Thruway toll-hike meeting accused of using Sandy recovery - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Thruway toll-hike meeting accused of using Sandy recovery to sneak votes

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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 condition.
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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