MAHONING CO., Ohio (WKBN) – At least one Mahoning County commissioner is saying the county engineer will have to get by with the money in his budget for the time being without any increases in local license plate fees.
There won’t be any increases in license plate fees to help pay for road and bridge repairs in Mahoning County for at least another year-and-a-half.
“We have missed the deadline to collect in 2020,” said Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti.
Engineers can only use gas taxes and license plate fees to cover their budgets.
By law, counties can impose $5 increases on plates to specifically pay for road work. But commissioners had to have passed a resolution by the end of May. They never took any action, saying it’s not a good time.
“It’s never a good time to raise a fee but the way we look at it, the $5 license plate fee would probably be the least impact,” Ginnetti said.
At least one commissioner has suggested waiting to see how much will be generated through the state’s newly increased tax on gas. Ginnetti predicts it will only be a little over a million dollars.
“To rebuild a road, a million dollars a mile is a good estimate to repave a road. You’re about $110,000 a mile right now,” he said.
Ginnetti said he needs $7.5 million to replace aging trucks and equipment and $70 million to repair damaged roads.
That’s not counting 15 bridges, where he only has money to fix six. A 70-year-old office and garage also need work.
Ginnetti said several roads need work right away.
“I’ve painted the picture, I think, as clearly as it can be.”
While commissioners say they will talk about the issue on Thursday, Ginnetti said he’s not sure what will happen next.