PORTSMOUTH, V.a (WAVY) - A budget amendment to delay tolls until January 2014 has left some Portsmouth business owners with mixed reactions.
The amendment passed in the Senate Finance Committee Thursday, but still must go through the Virginia House of Delegates.
"Business wise, it's going to devastate Portsmouth," said Peter Crockin, the owner of Crocklin's Furniture. The store has been around for 123 years.
Crockin told WAVY.com he's been keeping a close eye on Louise Lucas' bill and doesn't think a two year delay will help.
"What I want to see, and what other people in Portsmouth want to see, is no tolls," Crockin added. "Find another way to pay for the tunnels."
Crockin remembers what happened when the Downtown Tunnel had tolls years ago and thinks history will repeat itself.
"I grew up with tolls," Crockin said. "It was kind of a blockade. It kept people in Virginia Beach and Norfolk from coming over on this side of the river. I hate to see that again, but that's going to happen."
Marcia Barrick opened Near the Bay Antiques 11 years ago. Barrick told WAVY.com she has already decided it would be best to close up now because of the impact tolls could have on her business.
"I'm worried about the tolls, and I believe that they will probably be in place in September...it's just going to be hard on us over here. We're just a little place. It's just going to be hard," Barrick said.
Many of the business owners in Olde Towne have joined together in fighting the tools by hiring Attorney Pat McSweeney. Some WAVY.com spoke with believe even if Lucas' bill passes, everyone would be in the same situation in 2014.
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