County approves $5 license fee

By Cecilia Fox -

MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County residents will see an additional $5 license fee on motor vehicles, a change aimed at improving roads in the county.

The commissioners voted to approve the additional license fee following the second of two public hearings Tuesday morning. There were no comments from members of the public.

According to County Engineer Paul Huelskamp, $5 license fee will generate an additional estimated $600,000 per year, which will help to offset the gap between department revenue and asphalt prices and allow the county to pave an additional seven to nine miles of roadway annually.

“Mild winters over the past couple of years, last year excluded, and aggressive efforts with regards to securing funding, have allowed us to increase our paving program to about 22 miles and 24 miles in 2016 and 2017, respectively, from the prior five-year average of 13.307 miles per year,” Huelskamp said. “However, with 424 miles of roadway to maintain and industry standard of eight to 10 years between paving, one can see that we should be paving closer to 40 miles per year instead of the 22, let alone 13.”

The county exceeded last year’s paving program by about two miles, paving about 24 miles of county roadway at a cost of $1.64 million. Of those roads paved, 11 had not been paved since the mid-1990s.

Huelskamp said the department has “cut significantly” the amount of salaries paid to adjust for rising costs to maintain roads.

“I’ve received several phone calls from people in the county complaining about the roads, and this will help rectify that somewhat,” Commissioner Greg Simmons said. “I’ve only had maybe one or two people call about the license tax. I feel like it’s advantageous for the county.”

Several other Ohio counties have passed similar measures, including Montgomery, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Hamilton and Summit counties.

By Cecilia Fox

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