Chapter 4981: RAIL DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION

4981.01 Rail development commission definitions.

As used in sections 4981.01 to 4981.34 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Person" means, in addition to the meaning given that term in division (C) of section 1.59 of the Revised Code, any unit of local government, any local or regional transportation authority, and any private corporation or organization.

(B) "Rail property" means any asset or right that is used or is useful in providing rail service, including tracks, rolling stock, rights-of-way, bridges, grade crossing equipment, terminals, stations, parking facilities, and other rail facilities.

(C) "Rail service" means freight, intercity passenger, commuter, and high speed rail transportation service.

(D) "Regional rail reorganization act" means the "Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973," 87 Stat. 986, 45 U.S.C.A. 701 , as amended.

(E) "Local or regional transportation authority" includes a county transit board, a board of county commissioners operating a county transit system, a regional transit authority, a regional transit commission, or any other local or regional transportation authority or agency.

(F) "Qualifying subdivision" means a county, township, or municipal corporation in this state that is levying a tax for the purpose of acquiring, rehabilitating, or developing rail service or rail property pursuant to division (CC) of section 5705.19 of the Revised Code.

(G) "Ancillary system facilities" means all facilities desirable in connection with the operation and maintenance of a rail system such as parking lots, retail establishments, restaurants, hotels, offices, and other commercial or support facilities, located within or outside the right-of-way of the rail system.

(H) "Corridor" means a designated portion of a rail system serving two or more designated urban areas.

(I) "Franchise" means a license approved by the Ohio rail development commission that grants exclusive rights to a private corporation or organization to plan, construct, finance, lease, improve, use, operate, maintain, and set and collect charges for the use of a rail system or a portion of a rail system, such as a corridor, for a period of years as permitted by section 4981.29 of the Revised Code, as system owner or as lessee from or agent of the commission.

(J) "Franchise agreement" means the agreement executed between the Ohio rail development commission and a person to whom a franchise is awarded.

(K) "3-C corridor" means the corridor connecting Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.01

Effective Date: 10-25-1995

4981.02 Ohio rail development commission.

(A) There is hereby created the Ohio rail development commission, as an independent agency of the state within the department of transportation, consisting of seven members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate, two members of the Ohio senate, one of whom shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the president of the senate and one of whom shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the minority leader of the senate, two members of the Ohio house of representatives, one of whom shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the speaker of the house of representatives and one of whom shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the minority leader of the house of representatives, and two members representing the general public, one of whom shall be appointed by the president of the senate and one of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives. The director of transportation and the director of development, or their designees, shall be ex officio members of the commission. Of the members appointed by the governor, one shall serve as chairman of the commission, one shall represent the interests of a freight rail company, one shall represent the interests of passenger rail service, one shall have expertise in infrastructure financing, one shall represent the interests of organized labor, one shall represent the interests of manufacturers, and one shall represent the general public. All members shall be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The members of the commission from the Ohio senate and the Ohio house of representatives shall serve as nonvoting members. No more than four members of the seven appointed to the commission by the governor shall be from the same political party. Each member of the commission shall be a resident of this state.

(B) Within sixty days after the effective date of this amendment, the governor shall make initial appointments to the commission. Of the initial appointments made to the commission, three shall be for a term ending three years after the effective date of this amendment, and three shall be for a term ending six years after that date. Terms for all other appointments made to the commission shall be for six years. Vacancies shall be filled in the manner provided for original appointments. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy shall have the same qualifications as his predecessor. Each term shall end on the same day of the same month of the year as did the term which it succeeds. Each appointed member shall hold office from the date of his appointment until the end of the term for which he was appointed. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy before the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall hold office for the remainder of that term. Any appointed member shall continue in office subsequent to the expiration date of his term until his successor takes office, or for a period of sixty days, whichever occurs first. All members shall be eligible for reappointment.

(C) The commission may employ an executive director, who shall have appropriate experience as determined by the commission, and a secretary-treasurer and other employees that the commission considers appropriate. The commission may fix the compensation of the employees.

(D) Six members of the commission shall constitute a quorum, and the affirmative vote of six members shall be necessary for any action taken by the commission. No vacancy in the membership of the commission shall impair the rights of a quorum to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the commission.

(E) All members of the commission are subject to Chapter 102. of the Revised Code.

(F) The department of transportation may use all appropriate sources of revenue to assist the commission in developing and implementing rail service.

(G) Expenditures by the department of transportation, the Ohio rail development commission, or any other state agency for capital improvements for the development of passenger rail shall be subject to the approval of the controlling board with an affirmative vote of not fewer than five members, including the affirmative vote of a majority of the controlling board members appointed by the president of the senate and a majority of the controlling board members appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives. All public funds acquired by the commission shall be used for developing, implementing, and regulating rail service and not for operating rail service unless the general assembly specifically approves the expenditure of funds for operating rail service.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.02

Amended by 128th General Assemblych.127, HB 2, §101.01, eff. 7/1/2009.

Effective Date: 10-29-1995

4981.03 Duties of rail development commission.

(A) The Ohio rail development commission shall do all of the following:

(1) Develop, promote, and support safe, adequate, and efficient rail service throughout the state;

(2) Maintain adequate programs of investigation, research, promotion, planning, and development for rail service, which programs shall include the consideration of recommendations by public or private planning organizations;

(3) Provide for the participation of private corporations or organizations and the public in the development, construction, operation, and maintenance of rail service, and as franchisees of rail service.

(B) In regard to rail service, the Ohio rail development commission is the successor of the Ohio high speed rail authority and the division of rail transportation of the department of transportation. The commission shall succeed to all federal allotments, entitlements, subsidies, and grants now existing, whether such allotments, entitlements, subsidies, and grants are encumbered or unencumbered, in the same manner and with the same authority as the Ohio high speed rail authority and the division of rail transportation exercised prior to October 20, 1994.

(C) Every authority, commission, department, or other agency of this state shall provide the commission with data, plans, research, and any other information that the commission requests to assist it in performing its duties pursuant to this chapter.

(D) The commission may request and contract with any railroad to provide it with data and information necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter. All railroads operating within this state shall provide the requested data and information to the commission. The commission shall not disclose any confidential data or information supplied to it.

(E) The commission shall cooperate with the director of development by exercising the commission's duty to promote and develop rail service in this state in conjunction with the director's exercise of his duty to promote the economic development of this state.

(F) The commission, when developing rail service throughout the state, may give priority to projects undertaken within the geographic boundaries of qualifying subdivisions.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.03

Effective Date: 10-20-1994; 12-30-2004; 06-27-2005

4981.031 Applying for federal loans.

(A) The Ohio rail development commission or the department of transportation, on behalf of the commission, may apply for and receive from the United States government loans and grants in accordance with any federal law or program concerning rail transportation.

(B) It is hereby found and determined that rail transportation is an essential and indispensable part of the commerce and industry of the state and is of vital importance to the creation and preservation of jobs and employment opportunities and to the improvement of the economic welfare of the people of the state, and that rail transportation creates, promotes, and is a part of the continuous exchange of goods and services in the state economy. It is further found and determined that the authority granted by Chapter 4981. of the Revised Code is consistent with and will effect the purposes of Section 13 of Article VIII, Ohio Constitution, that rail transportation is part of and is directly related to industry, commerce, distribution, and research under Section 13 of Article VIII, Ohio Constitution, and that it is in the public interest and a proper public purpose under Section 13 of Article VIII, Ohio Constitution, for the state to acquire, construct, enlarge, improve, or equip, and to sell, lease, or exchange, or otherwise dispose of property, structures, equipment, and facilities for rail transportation, all as provided in Chapter 4981. of the Revised Code, and that such activities will contribute to the creation or preservation of jobs or employment opportunities or the improvement of the economic welfare of the people of the state. Chapter 4981. of the Revised Code, being necessary for the welfare of the state and its people, shall be liberally construed to effect its purposes.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.031

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.032 Issuing grants and loans.

The Ohio rail development commission may issue grants and loans to any transportation authority or to any person for the purpose of continuing or instituting rail transportation in the state. The grants and loans may be used for rehabilitation, construction, planning, relocation, or acquisition of rail transportation or rail property, or for substitute service. The grants and loans may be provided by the commission with funds from the United States government, the state, any transportation authority, or any person, or from any combination of those sources. The commission shall establish eligibility and distribution criteria for the grants and loans.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.032

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.033 Indemnification - liability insurance coverage.

(A) Notwithstanding section 4961.37 of the Revised Code, a railroad company, public agency, or other person operating passenger rail service on a right-of-way owned by another shall indemnify and hold harmless the owner, user, or other rights holder for liability for any damages arising out of passenger operations conducted by or on behalf of the railroad company, public agency, or other person operating passenger rail service and for all claims for damages for harm arising from any accident or incident occurring in connection with the operations conducted by or on behalf of the railroad company, public agency, or other person operating passenger rail service.

(B) Each railroad company, public agency, or other person operating passenger rail service on a right-of-way owned by another shall maintain an aggregate limit of liability coverage of no less than two hundred million dollars.

(C) The liability for damages for harm, including any punitive damages, of a railroad company or other entity over whose tracks passenger rail service operations are conducted by another shall not be in an amount greater than the limits of the liability coverage maintained by the railroad company, public agency, or other person operating passenger rail service.

(D) Division (A) of this section shall not apply if the railroad company or other entity over whose tracks the passenger rail service operations are conducted, committed an act or omission with reckless, wanton, willful, or gross negligence and the act or omission proximately caused the harm in question.

(E) The operator of an excursion rail service and the owner of any railroad property over which the excursion rail service will be provided may negotiate to determine the amount of liability coverage necessary to satisfy the owner's private insurance requirements. If the operator and owner reach agreement on the amount of private insurance coverage so required, division (B) of this section shall not apply to the operation of the excursion rail service over that railroad property. This division does not require any owner of railroad property to enter into such negotiations, to agree to an amount of liability coverage that the owner determines to be insufficient indemnification, nor to permit any excursion rail service operator to have access to the railroad property.

