307.07 Office of economic development.

(A) The board of county commissioners, by resolution, may create an office of economic development, to develop and promote plans and programs designed to assure that county resources are efficiently used, economic growth is properly balanced, and that county economic development is coordinated with that of the state and other local governments. For this purpose, the board may appropriate moneys from the county general fund, or, pursuant to section 307.64 of the Revised Code, moneys derived from a tax levied pursuant to division (EE) of section 5705.19 of the Revised Code . The moneys so appropriated may be used for the creation and operation of the office, for any economic development purpose of the office, and to provide for the establishment and operation of a program of economic development, including in support of a county land reutilization corporation organized under Chapter 1724. of the Revised Code. In support of a county land reutilization corporation, the board of county commissioners may enter into a contract with the corporation to provide employees to provide services to the corporation. An employee of the board who provides services to a county land reutilization corporation under such a contract shall not be considered an employee of the corporation during the provision of services, but shall remain an employee of the county. The board may hire a director of economic development, who shall be a member of the unclassified civil service, and fix the director's compensation; or may do any of the following:

(1) Enter into an agreement with a county planning commission within the county, created under section 713.22 of the Revised Code, or a regional planning commission, created under section 713.21 of the Revised Code, regardless of whether the county is a member of the commission, to carry out all of the functions and duties of a director of economic development under division (B) of this section. Any agreement shall set forth the procedure by which the county or regional planning commission shall gain the approval of the board of county commissioners for any actions, functions, and duties under division (B) of this section. Any agreement may continue in effect for a period of one to three years and may be renewed with the consent of all parties. The civil service status of planning commission staff shall not be affected by any agreement under this division.

(2) Enter into an agreement with OSU extension , providing for the use of employees hired by the Ohio state university under section 3335.36 of the Revised Code to carry out all of the functions and duties of a director of economic development under division (B) of this section. Any agreement shall set forth the procedure by which OSU extension shall gain the approval of the board of county commissioners for any actions, functions, and duties under division (B) of this section. Any agreement may continue in effect for a period of one to three years and may be renewed with the consent of all parties. The employment classification of OSU extension employees shall not be affected by any agreement under this division.

Any moneys appropriated by the board of county commissioners to execute an agreement for the provision of services pursuant to this section by OSU extension shall be paid to the Ohio state university to the credit of the OSU extension fund created under section 3335.35 of the Revised Code.

(3) Enter into an agreement with a public or private nonprofit organization to carry out all of the functions and duties of a director of economic development under division (B) of this section. The agreement shall set forth the procedure by which the nonprofit organization shall gain the approval of the board of county commissioners for any actions, functions, and duties under that division. The agreement may continue in effect for a period of one to three years and may be renewed with the consent of all parties. The employment classification of the nonprofit organization's employees shall not be affected by an agreement under this division.

(B) The director of economic development may:

(1) With the approval of the board, hire such staff and employ such technical and advisory personnel as the director sees fit to enable the director to carry out the functions and duties of the office;

(2) With the approval of the board, contract for services necessary to enable the director to carry out the functions and duties of the office;

(3) With the approval of the board, enter into agreements with federal, state, and local governments and agencies thereof, and with public, private, or nonprofit organizations to carry out the functions and duties of the office;

(4) Maintain membership in development organizations;

(5) With the approval of the board, make loans or grants and provide other forms of financial assistance for the purpose of economic development, including financial assistance for permanent public improvements, in compliance with applicable laws of this state, and fix the rate of interest and charges to be made for such financial assistance;

(6) With the approval of the board, receive and accept grants, gifts, and contributions of money, property, labor, and other things of value, to be held, used, and applied only for the purpose for which they are made, from individuals, private and public corporations, the United States government or any agency thereof, from the state or any agency thereof, or from any political subdivision or any agency thereof, and may agree to repay any contribution of money or return any property contributed or the value thereof in amounts, and on terms and conditions, excluding the payment of interest, as the director determines, and may evidence the obligations by written evidence;

(7) Establish with the board any funds that are necessary for the deposit and disbursement of gifts or contributions of money accepted for economic development purposes;

(8) With the approval of the board, design, implement, monitor, oversee, and evaluate economic development plans, programs, strategies, and policies;

(9) Purchase real property to convey to a county land reutilization corporation to be used in accordance with its public purposes;

(10) Perform all acts necessary to fulfill the functions and duties of the office.

(C) The boards of county commissioners of two or more counties, by resolution, may create a joint office of economic development for the purposes set forth in division (A) of this section. The counties participating in a joint office of economic development shall enter into an agreement that sets forth the contribution of funds, services, and property to the joint office from each participating county; establishes the person, public agency, or nonprofit organization that shall carry out the functions and duties of the office; and discloses any other terms by which the joint office shall operate.

The boards of county commissioners of counties participating in a joint office of economic development may appropriate moneys from their respective county general funds, or, pursuant to section 307.64 of the Revised Code, moneys derived from a tax levied pursuant to division (EE) of section 5705.19 of the Revised Code, for the creation and operation of the joint office, for any economic development purpose of the office, and to provide for the establishment and operation of a program of economic development. The participating counties may hire a director of economic development for the joint office or enter into an agreement with a public agency or nonprofit organization in a manner set forth in division (A) of this section to carry out the functions and duties set forth in division (B) of this section.

Any agreement establishing a joint office of economic development shall set forth the procedure by which the person, public agency, or nonprofit organization carrying out the functions and duties of the office shall gain the approval of the participating boards of county commissioners for any actions, functions, and duties under division (B) of this section.

(D) As used in this section, "economic development" has the same meaning as in section 307.64 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Effective Date: 10-29-1993; 2008 SB353 04-07-2009