 Highway 264 East
Thursday, February 6, 2014, 7-9 p.m.
Pamlico Community College – Delamar Center
5049 Highway 306 South
Monday, February 10, 2014, 4-7 p.m.
ILA – Southport
211 W. 10th Street
Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 7-9 p.m.
Crystal Coast Civic Center
3505 Arendell Street
Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 7-9 p.m.
120 Schoolhouse Road
Thursday, February 13, 2014, 7-9 p.m.
Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum
59200 Museum Drive
At each of the hearings, a formal presentation will start the meeting. Following the presentation, the meeting will be open for statements, questions, and comments. Anyone wishing to speak should register to do so at the sign-in table prior to the presentation. Please arrive about 30 minutes early to allow time to sign in.
Those who cannot attend one of the meetings may submit written comments to [email protected] any time before the end of business February 28. Written comments carry equal weight to verbal comments at the meetings.
In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly mandated that new ferry acquisitions be funded through Strategic Transportation Initiative funding or by revenue-raising initiatives such as tolling, advertising, and concessions. The General Assembly also mandated that all tolling increases be requested by the regional Rural Planning Organizations (RPOs) or Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) before being approved by the Board of Transportation.
In its December meeting, the Board of Transportation approved a tolling methodology that tolls routes by distance travelled and raises approximately $5 million a year for ferry replacement. This methodology includes the establishment of tolls on the Hatteras-Ocracoke, Currituck-Knotts Island, Bayview-Aurora, and Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach routes, as well as increases in tolls on the Southport-Fort Fisher, Cedar Island-Ocracoke, and Swan Quarter-Ocracoke routes. The proposed rate changes can be found on NCDOT’s Ferry website.
All money collected will go only toward new ferry vessels. After the public hearings, the RPOs/MPOs will decide whether to accept the toll changes.
For more information about the upcoming meetings, please contact Jamille Robbins, NCDOT – Human Environment Unit at (919) 707-6085 or [email protected]
NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who want to participate in these hearings. Anyone requiring special services should contact Jamille Robbins as soon as possible in order for arrangements to be made.