Category Archives: Local Politics

Huntersville: Widen I-77 tells “outright lies”

At tonight’s board meeting in Huntersville a packed house witnessed the bizarre spectacle of a majority of Commissioners and the Mayor venting their hatred of a citizen’s group. Perhaps no charge was more damning (as well as flat wrong) than Commissioner Sarah MacAulay’s accusation that Widen I-77 members are “accepting private and public donations” so

Carpoolers without transponder will be charged toll

For years now we’ve been told that one of the benefits of the I-77 toll lanes is they will encourage carpooling because vehicles with three or more occupants can use the lanes for free. NCDOT’s website proclaims: Speaking of free, there are several ways you can use the express lanes without spending a dime. The

Huntersville Board to Hold Special Session on Toll Resolution

Following on the heels of a Cornelius resolution passed last week the Huntersville town board will hold a special meeting this Monday, May 11 at 5pm at Huntersville Town Hall to discuss a tolling resolution. The purpose of the meeting is to consider a resolution regarding NCDOT’s amending the draft tolling agreement.  Huntersville’s resolution expresses

NCDOT & Cintra extend financing deadline at taxpayer expense

Last week NCDOT and Cintra  extended the financial close deadline for the I-77 toll lane project by amending the tolling contract.  Under the original terms Cintra was required to secure financing by January 22, 2015 or forfeit a $15 million security deposit to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). The original terms also allowed

Goliath Introduces Himself

Cintra, you may have heard, is a huge multinational corporation with over $70 billion in assets under their control. They are a goliath in the private tolling industry. Well, earlier this week Goliath introduced himself to Widen I-77. Actually, Goliath’s twin brothers did. They’re both lawyers. Parker Poe, a downtown Charlotte law firm with 200+

About that $70 billion…

“We have $70 billion in road needs and only $11 billion to pay the bill.” It’s a lament commonly used to justify toll lanes. We heard it at the candidate forum last week, and we’ll probably hear it at the next one tomorrow night. But how did NCDOT come up with that $70 billion figure,

About that bonus money…

You may have heard recently about a “bonus” allocation of money allotted to our region as a reward for building toll lanes. The law that passed last summer requires the NCDOT to “make available” a bonus allocation equal to half of the project cost funded through toll revenue bonds, up to a maximum of $200

Huntersville Mayor Apologizes for Commissioner’s Anti-Toll Efforts

Late last month Huntersville Commissioner Rob Kidwell stepped out on a limb and asked the North Carolina legislature to consider postponing the I-77 toll project.  Given the fact we still don’t know basic information like anticipated toll rates it seemed like a reasonable- perhaps even courageous- request. But apparently Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain didn’t think

A Crucial Question…

There’s an all-important question facing the toll lane issue regarding how NCDOT is interpreting the law. Before we get to that, we need to look at a similar grammatical construction. Consider the following statement: “I will not eat spoiled meat or fish.” Does this mean: A: I will not eat fish at all or B:

About That Confidential Information

At our meeting last week we raised two issues regarding personal data.  First was the breath of information that could be collected, including SSN’s and medical data. Second was that the private company- Cintra- could be collecting it. Last Friday the NCDOT disputed both issues.  In a strongly worded (and widely reported) statement, they said: