Chapter 1557: PARKS AND NATURAL RESOURCES PROJECTS

1557.01 Parks and natural resources project definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Bond proceedings" means the resolutions, trust agreements, and other agreements, credit enhancement facilities, and amendments and supplements to the foregoing, or any one or more or combination thereof, authorizing, awarding, or providing for the terms and conditions applicable to or providing for the security or liquidity of obligations, and the provisions contained in those obligations.

(B) "Debt charges" means principal, including any mandatory sinking fund or redemption requirements for retirement of obligations, interest and other accreted amounts, and any redemption premium payable on obligations.

(C) "Bond service fund" means the fund, and any accounts in that fund, created by former section 1557.04 of the Revised Code, including all moneys and investments, and earnings from investments, credited and to be credited to that fund and accounts as and to the extent provided in the bond proceedings.

(D) "Commissioners" or "commissioners of the sinking fund" means the board of commissioners of the sinking fund under Section 8 of Article VIII, Ohio Constitution, and section 129.01 of the Revised Code.

(E) "Costs of projects" means the costs of acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, rehabilitating, remodeling, renovating, enlarging, improving, equipping, or furnishing projects, and the financing thereof, including the cost of clearance and preparation of the site and of any land to be used in connection with projects, the cost of any indemnity and surety bonds and premiums on insurance, all related direct administrative expenses and allocable portions of direct costs of the commissioners and department of natural resources, cost of engineering and architectural services, designs, plans, specifications, surveys, and estimates of cost, legal fees, fees and expenses of trustees, depositories, and paying agents for the obligations, cost of issuance of the obligations and financing charges and fees and expenses of financial advisers and consultants in connection therewith, interest on obligations from the date thereof to the time when interest is to be covered from sources other than proceeds of obligations, amounts necessary to establish reserves as required by the bond proceedings, costs of audits, the reimbursement of all moneys advanced or applied by or borrowed from any governmental agency, whether to or by the commissioners or others, from whatever source provided, for the payment of any item or items of cost of the projects, and all other expenses necessary or incident to planning or determining feasibility or practicability with respect to projects, and such other expenses as may be necessary or incident to the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, remodeling, renovation, enlargement, improvement, equipment, and furnishing of projects, the financing thereof and the placing of the same in use and operation, including any one, part of, or combination of such classes of costs and expenses.

(F) "Credit enhancement facilities" has the meaning given in division (A) of section 133.01 of the Revised Code.

(G) "Financing costs" has the meaning given in division (K) of section 133.01 of the Revised Code.

(H) "Interest" or "interest equivalent" has the meaning given in division (R) of section 133.01 of the Revised Code.

(I) "Local government entities" means any county, municipal corporation, township, metropolitan or township park district, soil and water conservation district, conservancy district, or joint recreation district.

(J) "Net proceeds" means amounts received from the sale of obligations pursuant to this chapter, excluding amounts used to refund or retire outstanding obligations, and does not include amounts required to be deposited in special funds pursuant to the applicable bond proceedings, or financing costs paid from such amounts received.

(K) "Obligations" means bonds, notes, or other evidences of obligation of the state, including any interest coupons pertaining thereto, issued pursuant to Chapter 1557. of the Revised Code.

(L) "Principal amount" refers to the aggregate of the amount as stated or provided for in the bond proceedings authorizing the obligations as the amount on which interest or interest equivalent is initially calculated, and does not include any premium paid by the initial purchaser of the obligations.

(M) "Project" means any capital improvements for state and local parks and land and water recreation facilities; soil and water restoration and protection; land management including preservation of natural areas and reforestation; water management including dam safety, stream and lake management, and flood control and flood damage reduction; fish and wildlife resource management; and any other improvements that enhance the use and enjoyment of natural resources by individuals.

(N) "Special funds" or "funds" means, except where the context does not permit, the bond service fund, and any other funds, including reserve funds, created under the bond proceedings and stated to be special funds in those proceedings, including all moneys and investments, and earnings from investments, credited and to be credited to the particular fund. Special funds do not include the Ohio parks and natural resources fund created by section 1557.02 of the Revised Code or other funds created by the bond proceedings that are not stated by those proceedings to be special funds.

Effective Date: 09-14-2000

1557.02 Ohio parks and natural resources fund.

The Ohio parks and natural resources fund is hereby created in the state treasury. The fund shall consist of the proceeds of obligations issued pursuant to Chapter 1557. of the Revised Code before September 30, 2000, and pursuant to sections 151.01 and 151.05 of the Revised Code, except for amounts deposited in special funds, or in escrow funds for the purpose of refunding outstanding obligations. Moneys to the credit of this fund may be expended to pay costs of projects. The state may participate by grants or contributions in financing projects of local government entities. All investment earnings of the fund shall be credited to the fund.

