ZANESVILLE, OH – Rising gas prices and complaints from the public about the use of Muskingum County vehicles has prompted the county commissioners to impose a daily fee for the use of vehicles, according to the Zanesville Times Recorder newspaper. All non-exempt employees who use the vehicles to travel to and from work are being charged $3 a day. The policy, which went into effect Jan. 1, pertains to county departments under the control of the commissioners — water, sewer and maintenance.

Exempt employees who drive their vehicles home at night because they are on call will not be charged. For instance, any employee that carries a gun as part of their job responsibilities or has arresting power is exempt and the policy does not apply.

Previously, Muskingum County would charge for personal miles at a rate of 48.5 cents per mile, which was set by the Internal Revenue Service, and employees would reimburse the county.

The commissioners have recommended the other departments not under their supervision follow suit, but they aren’t required to do so. The new policy will continue to be evaluated over the course of the year to determine whether the county vehicles should go home at all.