By ANDY GARDNER
MASSENA -- The Board of Trustees Tuesday passed a resolution voicing opposition to Congress’ proposal to study charging a fee for every vehicle and pedestrian that crosses onto American soil.
Mayor James Hidy proposed the resolution after having been contacted by leaders from the cities of Cornwall, Ont. and Sault Ste. Marie, which is partially in Michigan and partially in Ontario.
“Both municipalities (Sault Ste. Marie) passed a resolution and asked Massena and Cornwall to enter into agreement,” Hidy said.
All of the resolutions are being forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security, the Canadian federal government, and state and provincial leadership, Hidy said.
The study would begin with the 2014 fiscal year and the fee would be enacted within nine months of the study. It would affect land traffic over the Canadian and Mexican borders.
The opposing resolutions say that the fee would negatively impact tourism at the Canadian border, which has 128 ports of entry and exchanged $645 billion in goods and services in 2010, or $1.6 billion per day.
“Border fees will have a negative impact by reducing border crossings…over the Three Nations/Seaway bridge, which is used by more passenger vehicles than any other crossing in Northern New York State,” the resolution says, adding that 2 million vehicles crossed the bridge in 2012, the highest count since 2001.
Rep. Bill Owens has publicly spoken against the border fee.