Effective Date: 09-14-2000

1557.03 Commissioners of sinking fund issuing obligations.

(A)

(1) The commissioners of the sinking fund are authorized to issue and sell, as provided in this section and in amounts from time to time authorized by the general assembly, general obligations of this state for the purpose of financing or assisting in the financing of the costs of projects. The full faith and credit, revenues, and taxing power of the state are and shall be pledged to the timely payment of debt charges on outstanding obligations, all in accordance with Section 2l of Article VIII, Ohio Constitution, and Chapter 1557. of the Revised Code, excluding from that pledge fees, excises, or taxes relating to the registration, operation, or use of vehicles on the public highways, or to fuels used for propelling those vehicles, and so long as such obligations are outstanding there shall be levied and collected excises and taxes, excluding those excepted above, in amount sufficient to pay the debt charges on such obligations and financing costs relating to credit enhancement facilities.

(2) For meetings of the commissioners of the sinking fund pertaining to the obligations under this chapter, each of the commissioners may designate an employee or officer of that commissioner's office to attend meetings when that commissioner is absent for any reason, and such designee, when present, shall be counted in determining whether a quorum is present at any meeting and may vote and participate in all proceedings and actions of the commissioners at that meeting pertaining to the obligations, provided, that such designee shall not execute or cause a facsimile of the designee's signature to be placed on any obligation, or execute any trust agreement or indenture of the commissioners. Such designation shall be in writing, executed by the designating member, and shall be filed with the secretary of the commissioners and such designation may be changed from time to time by a similar written designation.

(B) The total principal amount of obligations outstanding at any one time shall not exceed two hundred million dollars, and not more than fifty million dollars in principal amount of obligations to pay costs of projects may be issued in any fiscal year, all determined as provided in Chapter 1557. of the Revised Code.

(C) The state may participate by grants or contributions in financing projects under this section made by local government entities. Of the proceeds of the first two hundred million dollars principal amount in obligations issued under this section to pay costs of projects, at least twenty per cent shall be allocated in accordance with section 1557.06 of the Revised Code to grants or contributions to local government entities. The director of budget and management shall establish and maintain records in such manner as to show that the proceeds credited to the Ohio parks and natural resources fund have been expended for the purposes and in accordance with the limitations set forth herein.

(D) Each issue of obligations shall be authorized by resolution of the commissioners of the sinking fund. The bond proceedings shall provide for the principal amount or maximum principal amount of obligations of an issue, and shall provide for or authorize the manner or agency for determining the principal maturity or maturities, not exceeding the earlier of twenty-five years from the date the debt represented by the particular obligations was originally contracted, the interest rate or rates, the date of and the dates of payment of interest on the obligations, their denominations, and the establishment within or without the state of a place or places of payment of debt charges. Sections 9.96 and 9.98 to 9.983 of the Revised Code are applicable to the obligations. The purpose of the obligations may be stated in the bond proceedings as "financing or assisting in the financing of projects as provided in Section 2l of Article VIII, Ohio Constitution."

(E) The proceeds of the obligations, except for any portion to be deposited in special funds, or in escrow funds for the purpose of refunding outstanding obligations, all as may be provided in the bond proceedings, shall be deposited in the Ohio parks and natural resources fund established by section 1557.02 of the Revised Code.

(F) The commissioners of the sinking fund may appoint paying agents, bond registrars, securities depositories, and transfer agents, and may retain the services of financial advisers and accounting experts, and retain or contract for the services of marketing, remarketing, indexing, and administrative agents, other consultants, and independent contractors, including printing services, as are necessary in the judgment of the commissioners to carry out this chapter of the Revised Code. Financing costs are payable, as provided in the bond proceedings, from the proceeds of the obligations, from special funds, or from other moneys available for the purpose.

(G) The bond proceedings, including any trust agreement, may contain additional provisions customary or appropriate to the financing or to the obligations or to particular obligations, including, but not limited to:

(1) The redemption of obligations prior to maturity at the option of the state or of the holder or upon the occurrence of certain conditions at such price or prices and under such terms and conditions as are provided in the bond proceedings;

(2) The form of and other terms of the obligations;

(3) The establishment, deposit, investment, and application of special funds, and the safeguarding of moneys on hand or on deposit, without regard to Chapter 131. or 135. of the Revised Code, provided that any bank or trust company that acts as a depository of any moneys in special funds may furnish such indemnifying bonds or may pledge such securities as required by the commissioners of the sinking fund;

(4) Any or every provision of the bond proceedings binding upon the commissioners of the sinking fund and such state agency or local government entities, officer, board, commission, authority, agency, department, or other person or body as may from time to time have the authority under law to take such actions as may be necessary to perform all or any part of the duty required by such provision;

