Starting next year Summit County residents will pay $5 more to register each of their motor vehicles.

Summit County Council on Monday approved a $5 increase in motor vehicle license registration fees beginning in 2019, with the extra income earmarked for bridge and road improvements. The unanimous vote took place shortly after no one opposed the fee increase in either of two public hearings on the proposal; the second and final hearing was late Monday afternoon.

The $5 increase is a 25 to 33 percent increase over the current fee, based on where people live. County residents now pay $15 or $20 for the local motor vehicle tax. That will go up to $20 or $25, depending on which municipality they live in.

The county fee is tacked onto an additional $34.50 that the state charges for passenger cars; the state fee varies for other vehicles such as trucks, motorcycles and mopeds.

The $5 increase is projected to raise an additional $2.6 million a year for the county capital budget; officials have pledged the money will not be used for operating expenses or new hires. The fee was last raised in 1987.

The county says it needs the additional revenue to, among other things, replace nearly 100 aging bridges over the next 20 years. Some 96 county-owned bridges are more than 77 years old.

Also Monday, the county budget finished 2017 slightly in the black but likely will show multi­million-dollar deficits starting in 2019, Brian Nelsen, county budget director, said. General revenue totaled about $109.9 million, up $169,105 over expenditures, he explained.

“We finished right in line with projections,” Nelsen said. The current 2018 fiscal year also is projected to end with a slight surplus, he said.

But county government likely will need to adopt flat budgets starting in 2019 to cope with anticipated expenditure increases coupled with revenue decreases, he said.

Summit County Council adopted a nearly $529.2 million operating budget for 2018 that didn’t raise taxes, but increased parking fees. Council has postponed taking action on increasing fees for building permits and other areas this year.

Also Monday, council:

• Approved carrying over $13.8 million from 2017 for grants in 2018 and more than $3.7 million in carryover balances for engineer, executive and sanitary sewer services projects. The money goes for projects and services that are not on a calendar year budget.

• Gave preliminary approval to advertising for bids for an estimated $12.3 million nutrient removal wastewater treatment process at a plant in Springfield Township.

• Gave preliminary approval to selling the Sojourner Truth Building in downtown Akron for $1.75 million to United Way of Summit County as part of property swaps and sales with the city of Akron and Akron Public Schools.

• Gave preliminary approval to appropriate more than $12.6 million for 2018 for projects in the 2018-2023 capital improvements program.

Reporter Jim Mackinnon covers business and county government. He can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/JimMackinnonABJ