Town asks fast ferry to withdraw application
In testimony filed with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) opposing a proposed fast ferry service that would run out of Quonset Point, R.I. the town asked Rhode Island Fast Ferry to withdraw its application with the PUC.
The testimony was filed on Sept. 25 by town solicitor Katherine Merolla, and it is considered “supplemental” to the town’s motion to intervene, which was filed with the PUC on Aug. 26. The motion to intervene was approved on Sept. 24, granting the town legal status in the application of the fast ferry.
The Town Council voted to oppose the ferry service, which is being proposed by Rhode Island Fast Ferry. According to the testimony, Rhode Island Fast Ferry President Charles Donadio said he would withdraw his application if the town did not support him. Donadio made this statement at several Town Council meetings.
“Mr. Donadio represented on more than one occasion to the council that if the council voted not to support the Fast Ferry’s petition, he would not fight the Town and would not move forward with the petition pending before the Public Utilities Commission,” said the testimony. “The Town therefore requests that Mr. Donadio abide by the representations which he made to the Town council and that the Fast Ferry withdraw this petition.”
Donadio responded to this in a statement to The Block Island Times: “It was always my intention to work with the Town and I thought they would have at least scheduled a work session to further the discussion and the Town Owned docking possibilities. Unfortunately, all seems to have played out as an example of politics eclipsing practicality. In this case at the expense of enhanced travel and economic benefit that competitive ferry service would bring to visitors, local businesses and residents for years to come.”
The town’s supplemental testimony also formally announced the town’s opposition to the ferry service: “On Sept. 18, 2013, the Town Council voted not to support the Fast Ferry petition.”