The North Carolina Department of Transportation will hold two public meetings about proposed toll changes on its ferry routes. These changes include rate increases on the Southport/Fort Fisher, Swan Quarter/Ocracoke and Cedar Island/Ocracoke routes and the addition of tolls on the Bayview/Aurora and Cherry Branch/Minnesott Beach routes, by July 1 of this year.
The public hearings are scheduled for:
Monday, March 11, 7 p.m. Wake Commons – Room 100B, 4011 Carya Drive, Raleigh.
Monday, March 18, 7 p.m. Pamlico Community College. Ned Everett Delamar Center Auditorium. 5049 Highway 306 S., Grantsboro.
At each meeting, a formal presentation will begin at 7 p.m. 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. The proposed rates as well as a link to submit a comment are posted to NCDOT’s webpage.
In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly mandated that NCDOT increase annual ferry revenue to $5 million. To accomplish this, the ferry division was asked to increase toll rates on the three routes that currently have tolls and begin tolling two additional routes by April 1. 2012.
Such changes require amending the N.C. Administrative Code. In the early months of 2012, five public hearings were held to accept public comment about the request to amend the Administrative Code. The input received was reviewed and submitted to the Rules Review Commission with the Office of Administrative Hearings.
On Feb. 29, 2012, former Governor Bev Perdue issued an executive order placing a one-year moratorium on the collection of the tolls. Session Law 2012-142 House Bill 950 directed DOT to disregard the executive order and clarified ferry tolling in Section 24.18(a) G.S. 136-82, directing DOT to collect tolls, as established by the Board of Transportation on the ferry routes.
During its January 2013 meeting, the BOT adopted a resolution authorizing the Secretary of Transportation to adopt rules establishing ferry tolls. The upcoming public hearings are the next step in the process to change the administrative code and implement the changes required to ferry tolls.
For more information about the upcoming meetings, contact Jamille Robbins, NCDOT- Human Environment Unit at 1598 Mail Service Center, Raleigh 27699-1598, (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 this hearing. Anyone requiring special services should contact Robbins as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made.