LOGAN, W.Va. -- Looking for ways to close a major gap in funding for state roads and highways, members of the governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways went on the road Tuesday for the second of a series of public meetings around the state.
Participants Tuesday voiced support for better roads, and indicated a willingness to pay more taxes or fees to achieve that goal.
We don't have all the answers, so we are reaching out to the public for your opinion," commissioner Jan Vineyard told an audience of 61 at the Chief Logan State Park hotel conference center.
"Our roads are the lifeblood of the state," said Vineyard, who represents the state Business and Industry Council.
During a live survey Tuesday using electronic keypads, participants agreed that good state roads are important, and 73 percent indicated they believe roads are not in good condition.
They also indicated they would support increased taxes and fees dedicated to state road-building and maintenance, although 50 percent opposed increases in the state gas tax.
However, it appeared representatives and employees of paving and construction companies packed the room, dominating the speakers during a public comment period that closed the session.
Among the findings of the survey of participants:
* 72 percent said state roads are not in good condition.
* 77 percent would support higher motor vehicle license and registration fees.
* The audience was split 50-50 on the issue of higher gas taxes.
* 90 percent favored additional registration fees and taxes on hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles.