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Future of the Ferries Still Unclear

Town officials and supporters are skeptical of the union deal and the continuation of Connecticut ferries.

A vote of “yes” by the to approve the governor’s concession plan today would indicate that the and Hadlyme-Chester ferries would be saved from discontinuation. Even after the vote, it remains unclear if the ferries will stay open. 

The Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Nursick said “the closure of the ferries is still to be determined.”

“A decision will have to be made,” Nursick said. He added that next week’s DOT hearings would still be held regardless of today's affirmative union vote.

The will be at the , at 761 Old Main St., on Aug. 22 and at the Chester Meeting House, at 4 Liberty St., on Aug. 25.  Both meetings are from 6-8 p.m. There will be a brief presentation followed by a period for public comment.

Town officials and ferry supporters, however, are skeptical of the union deal and remain concerned over the future of the historic ferries.

“They need to announce it before I believe it,” Rocky Hill Town Manager Barbara Gilbert said.

Gilbert, instead, is waiting to find out what happens after the DOT hearings next week before she makes her final judgment.

“Until I hear someone say that the ferries are saved, I will not jump for joy,” she said.

Ralph Enos, Lyme First Selectman commented "I don't think there's anything to say yet other than the fact that they're still in serious jeapordy and the grass roots efforts will be what makes or breaks the ferries."

Executive Director of the and page editor Paul Carr said he is still moving forward with the plan of privatizing the ferry.

“It is a non-event for me,” Carr said about the union, “we are privatizing the ferry no matter what.” 

On Aug. 8, the Rocky Hill Town Council approved a motion, which stated,

Likewise, the Save the Ferry effort in Hadlyme-Chester will continue as volunteers aren't taking any chances. The grass roots efforts will continue as volunteers plan to hand out informative materials and gather support to attend the upcoming DOT hearings.

L.E. Agnelli August 19, 2011 at 06:38 PM
Hello & thank you for the newsy update. We love our Chester-Hadlyme ferry and whatever it takes to keep it going -- privatization, even -- we really need it, too. It will be very interesting to see what happens next. Keep up the good work!
Nancy Worthington August 19, 2011 at 06:43 PM
Mother-in-laws friend called one of the numbers on the postcards and was asked not to call anymore, the ferries would NOT be closed down. Could you please see if you can verify this? Thanks. Nancy Worthington

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