Chapter 1710: SPECIAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS

1710.01 Special improvement district definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Special improvement district" means a special improvement district organized under this chapter.

(B) "Church" means a fellowship of believers, congregation, society, corporation, convention, or association that is formed primarily or exclusively for religious purposes and that is not formed for the private profit of any person.

(C) "Church property" means property that is described as being exempt from taxation under division (A)(2) of section 5709.07 of the Revised Code and that the county auditor has entered on the exempt list compiled under section 5713.07 of the Revised Code.

(D) "Municipal executive" means the mayor, city manager, or other chief executive officer of the municipal corporation in which a special improvement district is located.

(E) "Participating political subdivision" means the municipal corporation or township, or each of the municipal corporations or townships, that has territory within the boundaries of a special improvement district created under this chapter.

(F) "Legislative authority of a participating political subdivision" means, with reference to a township, the board of township trustees.

(G) "Public improvement" means the planning, design, construction, reconstruction, enlargement, or alteration of any facility or improvement, including the acquisition of land, for which a special assessment may be levied under Chapter 727. of the Revised Code, and includes any special energy improvement project.

(H) "Public service" means any service that can be provided by a municipal corporation or any service for which a special assessment may be levied under Chapter 727. of the Revised Code.

(I) "Special energy improvement project" means any property, device, structure, or equipment necessary for the acquisition, installation, equipping, and improvement of any real or personal property used for the purpose of creating a solar photovoltaic project , a solar thermal energy project, a geothermal energy project, a customer-generated energy project, or an energy efficiency improvement, whether such real or personal property is publicly or privately owned.

(J) "Existing qualified nonprofit corporation" means a nonprofit corporation that existed before the creation of the corresponding district under this chapter, that is composed of members located within or adjacent to the district, that has established a police department under section 1702.80 of the Revised Code, and that is organized for purposes that include acquisition of real property within an area specified by its articles for the subsequent transfer of such property to its members exclusively for charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, or holding and maintaining and leasing such property; planning for and assisting in the development of its members; providing for the relief of the poor and distressed or underprivileged in the area and adjacent areas; combating community deterioration and lessening the burdens of government; providing or assisting others in providing housing for low- or moderate-income persons; and assisting its members by the provision of public safety and security services, parking facilities, transit service, landscaping, and parks.

(K) "Energy efficiency improvement" means energy efficiency technologies, products, and activities that reduce or support the reduction of energy consumption, allow for the reduction in demand, or support the production of clean, renewable energy and that are or will be permanently fixed to real property.

(L) "Customer-generated energy project" means a wind, biomass, or gasification facility for the production of electricity that meets either of the following requirements:

(1) The facility is designed to have a generating capacity of two hundred fifty kilowatts of electricity or less.

(2) The facility is:

(a) Designed to have a generating capacity of more than two hundred fifty kilowatts of electricity;

(b) Operated in parallel with electric transmission and distribution facilities serving the real property at the site of the customer-generated energy project;

(c) Intended primarily to offset part or all of the facility owner's requirements for electricity at the site of the customer-generated energy project and is located on the facility owner's real property; and

(d) Not producing energy for direct sale by the facility owner to the public.

(M) "Reduction in demand" means a change in customer behavior or a change in customer-owned or operated assets that reduces or has the capability to reduce the demand for electricity as a result of price signals or other incentives.

(N) "Electric distribution utility" and "mercantile customer" have the same meanings as in section 4928.01 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.48, SB 232, §1, eff. 6/17/2010.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 06-27-2000

1710.02 Creation and organization.

(A) A special improvement district may be created within the boundaries of any one municipal corporation, any one township, or any combination of contiguous municipal corporations and townships for the purpose of developing and implementing plans for public improvements and public services that benefit the district. A district may be created by petition of the owners of real property within the proposed district, or by an existing qualified nonprofit corporation. If the district is created by an existing qualified nonprofit corporation, the purposes for which the district is created may be supplemental to the other purposes for which the corporation is organized. All territory in a special improvement district shall be contiguous; except that the territory in a special improvement district may be noncontiguous if at least one special energy improvement project is designated for each parcel of real property included within the special improvement district. Additional territory may be added to a special improvement district created under this chapter for the purpose of developing and implementing plans for special energy improvement projects if at least one special energy improvement project is designated for each parcel of real property included within such additional territory and the addition of territory is authorized by the initial plan proposed under division (F) of this section or a plan adopted by the board of directors of the special improvement district under section 1710.06 of the Revised Code.