(5) The maintenance of each pledge, any trust agreement, or other instrument composing part of the bond proceedings until the state has fully paid or provided for the payment of the debt charges on the obligations or met other stated conditions;

(6) In the event of default in any payments required to be made by the bond proceedings, or any other agreement of the commissioners of the sinking fund made as part of a contract under which the obligations were issued or secured, the enforcement of such payments or agreements by mandamus, suit in equity, action at law, or any combination of the foregoing;

(7) The rights and remedies of the holders of obligations and of the trustee under any trust agreement, and provisions for protecting and enforcing them, including limitations on rights of individual holders of obligations;

(8) The replacement of any obligations that become mutilated or are destroyed, lost, or stolen;

(9) Provision for the funding, refunding, or advance refunding or other provision for payment of obligations which will then no longer be or be deemed to be outstanding for purposes of this section or of the bond proceedings;

(10) Any provision that may be made in bond proceedings or a trust agreement, including provision for amendment of the bond proceedings;

(11) Such other provisions as the commissioners of the sinking fund determine, including limitations, conditions, or qualifications relating to any of the foregoing;

(12) Any other or additional agreements with the holders of the obligations relating to the obligations or the security for the obligations.

(H) The great seal of the state or a facsimile of that seal may be affixed to or printed on the obligations. The obligations shall be signed by or bear the facsimile signatures of two or more of the commissioners of the sinking fund as provided in the bond proceedings. Any obligations may be signed by the person who, on the date of execution, is the authorized signer although on the date of such obligations such person was not a commissioner. In case the individual whose signature or a facsimile of whose signature appears on any obligation ceases to be a commissioner before delivery of the obligation, such signature or facsimile is nevertheless valid and sufficient for all purposes as if the individual had remained the member until such delivery, and in case the seal to be affixed to or printed on obligations has been changed after the seal has been affixed to or a facsimile of the seal has been printed on the obligations, that seal or facsimile seal shall continue to be sufficient as to those obligations and obligations issued in substitution or exchange therefor.

(I) Obligations may be issued in coupon or in fully registered form, or both, as the commissioners of the sinking fund determine. Provision may be made for the registration of any obligations with coupons attached as to principal alone or as to both principal and interest, their exchange for obligations so registered, and for the conversion or reconversion into obligations with coupons attached of any obligations registered as to both principal and interest, and for reasonable charges for such registration, exchange, conversion, and reconversion. Pending preparation of definitive obligations, the commissioners of the sinking fund may issue interim receipts or certificates which shall be exchanged for such definitive obligations.

(J) Obligations may be sold at public sale or at private sale, and at such price at, above, or below par, as determined by the commissioners of the sinking fund in the bond proceedings.

(K) In the discretion of the commissioners of the sinking fund, obligations may be secured additionally by a trust agreement between the state and a corporate trustee which may be any trust company or bank having a place of business within the state. Any trust agreement may contain the resolution authorizing the issuance of the obligations, any provisions that may be contained in the bond proceedings, and other provisions that are customary or appropriate in an agreement of the type.

(L) Except to the extent that their rights are restricted by the bond proceedings, any holder of obligations, or a trustee under the bond proceedings, may by any suitable form of legal proceedings protect and enforce any rights under the laws of this state or granted by the bond proceedings. Such rights include the right to compel the performance of all duties of the commissioners and the state. Each duty of the commissioners and employees of the commissioners, and of each state agency and local public entity and its officers, members, or employees, undertaken pursuant to the bond proceedings, is hereby established as a duty of the commissioners, and of each such agency, local government entity, officer, member, or employee having authority to perform such duty, specifically enjoined by the law and resulting from an office, trust, or station within the meaning of section 2731.01 of the Revised Code. The persons who are at the time the commissioners, or employees of the commissioners, are not liable in their personal capacities on any obligations or any agreements of or with the commissioners relating to obligations or under the bond proceedings.

(M) Obligations are lawful investments for banks, societies for savings, savings and loan associations, deposit guarantee associations, trust companies, trustees, fiduciaries, insurance companies, including domestic for life and domestic not for life, trustees or other officers having charge of sinking and bond retirement or other special funds of political subdivisions and taxing districts of this state, the commissioners of the sinking fund, the administrator of workers' compensation, the state teachers retirement system, the public employees retirement system, the school employees retirement system, and the Ohio police and fire pension fund, notwithstanding any other provisions of the Revised Code or rules adopted pursuant thereto by any state agency with respect to investments by them, and are also acceptable as security for the deposit of public moneys.

