A short 2009 video of the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry in operation
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget balancing plan confirmed what many people already knew that the ferry services would be cut to help balance the $1.6 billion deficit.
In Malloy’s plan, all eight employees of the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury and Hadlyme-Chester ferries would be laid off and services would be eliminated. The plan said the seasonal ferry service is a “convenience for residents in these areas” and there are year round alternatives available.
By eliminating the employees and the service, the state would save $377,634 in 2012 and $473,627 in 2013.
The Rocky Hill Ferry was closed Friday, due to staffing issues, Department of Transportation Spokesman Kevin Nursick said. However, people still came to Ferry Park to see if they could take a ride across the river.
Sara Weeden was hoping to take her daughter, Gwendlyn, on the ferry for only the second time in her life when she found out the news.
“I’m just surprised that they would do that,” Sara Weeden said. She added that her daughter enjoyed riding the ferry.
“It is a nice treat,” Sara Weeden said.
She added that on Wednesday, the last day the ferry was open, there was a line of cars backed up on Great Meadow Road.
The Rocky Hill Ferry was the nation’s oldest continuously operating ferry service. It traveled the Connecticut River from Rocky Hill to Glastonbury and back. The original ferry, just a small raft pushed across the river with the help of long poles, dates back to 1655. Privately operated for 260 years, it became a state facility in 1915 and had been operating until now by the State Department of Transportation.
…John Serra, who works at the Rocky Hill Historical Society, said the ferry was once a financial lifeline for the town and has evolved into a social hub.”It was really the center of town,” Serra said.A stack of papers in a small library above the historical society includes a jumble of photos, newspaper clippings and historical documents chronicling the development of the ferry beginning in 1655, 121 years before the Declaration of Independence…