The district shall be governed by the board of trustees of a nonprofit corporation. This board shall be known as the board of directors of the special improvement district. No special improvement district shall include any church property, or property of the federal or state government or a county, township, or municipal corporation, unless the church or the county, township, or municipal corporation specifically requests in writing that the property be included within the district, or unless the church is a member of the existing qualified nonprofit corporation creating the district at the time the district is created. More than one district may be created within a participating political subdivision, but no real property may be included within more than one district unless the owner of the property files a written consent with the clerk of the legislative authority, the township fiscal officer, or the village clerk, as appropriate. The area of each district shall be contiguous; except that the area of a special improvement district may be noncontiguous if all parcels of real property included within such area contain at least one special energy improvement thereon.

(B) Except as provided in division (C) of this section, a district created under this chapter is not a political subdivision. A district created under this chapter shall be considered a public agency under section 102.01 and a public authority under section 4115.03 of the Revised Code. Each member of the board of directors of a district, each member's designee or proxy, and each officer and employee of a district shall be considered a public official or employee under section 102.01 of the Revised Code and a public official and public servant under section 2921.42 of the Revised Code. Districts created under this chapter are not subject to sections 121.81 to 121.83 of the Revised Code. Districts created under this chapter are subject to sections 121.22 and 121.23 of the Revised Code.

(C) Each district created under this chapter shall be considered a political subdivision for purposes of section 4905.34 of the Revised Code.

Membership on the board of directors of the district shall not be considered as holding a public office. Directors and their designees shall be entitled to the immunities provided by Chapter 1702. and to the same immunity as an employee under division (A)(6) of section 2744.03 of the Revised Code, except that directors and their designees shall not be entitled to the indemnification provided in section 2744.07 of the Revised Code unless the director or designee is an employee or official of a participating political subdivision of the district and is acting within the scope of the director's or designee's employment or official responsibilities.

District officers and district members and directors and their designees or proxies shall not be required to file a statement with the Ohio ethics commission under section 102.02 of the Revised Code. All records of the district shall be treated as public records under section 149.43 of the Revised Code, except that records of organizations contracting with a district shall not be considered to be public records under section 149.43 or section 149.431 of the Revised Code solely by reason of any contract with a district.

(D) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the nonprofit corporation that governs a district shall be organized in the manner described in Chapter 1702. of the Revised Code. Except in the case of a district created by an existing qualified nonprofit corporation, the corporation's articles of incorporation are required to be approved, as provided in division (E) of this section, by resolution of the legislative authority of each participating political subdivision of the district. A copy of that resolution shall be filed along with the articles of incorporation in the secretary of state's office.

In addition to meeting the requirements for articles of incorporation set forth in Chapter 1702. of the Revised Code, the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit corporation governing a district formed under this chapter shall provide all the following:

(1) The name for the district, which shall include the name of each participating political subdivision of the district;

(2) A description of the territory within the district, which may be all or part of each participating political subdivision. The description shall be specific enough to enable real property owners to determine if their property is located within the district.

(3) A description of the procedure by which the articles of incorporation may be amended. The procedure shall include receiving approval of the amendment, by resolution, from the legislative authority of each participating political subdivision and filing the approved amendment and resolution with the secretary of state.

(4) The reasons for creating the district, plus an explanation of how the district will be conducive to the public health, safety, peace, convenience, and welfare of the district.

