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Ferry Company Awarded Fees In Court Fight–Now What?

February 24th, 2011 · 6 Comments · Analysis and Comment, Development and Zoning, News and Events


Can we all get along?

Another legal round for the Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company. U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Droney has awarded the ferry company more than $1 million in legal fees and costs in conjunction with the ferry company’s lawsuit that challenged the passenger fees the Bridgeport Port Authority was charging on its ferries between Bridgeport and Port Jefferson, New York.

Judge Droney had awarded the “Ferry Company nominal damages and granted in part its request for injunctive relief.” The case was affirmed on appeal. The ferry company had asked for millions in legal fees and costs. The judge ordered payment of what he thought was reasonable. “The Port Authority shall pay the Ferry Company $1,171,524.75 in fees and costs, in accordance with this ruling,” the judge issued a few days ago. But how to pay with no money?

Officials for the ferry company and port authority have been fighting for years over fees and location of the ferry terminal downtown. The city doesn’t have an active port authority. Chief Administrative Officer Andy Nunn has been serving as acting director since the departure of Joe Riccio in 2009. The port authority itself spent a boatload on legal fees in this case and is generating little in revenue. Judge Droney had ruled in this case any fees collected from the ferry company must benefit ferry passengers.

Roughly one million travelers each year traffic the city’s ferry terminal downtown.

Many head over to Port Jefferson from the city and surrounding suburbs, and some come over from the other side of the pond to work and attend events at the arena and ballpark, and environs. Ferry officials want to move the ferry terminal to the other side of the harbor on the East End for a new facility with upgraded services and improved parking while cutting the trip by 10 minutes with immediate access off I-95.

Opponents, including many business leaders and officials with the Bridgeport Port Authority, a quasi-city agency which owns the ferry terminal property along Water Street, say the ferry service is vital to support business and attractions downtown.


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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Joel Gonzalez

    Can we all get along? Sure, we can all get along. The question is how long will “the getting along” last? It’s disappointing to see business partners of the city costing the city such a huge amount of time and money. Just about every Private and City of Bridgeport agreement (Ferry, Steel Pointe, The Arena, and Blue Fish Stadium) has cost the city money in the long term.

  • Joel Gonzalez

    Hey Lennie, what’s your take on this? The loss of a long-held Democratic Senate seat as result of the special elections. How can it affect Malloy’s budget plans?


  • Up On Bridgeport

    The city better be ready to negotiate some type of deal with the Ferry Company. I don’t know what the statutory interest rate is on this if they don’t pay in a timely manner. Rule of 72 can compound pretty quickly. Just ask Markie Maypo on the compounding interest with Klewin.

  • Mojo

    *** What this city needs is an enema, no? The city continues to crumble slowly into overall decay with political smoke&mirrors and business pipe dreams, along with the lack of telling it like it is by local media & newspapers. Thus leaving the majority of the city’s active voters to wander in a confused “zombie” state during elections really not knowing the candidates. Will it get worse before it gets better; probably. *** FORGETABOUTIT ***

  • Grin Ripper

    Do you need a GPS?

    “Roughly one million travelers each year traffic the city’s ferry terminal downtown.”

  • Joel Gonzalez

    While at the Ferry Terminal you hear, “ALL ABOARD,”
    at Bridgeport City Hall you hear, “CAN’T AFFORD.”

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