Farm Bureau Against Thruway Toll Hike
The New York Farm Bureau is criticizing the Thruway Authority’s plan to raise tolls for larger commercial trucks. The bureau argues that farmers are struggling in the weak economy, and shouldn't be shouldered with another financial burden... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
The Farm Bureau is worried... the price of food could well be affected in New York State if the thruway authority has it's way and raises tolls for larger commercial trucks by a whopping 50 per cent, a move the bureau says will force farmers to pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars more per year just to conduct normal business.
New YorkFarm Bureau Spokesman Steve Ammerman warns that bureau members depend on the Thruway for safe, convenient access to large markets. But if rural roads will make the trip cheaper, some farmers will have no choice but to send large, commercial vehicles through small communities and neighborhoods.
Upstate Niagara Cooperative hauls milk throughout the state and says that if the propsed increase is allowed, its largest operation out of Cortland County would spend $16,000 more per month to send its 75 trucks down the Thruway. Another in Genesee County which operates 35 trucks could pay close to $7,000 more a month bringing fresh dairy to Albany and New York City.
The Farm Bureau says consumers will feel the bite at the dinner table. According to the USDA, any rise in transportation costs ultimately gets passed on to the people who buy the food. Thruway spokesman R.W. Groneman refused to go on tape, but affirms the Authority will consider comments of the Farm Bureau along with any other comments received through August 24th. Information on how to submit a comment can be found on the webpage www.thruway.ny.gov