The Rocky Hill Town Council will decide tonight whether it wants to file its own lawsuit to save its historic ferry from the state budget axe.
Last week, a judge rejected a lawsuit brought by the town of Lyme after a state assistant attorney general argued that the town did not have standing, and that the closure decision was not final.
According to Morris Borea, Rocky Hill’s attorney, the town has standing because the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury ferry is on the National Register of Historic places. It is therefore protected, as a historic building would be under the Connecticut Environmental Protection Act.
Along with the Chester-Hadlyme ferry, the two historic Connecticut River ferries have been granted a brief reprieve from the state’s budget axe, as layoffs have been postponed until Sept. 9.
The postponement is meant to allow for public comment on the proposal, as mandated by the ferry’s designation as “scenic roads.”
The extension will also give state employee unions time to vote on a concessions deal for the second time.
Officials from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration have said that “most” of the cuts could be rescinded should unions approve the concessions deal. However, neither the administration nor the Department of Transportation has said whether or not a yes-vote would save the ferries.
“Nothing in this budget is definitive or set in stone,” Kevin Nursick, spokesman for the DOT, said Monday.
The eight DOT employees would have their layoffs rescinded in the case of a yes vote, but it is unclear if the ferry service itself would remain.
“We have some residents that really and truly believe the ferries should be saved. It’s part of Rocky Hill,” said Barbara Gilbert, Rocky Hill’s town manager.
The DOT has scheduled a public meeting in Rocky Hill for Aug. 22, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Town Hall, and Aug. 25 in Lyme, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House.