WHAT WE KNOW: At its May meeting, the Mercer County Board discussed imposing a wheel tax on Mercer County residents to help pay for road and bridge maintenance.

WHAT'S NEW: The board did not act on the proposed wheel tax at its meeting last week. 

The measure would put a fee on the approximately 20,000 registered vehicles in the county, according to Ron Fullerlove, R-Sherrard. He said officials estimated revenue of $400,000 for county roads if the measure was approved.

“If you leverage that against the 80/20 match that the state and the federal government will do, we can convert that $400,000 to $2 million. (That) goes a long way in filling potholes and repaving roads,” he said.

If passed, the proposed ordinance would impose fees of $15 for cars, motorcycles and recreational trailers; $20 for trucks, farm trailers and business permanent plates; and $30 for heavy vehicles. A noncompliance fee could be imposed at a minimum of $30 and maximum of $150. 

The ordinance was sent back to committee for further review. Officials anticipate an updated wheel ordinance up for vote July 2.

In other business, the board heard about the possibility of a Dollar General store opening in Alexis. Ken Silverthorn, land survey manager at Farnsworth Inc., engineering and architecture firm for Dollar General, asked the board how to proceed with a zoning request since the county zoning officer position currently is vacant.

Fullerlove said a board committee will act as zoning commission.

The board also approved zoning for the Dollar General store set to be built in Sherrard across from the 7-Eleven gas station. The next step is to record the plat and set a closing date on the property. Once construction begins, Silverthorn said, it will take about 90 days until the grand opening.

WHAT'S NEXT: Treasurer Bev Lower said tax bills would be mailed out June 19.  Installment due dates will be July 19 and Sept. 6. Residents can pay early in the treasurer’s office at the courthouse. 

She told board members the county expects to receive $729,680 in property tax revenue. Tax anticipation loans totaling $200,000 will be paid out of that income.


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