Issues with York County $5 bridge-repair fee resolved

Greg Gross
  • Some York County residents wouldn't have been charged the $5 fee.
  • That's because they have out-of-county mailing addresses.
  • But county and state officials resolved the issue and the residents will be charged.

Most York countians who live near the borders of surrounding counties will be charged the recently passed $5 local usefee to fund bridge repairs after all.

An unknown number of residents have out-of-county mailing addresses, giving the state, which will collect the fee, the impression they don't live in York County. For example, some Paradise Township residents have mailing addresses in Abbottstown or East Berlin, both of which are in Adams County, and would have been overlooked when the fee is tacked on to yearly vehicle registrations.

But county planning and state Department of Transportation officials weeded out the York County residents who have the out-of-county ZIP codes.

York County motorists hit with $5 fee

"We believe we have identified about 99.9 percent of the individuals who would fall into that category," Glenn Smith, the county solicitor, told commissioners at their weekly meeting Wednesday.

On the same token, the efforts also removed out-of-county residents who have a York County mailing address from a list of people who will be charged the fee.

Charles Swartzbaugh, of Conewago Township, alerted the county to the issue about three weeks ago. Reached by phone Wednesday, he said he's impressed the county acted so quickly to find a solution.

The fee: The $5 fee is expected to generate about $2 million yearly and will be used specifically to repair the 95 county-owned bridges.

It will be imposed starting in October, and all residents who drive will be charged the fee when their vehicle registration comes due.

Eleven counties, including nearby Cumberland and Dauphin counties, charge the fee, which was allowed under  Act 89.

In York County, 17 of the 95 county-owned bridges need to be replaced. It costs between $1.3 million and $1.7 million to replace a bridge, meaning one replacement project would all but wipe out the $1.8 million in state funding the county receives yearly.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @ggrossyd.