WESTPORT — An anti-toll resolution introduced by two members of the Representative Town Meeting is set for a vote in May.
The resolution, submitted by RTM members Greg Kraut and Chas Durkin, calls for the group to oppose the imposition of tolls on town residents and those who come to work or shop in Westport.
Although without the legal standing to prevent the installation of tolls should the state vote to institute them, the resolution — technically a “sense of the meeting” resolution — urges the RTM to send a message to Westport’s elected representatives to “oppose any measure that would impose tolls upon our constituent.”
“(The) Legislature is moving toll legislation along quickly and the public has had no opportunity to express our views,” Kraut, a Repulican who challenged Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, D, to represent the 136th district in November and lost, said in announcing the legislation.
“Tolls will force through traffic onto Westport roads and into Westport neighborhoods. Tolls will put a financial burden on people who commute to Westport for work. Money from tolls, if ever adequate to cover construction costs and financing of the gantries, will not go to Metro-North,” he said.
The resolution is tentatively scheduled to come before the RTM for a vote at the group’s May 6 or 7 meeting if time permits, following review of the town budget.
First Selectman Jim Marpe said he shares many of the same concerns as Kraut about how tolls may impact Westport’s traffic and employee base.
“I think it will be useful to have this debate with people elected presumably to represent their district. I’m not entirely sure I know where Westporters as a whole stand on the idea of tolls, so I think a debate around this will be helpful in forming an overall opinion on behalf of the town,” Marpe said.
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