Cuts Would Ground Ferries

UPDATE – Local Officials, Residents Trying To Preserve Ferries.

By STEPHEN DOCKERY, Associated Press

ROCKY HILL, Conn. (AP) _ A round of budget cuts in Connecticut is forcing the nation’s oldest operating ferry to close.

Historical archives say the Rocky Hill Ferry has been crossing the Connecticut River between the towns of Rocky Hill and Glastonbury continuously since 1655.

It is among two historic ferries that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration has put on the chopping block to close a $1.6 billion budget gap.

Historical documents say the ferry began with pole-operated boats run by families from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The state took over its operation in 1915 and Connecticut archivists say it has been in service longer than any other ferry in the United States.

Residents are sad to see the ferry go, saying it’s a favorite summertime destination for locals and tourists.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

  • Spanky

    Please provide a link to support your assertion concerning the cost of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and wherever else you think we are at war.

    • Fanny Forbes Franklen

      I wonder if your mother still does your laundry too.So sad how degenerate you and your ilk are and that everything has to done for you.

      Cost of war at least $3.7 trillion and counting

      • Fran

        Your original statement referred to US taxpayer cost not some imagined “real” cost described by the referenced article. I love your trite reference to my dead mom. So cute! I bet you are fun to discuss things with. The actual cost is 1.2 trillion. Look it up.

  • Spanky

    I agree that the Obamunists and their Dear Leader need to go, but I don’t see why we have to subsidize a ferry just because someone else did 100 years ago.

    • Dr. Nemo

      Right that makes sense. I don’t know why we have to follow the constitution just because some folks signed it in 1788. Tradition really means nothing in this country.

    • CONNECTICUT SSN 042-68-4425

      I wonder if former CT. resident, Barry Obama, ever rode the ferry?

  • Ryan

    6 illegal wars? There are no such things as illegal was for law only matters if it can be enforced. Secondly, what are the 6 “illegal” wars?

    The fact that you cannot even spell Franklin and link a conspiracy site tells us that you are an ignorant, mentally unbalance person who has no credibility.

    • Don L

      “There are no such things as illegal was for law only matters if it can be enforced”

      That’s an unecessarily rough comment and vicious personal attacks can’t erase questions about your own ignorance (as if enforcement is the criterion that determines the legality of something)

    • Mune Shadowe

      Other than trashing the individual for punctuation and misplacement of letters are you even able to legitimately bring up something to prove them wrong?

    • bob

      Failure to enforce a law doesn’t make the crime legal. The result is lawlessness for the political class. An illegal war is one where Congress did not declare war, as required by the Constitution. When did Congress declare war on Afghanistan ,Iraq or Libya? See how much easier it is go kill people when nobody is held responsible?

  • Eyeball

    The state should sell the Ferry. Privatizing it would make it better.

    • Fluidizer

      The Gobner is a RHINO Doc, simple.

    • Sully

      Ct. can’t be cash strapped they just recently decided to subsidize illegal aliens at state colleges. If they’ve got money for that they’ve got money for anything.

    • SSEI

      We use the one in Chester 8 to 10 times a year. Daughter loves it. Use it as a scenic way to Gillette. A couple of weeks ago did the Essex Steam Train, Hadlyme Ferry, and Riverboat Connection. Would highly recommend it.

      I went through the list of cuts. It’s funny how nothing is itemized, though.
      How much money will actually be saved? Is there an alternative (reduced hours, for example)? Was there ever a cost analysis done (How will it impact things in the area)?

      It’s also funny to me that these cuts were presented after the Unions (that got the Gov elected) embarrassed him by not accepting the shame of a deal he presented. Now the Union Leaders are in the process of changing their charter to find a way to save face with the Governor.
      Anyone know if the Governor has Chicago ties?

      Cuts in general are great.

      Just funny how you can have the highest tax increase in State History, have money for a failing Hospital, a Magic Bus no will use,a speed rail to nowhere, and a $1B surplus built into the budget. Have a Gov talk about CT being open for business, yet do not have enough money to keep Restrooms open at rest areas or keep a Historical Landmark (that is at least a bit functional and generates some income) in operation.

      Is there a way that people that actually pay taxes in this state, could have more of a say how money is spent then those the Government actually pays to live in this state?

      Still haven’t understood how those that do not pay taxes, get a tax return check.

