GIBA board members agree on one thing: Finding a workable solution for toll increases is one of their biggest tasks of 2012. With bridge replacement set in motion the next question is, who do we ask to pay more when crossing the bridge?
At the bridge authority’s finance meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 5, Board Member David Hayes said he wasn’t even comfortable talking about a toll increase yet, and said he wasn’t a fan of doing it at all. Board Member Ginger Watkins agreed.
Finance Chairman Bill Holmberg told them there is no way to fund the bridge replacement project without it.
“Long-term, once we get an idea of the financing options coming towards us, we should have a better handle on it.”
Watkins said she wanted to clarify rumors she had heard around the island that some people believe the toll will increase to $9.
All board members said that simply wasn’t true at all, that the earliest a toll increase would be put into effect would be around October of 2013, and that in the worst-case scenario it would be raised by $1.50.
Holmberg said that, according to the newest study done, profits are expected to be better than GIBA thought.
“This is more optimistic than our earlier financial plans,” he said. “These numbers now get placed into the finance plan, and it gives us a little more detail as to what we can expect. They look good.”
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