(E) The articles of incorporation for a nonprofit corporation governing a district created under this chapter and amendments to them shall be submitted to the municipal executive, if any, and the legislative authority of each municipal corporation or township in which the proposed district is to be located. Except in the case of a district created by an existing qualified nonprofit corporation, the articles or amendments shall be accompanied by a petition signed either by the owners of at least sixty per cent of the front footage of all real property located in the proposed district that abuts upon any street, alley, public road, place, boulevard, parkway, park entrance, easement, or other existing public improvement within the proposed district, excluding church property or property owned by the state, county, township, municipal, or federal government, unless a church, county, township, or municipal corporation has specifically requested in writing that the property be included in the district, or by the owners of at least seventy-five per cent of the area of all real property located within the proposed district, excluding church property or property owned by the state, county, township, municipal, or federal government, unless a church, county, township, or municipal corporation has specifically requested in writing that the property be included in the district. Pursuant to Section 2o of Article VIII, Ohio Constitution, the petition required under this division may be for the purpose of developing and implementing plans for special energy improvement projects, and, in such case, is determined to be in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Section 2o of Article VIII, Ohio Constitution. If a special improvement district is being created under this chapter for the purpose of developing and implementing plans for special energy improvement projects, the petition required under this division shall be signed by one hundred per cent of the owners of the area of all real property located within the proposed special improvement district, at least one special energy improvement project shall be designated for each parcel of real property within the special improvement district, and the special improvement district may include any number of parcels of real property as determined by the legislative authority of each participating political subdivision in which the proposed special improvement district is to be located. For purposes of determining compliance with these requirements, the area of the district, or the front footage and ownership of property, shall be as shown in the most current records available at the county recorder's office and the county engineer's office sixty days prior to the date on which the petition is filed.

Each municipal corporation or township with which the petition is filed has sixty days to approve or disapprove, by resolution, the petition, including the articles of incorporation. In the case of a district created by an existing qualified nonprofit corporation, each municipal corporation or township has sixty days to approve or disapprove the creation of the district after the corporation submits the articles of incorporation or amendments thereto. This chapter does not prohibit or restrict the rights of municipal corporations under Article XVIII of the Ohio Constitution or the right of the municipal legislative authority to impose reasonable conditions in a resolution of approval. The acquisition, installation, equipping, and improvement of a special energy improvement project under this chapter shall not supersede any local zoning, environmental, or similar law or regulation.

(F) Persons proposing creation and operation of the district may propose an initial plan for public services or public improvements that benefit all or any part of the district. Any initial plan shall be submitted as part of the petition proposing creation of the district or, in the case of a district created by an existing qualified nonprofit corporation, shall be submitted with the articles of incorporation or amendments thereto.

An initial plan may include provisions for the following:

(1) Creation and operation of the district and of the nonprofit corporation to govern the district under this chapter;

(2) Hiring employees and professional services;

(3) Contracting for insurance;

(4) Purchasing or leasing office space and office equipment;

(5) Other actions necessary initially to form, operate, or organize the district and the nonprofit corporation to govern the district;

(6) A plan for public improvements or public services that benefit all or part of the district, which plan shall comply with the requirements of division (A) of section 1710.06 of the Revised Code and may include, but is not limited to, any of the permissive provisions described in the fourth sentence of that division or listed in divisions (A)(1) to (7) of that section;

(7) If the special improvement district is being created under this chapter for the purpose of developing and implementing plans for special energy improvement projects, provision for the addition of territory to the special improvement district.

After the initial plan is approved by all municipal corporations and townships to which it is submitted for approval and the district is created, each participating subdivision shall levy a special assessment within its boundaries to pay for the costs of the initial plan. The levy shall be for no more than ten years from the date of the approval of the initial plan; except that if the proceeds of the levy are to be used to pay the costs of a special energy improvement project, the levy of a special assessment shall be for no more than thirty years from the date of approval of the initial plan. In the event that additional territory is added to a special improvement district, the special assessment to be levied with respect to such additional territory shall commence not earlier than the date such territory is added and shall be for no more than thirty years from such date. For purposes of levying an assessment for this initial plan, the services or improvements included in the initial plan shall be deemed a special benefit to property owners within the district.