(N) Unless otherwise provided in any applicable bond proceedings, moneys to the credit of or in the special funds established by or pursuant to this section may be invested by or on behalf of the commissioners of the sinking fund only in notes, bonds, or other direct obligations of the United States or of any agency or instrumentality of the United States, in obligations of this state or any political subdivision of this state, in certificates of deposit of any national bank located in this state and any bank, as defined in section 1101.01 of the Revised Code, subject to inspection by the superintendent of financial institutions, in the Ohio subdivision's fund established pursuant to section 135.45 of the Revised Code, in no-front-end-load money market mutual funds consisting exclusively of direct obligations of the United States or of an agency or instrumentality of the United States, and in repurchase agreements, including those issued by any fiduciary, secured by direct obligations of the United States or an agency or instrumentality of the United States, and in collective investment funds established in accordance with section 1111.14 of the Revised Code and consisting exclusively of direct obligations of the United States or of an agency or instrumentality of the United States, notwithstanding division (A)(1)(c) of that section. The income from investments shall be credited to such special funds or otherwise as the commissioners of the sinking fund determine in the bond proceedings, and the investments may be sold or exchanged at such times as the commissioners determine or authorize.

(O) Unless otherwise provided in any applicable bond proceedings, moneys to the credit of or in a special fund shall be disbursed on the order of the commissioners of the sinking fund, provided that no such order is required for the payment from the bond service fund or other special fund when due of debt charges or required payments under credit enhancement facilities.

(P) The commissioners of the sinking fund may covenant in the bond proceedings, and any such covenants shall be controlling notwithstanding any other provision of law, that the state and the applicable officers and agencies of the state, including the general assembly, so long as any obligations are outstanding in accordance with their terms, shall maintain statutory authority for and cause to be charged and collected taxes, excises, and other receipts of the state so that the receipts to the bond service fund shall be sufficient in amounts to meet debt charges and for the establishment and maintenance of any reserves and other requirements, including payment of the costs of credit enhancement facilities, provided for in the bond proceedings.

(Q) The obligations, the transfer thereof, and the interest, other accreted amounts, and other income therefrom, including any profit made on the sale thereof, at all times shall be free from taxation, direct or indirect, within the state.

(R) This section applies only with respect to obligations issued and delivered before September 30, 2000.

Effective Date: 09-14-2000; 2007 HB119 09-29-2007

1557.04, 1557.05 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 09-14-2000

1557.06 Local assistance grant program.

(A) The parks and natural resources local assistance grant program is hereby established to provide grants to local government entities for capital improvements for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, expansion, improvement, planning, and equipping of capital projects that enhance the use and enjoyment of natural resources by individuals. Such projects include, but are not limited to, the acquisition of lands, facilities, and waters for public recreation, or for the preservation of wetlands or unique habitats; the development, construction, reconstruction, expansion, or rehabilitation of recreation areas and facilities; and projects to provide public park and recreation opportunities by improving public access or safety. Grants shall not be awarded for administrative, operating, or maintenance costs; or for areas, facilities, or structures for athletics, arts, historic sites, or other purposes, that are not used primarily for public recreation.

The director of natural resources shall administer the parks and natural resources local assistance grant program in accordance with procedures and criteria that the director shall develop with the approval of the recreation and resources council.

(B) Grants awarded under this section may provide up to seventy-five per cent of the total project costs approved by the director. At least twenty per cent of such costs must be provided by the grant recipient from nonstate, nonfederal sources. Local government entities may apply for grants individually or jointly.

(C) The criteria developed for the administration of the program shall require a local government entity receiving a grant for a project under this section to have sufficient real property interests in the project for the purposes of the obligations issued under this chapter, and shall require that the projects be retained and used in a manner consistent with the purposes of Section 2l of Article VIII, Ohio Constitution.

(D) The director shall allocate to each county a portion of the proceeds of the first two hundred million dollars principal amount in obligations issued under this chapter, for projects of local government entities within each county. The director shall determine each county's allocation by calculating both of the following for each county:

(1) Its per capita share of forty million dollars;

(2) Its per capita share of thirty million dollars plus one hundred thirteen thousand six hundred thirty-six dollars.

The larger of the amount calculated under division (D) (1) or (2) of this section for each county shall be that county's allocation, and whatever percentage of the first two hundred million dollars principal amount in obligations issued under this chapter that is necessary to satisfy the requirements of division (D) of this section, shall be so allocated.

(E) The director shall allocate to each county a portion of twenty per cent of the proceeds in excess of the first two hundred million dollars principal amount in obligations issued under this chapter, for projects of local government entities within each county. The director shall determine each county's allocation by calculating both of the following and combining the amounts calculated for each county:

(1) One-third of twenty per cent of the proceeds to be divided equally among all of the counties;

(2) Two-thirds of twenty per cent of the proceeds to be distributed on a per capita basis to each county.

(F) Any moneys granted under division (E) of this section and not obligated within a county after two funding cycles, at the discretion of the director, shall be reallocated to projects either in the county to which they originally were allocated or in other counties demonstrating a need for the funds.

Effective Date: 09-29-1997