Chapter 515: LIGHTING

515.01 Lighting unincorporated districts.

The board of township trustees may provide artificial lights for any road, highway, public place, or building under its supervision or control, or for any territory within the township and outside the boundaries of any municipal corporation, when the board determines that the public safety or welfare requires that the road, highway, public place, building, or territory shall be lighted. The lighting may be procured either by the township installing a lighting system or by contracting with any person or corporation to furnish lights.

If lights are furnished under contract, the contract may provide that the equipment employed may be owned by the township or by the person or corporation supplying the lights.

If the board determines to procure lighting by contract and the total estimated cost of the contract exceeds fifty thousand dollars, the board shall prepare plans and specifications for the lighting equipment and shall, for two weeks, advertise for bids for furnishing the lighting equipment, either by posting the advertisement in three conspicuous places in the township or by publication of the advertisement once a week, for two consecutive weeks, in a newspaper of general circulation in the township. Any such contract for lighting shall be made with the lowest and best bidder.

The board may also cause notice to be inserted in trade papers or other publications designated by it or to be distributed by electronic means, including posting the notice on the board's internet web site. If the board posts the notice on its web site, it may eliminate the second notice otherwise required to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the township, provided that the first notice published in such newspaper meets all of the following requirements:

(A) It is published at least two weeks before the opening of bids.

(B) It includes a statement that the notice is posted on the board's internet web site.

(C) It includes the internet address of the board's internet web site.

(D) It includes instructions describing how the notice may be accessed on the board's internet web site.

No lighting contract awarded by the board shall be made to cover a period of more than twenty years. The cost of installing and operating any lighting system or any light furnished under contract shall be paid from the general fund of the township treasury.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 09-26-2003; 09-21-2006; 2008 SB268 09-12-2008

515.02 Petition for lighting.

When the owners of more than one-half of the feet front of the lots and lands abutting on the streets and public ways of any unincorporated district in a township sign a petition for artificial lighting of the streets and public ways in the district and file it with the township fiscal officer, the fiscal officer shall give to the board of township trustees a notice of the filing of the petition and a copy of it.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953; 12-20-2005

515.03 Contents and effect of petition - lighting district limitations.

A petition for the lighting of streets and public ways under section 515.02 of the Revised Code shall specify the metes and bounds of the district in which such lights are to be erected. The signing of such petition by a property owner is a waiver by him of all claims for compensation and damages for lands necessarily appropriated for the purpose of supporting and maintaining such lights.

A lighting district shall neither include lands more than six hundred sixty feet from the streets and public ways to be lighted, nor include any lands not abutting on those streets and public ways, except that any lot whose only access is by way of an easement through land abutting such a street or public way may be included in a lighting district to the extent the land is no more than six hundred sixty feet from that street or public way.

Effective Date: 04-14-1989

515.04 Notice of petition.

The township fiscal officer shall fix a day, not more than thirty days from the date of notice to the board of township trustees, for the hearing of the petition authorized by section 515.02 or 515.16 of the Revised Code. The township fiscal officer or the fiscal officer's designee shall prepare and deliver to any of the petitioners a notice in writing directed to the lot and land owners and to the corporations, either public or private, affected by the improvement. The notice shall set forth the substance, pendency, and prayer of the petition and the time and place of the hearing on it.

A copy of the notice shall be served upon each lot or land owner or left at the lot or land owner's usual place of residence, and upon an officer or agent of each corporation having its place of business in the district or area, at least fifteen days before the date set for the hearing. On or before the day of the hearing, the person serving the notice shall make return on it, under oath, of the time and manner of service and shall file the return with the township fiscal officer.

The township fiscal officer or the fiscal officer's designee shall give the notice to each nonresident lot or land owner, by publication once, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the district or area is situated, at least two weeks before the day set for hearing. The notice shall be verified by affidavit of the printer or other person knowing the fact and shall be filed with the township fiscal officer or the fiscal officer's designee on or before the day of hearing. No further notice of the petition or the proceedings under it shall thereafter be required.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 10-07-1977; 12-20-2005; 2008 HB244 08-14-2008

515.05 Hearing procedures.

At the time and place specified in the notice for hearing on a petition authorized by section 515.04 or 515.16 of the Revised Code, the board of township trustees shall meet and hear any and all proof offered by any of the parties affected by the improvement, and by other persons competent to testify. The board shall go over and along such streets and public ways, and, by actual view thereof, and of the premises along and adjacent thereto and to be lighted or benefited thereby, it shall determine the necessity of the improvement. The board may find that the improvement will result in general as well as special benefits. The board may adjourn from time to time and to such place as necessity requires.

