Cumberland Times-News

October 21, 2012

Bridge toll rate hike would hurt both businesses and citizens

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— I am writing this letter in response to the article “Bridge’s rates could rise” (Oct. 16 Times-News, Page 1A).

The citizens of Green Spring, W.Va. and Oldtown are in complete and utter disgust over the suggested rate increases. This high of an increase is going to cause massive problems for families and businesses in our community.

Our citizens cross this bridge often, many requiring to cross at it least twice a day in order to make a living, which is why many of us opt to pay the monthly ticket for the discounted rate.

At the new suggested rates, someone who travels the bridge twice a day five days a week will end up spending $15 dollars a week just to travel to work (which is more than the cost of the current monthly ticket).

In a year’s time it would cost us $780, which would not include any extra trips we may make to get groceries or anything else we may need in Cumberland.

Many of our citizens are on a fixed income and/or are elderly. We simply cannot afford this increase. The owner is stating that they are operating in “crisis mode.”

I would have to disagree with that. There have been no significant repairs made to the bridge in many years and the only improvements that have been made are the addition that has been made is the crossing arms and the security system.

Yes, it is a business and has overhead as any other, but with the amount of vehicles that cross that bridge, there are most definitely profits being made.

The businesses in our area will suffer tremendously, Green Spring Pub, the white Horse Saloon, the Oldtown VFW, and the school house kitchen, just to name a few.

These businesses are staples in our community and serve us for daily needs such as bread, milk, and other commodities.

Koppers Industry is by far the largest business in our community and many of their employees live right in Oldtown, which requires them to cross the bridge. For these individuals, it would cost them more to cross the bridge than it would in gas.

To say the least, our citizens are outraged. I am encouraging everyone to stand up and have their voice heard at the public meeting on Nov. 5.

 Elissa Foley

Green Spring, W.Va