Muskingum County’s Engineer met with commissioners to discuss ways to pay for roadwork within the county.
Through Ohio Public Works county engineer Doug Davis said they’ll apply for grants to take care of some paving projects. Davis also wants the commissioners approval to apply for a zero percent interest loan for $500,000. The money would be used to buy materials to start work on area bridges.
"Our structures in our county are aging and we do that inventory annually. We are working on designs, we do as much as that in-house as we can, but we have 158 structures that are under 20 foot span," said Muskingum County Engineer Doug Davis.
The money would be paid back over 30 years.Davis said over the next 10-15 years bridges in our area will start to deteriorate quickly and the county must start to explore ways to pay for the projects including a bridge only levy or a rise in license plate fees.
"A year ago the State Patrol put $10 on license plate fees and nobody blinked," said Davis. "We could actually add two $5.00 fees if the county commissioners so decide to put on the license plates."
An increase in license fees would generate $700,000 for the county engineer’s budget so more repairs could be made. Davis said if money can’t be found to replace and repair bridges the worse case scenario is some bridges may have to close.