A small Washington County town is pushing for a plan to reduce the hours of operation at local Canadian border crossings, which they say could devastate families and the local economy.
According to US Customs and Border Protection, the agency is planning to reduce border crossing hours in Waynesboro from 24 hours to 12 hours — from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., about halfway between Calais and Halton.
Waynesboro selector Cheryl Long is concerned that the reduction in hours will make it harder for interconnected families on both sides of the border to see each other, and that the change will prompt more travelers from across Canada to cross the border through other ports. , which will damage the local economy.
“We don’t have much left in town,” Long said. “We need our gas stations. And Canadians are a big part of keeping Waynesboro alive.”
Main State Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, who once worked for the city, is pushing against the plan.
When the crossing closes, Evangelos said, residents will have to drive to Calais, 60 miles away, to check on family members who may be a few miles to the border.
“Imagine you have a 90-year-old father or grandfather, or grandmother, who you have to check in after 8 p.m. You have to drive 120 miles to go 4 miles,” he said. “I mean, this is absurd “
The city has arranged a meeting on July 5 to discuss the situation.
A CBP spokesman says many questions will then be answered, and that “many factors” go into the decision to scale down operations, including “port utilization and resource allocation.”
This story appears through a media partnership with Main Public.