(F) As used in this section:

(1) "Harm" means injury, death, or loss to person or property.

(2) "Passenger rail service" includes intercity passenger, commuter, or high speed rail transportation service.

(3) "Excursion rail service" means any rail passenger service that is undertaken primarily for education, entertainment, recreation, or scenic observation and that does not involve any of the following:

(a) The carrying of freight other than the personal luggage of the passengers or crew, or supplies and equipment necessary to serve the needs of the passengers or crew;

(b) The carrying of passengers who are commuting to work;

(c) The carrying of passengers who are traveling to a final destination solely for business or commercial purposes.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.033

Effective Date: 06-30-1997

4981.04 Plan for construction and operation of intercity conventional or high speed passenger transportation system.

(A) The Ohio rail development commission shall prepare a plan for the construction and operation of an intercity conventional or high speed passenger transportation system in this state. The system shall be constructed and operated by the commission. The plan for construction and operation shall be based on existing studies, and shall state that the system's initial route will connect Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati and any points in between those cities determined by the authority. The plan shall include the following information:

(1) The route alignment of the proposed system;

(2) The proposed technology;

(3) The size, nature, and scope of the proposed system;

(4) The sources of the public and private revenue needed to finance the system;

(5) The projected ability of all revenue sources to meet both capital and operating funding requirements of the proposed system;

(6) The construction, operation, and management plan for the system, including a timetable for construction and the proposed location and number of transit stations considered necessary;

(7) The likelihood that Ohio-based corporations will be used to manufacture or supply components of the proposed system;

(8) The likelihood that additional or subsidiary development will be generated;

(9) The extent to which the proposed system will create an additional or reduced demand for sources of energy;

(10) Any changes in the law necessary to implement the proposed system;

(11) The proposed system's impact on the economy of the state and on the economic and other public policies of the state. The commission may revise any plan of the Ohio high speed rail authority or may submit a separate plan for construction and operation and a funding request to the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, and to the president of the senate. Any plan for an intercity conventional or high speed passenger transportation system submitted by the commission pursuant to this section shall not propose the operation of such a system by the state other than through the commission.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.04

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.05 Application for loans or other assistance.

(A) Any local or regional transportation authority may apply for a rail service continuation subsidy, acquisition or modernization loan, or any other assistance provided by the Regional Rail Reorganization Act for the purpose of providing any rail service that is consistent with rail service provided under this chapter. Any local or regional transportation authority may exercise, or may be created to exercise, such authority, administrative jurisdiction, and fiscal control as is necessary to obtain such assistance and provide such rail service.

(B) For the purposes of this section, "transit system" as used in section 306.04 of the Revised Code, and "transit facility" as used in sections 306.30 and 306.81 of the Revised Code, include rail service.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.05

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.06 Acquiring property, facilities, or equipment.

(A) The Ohio rail development commission may purchase or lease any portion of the rail property of a railroad corporation, and may purchase or lease any other property, facilities, or equipment considered necessary by the commission for the operation of rail services, and the maintenance of track and other rail property. For the purpose of acquiring such property the commission may obtain acquisition loans from the federal government.

(B) Where it is necessary for the purpose of implementing rail service under this chapter, the commission, with the approval of the director of transportation, may appropriate real property. All such appropriations shall be made pursuant to sections 163.01 to 163.22 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.06

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.07 Restoration, repair, relocation, or upgrading rail property.

(A) The Ohio rail development commission may restore, repair, relocate, or upgrade any rail property purchased, leased, or maintained by the commission. The commission may restore, repair, relocate, or upgrade any rail property owned by another person as long as such action is necessary for the efficient operation of rail services provided by the commission. The commission may obtain modernization loans from the federal government to restore or repair rail property acquired by the commission for the purpose of implementing rail service.

(B) The commission may operate any rail property acquired by it over track owned or leased by the commission, or over track owned by another person pursuant to an agreement with that person as long as such action is necessary for the efficient operation of rail service provided by the commission pursuant to this chapter.

(C) The commission may enter into agreements with the department of transportation, boards of county commissioners, boards of township trustees, legislative authorities of municipal corporations, with other governmental agencies or organizations, and with private corporations or organizations in order to facilitate implementation of rail service.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.07

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.08 Sale, transfer, or lease of rail property.

(A) The Ohio rail development commission may sell, transfer, or lease any of the rail property that it possesses to any person for the continuation and operation of any rail service that is provided for pursuant to this chapter.

(B) The commission may assist any person to obtain an order or certificate required by the interstate commerce commission for the performance of rail services in this state.

(C) The commission may cooperate with other states in carrying out the provisions of this chapter and may enter into any agreements with other states for the operation of rail services, including the joint purchasing or leasing of rail property.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.08

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.09 Rail development fund.

There is hereby created in the state treasury the rail development fund. The fund shall consist of such moneys as may be provided by law, including moneys received from the sale, transfer, or lease of any rail property pursuant to section 4981.08 of the Revised Code. Moneys in the fund shall be used for the purpose of acquiring, rehabilitating, or developing rail property or service, or for participation in the acquisition of rail property with the federal government, municipal corporations, townships, counties, or other governmental agencies. For the purpose of acquiring such rail property, the Ohio rail development commission may obtain acquisition loans from the federal government or from any other source. The fund shall also be used to promote, plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain passenger and freight rail transportation systems, and may be used to pay the administrative costs of the Ohio rail development commission associated with conducting any authorized rail program, and for any purpose authorized by sections 4981.03 and 5501.56 of the Revised Code. The fund shall not be used to provide loan guarantees.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.09

Effective Date: 09-29-1999

4981.091 Federal rail fund.

There is hereby created in the state treasury the federal rail fund. The fund shall consist of money received pursuant to section 4981.08 of the Revised Code and such other money as may be provided by law. The fund shall be used to acquire, rehabilitate, or develop rail property or service; to participate in the acquisition of rail property with the federal government, municipal corporations, townships, counties, or other governmental agencies; and to promote, plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain passenger and freight rail transportation systems. The fund also may be used to pay the administrative costs of the Ohio rail development commission associated with conducting any authorized rail program, and for any purpose authorized by sections 4981.03 and 5501.56 of the Revised Code. The fund shall not be used to provide loan guarantees. Investment earnings on moneys credited to the fund shall be retained by the fund. In acquiring rail property, the Ohio rail development commission may obtain acquisition loans from the federal government or from any other source.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.091

Effective Date: 09-16-1998

4981.10 Conditions for purchasing property, facilities or equipment.

As long as such action does not violate covenants made on behalf of or for the benefit of the holders of bonds, notes, or other obligations of the Ohio rail development commission, the Ohio rail development commission may purchase any portion of the rail property of a railroad corporation and may purchase any other property, facilities, or equipment considered necessary by the commission for the operation of rail services, subject to the following conditions:

(A) Upon inspection of the rail property the commission determines that the rail property is suitable for the efficient operation of rail services;

(B) The controlling board approves the purchase of the rail property by an affirmative vote of no fewer than five members.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.10

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.11 Bond proceedings definitions.

(A) "Commission" means the Ohio rail development commission created in section 4981.02 of the Revised Code, the duties, powers, responsibilities, and functions of which are specified in this chapter.

(B) "Bond" means revenue bonds, notes, or other obligations including current or advance refunding bonds issued by the commission to effect the intents and purposes of this chapter and any bond issued by a qualifying subdivision or local or regional transportation authority pursuant to Chapter 133. of the Revised Code or otherwise as provided by the constitution and laws of this state.

(C) "Bond proceedings" means any bond proceedings, as defined in division (E) of section 9.98 of the Revised Code, with respect to bonds, including, without limitation, the bond legislation with respect thereto.

(D) "Cost," as applied to rail service projects, means the cost of acquisition, repair, renovation, and construction thereof; the cost of acquisition of all land, rights-of-way, property rights, easements, franchise rights, credit enhancements, or credit facility and interests required by any person, qualifying subdivision, a local or regional transportation authority, or the commission for such acquisition, renovation, repair, or construction, the cost of demolishing or removing any buildings or structures on land so acquired, including the cost of acquiring any lands to which buildings or structures may be moved; the cost of diverting highways, interchange of highways, access roads to private property, railroad rights-of-way including the cost of land or easement therefor; the cost of all machinery, furnishing, and equipment; all finance charges, and interest prior to and during the construction and for no more than eighteen months after completion of construction or acquisition; the cost of all legal services and expenses; the cost of all plans, specifications, surveys, and estimates of cost; all working capital and other expenses necessary or incident to determining the feasibility or practicability of acquiring, renovating, repairing, or constructing any such project; the financing of such acquisition, renovation, repair, refunding, or construction, including the amount authorized in the resolution of the commission providing for the issuance of bonds to be paid into any special funds from the proceeds of such bonds; and the financing of the placing of any such rail service project in operation, if necessary. Any obligations or expenses incurred after December 19, 1986, by any person, qualifying subdivision, or local or regional transportation authority, with the approval of the commission, for surveys, borings, preparation of plans and specifications, and other engineering services in connection with the acquisition, renovation, repair, or construction of a project shall be regarded as a part of the cost of such project and shall be reimbursed out of the proceeds of grants, loans, or bonds as authorized by this chapter.

(E) "Credit facility" means any credit facility, as defined in division (G) of section 9.98 of the Revised Code, with respect to bonds.

(F) "Floating rate interest structure" means any floating rate interest structure, as defined in division (I) of section 9.98 of the Revised Code, with respect to bonds.

(G) "Indexing agent" means any indexing agent, as defined in division (J) of section 9.98 of the Revised Code, with respect to bonds.

