The town is picking up allies in its lobbying effort on behalf of commuters hit hard by last month’s toll increase.
Farmington’s lobby against future Thruway toll increases is gaining support from other town officials around Ontario County.
The Farmington Town Board at its last regular meeting passed a resolution urging state legislators to resist toll hikes that would go in effect between July 2008 and January 2010. Copies of that resolution were sent to state Senator Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette; state Assemblyman Joseph Errigo, R-Conesus; and town supervisors throughout western Ontario County.
The unanimously passed resolution asserts that “the Thruway is too important to our local economy to unnecessarily raise tolls which would place a burden on commerce as well as Ontario County people who commute to work in the region.” It also makes a reference to state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s Jan. 27 audit of the Thruway Authority, which found that “toll hikes are not warranted until the Thruway Authority examines its own spending” and that the authority “manages the roads well, but could manage its finances a whole lot better.”
Further toll hikes would be particularly burdensome, said Farmington Town Supervisor Ted Fafinski, because commuters saw the tolls hiked just last month.
Although EZPass tolls stayed the same, cash tolls between local exits went up by as much as 33 percent at the start of the year. A trip from Exit 42 in Geneva to Exit 45 in Victor last year cost 95 cents; this year, it costs $1.05, an increase of 10.5 percent. To drive from Exit 43 in Manchester to Exit 45 last year cost 45 cents; now it costs 50 cents, an increase of 11.1 percent. A commute on the popular corridor between Exit 44 in Farmington and Exit 45 used to cost 15 cents ; now it costs 20 cents, a 33 percent increase. Trips from Exit 44 to Exit 46 (Rochester-Corning), which used to cost 60 cents, now cost 70 cents — an increase of 17 percent. And trips from Exit 44 to Exit 47 (Rochester-LeRoy), which used to cost $1.25, now cost $1.35 — an increase of 8 percent.
“All those poor people taking the Thruway between Farmington and Victor) now have to pay 33 percent more just for the privilege of going to work,” said Fafinski.
Canandaigua Mayor Ellen Polimeni has stepped in to help the Farmington Town Board’s campaign. A member of the New York Conference of Mayors, Polimeni said she will bring up toll hikes at a NYCOM meeting next week in Albany.