Wednesday evening the County Commissioners invited the public to an informational forum to educate them about the possibility of raising license plate fees.
According to Muskingum County Engineer, Doug Davis’ presentation Wednesday evening, there are 415 bridges in the county. 36% of these bridges are considered functionally obsolete, meaning they are aged and do not meet today’s standards and 18% are structurally deficient, meaning the bridge is weakening and prone to flooding.
"To show the state of the bridges in our county, to show where we are at with our infrastructure of bridges and to show that we are trying to keep our head above water here, and we are fighting somewhat of a losing battle here with some of our structures. just because of the age of our structures and the deterioration we have," explained Davis.
Raising the fees by 10 dollars, meaning 55 dollars yearly for any automobile owner, would generate 650,000 dollars to help replacement costs. Some of the attendees were against the increase.
"One gentleman brought up, ‘Well, what have you been doing?’” said Davis. “I showed him, that we have been recycling, we have been redoing, as long as I have been the County Engineer in Muskingum County, trying to be innovative, new ideas recycling rock."
License plate fees have not been increased since 1968. Some other options were a bridge levy, increasing gas tax or simply do nothing. There will be another similar meeting next Wednesday at 7 at the Welcome Center.