(H) "Rail service project" or "project" means any project of an essential public nature which is considered a part of the rail service system, including, without limitation, permitted loan purposes which are specifically declared to be for an essential public purpose.

(I) "Interest rate period" means any interest rate period, as defined in division (K) of section 9.98 of the Revised Code, with respect to bonds.

(J) "Issuer" means the commission.

(K) "Participation agreement" means any participation agreement, loan agreement, lease agreement, bond purchase agreement, or other agreement between or among any person, qualifying subdivision, or local or regional transportation authority and the commission pursuant to which the commission agrees to lend moneys to the person, qualified subdivision, or local or regional transportation authority, and the person, qualifying subdivision, or local or regional transportation authority agrees to repay the moneys so lent, in accordance with this chapter and the applicable bond proceedings and on the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in such agreement.

(L) "Permitted loan purpose" means any of the following:

(1) The payment of the costs of the acquisition or construction of any property, asset, or improvement with an estimated life or usefulness of one year or more, including land and interests therein, and including reconstructions, enlargements, and extensions of any such property, asset, or improvement having an estimated life or usefulness of one year or more, of the commission provided that such estimated life or usefulness shall be certified by the fiscal officer of the person, qualifying subdivision, or local or regional transportation authority to which the loan is to be made to that person, qualifying subdivision, or local or regional transportation authority;

(2) The payment of any final judgment, regardless of whether such judgment arose out of a contractual or noncontractual cause of action;

(3) The reimbursement to any person, qualifying subdivision, or local or regional transportation authority of moneys expended by it for a permitted loan purpose described in divisions (L)(1) and (2) of this section, including, without limitation, rental payments made by any person, qualifying subdivision, or local or regional transportation authority under a lease with an option to purchase if the proceeds of the loan are to be applied to the payment of the purchase price upon the exercise of the option to purchase;

(4) The refunding, including funding and retirement, or advance refunding of the outstanding principal amount of any debt obligation issued or incurred by the commission or by any person, qualifying subdivision, or local or regional transportation authority, including, without limitation, any loan previously made from the commission for a permitted loan purpose of the sort described in divisions (L)(1) and (2) of this section;

(5) The costs and expenses incurred by the commission or by any person, qualifying subdivision, or local or regional transportation authority in obtaining a loan from the commission, including, without limitation, the fees and expenses of attorneys, accountants, engineers, and consultants and the costs and expenses of preparing, printing, and delivering any documents or instruments required to be delivered by any person, qualifying subdivision, or local or regional transportation authority under its participation agreement with the commission.

(M) "Person" means any natural person, partnership, joint venture, corporation, foreign or domestic, state or subdivision thereof, or sovereign government, or province thereof including the United States or any agency or instrumentality thereof.

(N) "Put arrangement" means any put arrangement, as defined in division (N) of section 9.98 of the Revised Code, with respect to bonds.

(O) "Remarketing agent" means a remarketing agent as defined in division (O) of section 9.98 of the Revised Code, with respect to bonds.

(P) "Revenue" means any money or thing of value collected by, or paid to, the commission in connection with any rail project or as principal of or interest, charges, or other fees on loans, including any moneys derived from taxation or any other collections on loans made by the commission to any person, qualifying subdivisions, or local or regional transportation authorities to finance in whole or in part the acquisition, renovation, repair, refunding, or construction of any rail service project or projects, or other money or property which is received by the commission and may be expended for or pledged as revenues pursuant to this chapter.

(Q) "Special fund" means any fund required to be established by the commission pursuant to the bond proceedings with respect to any bonds and into which the bond proceedings require that pledged receipts be deposited and from which the bond proceedings permit the disbursement of the pledged receipts at the times, in the amounts, and for the purposes set forth therein.

(R) "Special revenue loan" means a loan to a qualifying subdivision or local or regional transportation authority by the commission that is payable solely from and secured solely by one or more sources of county or municipal tax or other revenue other than ad valorem property taxes.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.11

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.12 Financing rail service.

(A) The general assembly hereby finds and declares that increasing requirements for rail service for the people of the state and escalating costs of providing such rail service have created inordinate demands upon the financial resources of the state, qualifying subdivisions, private corporations and organizations, and local and regional transportation authorities necessitating legislation to enable the people of the state to attain a more competitive position in capital markets to provide rail service.

(B) The general assembly hereby finds and declares further that it is in the public interest and is the responsibility of the state to foster and promote by all lawful means the provision of adequate capital markets and facilities for borrowing money for the financing of rail service and the fulfillment of public purposes, and to make it possible for the commission, qualifying subdivisions, private corporations or organizations, and local or regional transportation authorities to obtain new or additional sources of capital funds at acceptable interest costs, including activities to encourage investor interest in the purchase of bonds, notes or other obligations of the commission, or issued by the commission to fund loans it may make to private corporations or organizations under sections 4981.01 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code, as sound and preferred securities for investments.

(C) The general assembly hereby finds and declares further that it is in the public interest and is the responsibility of the state to encourage qualifying subdivisions, local or regional transportation authorities, and other persons to continue their independent undertakings of rail service and fulfillment of public purposes and the financing thereof and to improve or enhance the possibilities of qualifying subdivisions, local or regional transportation authorities, and other persons obtaining funds, to the extent possible, at reduced interest costs, for the orderly financing of rail service projects and fulfillment of public purposes.

(D) The general assembly hereby finds and declares further that it is in the public interest, in order to implement and aid in the discharge of these responsibilities, that a state instrumentality, having been created as a public body corporate with full powers to borrow money and issue its bonds, notes, and other obligations to the end that funds obtained thereby may be used or made available to franchisees to provide capital facilities for rail service by the commission or for the purposes of making loans to qualifying subdivisions, local or regional transportation authorities, private corporations or organizations, and other persons for rail service projects, that such state instrumentality be granted all powers necessary or appropriate to accomplish and carry out these essential public purposes and responsibilities of the state in a manner to make it possible to sell bonds and borrow funds at as low an interest rate as the instrumentality finds and determines to be feasible.

(E) The general assembly further finds and declares that in accomplishing these purposes, the commission, created and established by this chapter, will be acting in all respects for the benefit of the people of the state to serve the public purposes of improving and otherwise promoting their health, education, welfare, safety, and prosperity, and that the commission may act on behalf of the state and its people in serving the essential public purposes described in this section for the benefit of the general public of the state.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.12

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.13 Issuing loans and bonds to finance rail projects.

To accomplish the public policies and purposes and to meet the responsibility of the state as set forth in this chapter, the Ohio rail development commission may directly undertake and implement and make loans to qualifying subdivisions, local or regional transportation authorities, and other persons for the acquisition, renovation, repair, refunding, or construction of rail service projects by such qualifying subdivisions and local or regional transportation authorities, and may issue bonds, payable solely from revenues, to pay the cost of, or finance, in whole or in part, rail service projects of the commission or loans to any person, qualifying subdivision, or local or regional transportation authority. A project shall not be undertaken unless it has been determined by the commission, based upon information provided to it by the qualifying subdivision, local or regional transportation authority, or other person or agency charged or empowered by law with the responsibility of reporting, to be consistent with any applicable requirements of law. Any resolution of the commission providing for making a loan for any permitted loan purpose or execution of any participation agreement pursuant to this chapter shall include a finding by the commission that such determinations have been made. A participation agreement may be entered into between the commission and each qualifying subdivision, local or regional transportation authority, or other person to which a loan is made or from which bonds are purchased for the acquisition, renovation, repair, or construction of a rail service project, which participation agreement shall include, without limitation, all of the following provisions:

(A) The cost of such project, the amount of the loan or bond purchase, the terms of repayment of such loan or bond purchase and the security therefor;

(B) The specific purposes for which the proceeds of the loan or bond purchase shall be expended, the procedures as to the disbursements of loan or bond purchase proceeds, and the duties and obligations imposed upon the qualifying subdivision, local or regional transportation authority, or other person in regard to the construction, renovation, repair, refunding, or acquisition of the project;

(C) The agreement of the qualifying subdivision, local or regional transportation authority, or other person to raise the funds of provide sufficient credit or guarantee for repayment, through levy, pursuant to an election, contract, lease, fee charges, or otherwise;

(D) The agreement of the qualifying subdivision, local or regional authority, or other person to provide the opinion of its counsel that the obligations of the qualifying subdivision, local or regional transportation authority, or other person comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations issued by the commission or other state, federal, or local bodies in regard to the construction, repair, renovation, funding, refunding, or acquisition of the project.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.13

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.131 Borrowing and bond power not exclusive.

(A) The power and authority provided by this chapter to qualifying subdivisions and local or regional transportation authorities to borrow for permitted loan purposes is in addition and supplemental to, not in derogation of, any other power or authority provided by law for the same or similar purposes, and this chapter provides to qualifying subdivisions or local or regional transportation authorities alternative, not exclusive, means of accomplishing those purposes.

(B) Chapter 133. of the Revised Code shall not apply to issuance of bonds by the Ohio rail development commission or to the authorizing, obtaining, or incurring of any general obligation loan or special revenue loan or to its entering into any participation agreement or delivering any such other instrument to the commission in connection therewith, by any qualifying subdivision or local or regional transportation authority, except to the extent, if any, that provisions of Chapter 133. of the Revised Code are expressly made applicable thereto by this chapter or by the bond proceedings applicable to the bonds from the proceeds of which such loan was made.

(C) For purposes of division (A) of section 5705.41 of the Revised Code, the authorization by a qualifying subdivision or local or regional transportation authority of a loan from the commission pursuant to section 4981.12 of the Revised Code shall be deemed to be the authorization of a bond issue, and the purpose for which such loan was obtained shall be deemed to be the purpose for which such bonds were issued. For purposes of division (D) of section 5705.41 of the Revised Code, the proceeds to be derived from a loan authorized by a qualifying subdivision or local or regional transportation authority to be obtained pursuant to section 4981.12 of the Revised Code shall be deemed to be proceeds to be derived from authorized bonds.