(G) Each nonprofit corporation governing a district under this chapter may do the following:

(1) Exercise all powers of nonprofit corporations granted under Chapter 1702. of the Revised Code that do not conflict with this chapter;

(2) Develop, adopt, revise, implement, and repeal plans for public improvements and public services for all or any part of the district;

(3) Contract with any person, political subdivision as defined in section 2744.01 of the Revised Code, or state agency as defined in section 1.60 of the Revised Code to develop and implement plans for public improvements or public services within the district;

(4) Contract and pay for insurance for the district and for directors, officers, agents, contractors, employees, or members of the district for any consequences of the implementation of any plan adopted by the district or any actions of the district.

The board of directors of a special improvement district may, acting as agent and on behalf of a participating political subdivision, sell, transfer, lease, or convey any special energy improvement project owned by the participating political subdivision upon a determination by the legislative authority thereof that the project is not required to be owned exclusively by the participating political subdivision for its purposes, for uses determined by the legislative authority thereof as those that will promote the welfare of the people of such participating political subdivision; to improve the quality of life and the general and economic well-being of the people of the participating political subdivision; better ensure the public health, safety, and welfare; protect water and other natural resources; provide for the conservation and preservation of natural and open areas and farmlands, including by making urban areas more desirable or suitable for development and revitalization; control, prevent, minimize, clean up, or mediate certain contamination of or pollution from lands in the state and water contamination or pollution; or provide for safe and natural areas and resources. The legislative authority of each participating political subdivision shall specify the consideration for such sale, transfer, lease, or conveyance and any other terms thereof. Any determinations made by a legislative authority of a participating political subdivision under this division shall be conclusive.

Any sale, transfer, lease, or conveyance of a special energy improvement project by a participating political subdivision or the board of directors of the special improvement district may be made without advertising, receipt of bids, or other competitive bidding procedures applicable to the participating political subdivision or the special improvement district under Chapter 153. or 735. or section 1710.11 of the Revised Code or other representative provisions of the Revised Code.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.2, SB 2, §1, eff. 1/1/2012.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.48, SB 232, §1, eff. 6/17/2010.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 06-27-2000; 12-20-2005

1710.021 Time period for transfer of property.

Any owner of an interest in real property that is located within a proposed or existing special improvement district who enters into a contract to transfer the interest shall give to the transferee of the interest within the specified period of time both of the following:

(A) Within five days after entering into the contract, each notice that the owner received under this chapter within ninety days prior to entering into the contract;

(B) Within five days after its receipt, each notice that the owner receives under this chapter after entering into the contract until the contract is completely performed or terminated.

Effective Date: 06-27-2000

1710.03 Members of district.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in this division, each owner of real property within a special improvement district other than the state or federal government is a member of the district, and the real property of each member of the district is subject to special assessment under division (C) of section 1710.06 of the Revised Code. A church is not a member of the district unless the church specifically requested in writing that its property be included in the district or unless, in the case of a district created by an existing qualified nonprofit corporation, the church is a member of the corporation at the time the district is created. A county, township, or municipal corporation owning real property in the district is not a member of the district unless such entity specifically requested in writing that its property be included in the district.

The identity and address of the owners shall be determined for any particular action of the nonprofit corporation that governs the district, including notice of meetings of the district, no more than sixty days prior to the date of the action, from the most current records available at the county auditor's office. For purposes of this chapter, the persons shown on such records as having common or joint ownership interests in a parcel of real property collectively shall constitute the owner of the real property.

(B) A member may file a written statement with the district's secretary at least three days prior to any meeting of the entire membership of the district to appoint a proxy to carry out the member's rights and responsibilities under this chapter at that meeting.

(C) A member also may appoint a designee to carry out the member's rights and responsibilities under this chapter by filing a written designation form with the district's secretary. This form shall include the name and address of the member, the name and address of the designee, and the expiration date, if any, of the designation and may authorize the designee to vote at any meeting of the district.

(D) A proxy or designee need not be an elector or resident of any participating political subdivision of the district or a member of the district. The appointment of a proxy or a designee may be changed by filing a new form with the district's secretary. The most current form filed with the secretary is the valid appointment. Service of any notice upon a proxy or designee at the proxy's or designee's address as shown on that form satisfies any requirements for notification of the member.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 06-27-2000

1710.04 Board of directors duties.

(A) A special improvement district created under this chapter shall be governed by the board of directors of the special improvement district. The board shall consist of at least five directors. The board shall include a person appointed by the legislative authority of each participating political subdivision and the municipal executive of each municipal corporation with territory within the boundaries of the special improvement district. The remainder of the board's members shall be members of the district. Except for the municipal executives and the appointees of the legislative authorities, and except as otherwise provided in this division, members of the board of directors shall be elected at a meeting of the entire membership of the district. The initial election of directors may occur at the first meeting of the entire membership of the district after its creation. All subsequent elections shall be held at a November meeting of the membership.

