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Jacobs wants 3 communities to get share of Island bridge tolls

The New York State Thruway Authority would have to give 10 percent of the tolls it collects on the Grand Island bridges to three communities affected by pollution and traffic caused by the toll booths under a proposed legislation introduced by State Sen. Chris Jacobs, R-Buffalo.

Jacobs' bill – which would require the Thruway give a total of about $1 million a year to Grand Island and $500,000 each each to the City of Niagara Falls and Town of Tonawanda – is the latest development in an effort to pressure the state authority to install high-speed cashless tolling on the bridge or remove the tolls entirely.

The Thruway has said nearly $20 million is collected in tolls each year on the Grand Island bridges, and the revenue is needed to maintain the bridges.

Grand Island Supervisor Nathan D. McMurray said a lot of people think the town gets a share of the tolls, but it doesn't.

"We get nothing. Zilch," said McMurray.

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