CONCORD – House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) released the following statement in response to the Governor and Council meeting today, at which time the Executive Council voted to zero out the Merrimack tolls on Exit 11.

“I am extremely pleased the Council took up this vote today and voted to effectively eliminate the tolls at Exit 11 in Merrimack. This toll relief project has been in the works for 20 years. It has been a priority of current and former Merrimack state representatives, as well as numerous town selectmen & town councilors. I sincerely thank Governor Sununu for providing the leadership and taking the initiative to finally eliminate these tolls, which provided very little state revenue but have been an extreme burden to the citizens of Merrimack.”

“I would also like to thank Councilor Gatsas for his initiative to accelerate the proposal from July to January of next year. Lastly, I would like to thank the Merrimack Town Council and Town Manager, along with town officials who took the time to travel to Concord, and who were in frequent communication with me and the Governor to make this a reality.”

“This vote was a team effort and a huge win for Merrimack. By bringing in roughly only $800,000 in net revenue each year, these tolls ended up being essentially a tax that only Merrimack residents paid as they tried to get to and from work. Zeroing out these tolls was the right thing to do, and again, I sincerely appreciate the efforts by Governor Sununu, Councilor Gatsas, and the Merrimack town officials.”