    • Spanky

      It’s possible that no private business would want to operate the ferry because it probably loses money. Unless it fulfills some critical function, it shouldn’t be funded with taxpayer money.

      • CONNECTICUT SSN 042-68-4425

      • dennis

        Helloooo…. it was PRIVATE until 1915!!!
        Leave it to the government to drive it into bankruptcy!

      • bob

        They can charge more money if people are willing to pay

  • CTSid

    The evil White man must have built it. Tear it down! Rename it MLK crossing….
    I’ll bet it’d have INSTANT funding!

    • Rev. Richard

      That is funny

    • Spanky

      How about calling it The Malcom X’ing?

      • King Ghidora

        Now that’s funny.

      • eman

        and he couldn’t swim

      • Theosebes Goodfellow

        Oh Spanky! You naughty, naughty wit! :-)

      • SailorV

        Ha! Good one. There are a lot of fertile minds out there in cyber space.

  • Robert Exton

    Last I checked, the military and protecting America is in the US. Constitution, running ferries is not. Besides your mixing State with the Federal Government, and military spending is about 3% of the budget,giving money to illegal aliens takes more money than the military gets. Spending money on the worthless liberal agenda costs more money. We know that Liberal have a unfounded fear of the military and protecting America, beside being Oikophobic

  • cojo

    This ferry operated privately for over 260 years before being taken over by the state. If there is a viable need, private industry will fill that need.
    The boats and the infrastructure are already in place.
    May be a nice opportunity for someone instead of a constant drain on all taxpayers.

    • Mark

      Yea buddy. When you get done analyzing that business opportunity please give me a call about a stunning land opportunity I have available for you.

      This is a classic example of the “creative” waste governments come up with to squander hard-earned taxpayer money.


    • SeattleSteve

      I like all of the psuedo libertarian talk, it’s neato.

      History actually matters, especially as it relates to our origins as a nation. The ferry represents something which is rare in the US. Not very many things that are over 200 years old, let alone over 350!

      This is an exception to the private sector argument, which I generally support 99% of the time.

      History is viable and shouldn’t be subjected to current market whims.

      With that said, I can’t see how the operation of this ferry is that much more than the bloated entitlement in the NY NJ bedroom state. Surely there are other things to cut first, like maybe benefits to illegal aliens, lifelong welfare, privatize a majority of state jobs, close down dysfunctional contracts, remove pork projects, lower small business taxes, promote industry, promote tourism by touting such attractions…

      • chuhyona

        Welfare receipients who are capable of work will keep needed services. Liberals would never implement Work for Benifits because they would lose thier Parasitic Base.

    • Phillep Harding

      Cojo, It was not insured and there were fewer regulations to follow back before the state took over.

    • Gregg Weber

      I suspect that the state, just to prove a point, will come down on any buyer so that it won’t be sold or make a profit.
      I wonder if they can have an auxiliary ferry with poles. Half price if you grab a pole. Sell t-shirts and refreshments at both shores. Where is Mike Fink?
      Can’t be done here. Lake Washington is too deep.

      • MikeHenrySC

        GREAT IDEA!

    • MikeyB

      Greg, you entrepreneur, you, get your a$$ to CT, they need you to save their ferry. I’d be happy to pay for my kids and me to grab a pole and cross the river. So much more of a cultural experience than just a ride across the river.

  • cojo

    Yeah, but waddya think about the ferry?

    • Ahdy

      I agree. Hopefully the webmaster will delete all the comments unrelated to the ferry.

      • Spanky

        Such as yours? :)

  • deRuiter

    Eyeball has it right! privatize the ferry service. The ferry will be run better, more safely, and at a profit. Jobs will be created and money generated locally by tourists. The government can’t do anything as well as private industry. PRIVATIZE THE FERRY!

    • Dr. Nemo

      Correct! The government has never created such a mess as the gulf oil spill. When you want something messed up on a massive scale without even the pretense of serving the populace we know where to turn. Unregulated, unfettered capitalism is grand isn’t it?

      • David

        Guess you forgot the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant coal fly ash slurry spill that released a billion gallons of coal ash slurry into the river and nearby town. Oh and TVA is run by the federal government.

      • mediaspork

        “Unregulated and unfettered”? Are you really that big of a moron?

