Legislation to raise Missouri’s gasoline tax for transportation is supported by Hermann’s mayor.
Mayor Dr. Robert Koerber has been urging the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to rebuild the aging Highway 19 bridge over Freedom Creek in Hermann.
Koerber says MoDOT doesn’t have the funding to do it.
“It’s well under the flood plain now. It floods almost every year,” Koerber says. “It shuts down traffic all the way from I-70 to I-44 on Highway 19.”
Koerber says the bridge, which was built in 1934, carries about 5,700 vehicles daily.
He supports legislation to increase the gas tax by ten cents a gallon and the diesel tax by 12-cents a gallon.
“I think the fuel tax seems to be the most sensible way because it kind of lets the users pay for driving and using the roads,” says Koerber.
Mayor Koerber is part of the bipartisan “Missouri Mayors United for Progress” organization, which met last week in Jefferson City.
Koerber also participated in the Missouri Municipal League’s (MML) legislative conference at the Capitol Plaza Hotel.
Missouri’s gasoline and diesel taxes have been at 17-cents a gallon since 1996.
The east-central Missouri town of Hermann is known as the birthplace of Missouri wine country and has been voted the state’s most beautiful town by “Rural Missouri” magazine readers.
While thousands of tourists visit the Gasconade County town annually, Mayor Koerber is also focusing on jobs and infrastructure.
“Industrial development is one thing (priority). We’d like to also develop our riverfront. We’d like to develop the infrastructure. Like all cities, we have streets that desperately need work,” Koerber tells Missourinet.
Hermann’s population is about 2,400.
The city has a 110-acre industrial park, which overlooks the Missouri River. The city also has a municipal airport.
And Amtrak’s Missouri River runner line, which goes between St. Louis and Kansas City, makes four daily stops in Hermann.