(A) The director of transportation, in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 109(d) and 315, with the provisions of the manual of uniform traffic control devices relating to tourist-oriented directional signs and trailblazer markers, and with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, shall adopt rules to carry out a program for the placement of tourist-oriented directional signs and trailblazer markers within the rights-of-way of those portions of rural state highways that are not on the interstate system. The rules shall prohibit the placement of tourist-oriented directional signs and trailblazer markers at interchanges on state system expressways and freeways. The rules shall include, but need not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) The form of the application to participate in the program. The form shall include such necessary information as the director requires to ensure that a tourist-oriented activity for which signing is sought is an eligible attraction.
(2) Provisions for covering or otherwise obscuring signs during off-seasons for eligible attractions that operate on a seasonal basis;
(3) A determination as to the circumstances that justify including on a sign the hours of operation of an eligible attraction;
(4) Criteria for use of the signs at at-grade intersections on expressways.
(B) The program established pursuant to division (A) of this section may be operated, maintained, and marketed either by the department of transportation or by any private person with whom the director, in accordance with rules adopted by the director pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, contracts for the operation, maintenance, and marketing. The rules shall describe the terms of the contract and shall allow for a reasonable profit to be made by the successful applicant. In awarding the contract, the director shall consider the skill, expertise, prior experience, and other qualifications of each applicant.
(C) All direct and indirect costs of the program shall be fully paid by the eligible attractions that participate in the program. The director shall develop a fee schedule for participation in the program, and shall charge each program participant the appropriate fee. Direct and indirect costs include, but are not limited to, the cost of all of the following:
(3) Directional signs, sign blanks, and posts, and the design, engineering, installation, repair, replacement, and removal of directional signs and posts;
(4) Program administration.
(D) Money generated from participating businesses in excess of the direct and indirect costs and any reasonable profit earned by a person awarded a contract under division (B) of this section shall be remitted to the department, which shall deposit all such money into the state treasury to the credit of the highway operating fund created by section 5735.291 of the Revised Code.
(E) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the director from establishing such a program. If the department operates such a program and does not contract with a private entity to operate the program, all money collected from participating businesses shall be deposited into the state treasury to the credit of the highway operating fund.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.70, HB 349, §1, eff. 4/20/2012.
Effective Date: 11-01-1995