Pike County Commissioners, Sept. 20, agreed to impose a $5 county for each non-exempt vehicle registered to any address within the county.

MILFORD - Pike County Commissioners, Sept. 20, agreed to impose a $5 county for each non-exempt vehicle registered to any address within the county. The fee, which will be added to the vehicle owner’s state registration bill, will be used to maintain the 17 bridges the county owns, Chairman Matthew Osterberg said.

Ordinance No. 27 of 2017 was passed in accordance with Act 89 of 2013. The state law allows all counties within Pennsylvania, at their discretion, to impose this fee. Osterberg said the fee is expected to become effective January 1, 2018.

Commissioner Richard Caridi voted against the passage, without elaboration. Commissioners Osterberg and Steve Guccini voted in favor.

This applies to all motorized vehicles except those exempt from registration, such as agricultural equipment infrequently using highways, military vehicles, trailers and certain other classifications.

Fees will be deposited by the Department of Transportation into a Local Use Fund, distributed by the Department to each participating county. About 17 or 18 of the Commonwealth’s 67 counties have made use of this law to impose a fee, Osterberg said.

The funds shall be used by the county for transportation purposes or to be allocated to municipalities in the county for the same use.

The chairman stated that the fees should collect between $350,000 and $400,000 each year. The state will match the first $2 million raised, which he said should take approximately five years.

“I don’t know many places where you can take $2 million in funds and double the funds that quickly,” he said.
There are between 70,000 and 80,000 non-exempt vehicles registered in Pike County.

Pike County had only about two miles of roads under its jurisdiction, but it has 17 bridges. Osterberg said to raise $4 million to care for their bridges, that would equate to an average of $66 a year for each taxable lot owner.
Instead, every vehicle owner will pay only $5 per vehicle.

“Some of our bridges are in pretty bad condition,”Osterberg said. “Just recently we repaired the Mink Pond Bridge. It was a $450,000 bill. There was only one place we could get that money, out of the General Fund.” The county could take out a bond, but they still would have to pay back $4 million.

He added that he understands there are some reservations about the state, but they have this documentation that PennDOT will double the county’s first $2 million.

By October the county needs to file a report to the state, listing the five bridges most crucial to be repaired. They will be able to match this money even further with federal money, he said.

“It’s an impact, no one wants to see anyone raise taxes or fees get implemented, but it’s $5 here, and its for people who have vehicles. You take the senior citizens who don’t drive any cars anymore… will not be impacted by this.”

[Please see the Saturday edition for more meeting items.] Pike County Commissioners meet on the first and third Wednesday at 9 a.m., at the Administration Building, 506 Broad St., Milford.