        How about instead we have the U.S. Government agencies that are assigned to ensure compliance to the dozens of laws and regulations on the books not being so deeply in bed with the corporations that they are supposed to be monitoring.

        Unfettered capitalism would be better because at least we wouldn’t all be under the illusion that your wonderful government was taking care of it so that we can all sleep soundly at night knowing the the fishies and dolphins are safe.

      • Scott

        Dr. Nemo – only a doctor in your dreams…do you think these kinds of disasters only happen under “Capitalism”? And do you think the “fettering” makes us more safe? The Gulf Oil Spill ended up with ZERO envirnonmental impact…unless you count the government shutting off fishing, tourism, and more drilling – then it was a WHOPPER of a disaster. If you actually could read, Halliburton was the one that recommended more safety on the rig, but that was in excess of GOVT standards. A true doctor would have known that…

      • Brian Wilkin

        The Government has never created such a mess? Really?? What would you call the $15 Trillion dollars debt our Government has created?

      • Spanky

        “Correct! The government has never created such a mess as the gulf oil spill. ”

        Absurd logic.

        The government has never been responsible for getting oil out of the ground and into our vehicles.

        However, the government has done horrible things, like destroying the black family with a welfare system (the Great Society) that paid families MORE money if the father left the home.

      • Spanky

        In 1995, Clinton took credit for getting the DWRRA (Deep Water Royalty Relief Act) passed. Basically it gave over $100B in incentives to oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico. The well that leaked was there because of the DWRRA,

        In the DWRRA, there was not even one single mention of safety or dealing with leaks.

        You can thank Slick for the leak.

    • Spanky

      Or it may go out of business because as cute as it may seem, it’s entirely possible that it is not cost-effective. We lose all visibility into that when something is government-run.

  • WhatsItAllAboutAlphie

    This is a state issue not a Federal issue. States must balance their books. Am familiar with the Rocky Hill ferry and don’t want to see it go. Hope some folks can get together to keep it going. Gee whiz Connecticut is over loaded with hedge funds gillionaires maybe they can save it. Very beautiful part of the Connecticut River where the ferry operates.

    • kenema

      Liberals want to use your money, not their own.

      • Dr. Nemo

        It is the function of a state to collect taxes and create services in the best interests of the populace. The disagreement lies only in what services are sufficiently important to justify taxation. If you don’t believe in taxation you cannot believe in modern governance.

      • Dr. Nemo

        Oh and this is a story about a Democratic governor proposing budget CUTS. Are you opposed to budget cuts?

      • codeman

        I am opposed to democrat governors.

      • Spanky

        Dr. Nemo said: “If you don’t believe in taxation you cannot believe in modern governance.”

        Ah, so all taxation is justified?

  • jw362

    We have a similar situation here. A ferry that had operated since the mid 1700’s, always as a private business, was taken over by the county because they had regulated it to the point that no private person could keep up with the constant requirements and sustain any profit. Since the county assumed control, it’s in and out of service every time a new budget comes up. There is nothing that government can do consistently and efficiently except spend other peoples’ money.

  • cojo

    I remember about a year ago as I was crossing the CT River on the ferry to the south (the one that crosses beneath Gillette’s Castle),a fellow passenger was imploring others aboard to “write your legislators, write the Governor, etc”.
    She wanted action to “Save the Ferry” from budget cuts.
    I also remember thinking that it is inherently unfair that all CT taxpayers should have to foot the bill for this extremely expensive enterprise. If it is capable of surviving in the hands of private individuals, then I believe that is the way to go.
    The state will receive reduced liablity and additional revenues through concession fees. The taxpayer will be less burdened because only those who actually use the ferry will have to pay. Of course, they will pay more than what the crossing fee currently is, but not Grandma in Stamford nor Uncle Toonoose up in Norwich nor Mystic Mama who never use it.

  • Fran

    Fanny must be a product of the public school. She can’t do simple math.

  • MGWilson

    Reread the article once more to see the year that the State of Connecticut took over the operation of that once private business. The State must have been pressured to take it over because it was not making a profit and was being shut down!!

  • Brad

    There are two bridges less than 3 miles in each direction of the ferry – IT IS A WASTE OF TAX PAYERS MONEY!

    • Spanky

      Are you talking about Rte 3 and Rte 17? The former is about 4 miles away and the latter is about 8 miles away.

