The Block Island Times
http://block-island.villagesoup.com/p/983150

Editorial: Public hearing on Interstate proposal is Thursday at 12:15 p.m.

Last chance to make your case at Town Hall
Apr 03, 2013

If you have any concerns about the Interstate Navigation agreement for rate changes now pending before the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), then we encourage you to attend the Thursday meeting at Town Hall. Members of the PUC will be at Town Hall at 12:15 p.m. for a public hearing.

The commuter cards are no longer threatened, but other items under consideration will have a direct impact on our community.

The big issue for us is the proposed freight increase. Freight rates are set to go up by 34 percent. This increase affects everyone living on the island, but especially the year-rounders. Every room that is rented, meal that is served, gift that is purchased and grocery item bought will be affected because every business will have to pay the increase. The town has said it has “relunctantly agreed” to the freight increase proposal. Townspeople can respectfully disagree and make their case.

Lower rates for vehicles have also been proposed. This will encourage more people to bring cars when they visit. Is this what we want? It’s counter to the town’s comprehensive plan, which calls for a reduction in the number of cars coming to the island.

The PUC is a public body. It’s their job to strike a balance between the public good and the legitimate need of businesses under their purview to make a reasonable profit.

Interstate has made its case. So can you.

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