Despite Tuesday’s brutal weather, among the early signs that spring is on the horizon is renewed talk from Greenporters about a $1 per car fee for vehicles using North Ferry.
All three candidates seeking election to the Greenport Village Board in a forum at Floyd Memorial Library Monday night agreed that the wear and tear on village roads leading to North Ferry justifies payment from the company to the village.
But incumbent Mary Bess Phillips noted that there are legal questions since any raise in North Ferry fees must be approved by the Suffolk County Legislature.
“Our $1 fee would have to be written into their budget proposal,” Ms. Phillips said. “I think North Ferry, in order to just keep good relations with the village, should just be putting it in their request to the county,” she said.
Incumbent Julia Robins said village attorney Joseph Prokop is awaiting word from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on the legality of tacking a $1 fee per vehicle fee onto the amount charged for fares.
Challenger Paul Kreiling, a 25-year resident, said he would support taxing the ferry for using village streets.
At the same time, Ms. Robins noted that there are a number of village residents who travel to work via North Ferry.
Agreeing that the operating budget has to be approved by the county legislature, Heights Property Owners Corporation General Manager Stella Lagudis said North Ferry officials try to listen to the needs of Greenport and to work with the village.
At the same time, she noted that North Ferry already pays village taxes and brings people to the village who support businesses there.
“We try to cooperate when it’s a reasonable ask,” Ms. Lagudis said.