Mahoning County engineer: More money needed to fix crumbling roads

YOUNGSTOWN — Raising taxes and fees is never popular, but more money is needed to properly maintain road infrastructure, Mahoning County County Engineer Patrick Ginnetti told the county commissioners today.

“Do we want to pay more? No, but we have to,” Ginnetti said.

The discussion was in the context of a state legislative proposal to allow county commissioners to enact a $5 per-vehicle per-year surcharge on Ohio license plates to fund transportation improvements.

If enacted here, the fee increase would add $1.3 million a year to allow Mahoning County to pave 13 additional miles of county roads annually beyond the 15 to 20 miles it now paves each year under the state-funded paving program, Ginnetti said last month.

More than one-third of the county’s roads are in extremely poor condition, with the county engineer’s funding remaining stagnant as material and labor costs rise, he said.

With 485 miles of county roads, Mahoning ranks fifth in the state in road mileage.

State officials tell local officials: “‘Raise taxes. Do everything at the local level,’ after they’ve taken away all the funding that we generated for the state level. We need to start looking the other way around and taking back the money that goes to the state,” said David Ditzler, chairman of the county commissioners.

For the complete story, read Friday's Vindicator and

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