(D) Sections 4981.01 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code shall be liberally construed to effect the purposes described in section 1.11 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.131

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.14 Powers of rail development commission.

(A) The Ohio rail development commission may exercise all powers necessary or appropriate to carry out its corporate purposes.

(B) The commission may do all of the following:

(1) Adopt, and from time to time, ratify, amend, and repeal bylaws necessary and proper for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business and rules to implement and make effective its powers and duties;

(2) Adopt an official seal;

(3) Maintain a principal office in Columbus and, if necessary, regional sub-offices at locations properly designated or provided;

(4) Sue and be sued in its own name and plead and be impleaded in its own name, particularly to enforce the obligations and covenants made under this section and sections 4981.13 and 4981.29 of the Revised Code. Any actions against the commission shall be brought in the court of common pleas in Franklin county, in which the principal office of the commission shall be located.

(5) Undertake or cause to be undertaken the acquisition, renovation, repair, refunding, operation, maintenance, or construction of any rail service project;

(6) Establish and operate a revolving loan fund for the purpose of making loans to qualifying subdivisions, local or regional transportation authorities, or other persons for the acquisition, renovation, repair, refunding, or construction of rail service projects by such qualifying subdivisions, local or regional transportation authorities, and private corporations or organizations, and the repayment thereof from project financing proceeds and revenues; purchase the obligations of counties and municipal corporations issued for the acquisition, renovation, repair, or construction of rail service projects by such qualifying subdivisions and local or regional transportation authorities; and adopt rules and procedures for making those loans or purchasing those obligations;

(7) Issue bonds and notes and refunding obligations of the state, payable as provided in this chapter unless the bonds are refunded by refunding bonds, for the purpose of borrowing money to implement any power granted by divisions (B)(5) and (6) of this section for one or more rail service projects or parts thereof;

(8) Acquire by gift or purchase, hold, or dispose of real and personal property in the exercise of its powers and performance of its duties as set forth in this chapter;

(9) Make and enter into all contracts and agreements and execute all instruments necessary or incidental to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers and to employ natural persons to act on behalf of the commission, and to establish the terms and conditions of such employment;

(10) Receive and accept from any federal agency or other person, subject to the approval of the governor, grants for or in aid of the construction, repair, renovation, operation, maintenance, or acquisition of rail service projects, and receive and accept aid or contributions from any source of money, property, labor, or other things of value, to be held, used, and applied only for the purposes for which the grants and contributions are made;

(11) Purchase property coverage and liability insurance for any rail service project and for any offices of the commission, insurance protecting the commission and its officers and employees against liability, if any, or damage to property or injury to or death of persons arising from its operations, and any other insurance the commission may agree to provide under any resolution authorizing the issuance of bonds in accordance with sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code, or in any trust agreement securing the same;

(12) Establish or increase reserves from moneys received or to be received by the commission to secure or pay the principal of and interest on bonds, notes, or other obligations issued by the commission pursuant to this chapter or other law. Moneys, funds, and accounts of the commission, however, are subject only to audit by the auditor of state and all moneys, funds, and accounts shall be held in custody or deposited as directed by resolution of the commission and unless otherwise provided by law all moneys of the commission not pledged to the holders of bonds of the commission shall be appropriated by the general assembly.

(13) Receive and disburse the proceeds of general obligation or other bonds of the state or agencies thereof as may be allowed by law pursuant to any resolution or act of the general assembly;

(14) To the extent permitted under its contracts with the holders of bonds or notes of the commission, consent to modification of the rate of interest, time and payment of installment of principal or interest, security, or any other term of a bond, contract, or agreement of any kind to which the commission is a party;

(15) Make grants to counties or municipal corporations, qualifying subdivisions, local or regional transportation authorities, or other persons for one or more rail service projects or parts thereof;

(16) Provide consultation services to any qualifying subdivision, local or regional transportation authority, or other person in connection with the acquisition, renovation, repair, or construction of any rail service project;

(17) Establish and amend the criteria and qualifications for the making of any loan to or the purchasing of any bond from any qualifying subdivision, local or regional transportation authority, or other person and the terms not inconsistent with this chapter of any loan or bond purchase agreement with any qualifying subdivision, local or regional transportation authority, or other person;

(18) Deposit money received from the repayment of loans and recoveries from the sale, lease, or other disposition of property acquired or constructed from amounts loaned by the commission pursuant to section 4981.13 of the Revised Code or division (B) of this section, in an account pledged to secure, and applied to the repayment, without the need for appropriation, of, obligations issued under section 166.08 of the Revised Code to pay the costs of property, facilities, or equipment that qualifies as rail service projects; enter into agreements with the treasurer of state or a corporate trustee for such obligations to provide for the deposit and pledge of such money as specified in the agreement, to permit the withdrawal of money by the treasurer of state or corporate trustee from the account as necessary for application to the payment of debt service on such obligations, and to permit the investment of those amounts, without regard to Chapter 131. or 135. of the Revised Code, pending their application to the payment of debt service; and enter into agreements with persons to provide for the repayment of any amounts paid from any pledged account in connection with obligations issued under section 166.08 of the Revised Code;

(19) Do all acts necessary and proper to carry out the powers expressly granted to the commission in this chapter.

(C) Any instrument by which real property is acquired pursuant to this section shall identify the agency of the state that has the use and benefit of the real property as specified in section 5301.012 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.14

Effective Date: 10-26-1999; 2008 HB562 09-22-2008

4981.15 Bonds not a debt of state.

(A) The Ohio rail development commission, from time to time, may issue bonds in such principal amounts as the commission finds necessary to finance one or more rail service projects. Sections 9.98 to 9.983 of the Revised Code are hereby made applicable in their entirety to any bonds authorized to be issued under this chapter except as otherwise provided herein.

(B) The commission, from time to time, may issue renewal bonds, issue bonds to pay such obligations and, whenever it considers refunding expedient, refund any bonds by the issuance of bonds by the authority granted by this chapter. Except as may otherwise be expressly provided in this chapter or by the commission, every issue of its bonds or notes is an obligation of the commission payable out of the revenues and reserves created for such purposes by the commission, which are expressly pledged for such payment, without preference or priority of the first bonds issued, subject only to any agreements with the holders of particular bonds or notes pledging any particular revenues. Such pledge shall be valid and binding from the time the pledge is made and the revenues so pledged and thereafter received by the commission immediately shall be subject to the lien of such pledge without any physical delivery thereof or further act and the lien of any such pledge shall be valid and binding as against all parties having claims of any kind, in tort, contract, or otherwise, against the commission irrespective of whether such parties have notice thereof.

(C) All such bonds shall have and are hereby declared to have all the qualities of negotiable instruments. The bonds shall be authorized by resolution of the commission, shall bear such date and shall mature at such time, in case of any such note or any renewal thereof not exceeding five years from the date of issue of such original note, and in the case of any such bond not exceeding fifty years from the date of issue, as such resolution may provide. The bonds and notes shall bear interest at such rate or rates, including variable rates, be in such denominations, be in such form, either coupon or registered, carry such registration privileges, be payable in such medium of payment, in such place, and be subject to such terms of redemption as otherwise set forth in this chapter as the commission may authorize. The bonds of the commission may be sold by the commission at public or private sale, at or not less than the price the commission determines. The bonds shall be executed by a voting member of the commission, selected by the commission and approved by the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate, who may use a facsimile signature. The official seal of the commission, or a facsimile, shall be affixed thereto or printed thereon and attested, manually, or by facsimile signature, by the secretary-treasurer of the commission. Coupons, if any, attached thereto shall bear the signature or facsimile signature of the chairperson of the commission. In case any officer whose signature, or a facsimile of whose signature appears on any bonds, notes, or coupons ceases to be such officer before delivery of such bonds or notes, such signature or facsimile is nevertheless sufficient for all purposes the same as if the officer had remained in office until such delivery. In case the seal of the commission changes after a facsimile is imprinted on such bonds or notes, such facsimile continues to be sufficient for all purposes.

(D) Any resolution authorizing any bonds or any issue thereof may contain provisions, subject to such agreements with bondholders or noteholders as may then exist, which provisions shall be a part of the contract with the holders thereof, as to pledging all or any part of the revenues of the commission to secure the payment of the bonds of any issue thereof; the issue and disposition of revenues of the commission; the setting aside of reserve funds, sinking funds, or replacement and improvement funds and the regulation and disposition thereof; the crediting of the proceeds of the sale of bonds to and among the funds referred to and provided for in the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds; providing for the pledge or use of the rail development fund created by section 4981.09 of the Revised Code; the use, lease, sale, or other disposition of any assets of the commission; limitations on the purpose to which the proceeds of the sale of bonds may be applied; the agreement of the commission to do all things necessary for the authorization, issuance, and sale of such bonds which may be issued in such amounts as may be necessary for the timely retirement of such bonds; limitation on the issuance of additional bonds which may be issued and secured; the refunding of outstanding bonds; the procedure, if any, by which the terms of any contract with bondholders or noteholders may be amended or abrogated; the amount of bonds the holders of which must consent may be given; limitations on the amount of moneys to be expended by the commission for operating, administrative, or other expenses of the commission securing any bonds by a trust agreement; and any other matter, of like or different character, which in any way affects the security or protection of the bonds.

(E) In connection with each such issuance of bonds, the commission shall establish in its name an improvement fund or funds in the name of the rail service project or projects for which the permitted loan or expenditure is to be made. The proceeds of each issue of bonds, except for any portion thereof required under the bond proceedings to be deposited in a bond service fund, bond service reserve fund, or other special fund established pursuant to the bond proceedings for such issue of bonds, shall be deposited in the designated fund, and together with any investment income thereof, shall be held in trust and applied solely to permitted bond purposes and in accordance with such bond proceedings.

