RALEIGH - The North Carolina Department of Transportation has rescheduled two of its public hearings on ferry tolls due to winter weather forecast to hit the state this week.
The Morehead City hearing, originally scheduled for Feb. 11, will instead be held Feb. 17 at the Crystal Coast Civic Center. The Ocracoke hearing, originally scheduled for Feb. 12, has been rescheduled for Feb. 24 at the Ocracoke School.
Last week, public hearings were held in Knotts Island, Washington, and Grantsboro. The schedule for the remaining hearings is as follows:
Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 7-9 p.m.
Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum
59200 Museum Drive
Hatteras, NC 27943
Monday, Feb. 17, 2014 7-9 p.m.
Crystal Coast Civic Center
3505 Arendell Street
Morehead City, NC 28557
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 7-9 p.m.
Southport City Hall
201 E. Moore Street
Southport, NC 28461
Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 7-9 p.m.
120 Schoolhouse Road
Ocracoke, NC 27960
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 firstname.lastname@example.org any time before the end of business Feb. 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 which tolls routes by distance travelled and raises approximately five million dollars 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@example.com.
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.