Each municipal executive may designate one person who is an employee of the municipal corporation involved with its planning or economic development functions to serve in the municipal executive's stead. This designee shall serve at the pleasure of the municipal executive.

In the case of a district created by an existing qualified nonprofit corporation, the corporation's board of trustees or other governing board, however denominated, shall be the board of directors of the special improvement district for the purposes of this chapter. The election of directors otherwise required by this division shall not be required, and the requirement that municipal executives and appointees of the legislative authorities be members of the district's board of directors may be satisfied by the membership on the corporation's governing board of representatives of such participating political subdivisions, or may be waived if approved by resolution of the legislative authorities of the participating political subdivisions.

(B) A director may file a written statement with the district's secretary at least three days prior to any meeting of the board to have a person act as proxy to carry out the director's rights and responsibilities under this chapter at that meeting.

A director may also appoint a designee to carry out the director's rights and responsibilities under this chapter by filing a written designation form with the district's secretary. This form shall include the name and address of the director, the name and address of the designee, and the expiration date, if any, of the designation.

A proxy or designee need not be an elector or resident of a participating political subdivision of the district or a member of the district. The appointment of a proxy or designee may be changed by filing a new form with the district's secretary. The most current form filed with the secretary is the valid appointment. Service of any notice upon a proxy or designee at the proxy's or designee's address as shown on that form satisfies any requirements for notification of the director.

(C) Notice of the time, date, place, and agenda for any meeting of the board of directors shall be by written notice to each director, transmitted by certified mail, personal service, or electronic device prior to the meeting. If possible, the notice shall be served at least one week prior to the meeting.

The board shall act by a majority vote of those present and authorized to vote at any meeting where proper notice has been served.

(D) The board shall elect a chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary, and treasurer of the board. These officers shall serve at the board's pleasure. A director may be elected to more than one office, except that the director elected as treasurer shall not be elected to any other office of the board.

By the first day of March of each year, the treasurer shall submit to each member of the district and to the municipal executive, chief fiscal officer, and legislative authority of each municipal corporation with territory within the boundaries of the special improvement district and the board of township trustees of each township with territory within the boundaries of the special improvement district, a report of the district's activities and financial condition for the previous year.

(E) Divisions (B), (C), and (D) of this section do not apply to a district created by an existing qualified nonprofit corporation to the extent those divisions are not consistent with the regulations of the corporation, in which case the regulations of the corporation shall govern.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 06-27-2000

1710.05 Notice for meetings -method for voting.

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the articles of incorporation or the code of regulations governing the nonprofit corporation shall provide for the method by which notice for meetings of the membership of the special improvement district is to be given and the method for voting by the membership of the district.

Effective Date: 09-29-1994

1710.06 Plans for public improvements or public services.

(A) The board of directors of a special improvement district may develop and adopt one or more written plans for public improvements or public services that benefit all or any part of the district. Each plan shall set forth the specific public improvements or public services that are to be provided, identify the area in which they will be provided, and specify the method of assessment to be used. Each plan for public improvements or public services shall indicate the period of time the assessments are to be levied for the improvements and services and, if public services are included in the plan, the period of time the services are to remain in effect. Plans for public improvements may include the planning, design, construction, reconstruction, enlargement, or alteration of any public improvements and the acquisition of land for the improvements. Plans for public improvements or public services may also include, but are not limited to, provisions for the following:

(1) Creating and operating the district and the nonprofit corporation under this chapter, including hiring employees and professional services, contracting for insurance, and purchasing or leasing office space and office equipment and other requirements of the district;

