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By MARTHA WAGGONER
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina legislators are considering budget cuts that might lead the state to charge to ride four ferries that are currently free and double the price on three others, including the Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry.

The possibility particularly upsets Ocracoke residents, who would have no free alternative for public transport off the island.

Rep. Ric Killian of Mecklenburg County says a subcommittee will meet Tuesday to consider overall transportation issues, including budget cuts to the state Ferry Division. The Republican says those cuts could force the division to charge tolls on all ferries and increase tolls on others.

Rep. Frank Iler says he thinks a solution can be found for residents of Ocracoke, where about 1,000 people live permanently. But the Republican from Brunswick County is not yet sure what that idea might be.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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