LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Some like it, others hate it. “It” being the new $5 vehicle registration fee OK’d by the Luzerne County Council this week.
County officials insist it will be only be used to repair county-owned roads and bridges. Some folks are more than skeptical about its use.
“I feel it would be a good idea if they actually use it but most government’s money doesn’t go to where they are supposed to go,” said Tom Dougherty, Shavertown.
That pretty much sums up what we have been hearing over and over again from people about the vehicle registration fee coming to Luzerne County.
The fee will raise around $1.4 million dollars and as mandated by state law, must be used on road and bridge repairs. The state will also match the county dollar-for-dollar for repairs to bridges.
“I think it would be a good idea if you knew where it was going,” said Stephanie Morrison, Sweet Valley.
People are lighting up the Eyewitness News Facebook page.
Arlene Martin writes: “Nothing more than stealing you money!”
John posted: “I’m sure all that money will go for road just like all the money they got from casinos went to help pay our taxes, smoke and mirrors again.”
Joe Po wrote: “How far will a million go? And who is going to get greased? What pocket will it go into?”
Max says: “We have it in Pike County, roads are worse than ever.”
“It comes down to transparency,” said Dave Pedri, Luzerne County Manager.
And that means the public will see where it is going.
“Every dollar that comes in you’re going to see before and after pictures, do media releases and you’re going to know exactly where this money is going to,” said Pedri.
Some of that money will be used to make much needed repairs on the Water Street Bridge in Pittston.
Mehalshick: “How does the county prove how that money is being spent? What evidence can you show?”
“Well we’ll make sure there will be a lot of evidence in the paper, in the media. There will be pictures and stories and we will have presentations at council meetings,” said Tim McGinley, Luzerne County Council Chairman.
County officials say repairs will be done on those roads and bridges that are in the worst shape. The list of the projects will be made public.
The state will collect the vehicle fee when people renew their license plates. Luzerne County residents should see that fee in place by the end of August.