Second license fee hearing brings heated opinions

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The second public hearing on whether to increase Belmont County’s license plate fees brought out plenty of heated opinions at Wednesday morning’s commission meeting.

The county engineer says that, right now, they have 34 active road slips, with no way to fix them.

Some people said they were “one thousand-percent in favor” of the increase.

But several senior citizens said every cost in their life is going up, but their income isn’t, so they can’t afford it.

“There’s a limit to how much we can take out of our paychecks. I’m supposed to be retired. I’m 71. I’m still working two part time jobs just to maintain prescriptions and health care. There’s just a limit to how much we can put out,” said Ester Kalinoski of Bridgeport.

“I’m out of alternatives here. If we’re going to maintain our roads and bridges and guard rails, it takes money to do that. And if we’re not gonna maintain ’em, well then OK. We can make that decision here today and just let ’em go. But I think that would be a serious mistake,” said Terry Lively, Belmont County Engineer.

One man in attendance suggested charging senior citizens on fixed incomes less than $15.

Officials said it would cost the county more just to determine each person’s ability to pay.

In the end, commissioners thanked everyone for their input, and said they’ll consider it when making their decision.

Stay with 7News for more on that hearing.

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