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Public has little appetite for Turnpike toll hikes

June 20, 2012
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AUBURN, Maine—Maine Turnpike Authority officials are finding out there is little appetite for increasing tolls on the highway.

About 150 people packed a public meeting in Auburn on Tuesday to discuss the proposed hikes, and most appeared against the hikes officials say are necessary to raise an additional $26 million in revenue to cover the annual operating budget, maintenance and long-term debt service.

Members of the public suggested giving Maine residents a discount and raising rates on out-of-staters, or charging per mile travelled.

Turnpike Director Peter Mills says the agency has already taken many measures to mitigate hikes and he understands increases are a burden.

He says he took notes on many of the suggestions at the meeting.

Additional hearings are Wednesday in Portland and Thursday in Saco.

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