In January, the Centre County Board of Commissioners provided the 35 county municipalities with a survey to gauge the interest of raising the vehicle registration fee by $5, and on Tuesday the board was presented with the results.
The county gave municipalities until March 1, to return the survey and 19 of the 35 responded. The survey asked if the municipality is in favor of implementing the fee, as well as how the revenue generated could be used for infrastructure improvements.
The 19 municipalities that responded account for just more than 125,000 residents, which is almost 80 percent of the county’s population, according to U.S. census data.
Within the responding municipalities’ borders, there are about 570 miles or 70 percent of eligible roads that can be improved with the revenue and there are 40 eligible bridges that span more than 20 feet, according to Centre County data.
Twelve of the 19 responding municipalities are in favor of enacting the fee: Boggs, College, Gregg, Patton, Potter and Spring townships; and Centre Hall, Milesburg, Millheim, Snow Shoe, State College and Unionville boroughs.
The municipalities in favor account for about 90,000 or 70 percent of the counties population, according to U.S. census data. Within those municipalities are 341 miles or 60 percent of eligible roads and 24 bridges that each span 20 feet or more.
Six of the 19 responding municipalities are not in favor: Haines, Halfmoon, Harris, Penn, and Snow Shoe townships and Bellefonte borough.
The municipalities not in favor account for almost 20,000 residents or 15 percent of the county’s population.
Ferguson Township responded and said it would support the county’s decision either way. The township accounts for just more than 18,000 of the county’s population, according to census data. Within the township there are about 83 miles or 15 percent of eligible roads and two bridges that each span 20 feet or more.
The municipalities that responded indicated that the revenue generated would be best used for road resurfacing and bridge repair or replacement.
Board chairman Michael Pipe said the response from the municipalities was great and while the deadline has passed, the county still welcomes feedback from the remaining municipalities.
The Board of Commissioners has scheduled three town hall meetings for county residents to offer their input. The first meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on March 20 at the Moshannon Valley YMCA in Philipsburg. The time, date and location of two other town hall meetings will be announced within the next two weeks.