(F) The right of holders of bonds issued by the commission to payment of debt service on such bonds shall be limited to the pledged receipts and special funds pledged thereto pursuant to the bond proceedings and any moneys available for such payment under any credit facility issued with respect to such bonds. The holders of such bonds shall have no right to have moneys raised by ad valorem taxation obligated or pledged, and moneys raised by ad valorem taxation shall not be obligated or pledged for the payment of debt service on bonds issued by the commission, except to the extent, if any, that the general assembly or legislative authority of qualifying subdivisions and local or regional transportation authorities that borrows moneys derived from the proceeds of such bonds pledge any moneys they raise by ad valorem taxation to the repayment of such borrowings and the moneys so raised and paid to the commission are obligated or pledged to the payment of debt service on the bonds pursuant to the bond proceedings.

(G) The bond proceedings adopted by the commission authorizing the issuance of bonds shall provide for the general purpose thereof and shall specify, or shall authorize one or more officers of the board of directors to determine, subject to limitations set forth in the bond proceedings: the aggregate principal amount of the bonds; the form and manner of execution and authentication of the bonds; the principal maturity or maturities; whether the bonds are to bear interest at a fixed rate or rates or under a floating rate interest structure; if a fixed rate or fixed rates of interest are to be borne by the bonds, the interest rate or rates:[;] if the bonds are to bear interest under a floating rate interest structure, the manner in which the floating rate is to be determined for each interest-rate period, the length of each interest-rate period, and the extent to which and manner in which the interest-rate period may be changed from time to time; the put arrangement or arrangements, if any, to be available to holders of the bonds; and the paying agents, remarketing agents, indexing agents, or other agents, if any, to be engaged in connection with the issuance of the bonds. The bond proceedings, either expressly or by reference to other bond proceedings thereby approved or otherwise applicable, also shall specify: the pledged receipts and the special fund or funds to be pledged to secure the payment of the debt service on the bonds; whether the pledged receipts are pledged on a basis prior or subordinate to other expenses, claims, or payments and whether other bonds have been or may be issued by the commission secured by the pledged receipts on a basis prior to or on a parity with the bonds; the credit facility or facilities, if any, to be obtained with respect to the bonds; and the rights and remedies that may be exercised by the holders of the bonds or by a trustee on their behalf upon the occurrence of an event constituting an event of default under the bond proceedings, which rights and remedies shall include, except to the extent restricted by the bond proceedings, any rights and remedies available under the laws of the state for the enforcement of the payments required under and any other agreements made in, the bond proceedings. The bond proceedings, either expressly or by reference to other bond proceedings thereby approved or otherwise applicable, also may provide for: the mandatory or optional redemption of the bonds prior to their stated maturity; limitations on the issuance of additional bonds by the commission; the investment of moneys in the improvement fund and any special funds, without regard to Chapter 131. or 135. of the Revised Code, but subject to any provisions of Chapter 4981. of the Revised Code, and the bond proceedings with respect thereto; a maximum rate of interest that bonds with a floating rate interest structure may bear, without regard to section 9.95 of the Revised Code; any restrictions not inconsistent with this chapter on the amount and terms of and security for the repayment for loans made to qualifying subdivisions, local or regional transportation authorities, or other persons from the improvement fund; and any other term, condition, or provision of or with respect to the bonds which may be included in the bond proceedings.

(H) The revenues and any special funds pledged to the payment of debt service on bonds pursuant to the bond proceedings for such bonds and thereafter received by the commission or by an agent on behalf of the commission are immediately subject to the lien of such pledge without any physical delivery thereof or further act. The lien of any such pledge is valid and binding against all parties having claims of any kind against the commission or against any person, qualifying subdivision or local or regional transportation authority or municipal corporation that is an absolute obligor with respect to such bonds, irrespective of whether such parties have notice thereof, and shall create a perfected security interest for all purposes of Chapter 1309. of the Revised Code, without the necessity for separation or delivery of funds or for the filing or recording of the bond proceedings by which such pledge is created, or any certificate, statement, or other document with respect thereto; and the pledge of such pledged receipts and special funds is effective and the moneys therefrom and thereof may be applied to the purposes for which pledged without necessity for any act of appropriation. Every pledge, and every covenant and agreement made in the bond proceedings with respect thereto, may therein be extended to the benefit of the owners and holders of the bonds authorized to be issued under this section and to any trustee or paying agent for such owners and holders for further security of the payment of the debt service on such bonds.

(I) Each duty of the commission and of its members, directors, or officers and each duty of any other governmental agency and its officials, members, or employees undertaken pursuant to the bond proceedings or in any participation agreement is hereby established as a duty of the commission or of such qualifying subdivision or local or regional transportation authority or governmental agency and of each such member, officer, official, or employee having authority to perform such duty, specifically enjoined by law 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 members, directors, officers, or employees of the commission are not liable in their personal capacities on any bonds issued by the commission or under any of the bond proceedings with respect thereto.

(J) Bonds issued under this section are lawful investments of banks, 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 funds or other funds of the state and of political subdivisions and taxing districts of the state, the commissioners of the sinking fund of the state, the industrial commission, 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 by any state agency with respect to investments by them, and are also acceptable as security for the deposit of public moneys. For the purpose of causing bonds issued by the commission to be eligible for investment of interim moneys of the state or any subdivision of the state under section 135.14 of the Revised Code, but solely for that purpose, bonds issued by the commission shall be deemed to be bonds or other obligations of this state for purposes of division (B)(4) of section 135.14 of the Revised Code.

(K) The bonds issued by the commission, the transfer thereof, and the income therefrom, including any profit made on the sale thereof, shall at all times be free from taxation within the state.

(L) Any bonds which recite that they are issued pursuant to this section, which comply on their face with such section, which are issued for one or more permitted bond purposes, and for which the commission has been paid in full, shall in any action or proceeding involving their validity be conclusively deemed to have been issued, sold, executed, and delivered in conformity with law and shall be incontestable unless such action or proceeding is begun prior to the delivery of such bonds to the original purchaser or purchasers thereof.

(M) In the event that the sum of all reserves pledged to the payment of such bonds shall be less than the minimum reserve requirements established in any resolution or resolutions authorizing the issuance of such bonds, the chairperson of the commission shall certify, on or before the first day of December of each year, the amount of such deficiency to the governor for inclusion, if the governor shall so elect, of the amount of such deficiency in the budget to be submitted to the next session of the general assembly for appropriation to the commission to be pledged for payment of such bonds or notes. The general assembly shall not be required to make any appropriations so requested, and the amount of such deficiencies do not constitute a debt or liability of the state.

(N) All property of the commission is exempt from levy and sale by virtue of an execution and no execution or other judicial process may issue against the property. A judgment against the commission may not be a charge or lien upon its property. However, nothing in this section applies to or limits the rights of the holder of bonds or notes to pursue a remedy for the enforcement of a pledge or lien given by the bank on its revenues or other money.

(O) No action to contest the validity of any bonds of the commission to be sold at public sale may be brought after the fifteenth day following the first publication of notice of the sale of the bonds. No action to contest the validity of any bond sale under this chapter may be brought after the fifth day following the bond sale.

(P) If bonds are sold at private sale, the commission may publish notice of the execution of the contract of sale of the bonds one time in a newspaper published and of general circulation in the city of Columbus. If notice is published as permitted in this division, no action to contest the validity of such bonds or notes sold at private sale may be brought after the fifteenth day following the publication of notice of the execution of the contract of sale pertaining to the bonds.

(Q) If an action challenging the bonds of the commission is not brought within the time prescribed by division (O) or (P) of this section, whichever is applicable, all bonds of the commission shall be conclusively presumed to be fully authorized and issued under the laws of the state, and a person or a qualified entity is estopped from questioning their authorization, sale, issuance, execution, or delivery by the commission.

(R) Insofar as the provisions of this section are inconsistent with the provisions of any other law, general, special, or local, the provisions of this chapter shall be controlling.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.15

Effective Date: 11-02-1999

4981.151, 4981.152 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 4981.151, 4981.152

Effective Date: 03-31-1997

4981.16 Determinations in connection with issuance of bonds.

The Ohio rail development commission may make the following determinations in connection with any issuance of its bonds:

(A) The number, location, and other characteristics of projects, including to the extent reasonably possible, assurance that the projects to be financed by bonds will create or preserve jobs and employment opportunities or improve the economic welfare of the people of the state;

(B) Eligibility requirements, including requirements for credit worthiness, for projects for which loans are made from proceeds of the bonds. In determining eligibility requirements the issuer shall take into consideration all of the following factors:

(1) The length of time any borrower has been engaged in rail service;

(2) The net income or net worth of any borrower;

(3) The availability or feasibility of alternative financing methods for any borrower;

(C) The type and amount of collateral, security, or credit enhancement to be provided to assure repayment of loans or of bonds;

(D) The amounts and types of insurance coverage required on projects and loans;

(E) Any other matters relating to the exercise of the powers or duties of the issuer under sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.16

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.17 Securing bonds by trust agreement or indenture of mortgage.

(A) In the discretion of the Ohio rail development commission, the bonds may be secured by a trust agreement or indenture of mortgage between the issuer and a corporate trustee, which may be any trust company or bank having the powers of a trust company within or without this state but authorized to exercise trust powers within this state.