      • 51 Phantom

        4 miles & 8 miles, WOW! Why, that’d take at least a half gallon of gas round trip! And what, maybe all of 15 minutes. Well we can be havin’ that. Run that Ferry and Budget into the ground!





    • Spanky


      Never happens. Everything is always someone elses fault.


    All this proves is People were more knowledgeable and better keepers of
    finances in 1655 then in 2011

    • Spanky

      It might also prove that times and transportation needs have changed.

  • Jack B

    No money for Ferries but plenty of cash to support endless Wars for Israel, it all started nearly a decade ago under a false flag attack.
    9/11 and Israel, here:

    • 51 Phantom

      Really? The CT state government has a war in Israel in it’s budget? Really?

    • Rich Lee

      What does Israel have to do with the ferry?
      How about the UCONN Medical Center being built where nobody can get to it and costing $900 million in a State with only 3 million people?
      How stupid is that?????

    • mjazz

      Yup. That’s all the government wastes money on, just Israel.

    • mct

      I guess we have nut jobs in Ct as well as elsewhere

      • Dr. Nemo

        Right. Republican governor from 1995-2004 who resigned due to corruption and was followed by a republican governor from 2004-2011.

      • Pynckone

        This in a state where the dimocrats have an overwhelming majority in both houses for years and the dumb ass unions vote themselves to be laid off! The liberal mind is such a terrible thing when its wasted!

      • Krystina

        Is that the best you can do? Call someone a nut job, good job- gold star for you.

      • Spanky

        Democrat Governor.

        Two Democrat Senators.

        Five Democrat House Members (zero Republicans).

        Yep, it’s safe to say they have plenty of nut jobs in CT.

  • cojo

    Actual little known fact about the real “oldest continuously operated ferry in the nation:

    It is the one used by the Outlaw Josie Wales and Sam Bottoms escaping from Captain Redlegs just after the War Between the States and run by Sim Carstairs, his helper Lemuel and a horse with name unknown.
    I have it on good authority that the ferry is still in operation and is still run by Sim, who, depending upon whom is crossing, can still sing “..either the Battle Hymn of the Republic, or Dixie, with equal enthusiasm..”

  • Dan

    Sad to see a venerable old institution like the Ferry going away. Puts me in mind of Tuttle’s Red barn farm market up in Dover, New Hampshire. They’ve been a single-family-owned farm continuously since 1632! Almost closed a year ago, but was taken partly over by a Historical Society. Perhaps this will also happen with the Ferry.

    I’ve never ridden it, but I still would hate to have it end.

  • Aki Bola

    The state has twice as many highly paid managers than it needs, but Malloy chooses to cut police and ferries and DMV service and things that affect us. Those should be the last to be cut, not the first. He’s a piece of ….
    Never mind a union revote, how about a governor revote, this time without the Bridgeport cheating!

    • jaymallot

      Wouldn’t be Connecticut if the Dems couldn’t cheat. Funny how they never find bags of votes to change cliffhanging elections in red states.

    • Spanky

      Some folks, usually unionistas, always go after management, regardless of the facts.

  • trajan long

    Don’t touch those state pension scammers and double and triple dippers the Dems handed out around the US>

  • Scott

    When we here in Connecticut get rid of the Dumacrats everything will slowly start to get better. I’ve lived my whole life here in the Northeast and I have just about had enough of these tax-and-spend Liberals. Everything about them, in fact, just makes me sick.

    Malloy is no budget-cutter. Don’t let CBS (Communist Broadcasting System) fool you. Taxes are either on the rise or tax credits are disappearing. Enough already! The people need to wake up and vote the Dumacrats out of office.

  • Scott

    Dumbocrats….excuse my misspelling.

    • CasOb

      You really do believe everything Glann Beck and Rush Linbaugh spout. That way ypu dont have to think for yourself, which in your case is probably quite convenient. They give you the little sayings, the clever litttle wordplays, everything!!

  • indie

    Sadly, states always choose to cut heritage related services, rather than actual FAT from their budgets. Which is more important? The jobs that this ferry brings to that area in the form of heritage tourism or the union state employee’s pensions?

    • Lon

      You noticed that too, eh? They’ll cut police, fire, parks, and libraries. They never mention city government.

      I used to live in Glastonbury in the ’70’s and remember this ferry well. Such a shame.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Set Your Picks For Pro Football Challenge
Get The All New CBS Local App

Listen Live