Lycoming County Officials Ponder Infrastructure Plan

LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) One day after President Trump unveiled his new plan to spend one and a half trillion dollars rebuild the country's highways, railroads and airports. He's getting pushback from local governments who will have to help pay for it. 
That's because much of that money will come in the form of grants, which those local communities have to match. 

As Eyewitness News Reporter Morgan Parrish found - they are wondering where they'll find the money

 
Jack mckernan, lycoming county commissioner
"It's very interesting that president trump has a different way of doing things." said Jack McKernan, Lyocoming County Commissioner about the new plan,.

 
The new infrastructure plan would take place over a course of ten years and would require local and state governments to come up with a lot of money to fix roads, highways and bridges. .
 
 
"The problem is for rural pennsylvania we are economically at a disadvantage, our household incomes are lower then in urban and suburban areas, we  don't have the same tax base." said Lycoming County Commissioner Rick Mirabito.

  Mirabito says he he simply doesn't know where his county can find the money. 

 "We're requiring our third class cities to raise 80% for an infrastructure project is going to be a real burden in Pennsyvania."

In part because the Commonwealth's infrastructure is in such poor shape. The american society of civil engineers has pennsylvania has the 35th worst roads and bridges in the nation.

On the other hand, Lycoming County Commissioner Jack <>McKernan says any help is better than no help and.

 " I believe that our planning department will have a good list and that we'll have some good projects and we won't get into any projects if we can't afford to do it."

Right now, 50 billion dollars would be given to the states in grants based on its population and its miles of rural roads.
McKernan says they also have to do it alone.

 
"We will be able to make up some of the difference through the state getting the money and dispersing it to us, the counties."

But Mirabito remains unconvinced, and says the old formula works better. 

 
"I'm encouraging the public to call their senator call their federal representative and say to them that we need to keep the formula at 80/20."
Lycoming County currently has a five dollar fee all annual vehicle registrations to fix local bridges in the area..
But, Commissioner Mirabito says these projects are going to require a lot more than a five-dollar fee. 


 


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