Updated: Tuesday, 28 Jun 2011, 12:44 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 28 Jun 2011, 6:17 AM EDT
Rocky Hill, Conn. (WTNH) - A grassroots campaign to save the Chester-Hadlyme ferry from budget cuts is jumping into action.
Fearing funding will be cut because of the failed budget deal with labor unions, ferry supporters are holding an special public hearing tonight to organize supporters in both towns.
The 242 year old Ferry is considered the quickest way to cross the river and is used by EMS personnel in emergencies. The ferry began service in 1769 .
Not having the ferry would mean relying on the finicky swing bridge in East Haddam.
"Because if I need to go from Haddam to Chester or Deep River, it's actually less expensive with gas and wear and tear on the car to take the ferry across and go back this way, rather than looping around the East Haddam bridge," said Sam from East Haddam.
Plus, with construction now shutting down half the Arrigoni Bridge in Middletown, there's even more need for the ferryboats. And they don't just carry commuter and sightseers, they frequently carry first responders in emergencies, too.
"Paramedics use it, the ambulance uses it, and its just a shame that they can't get to gether and solve the problems we have in this case," said Ron Rose of Hadlyme.
The Rocky Hill ferry could also be in jeopardy if Connecticut Department of Transportation workers are laid off.
That meeting is tonight at 7:30 at the Hadlyme Public Hall.