Toll increase pulled from Executive Council agenda

Monday, December 18, 2017
ConcordToll hike vote delayed until next meeting

A vote on a proposed toll hike will not go before the Executive Council on Wednesday after the Department of Transportation declined to submit the proposal at the request of a councilor.

Councilor Russell Prescott, R-Kingston, who proposed the toll hike, said he wants to wait until the Council’s Jan. 10 meeting to allow the state’s regional planning commissions to weigh in.​​​​​​

The proposal, which has drawn vocal opposition, would involve raising cash toll prices from $1 to $1.50 at the Interstate 93 plaza in Hooksett, and by 25 cents for the off-ramps. First proposed by Prescott, the measure appeared to have the support of three out of five councilors. But the vote had been postponed to Wednesday to allow for public input and hearings.

The effort to increase the tolls – the first since 2007 – comes alongside the Council’s negotiation of the state’s 10-year plan. The latest version of that plan, set to be put to a vote by the Executive Council, factors in revenue from increase, which the Department had estimated at $36 million a year.

Gov. Chris Sununu has until Jan. 15 to submit his plan to the Legislature, which approves the final plan. But the Council has sole approval over the toll increases themselves.

Ethan DeWitt