Got A Problem Pothole? Prepare To Pay - WSPA.com

Got A Problem Pothole? Prepare To Pay

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LAURENS, S.C. -

Most of us have to deal with one or two on that daily drive to work.  "I probably pass at least one pothole every day," says upstate resident Janet Walston.  Crumbling roads are becoming an increasing problem for many upstate cities and counties, with dwindling funds from the state transportation department to repair them.  "It's a city wide problem," says Laurens city clerk Gary Coleman.

His city council has recently proposed increasing the city's vehicle fee from $5 to $20.  The funds generated from the fee are primarily used for road repairs.  "The money has to come from somewhere, and this is a way to get some money in the coffers," says Coleman.  Currently, with just about 6,000 vehicles, the city is able to collect around $30,000 a year from the fee.  Coleman says that's not enough to do the kind of work they need.  "Right now, with potholes, we basically have to use gravel and a coal patch, which is not a great fix."

Other counties around the Upstate have been charging a similar fee for years.  Spartanburg implemented a $25 road fee in 2005.  It collects roughly $6 million annually for repaving and repairing damaged roads.

In Greenville County, residents are charged $15.  The fee generates about $5 million.  The county repairs an average of 30 miles of road a year with the funds.

Some residents in Laurens are not sure about the increased fee.  "A tax is a tax.  It doesn't matter if you call it a fee, it's still money out of our pocket," says Bill Horner.

Walston agrees.  "That's a lot of money to some people.  I just think we're already taxed too much."

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