(2) Planning, designing, and implementing a public improvements or public services plan, including hiring architectural, engineering, legal, appraisal, insurance, consulting, energy auditing, and planning services, and, for public services, managing, protecting, and maintaining public and private facilities, including public improvements;

(3) Conducting court proceedings to carry out this chapter;

(4) Paying damages resulting from the provision of public improvements or public services and implementing the plans;

(5) Paying the costs of issuing, paying interest on, and redeeming notes and bonds issued for funding public improvements and public services plans;

(6) Sale, lease, lease with an option to purchase, conveyance of other interests in, or other contracts for the acquisition, construction, maintenance, repair, furnishing, equipping, operation, or improvement of any special energy improvement project by the special improvement district, between a participating political subdivision and the special improvement district, and between the special improvement district and any owner of real property in the special improvement district on which a special energy improvement project has been acquired, installed, equipped, or improved; and

(7) Aggregating the renewable energy credits generated by one or more special energy improvement projects within a special improvement district, upon the consent of the owners of the credits and for the purpose of negotiating and completing the sale of such credits.

(B) Once the board of directors of the special improvement district adopts a plan, it shall submit the plan to the legislative authority of each participating political subdivision and the municipal executive of each municipal corporation in which the district is located, if any. The legislative authorities and municipal executives shall review the plan and, within sixty days after receiving it, may submit their comments and recommendations about it to the district. After reviewing these comments and recommendations, the board of directors may amend the plan. It may then submit the plan, amended or otherwise, in the form of a petition to members of the district whose property may be assessed for the plan. Once the petition is signed by those members who own at least sixty per cent of the front footage of property that is to be assessed and that abuts upon a street, alley, public road, place, boulevard, parkway, park entrance, easement, or other public improvement, or those members who own at least seventy-five per cent of the area to be assessed for the improvement or service, the petition may be submitted to each legislative authority for approval. If the special improvement district was created for the purpose of developing and implementing plans for special energy improvement projects, the petition required under this division shall be signed by one hundred per cent of the owners of the area of all real property located within the area to be assessed for the special energy improvement project.

Each legislative authority shall, by resolution, approve or reject the petition within sixty days after receiving it. If the petition is approved by the legislative authority of each participating political subdivision, the plan contained in the petition shall be effective at the earliest date on which a nonemergency resolution of the legislative authority with the latest effective date may become effective. A plan may not be resubmitted to the legislative authorities and municipal executives more than three times in any twelve-month period.

(C) Each participating political subdivision shall levy, by special assessment upon specially benefited property located within the district, the costs of any public improvements or public services plan contained in a petition approved by the participating political subdivisions under this section or division (F) of section 1710.02 of the Revised Code. The levy shall be made in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 727. of the Revised Code, except that:

(1) The assessment for each improvements or services plan may be levied by any one or any combination of the methods of assessment listed in section 727.01 of the Revised Code, provided that the assessment is uniformly applied.

(2) For the purpose of levying an assessment, the board of directors may combine one or more improvements or services plans or parts of plans and levy a single assessment against specially benefited property.

(3) For purposes of special assessments levied by a township pursuant to this chapter, references in Chapter 727. of the Revised Code to the municipal corporation shall be deemed to refer to the township, and references to the legislative authority of the municipal corporation shall be deemed to refer to the board of township trustees.

Church property or property owned by a political subdivision, including any participating political subdivision in which a special improvement district is located, shall be included in and be subject to special assessments made pursuant to a plan adopted under this section or division (F) of section 1710.02 of the Revised Code, if the church or political subdivision has specifically requested in writing that its property be included within the special improvement district and the church or political subdivision is a member of the district or, in the case of a district created by an existing qualified nonprofit corporation, if the church is a member of the corporation.

(D) All rights and privileges of property owners who are assessed under Chapter 727. of the Revised Code shall be granted to property owners assessed under this chapter, including those rights and privileges specified in sections 727.15 to 727.17 and 727.18 to 727.22 of the Revised Code and the right to notice of the resolution of necessity and the filing of the estimated assessment under section 727.13 of the Revised Code. Property owners assessed for public services under this chapter shall have the same rights and privileges as property owners assessed for public improvements under this chapter.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.48, SB 232, §1, eff. 6/17/2010.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 06-27-2000

1710.061 Application of savings or reductions in demand by a special energy improvement project.

(A) Except as provided in division (B) of this section, an electric distribution utility may count toward its compliance with the energy efficiency and peak demand reduction requirements of section 4928.66 of the Revised Code any efficiency savings or reduction in demand produced by a special energy improvement project located in its certified territory.