(B) Any such trust agreement or indenture of mortgage may contain the resolution or ordinance authorizing the issuance of the bonds and other provisions that are customary or appropriate in an agreement or indenture of such type, including, but not limited to:

(1) A pledge of the rentals, revenues, and other income, charges, and moneys out of which the principal of and interest on the bonds shall be payable and a mortgage of all or any part of the pledged facilities, including any enlargements of and additions to such pledged facilities thereafter made;

(2) Maintenance of each pledge, trust agreement, and indenture of mortgage made for the security of any of the bonds until the issuer has fully paid the principal of and interest on the bonds, or provision therefor has been made, for the security of which the pledge has been made and the trust agreement or indenture of mortgage has been given;

(3) In the event of default in any payments required to be made by the bond proceedings or any other agreement of the issuer made as a part of the contract under which the bonds were issued, enforcement of such payments or agreement by mandamus, the appointment of a receiver in equity, or if a mortgage has been given, the foreclosure of such mortgage or any combination of the foregoing;

(4) The rights and remedies of the bondholders and of the trustee and provisions for protecting and enforcing them, including limitations on rights of individual bondholders;

(5) Such other provisions as the trustee, the original purchaser of the bonds, and the issuer agree upon.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.17

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.18 Protection and enforcement of rights of bondholder and trustees.

(A) Any holder of bonds issued pursuant to sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code or a trustee under a trust agreement or indenture of mortgage entered into pursuant to section 4981.17 of the Revised Code, except to the extent that their rights are restricted by the bond proceedings or by the terms of the bonds, 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 Ohio rail development commission required by sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code or the bond proceedings; to enjoin unlawful activities; and in the event of default with respect to the payment of any principal of and interest on any bond or in the performance of any covenant or agreement on the part of the issuer in the resolution, ordinance, trust agreement, or indenture, to apply to a court having jurisdiction of the cause to appoint a receiver to administer and operate the pledged facilities, the rentals, revenues, and other income, charges, and moneys of which are pledged to the payment of principal of and interest on such bonds or which are the subject of the covenant or agreement, with full power to pay, and to provide for payment of, principal of and interest on such bonds, and with such powers, subject to the direction of the court, as are accorded receivers in general equity cases, excluding any power to pledge additional rentals, revenues, or other income, charges, or moneys of the issuer, including those derived from taxation, to the payment of such principal and interest; and to foreclose the mortgage on the pledged facilities in the same manner as for real estate of private corporations.

(B) No law heretofore or hereafter enacted providing for a moratorium, postponement, or restraint upon the rights or remedies of a mortgagee or secured party to enforce a security interest, whether by foreclosure, collection or taking possession, judicial or other sale or disposition, or by any other means, shall apply to a security interest in all or any part of pledged facilities or in any way restrict, preclude, or otherwise impair the rights or remedies of the holders of bonds issued under sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code or of any insurer, guarantor, or provider of a letter of credit or other credit facility or security enhancement arrangement pertaining to loans made or bonds issued under sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code. The provisions of this division may be included as a covenant in any agreement with the holders of bonds or any insurer, guarantor, or provider of a letter of credit or other credit facility or security enhancement arrangement pertaining to loans made or bonds issued under sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.18

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.19 Bonds are lawful investments.

All bonds issued under sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code are lawful investments of 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 of the state, 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 provision of the Revised Code or rules adopted pursuant thereto by any governmental agency of the state with respect to investments by them, and are acceptable as security for the deposit of public moneys.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.19

Effective Date: 11-02-1999

4981.20 Rail development commission property subject to taxation and zoning, planning, and building regulations and fees.

(A) Any real or personal property, or both, of the Ohio rail development commission that is acquired, constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, improved, furnished, or equipped, or any combination thereof, and leased or subleased under authority of sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code shall be subject to ad valorem, sales, use, and franchise taxes and to zoning, planning, and building regulations and fees, to the same extent and in the same manner as if the lessee-user or sublessee-user thereof, rather than the issuer, had acquired, constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, improved, furnished, or equipped, or any combination thereof, such real or personal property, and title thereto was in the name of such lessee-user or sublessee-user. The transfer of tangible personal property by lease or sublease under authority of sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code is not a sale as used in Chapter 5739. of the Revised Code. The exemptions provided in divisions (B)(1) and (14) of section 5739.02 of the Revised Code shall not be applicable to purchases for a project under sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code. The issuer shall be exempt from all taxes on its real or personal property, or both, which has been acquired, constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, improved, furnished, or equipped, or any combination thereof, under sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code so long as such property is used by the issuer for purposes that would otherwise exempt such property; has ceased to be used by a former lessee-user or sublessee-user and is not occupied or used; or has been acquired by the issuer but development has not yet commenced. The exemption shall be effective as of the date the exempt use begins. All taxes on the exempt real or personal property for the year should be prorated and the taxes for the exempt portion of the year shall be remitted by the county auditor.

(B) Bonds issued under sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code, the transfer thereof, and the interest and other income from the bonds, including any profit made on the sale thereof, are free from taxation within the state.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.20

Effective Date: 10-21-2003

4981.21 Special assessment installments.

When a special assessment is made on real property owned by the Ohio rail development commission and leased under authority of sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code, the installments of the assessment shall be paid by the lessee of such real property so long as such property is leased and any installment thereof remaining unpaid at the termination of any such lease shall thereafter be paid by the issuer so long as such property is owned by it.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.21

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.22 Issuing refunding bonds.

The Ohio rail development commission may issue refunding bonds to refund any bonds it previously issued under sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code, for any of the following purposes:

(A) Refunding bonds which have matured or are about to mature when the rentals, revenues, and other income, charges, and moneys pledged for the payment of such bonds are insufficient to pay bonds which have matured or are about to mature or to make payments to other funds required by the bond proceedings;

(B) Refunding any bonds as an incident to providing funds for reconstructing, enlarging, improving, or providing additional furnishings or equipment for the pledged facilities as to bonds originally issued under sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code;

(C) Refunding all of the outstanding bonds of any issue, both matured and unmatured, when the rentals, revenues, or other income, charges, or moneys pledged for the payment of such bonds are insufficient to pay bonds which have matured or are about to mature or to make payments to other funds required by the bond proceedings, if such outstanding bonds can be retired by call, at maturity, or with the consent of the holders thereof, whether from the proceeds of the sale of the refunding bonds or by exchange for the refunding bonds, provided that the principal amount of refunding bonds shall not exceed in amount the aggregate of the par value of the bonds to be retired, any redemption premium, past due and future interest to the date of maturity or proposed redemption that cannot otherwise be paid, and funds, if any, to reconstruct, enlarge, improve, furnish, or equip, or any combination thereof, the pledged facilities as to bonds originally issued under sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code;

(D) Refunding any bonds of the issuer previously issued when the refunding bonds will bear interest at a lower rate than the bonds to be refunded, or when the interest cost of the refunding bonds computed to absolute maturity will be less than the interest cost of the bonds to be refunded, or when the average life of the refunding bonds will be greater than the remaining average life of the bonds to be refunded. Refunding bonds issued pursuant to this section shall mature not later than thirty years from date of issue. Except as provided in this section, the terms of the issuance and sale of refunding bonds shall be as provided in sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code for an original issue of bonds.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.22

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.23 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 4981.23

Repealed by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §105.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

4981.24 Conveying public property to rail development commission.

Any political subdivision, taxing district, or other public body of this state, without competitive bidding, may convey or exchange with the Ohio rail development commission, for use in connection with a project, any or all of its interests in real or personal property, or both, not needed by the grantor. The interest in such property to be conveyed shall be appraised at its fair market value and such appraisal value shall be the conveyance price. The appraised fair market value of any property exchanged under this section shall be substantially equal to the aggregate of the appraised fair market value of the property for which it is exchanged and any moneys paid to the grantor in consideration of such exchange. The political subdivision, taxing district, or other public body shall prescribe the form of its deed.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.24

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.25 Designation of corporation as agent of state.

In accordance with Section 13 of Article VIII, Ohio Constitution, the state, acting through the Ohio rail development commission, for the purpose of implementing rail service, may by resolution designate a corporation organized under Chapter 1702. or 1724. of the Revised Code as its agency to acquire, construct, reconstruct, enlarge, improve, furnish, or equip and to sell, lease, exchange, or otherwise dispose of property and facilities within the state for industry, commerce, distribution, and research; may approve such corporation and obligations of the corporation issued by it for one or more such purposes; and may have a beneficial interest in such corporation including the right to the property financed by such obligations on the retirement of such obligations, or by acquiring such property for endowment or similar uses or benefits or for ultimate direct use by it, subject to any lease or mortgage securing such obligations.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.25

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.26 Waiver of other laws.

(A) A project of the Ohio rail development commission shall not be subject to the requirements relating to public buildings, structures, grounds, works, or improvements imposed by section 125.81 , 713.02 , or 713.25 of the Revised Code or any other similar requirements that may be lawfully waived by this section.

(B) A project of the commission shall be constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, improved, furnished, or equipped and shall be leased, sold, or otherwise disposed of in the manner determined by the issuer in its sole discretion and any requirement of competitive bidding or other restriction, which may be lawfully waived by this section, imposed on the procedure for award of contracts for such purpose or the lease, sale, or other disposition of property of the issuer is not applicable to any action taken under sections 4981.11 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.26

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.28 Development of rail service by private corporations.

(A) The general assembly hereby finds and declares that it is in the public interest for private corporations or organizations to participate in the providing of rail service through the financing, design, construction, reconstruction, operation, and maintenance by private persons of all or part of a rail system, whether as system owners, lessees from the Ohio rail development commission, or agents for the commission.

(B) To the extent that any provisions of sections 4981.28 to 4981.34 of the Revised Code conflict with any state or local statute, regulation, or ordinance, the provisions of sections 4981.28 to 4981.34 of the Revised Code are controlling.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.28

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.29 Encouraging private participation.

(A) In addition to the powers contained in section 4981.14 of the Revised Code, the Ohio rail development commission may do all of the following:

(1) Notwithstanding division (A) of section 4981.04 of the Revised Code, adopt a plan for private participation in the financing, design, construction, and operation of all or part of a rail system;

(2) Grant franchises for terms of up to fifty years and enter into franchise agreements with private corporations or organizations in connection therewith. A franchise may be awarded for the entire rail system or for a designated portion of the system, such as a corridor.

