?ONTELAUNEE TWP., Pa -

Berks County is considering implementing a new fee.

Drivers would have to pay an extra $5 every time they renew their vehicle registration. The money would be used to fund repairs to 59 deficient bridges.

County Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt says he believes this is the best way to go about it.

"This is one chance we get to actually have this money come back to the county and use for county bridges," Barnhardt said. "It's kind of a gamble to expect federal and state money."

If enacted, the proposal would raise the $36 registration fee to $41 in Berks County. Fourteen  other counties in Pennsylvania already have this in place.

But, the crowd at the Berks County Patriots meeting at the Leesport Farmers Market, wants no part of it; a show of hands of those opposed made it clear.

"An extra fee? I'm on social security and we didn't get a raise," said Lynn Burkert. "Money's tight to begin with."


"We can't keep giving up money," said Sally Greth. "We already pay one of the highest gas taxes in the country."

"Why aren't we getting more of a share out of Harrisburg?" ssaid Burkert.

The proposal is not up for vote yet. This is a litmus test to see if car owners in Berks County are willing open their wallets even more.

"I would like people to keep an open mind and understand that this is something I believe ... is required for us to get our bridges into structurally sufficient shape," said Barnhardt.