(B) A mercantile customer that realizes energy efficiency savings or reduction in demand produced by a special energy improvement project that it owns may elect to commit the savings or reduction to the electric distribution utility in exchange for an exemption from an energy efficiency cost recovery mechanism permitted under section 4928.66 of the Revised Code, approved by the public utilities commission.

(C) The board of directors of a special improvement district shall submit a quarterly report to the electric distribution utility that includes, but is not limited to, both of the following:

(1) The total number and a description of each new and ongoing special energy improvement project located within the special improvement district that produces energy efficiency savings or reduction in demand;

(2) Any additional information that the electric distribution utility needs in order to obtain credit under section 4928.66 of the Revised Code for energy efficiency savings or reduction in demand from such projects.

Added by 128th General AssemblyFile No.48, SB 232, §1, eff. 6/17/2010.

1710.07 Permitted costs of plan.

The cost of any public improvements or public services plan of a special improvement district may include, but is not limited to, the following:

(A) The cost of creating and operating the district under this chapter, including creating and operating a nonprofit organization organized under this chapter, hiring employees and professional services, contracting for insurance, and purchasing or leasing office space or office equipment;

(B) The cost of planning, designing, and implementing the public improvements or public services plan, including payment of architectural, engineering, legal, appraisal, insurance, consulting, energy auditing, and planning fees and expenses, and, for public services, the management, protection, and maintenance costs of public or private facilities;

(C) Any court costs incurred by the district in implementing the public improvements or public services plan;

(D) Any damages resulting from implementing the public improvements or public services plan;

(E) The costs of issuing, paying interest on, and redeeming notes and bonds issued for funding the public improvements or public services plan; and

(F) The costs associated with the sale, lease, lease with an option to purchase, conveyance of other interests in, or other contracts for the acquisition, construction, maintenance, repair, furnishing, equipping, operation, or improvement of any special energy improvement project by the district, between a participating political subdivision and the special improvement district, or between the special improvement district and any owner of real property in the special improvement district on which a special energy improvement project has been acquired, installed, equipped, or improved.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.48, SB 232, §1, eff. 6/17/2010.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 09-29-1994

1710.08 Improvements or services in addition to subdivision improvements or services.

Any public improvements or public services provided to a special improvement district through a public improvements or public services plan shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, any public improvements or public services provided by any participating political subdivision. A participating political subdivision may not substitute or rely in any manner upon the public improvements or public services provided to a special improvements district under a public improvements or public services plan to reduce or not increase any public improvement or public service provided or to be provided by the participating political subdivision to the area specified in any such plan.

Effective Date: 10-26-1995

1710.09 Contracts to develop, manage, or implement part or all of any plan.

Except as otherwise provided in section 1710.10 of the Revised Code, a special improvement district may contract with any person, community improvement corporation, political subdivision as defined in division (F) of section 2744.01 , or state agency as defined in section 1.60 of the Revised Code to develop, manage, or implement part or all of any plan adopted under section 1710.06 or division (F) of section 1710.02 of the Revised Code. Before contracting to implement the plan, the district shall permit any member of the district whose property may be assessed for the costs of any improvements or services under the plan to provide for that portion of the improvement or service that is on that member's property at a cost to the district no greater than what the district determines to be the lowest cost allocable to the improvement or service to be performed on that property. However, the board of directors may reject a member's proposed provision of the improvement or service if it would increase the plan's total cost to the district. Members that choose to provide for that portion of the improvement or service that is performed on their property under this division are subject to the same minimum performance specifications required by the district for the rest of the improvement or service, and their property remains subject to the assessment for the plan.