(3) Use, close, relocate, or alter the grade of existing streets or highways or facilities of public utilities, and otherwise ensure compatibility of operation of public facilities with a franchise, whether in connection with the exercise of the commission's power to appropriate property or otherwise;

(4) Consult with and receive services from other state agencies and political subdivisions in connection with the planning, financing, construction, and operation of the rail system;

(5) In accordance with Chapter 163. of the Revised Code, and subject to the approval of the director of transportation, appropriate at a franchisee's expense real property that it may transfer to the franchisee, if the franchisee previously has made reasonable efforts to obtain the property in question through good-faith negotiations;

(6) Make proceeds of bonds issued pursuant to section 4981.15 of the Revised Code available for financing of all or part of a privately operated rail system, and serve as the issuer of bonds to fund loans it may make to private corporations and organizations under sections 4981.01 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code;

(7) Preserve and defend the confidentiality of trade secrets and proprietary information received from private corporations or organizations;

(8) Enter into any indemnification agreements that are necessary to reimburse a franchisee for any injuries or losses suffered by any person and for which the franchisee is liable and must pay money damages, if the injuries or losses are of such a nature that, if the commission were the responsible party instead of the franchisee, the commission would not be liable for the injuries or losses due to any immunity it enjoys under the laws of this state.

(B) The commission shall not regulate the rates or fares charged by a franchisee or the return on investment received by a franchisee, provided the rates are not discriminatory and overall return is not unreasonable. The commission shall not regulate operations of a franchisee so long as the franchisee operates in accordance with all applicable safety standards.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.29

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.30 Applying for and award of franchises.

(A) The Ohio rail development commission, in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, shall adopt, and may amend and rescind, rules governing the process whereby a private corporation or organization may apply to the commission for a franchise for all or part of a rail system. The rules also shall establish the financial and technical criteria upon which a franchise is awarded. The criteria may include all of the following:

(1) The qualifications of each applicant, including the familiarity of the applicant with the transportation needs and resources of the state and the applicant's prior involvement and experience with respect to the development of rail service in this state;

(2) The level of transport services offered;

(3) The technology proposed;

(4) The timetable for construction;

(5) The construction, operation, and management plans;

(6) The financial plan and the applicant's financial ability to provide reliable service;

(7) Whether the proposed rail system will meet all applicable state and federal safety requirements;

(8) Any legislative changes that may be necessary in order to implement the applicant's proposal;

(9) Any plans and studies prepared for the commission;

(10) The projected ability of each applicant's proposed revenue sources to meet projected capital and operating funding requirements.

(B) The commission may solicit letters of intent from private corporations or organizations interested in applying for a franchise, and may require that a nonrefundable fee be submitted with the letter of intent. Any such fee may be applied against costs the commission incurs in evaluating applications and for subsequent administration of a franchise.

(C) The commission may request proposals to be delivered for a franchise to construct, operate, and maintain the rail system or a portion thereof.

(D) All applications for a franchise shall address the items contained in divisions (A)(1) to (11) of section 4981.04 of the Revised Code.

(E) The commission shall notify all prospective bidders for a franchise that any private corporation or organization that is awarded a franchise with respect to the 3-C corridor shall be obligated to reimburse the commission for amounts payable by the commission, up to a maximum of one million five hundred thousand dollars, arising out of commitments of the commission in connection with the preparation of the plan under section 4981.04 of the Revised Code, and out of other pre-existing contractual arrangements of the commission with respect to the 3-C corridor.

(F) The commission may award a franchise for the rail system or a portion of the system to the applicant the commission determines is best qualified, in accordance with standards for evaluation of applicants established by rule and previously announced.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.30

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.31 Franchise for rail system.

(A) The award by the Ohio rail development commission of a franchise for all or part of a rail system shall be the sole license required for a franchisee to exercise all specified franchise powers and enjoy all specified franchise rights. The franchise shall be for a term of not less than thirty-five, but not more than fifty years from the date of commencement of actual service operations. With the approval of the general assembly, the commission may extend a franchise beyond the time period specified in the original franchise award, on terms mutually agreeable to the franchisee and the commission. If the commission does not grant an extension, any portion of the rail system owned by the franchisee shall revert to the state upon expiration of the franchise.

(B) In the absence of a material default by a franchisee under the franchise agreement, any termination by the commission of a franchise prior to the expiration of its stated terms shall be deemed to be either an impairment of contract by the state or the equivalent of the commencement of an appropriation action by the state, as the franchisee may elect, and shall entitle the franchisee to full compensation for its loss, including reimbursement of all costs incurred in the development of the franchise. Any terms of the franchise agreement designed to protect the reasonable expectations of persons providing financing for the portion of the system comprising the franchise shall not be affected by any proposed franchise termination, and any termination based upon an alleged material default in performance by the franchisee is subject to the hearing and appeal provisions of Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

(C) The franchise agreement may authorize the franchisee to plan, design, finance, construct, operate, and maintain its designated portion of the rail system and any ancillary system facilities.

(D) The franchise agreement shall require the franchisee to construct, operate, and maintain the rail system in accordance with the franchise agreement. All minimum technical standards for the design, construction, and operation of the portion of the system comprising the franchise shall be included in the franchise agreement or incorporated by reference. The conditions of the franchise agreement relating to the actual operation of the trains, including train speed, capacity, construction and maintenance standards, environmental enhancement and protection, safety, and noise levels, supersede any conflicting rule, ordinance, resolution, standard, or charter provision of any agency or political subdivision of the state.

(E) Provision may be included in the franchise agreement for a development and construction schedule, subject to extension for events beyond the control of the franchisee and changes in applicable state and federal law.

(F) The franchise agreement shall obligate the commission, upon request of the franchisee, to assist in obtaining permits and licenses necessary for the construction and operation of the rail system and ancillary facilities.

(G) If a franchisee develops and either transfers its portion of the rail system to the commission and then leases that portion from the commission, or leases its portion to the commission and continues to operate that portion of the rail system, the state shall indemnify the franchisee against claims that, if made against the commission or the state, would be subject to a defense of sovereign immunity.

(H) In the franchise agreement, the commission may furnish the franchisee with reasonable assurances that the state will not take any action that would have the effect of depriving the franchisee of the anticipated economic benefits of franchise operation, including the award of franchises subsequent to the award of the 3-C corridor franchise which have such effect, and that the commission will take such reasonable actions to dissuade other agencies of the state from taking actions that might have an adverse economic or regulatory impact on the franchisee.

(I) If more than one franchise is awarded, the franchisees shall bear all costs necessary for the interconnection of their respective franchises, which costs shall be allocated equitably by the commission.

(J) After a franchise is awarded, the terms under which it is awarded may be modified only by written agreement of the parties, after observation of notice and comment procedures initially agreed to by the commission and the franchisee.

(K) The commission shall cooperate with the environmental protection agency in the franchise procurement review and award process. In consultation with the agency, the commission shall adopt or amend reasonable procedural rules in order to simplify and expedite the process by which the franchisee applies for and obtains required state permits.

(L) The commission shall assist franchisees in meeting environmental requirements, including, if requested by a franchisee, serving as the lead agency in connection with environmental impact analysis requirements.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.31

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.32 Authority granted by franchise agreement.

(A) A franchise agreement shall authorize the franchisee to do all of the following:

(1) Acquire and dispose of real and personal property and request the Ohio rail development commission to appropriate real property for sale to the franchisee in accordance with division (A)(5) of section 4981.29 of the Revised Code;

(2) Plan, design, finance, construct, reconstruct, improve, operate, and maintain its portion of the rail system and any ancillary system facilities;

(3) Set and charge rates and fares for the use of its portion of the rail system, and retain all revenues in excess of debt service and operating expenses up to an agreed return on investment;

(4) Subject to applicable permit requirements, construct and operate the rail system over or under canals, navigable watercourses, and existing transportation and public utility rights-of-way;

(5) Classify users according to reasonable categories for the assessment of fares, including peak and off-peak time periods;

(6) Make and enforce reasonable regulations regarding usage and safety of that portion of the rail system comprising its franchise;

(7) Engage in any other business in addition to that of operator of its portion of the rail system, including the purchase and sale of real estate and ownership and operation of ancillary system facilities;

(8) Establish and fund accounts, including reasonable reserves for contingencies, maintenance, and replacement, in order to ensure the availability of funds to meet future obligations of the franchisee;

(9) Take all other actions it determines necessary and appropriate in the operation of the franchise, so long as those actions comply with the franchise agreement and with applicable state and federal statutes, rules, and regulations.

(B) The franchisee shall do all of the following:

(1) Use best efforts to arrange financing for the construction and operation of that portion of the rail system that comprises its franchise, and pledge assets and revenue as may be necessary to secure repayment of obligations;

(2) Maintain and file with the commission a schedule of rates and fares, and file and maintain a statement that those rates and fares apply uniformly to all users of the rail system within reasonable categories;

(3) Construct, maintain, and insure the rail system in accordance with standards agreed with the commission, and permit access for inspection by the commission. Construction may be performed in stages pursuant to a schedule or program approved by the commission.

(4) Enlarge or expand its portion of the rail system from time to time, as reflected in initial plans for the franchise and as appropriate to meet market requirements;

(5) Operate the rail system in accordance with applicable legal requirements and any additional reasonable operating and safety standards the commission approves, or as otherwise may be required by applicable state or federal requirements;

(6) Contract with state, county, or municipal law enforcement agencies, or enter into other arrangements acceptable to the commission, to provide law enforcement on and around the franchisee's portion of the rail system.

(C) Any instrument by which real property is acquired pursuant to this section shall identify the agency of the state that has the use and benefit of the real property as specified in section 5301.012 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.32

Effective Date: 10-26-1999

4981.33 Review and monitoring of franchisee.

(A) The Ohio rail development commission shall review all plans and specifications of a franchisee for its portion of a rail system to ensure that the plans and specifications conform to commission standards, and shall inspect and approve the construction of all portions of the rail system. The commission shall assume responsibility for and indemnify any franchisee for third-party claims arising out of franchisee design and construction activities performed without fault that have been reviewed and approved by the commission.

