Legislator Suggests New Toll in Sussex County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Legislator Suggests New Toll in Sussex County

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BRIDGEVILLE, Del. - The much talked about gas tax in Delaware has created some debate, but one legislator is thinking outside of the box, looking for an alternative. And this plan would bring another toll to the western side of Sussex County. 

Rep. John Atkins of Millsboro has suggested building a toll road along Route 404 west of Bridgeville, in order to bring in revenue from out-of-staters. This is one of the most heavily traveled roads for summer tourists heading to the Delaware beaches. 

Atkins said this is not a formal proposal, and that it is in the very preliminary stages. 

In Bridgeville, Thomas "Tommy" Jefferson, the owner of Snappy's Grill considered the idea, as he chopped onions in the kitchen. He said he would be opposed to the toll.

"I don't think there should be a toll," he said. "Because like I said, we are a small town. And they (tourists) would avoid us. They wouldn't come through here to see what we have going on." 

Jefferson said the area is dependent on the traffic through the area, and said he was worried that this change might make people take back-roads around Bridgeville to save money. 

"It's gonna affect it deeply," he said. "Because we depend on some of this beach traffic." 

Atkins suggested making the toll $2 to pass through, and potentially on return as well. He said this amount would make a huge difference in revenue, but is unlikely to make tourists change their travel plans to Delaware.

"I don't think a $2 toll will stop them from visiting their $3 million beach house at the beach," he said.

Atkins said he had received a lot of complaints from his constituents about the gas tax increases, and said this would be a successful alternative to raise money, while moving the cost off the shoulders of his constituents.  

"The main selling point is that the majority of this revenue generated for our deteriorating highways and bridges would come from out of staters," he said.

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