Thruway toll-hike meeting accused of using Sandy recovery to sneak votes
ALBANY, N.Y. - The NYS Thruway Authority has postponed a meeting that was
expected to include a vote to increase tolls for truckers by as much as 45
percent, but the authority says the decision had nothing to do with a possible
protest planned for Friday.
The authority board rescheduled its meeting from Friday afternoon to Tuesday.
The Unshackle Upstate business group and a Republican assemblyman accused the
authority of trying to sneak in the vote while the public was focused on
Superstorm Sandy recovery.
Earlier this year, the authority proposed what it termed a "modest"
45 percent increase. They said the additional $85 million the toll increase was
projected to bring in was needed to keep the highway system safe and in good
Bill Jensen didn't mince words when it comes to the 45 percent toll hike - a
trucker for more than 20 years; he says there's got to be another answer.
And for 102 years and three generations, Ryan's Farmers Market has been
selling fresh produce with an emphasis on local. Michael Ryan is now at the
helm, and admits business has been tough and will only get tougher if the NYS
Thruway Authority approves the toll hike on trucks.
Ryan explains that almost every item in his store arrives
by truck, and an increase in transportation will trickle down to his customers
at a time when, he says, his customers can least afford it.
Jean Blanchard, a longtime customer told NEWS10 he's on a
fixed income himself, finding it harder to get by.
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