The Narragansett Chamber of Commerce has rescinded its letter to the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission opposing an application by Rhode Island Fast Ferry to provide ferry service from Quonset to Block Island, according to the Providence Journal.
In addition, Narragansett Chamber's executive director, Deborah Kelso, has resigned, although board chairman Kevin Mulholland said the two issues were separate.
At the time the chamber first sent the letter in early August, Kelso said, "This is not a stand against a particular business," said Kelso. "This is a stand for protecting the businesses in Galilee."
Interstate Navigation runs ferry service to Block Island from Galilee – traditional, car-carrying ferries and high-speed service. Both R.I. Fast Ferry and Interstate Navigation belong to the Narragansett Chamber of Commerce.
R.I. Fast Ferry owner Charles Donadio expressed happiness over the Narragansett Chamber's decision, if still some frustration over the initial letter.
"I am obviously disappointed in the position that the Chamber took against my company; I have been one of their biggest supporters over the years. When I served on the Board of Directors I voted in favor of hiring Deb as the Executive Director, Deb has done an excellent job over the six years she’s served the Chamber, she’s put a lot of hours in and worked really hard. Unfortunately, Deb and the present Chairman have been at the forefront of two very controversial Chamber positions ... and the Chamber now needs to move on in a new direction if it is to repair its image."
A decision by the PUC on R.I. Fast Ferry's application is pending.