Effective Date: 10-26-1995

1710.10 Participating political subdivision contracts to provide improvements or services.

(A) When a participating political subdivision contracts to provide improvements or services to a special improvement district, the participating political subdivision shall charge only its additional cost of providing the improvement or service, without any allocation of overhead costs, fixed costs, or assignment of costs at rates higher than those at which the participating political subdivision assigns costs for similar improvements or services for political subdivision purposes.

(B) Except in the case of a district created by an existing qualified nonprofit corporation, any law enforcement or fire protection service to be provided under a district's public service plan shall be provided only by contract with a participating political subdivision of the district. In the case of a district created by an existing qualified nonprofit corporation, the corporation may provide law enforcement service as provided under section 1702.80 of the Revised Code.

The district shall reimburse the participating political subdivision for any additional cost incurred in providing that law enforcement or fire protection service. This additional cost shall not include any overhead, fixed costs, or assignment of costs at rates higher than those at which the political subdivision assigns costs for these services for political subdivision purposes.

(C) Any liability for providing fire or police services under this section by a participating political subdivision shall remain with the participating political subdivision and shall not be assumed by the district.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 10-26-1995

1710.11 Adopting written rules prescribing competitive bidding procedures for contracts.

The board of directors of a special improvement district shall adopt written rules prescribing competitive bidding procedures for contracts awarded under this chapter. The procedures may differ from competitive bidding procedures applicable to the participating political subdivisions of the district or those provided in Chapter 735. of the Revised Code. The rules shall provide for advertising for bids and specify the bidding procedures to be followed, and may specify conditions under which competitive bidding is not required and other conditions such as establishing a dollar limit per contract or specifying particular parties to a contract.

Effective Date: 10-26-1995

1710.12 Issuing bonds and notes in anticipation of collection of any special assessments.

Any participating political subdivision of a special improvement district may issue bonds and notes in anticipation of collection of any special assessments authorized by this chapter. All proceeds of any assessments, bonds, or notes issued to fund any public improvements or public services plan under this chapter shall first be applied by the political subdivision to payment of those bonds or notes and any interest on them, as required by section 133.17 of the Revised Code. Any remaining proceeds shall be turned over to the treasurer of the district and deposited in a district account to be used for the purposes for which the assessment was made or for which the bonds or notes were issued.

Effective Date: 10-26-1995

1710.13 Dissolving a special improvement district.

This section does not apply to a special improvement district created by an existing qualified nonprofit corporation.

The process for dissolving a special improvement district or repealing an improvements or services plan may be initiated by a petition signed by members of the district who own at least twenty per cent of the appraised value of the real property located in the district, excluding church property or real property owned by the federal government, the state, or a county, township, or municipal corporation, unless the church, county, township, or municipal corporation has specifically requested in writing that the property be included in the district, and filed with the municipal executive, if any, and the legislative authorities of all the participating political subdivisions of the district. As used in this section, "appraised value" means the taxable value established by the county auditor for purposes of real estate taxation.

No later than forty-five days after such a petition is filed, the members of the district shall meet to consider it. Notice of the meeting shall be given as provided in section 1710.05 of the Revised Code. Upon the affirmative vote of members who collectively own more than fifty per cent of the appraised value of the real property in the district that may be subject to assessment under division (C) of section 1710.06 of the Revised Code, the district shall be dissolved, or the plan shall be repealed, as applicable.

No rights or obligations of any person under any contract, or in relation to any bonds, notes, or assessments made under this chapter, shall be affected by the dissolution of the district or the repeal of a plan, except with the consent of that person or by order of a court with jurisdiction over the matter. Upon dissolution of a district, any assets or rights of the district, after payment of all bonds, notes, or other obligations of the district, shall be deposited in a special account in the treasury of each participating political subdivision, prorated among all participating political subdivisions to reflect the percentage of the district's territory within that political subdivision, to be used for the benefit of the territory that made up the district.

Once the members have approved the repeal of a plan, all bonds, notes, and other obligations of the district associated with the plan shall be paid. Thereafter, the plan shall be repealed. Upon receipt of proof that all bonds, notes, and other obligations have been paid and that the plan has been repealed, the participating political subdivisions shall terminate any levies imposed to pay for costs of the plan.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 06-27-2000