(B) The commission shall monitor maintenance practices of a franchisee or its operator to secure and maintain safety and efficiency in the operation of those portions of the rail system operated by the franchisee.

(C) All rules adopted by the commission affecting the rail system or franchises shall be adopted in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

(D) The commission shall not regulate rates and fares a franchisee charges for its portion of the rail system.

(E) The commission may require a franchisee to furnish to the commission data sufficient to enable it to verify the franchisee's compliance with all terms of its franchise agreement.

(F) Except for rules adopted by the commission or the franchisee pursuant to sections 4981.28 to 4981.34 of the Revised Code, the laws of this state relating to rail carriers apply to all portions of the rail system, and the powers of arrest of law enforcement officers on and around any portion of the rail system are the same there as elsewhere in the state.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.33

Effective Date: 10-20-1994

4981.34 Issuing bonds.

(A) On behalf of a franchisee and pursuant to section 4981.15 of the Revised Code, the Ohio rail development commission may issue bonds for loans to finance development and construction of a franchisee's portion of a rail system. Any bonds issued pursuant to this section do not, and shall state that they do not, represent or constitute a debt or pledge of the faith and credit of the state, nor do such bonds grant to the bondholders or noteholders any right to have the general assembly levy any taxes or appropriate any funds for the payment of the principal or interest thereon. Such bonds shall be payable solely from the loan repayments the commission receives from the franchisee to which the loan was made. The loan repayments shall be made from revenues that the franchisee receives from the operation of its portion of the rail system and that shall be pledged to repay the commission, or from such other credit sources as the franchisee may arrange.

(B) The portion of the rail system awarded to a franchisee, any elements thereof, or the land upon which a franchise is situated may be owned by the franchisee or owned by the commission and leased to the franchisee for the term of the franchise.

(C) The rail system may be financed partially by the commission and partially by franchisees. With respect to that portion of the rail system financed by the commission, the commission may utilize all of the bonding and financial authority contained in sections 4981.01 to 4981.26 of the Revised Code and also may seek to obtain state funding or federal financing on behalf of the rail system. Commission financing, credit support, and financial assistance may not be commingled with private financing obtained by the franchisee, and any moneys of the commission to be expended by the commission to finance a portion of a rail system shall be kept in accounts that are separate and apart from and not a part of the accounts in which are kept any moneys to be expended by a franchisee to finance its portion of a rail system.

(D) The franchisee may arrange financing and refinancing of the system through any combination of debt, equity, and public sources available to it that it determines in its sole discretion. A franchisee shall not be precluded from utilizing any type of public or private assistance available to it in connection with the development of its franchise. A franchisee shall furnish the commission all relevant and necessary information with respect to financing terms to enable the commission to exercise its oversight responsibilities with respect to the franchisee's reasonable return on its investment.

(E) When requested by a franchisee, the commission shall seek from the office of budget and management an allotment of proceeds from the issuance of private activity bonds. The commission shall distribute those proceeds to franchisees in such proportions and amounts as it determines in its discretion.

(F)

(1) The commission may levy and collect special assessments upon all parcels of real property, other than real property owned by a railroad corporation, in the immediate vicinity of any rail system station or terminal of the commission or a franchisee, including, without limitation, parcels that abut, are adjacent or contiguous to, or otherwise increase in value due to the existence of, the station or terminal. An assessment levied under this division shall be for the purpose of enabling the commission to collect a portion of the increase in the true value in money of any such parcel of property subsequent to the commencement of operation of a rail system station or terminal. All assessments shall be applied, directly or indirectly, to the development and financing of the portion of the rail system of which the station or terminal is a part.

(2) Upon written request of the commission, the county auditor of a county in which a rail system station or terminal commences operation shall assess each parcel of real property that is located in the immediate vicinity of the station or terminal and that the commission has reasonable cause to believe has increased in true value in money because of the existence of the station or terminal. The county auditor shall utilize appropriate assessment techniques specified in rules adopted by the tax commissioner pursuant to Chapter 5713. of the Revised Code to determine the increase in true value, if any, of the real property. Any increase shall be measured by comparing the true value of the real property in the year in which the commission adopted the resolution designating the location of the station or terminal, as reflected on the tax list for that year, with the highest true value of the real property as of the month in which rail system operations commenced at the station or terminal. The county auditor shall then determine what percentage of the true value increase, if any, is directly attributable to the existence of and commencement of operations at the station or terminal. The county auditor shall convert the percentage increase to an amount certain, and certify the results of the assessments to the commission. Within thirty days after receipt of the certified results, the commission shall reimburse the county auditor for the actual cost to the auditor of making the assessments.

(3) In no case shall any special assessment levied by the commission upon a parcel of real property exceed twenty per cent of the increase in the true value of the property that the county auditor certifies to the commission as being directly attributable to the existence of and commencement of operations at the station or terminal. A special assessment shall constitute a lien against the property and shall be added to the tax list and duplicate for collection. Payments on the special assessment shall be made semiannually at the same time as real property taxes are required to be paid, but upon written request of the owner of the real property assessed, the county auditor may permit the owner to pay the assessment in equal installments over a period of not longer than ten years.

(4) An owner of real property upon which a special assessment is levied under this section may file a petition in the court of common pleas of the county in which the real property is located challenging any aspect of the assessment, including the fact of the special assessment itself or the amount. The filing of such a petition shall stay the collection of any part of the special assessment, and collection shall not commence until a decision on the merits is rendered by the court.

(G) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the power of the commission to issue bonds pursuant to section 4981.15 of the Revised Code for the purposes stated in that section.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.34

Effective Date: 06-30-1997

4981.35 Interstate high speed intercity rail passenger network compact - interstate rail passenger advisory council.

The "Interstate High Speed Intercity Rail Passenger Network Compact" is hereby ratified, enacted into law and entered into by the state of Ohio with all other states legally joining therein the form substantially as follows:

"INTERSTATE HIGH SPEED INTERCITY RAIL PASSENGER NETWORK COMPACT Article I Policy and Purpose Because the beneficial service of and profitability of a high speed intercity rail passenger system would be enhanced by establishing such a system which would operate across state lines, it is the policy of the states party to this compact to cooperate and share jointly the administrative and financial responsibilities of preparing a feasibility study concerning the operation of such a system connecting major cities in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Article II Cooperation The states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, West Virginia, and Kentucky, hereinafter referred to as participating states, agree to, upon adoption of this compact by the respective states, jointly conduct and participate in a high speed intercity rail passenger feasibility study by providing such information and data as is available and may be requested by a participating state or any consulting firms representing a participating state or the compact. It is mutually understood by the participating states that such information shall not include matters not of public record or of a nature considered to be privileged and confidential unless the state providing such information agrees to waive the confidentiality. The participating states further agree to:

(A) Make available to each other and to any consulting firm representing the member states or the compact such assistance as may be legal, proper and available, including but not limited to personnel, equipment, office space, machinery, computers, engineering and technical advice and services; and

(B) Provide such financial assistance for the implementation of the feasibility study as may be legal, proper and available. Article III Interstate Rail Passenger Advisory Council There is hereby created an interstate rail passenger advisory council, the membership of which shall consist of two representatives from each participating state, one representative from each state shall hold a bachelor of science degree in either engineering or transportation science, and shall be appointed by the governor of the participating state and the other shall be the chairman of the state's railroad authority, but in the event said state does not have a railroad authority, the second member shall be the director of the participating state's transportation agency. The members shall select designees who shall serve in the absence of the members. The advisory council shall meet within thirty days after ratification of this agreement by at least two participating states and establish rules for the conduct of the advisory council's business. The advisory council shall coordinate all aspects of the high speed intercity rail passenger feasibility study relative to interstate connections and shall do all other things necessary and proper for the completion of the feasibility study. Article IV Effective Date This compact shall become effective upon the adoption of the compact into law by two or more of the participating states. Thereafter, it shall enter into force and effect as to any other participating state upon the enactment thereof by such state. This compact shall continue in force with respect to a participating state and remain binding upon such state until six months after such state has given notice to each other participating state of the repeal thereof. Such withdrawal shall not be construed to relieve any participating state from any obligation incurred prior to the end of the state's participation in the compact as provided herein. Article V Construction and Severability This compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes thereof. The provisions of this compact shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence, or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any participating state or of the United States, or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If this compact shall be held contrary to the constitution of any participating state, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining states and in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters."

Cite as R.C. § 4981.35

Effective Date: 06-24-1986

4981.36 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 4981.36

Repealed by 130th General Assembly File No. 7, HB 51, §101.02, eff. 7/1/2013.

Effective Date: 10-01-2002

4981.361 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 4981.361

Repealed by 130th General Assembly File No. 7, HB 51, §101.02, eff. 7/1/2013.

Effective Date: 10-01-2002

4981.40 Including all federally designated high-speed rail corridors in Ohio and all passenger rail corridors in Ohio hub study.

In any overall programmatic environmental impact study or other comprehensive high-speed rail project development study, the department of transportation and the rail development commission shall include all federally designated high-speed rail corridors in Ohio and all passenger rail corridors in the Ohio hub study. The department of transportation and the rail development commission shall work with Amtrak to examine methods to improve existing service between Toledo and Cleveland with a goal of creating optimum service to connect the planned Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati service. The department of transportation and the rail development commission shall examine the financial and economic feasibility of developing a passenger rail system between Toledo and Columbus, including necessary characteristics of a viable connection between the cities.

Cite as R.C. § 4981.40

Added by 128th General Assemblych.39, HB 2, §101.01, eff. 7/1/2009.