Effective Date: 10-30-1965; 2008 HB244 08-14-2008

515.06 Number of lights specified by board of township trustees.

If the board of township trustees decides in favor of a lighting improvement as provided by section 515.02 of the Revised Code, it shall specify the number of lights it deems necessary for properly lighting the streets and public ways in the district, determine the candle power thereof, locate the points at which the lights shall be located, and the kind of supports for them.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

515.07 Notice to bidders - acceptance and rejection.

If the total estimated cost of any lighting improvement provided for in section 515.06 of the Revised Code is fifty thousand dollars or less, the contract may be let without competitive bidding. When competitive bidding is required, the board of township trustees shall post, in three of the most conspicuous public places in the district, a notice specifying the number, candle power, and location of lights and the kind of supports for the lights as provided by section 515.06 of the Revised Code, as well as the time, which shall not be less than thirty days from the posting of the notices, and the place the board will receive bids to furnish the lights. The board shall accept the lowest and best bid, if the successful bidder meets the requirements of section 153.54 of the Revised Code. The board may reject all bids.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 09-26-2003

515.08 Contract with successful bidder to furnish artificial lighting - assessments.

On accepting a bid for artificial lighting and bond as provided by section 515.07 of the Revised Code, the board of township trustees shall enter into a contract with the successful bidder for the furnishing of such lights according to specifications. The contract shall not be for a longer term than ten years. The cost and expenses of furnishing and maintaining such lights, and of the proceedings in relation thereto, shall be paid from a fund raised by special assessments against the lots and lands in the district which are benefited by such lighting, provided, if the board finds that the lighting will result in general as well as special benefits there may be paid from the general fund of the township treasury such portion of the cost and expenses, except for any accrued interest on unpaid assessments, as is found to represent the value of the general benefit.

Special assessments shall not be in excess of the special benefits resulting from such lighting, they shall be paid and collected in equal semiannual installments, equal in number to twice the number of years for which the contract is made, and they shall be paid and collected in the same manner and at the same times that taxes are paid and collected. Any such assessment in the amount of five dollars or less, or with an unpaid balance of five dollars or less, shall be paid in full, and not in installments, at the time the first or next installment would otherwise become due and payable. Such assessments may be made and levied by any one of the following methods:

(A) By a percentage of the tax value of the property assessed;

(B) In proportion to the benefits which may result from the lighting;

(C) By the foot frontage of the property bounding and abutting upon the streets, or public ways so lighted;

(D) In an equal amount against each benefited lot, this amount to be determined by dividing the total cost per semiannual installment by the number of benefited lots in the district.

The board of township trustees, by resolution, may provide for the payment of interest on unpaid assessments, which shall be treated as part of the costs and expenses of furnishing and maintaining the lights. The resolution shall specify the rate of interest, which shall be based on the current prime rate.

After the levy of such special assessment the board may, at any time during any year in which installments thereof become due, pay out of the general fund of the township the full amount of the contract price for that year, provided such amount does not exceed the aggregate amount of the installments due for that year.

Effective Date: 10-10-1985; 2008 HB244 08-14-2008

515.081 Contract for lighting - petition for discontinuance.

The board of township trustees, at the expiration of an existing contract for lighting, may award a new contract pursuant to section 515.07 of the Revised Code, unless the owners of lots and lands containing in excess of fifty per cent of the front feet abutting on the streets and public ways of the unincorporated district in the township sign a petition for the discontinuance of the artificial lighting and file the petition with the township fiscal officer not less than thirty days prior to the expiration of the existing contract.

Effective Date: 10-04-1955; 12-20-2005

515.09 Increase in number of lights.

At any time during the term of the contract for the furnishing of artificial lights under section 515.08 of the Revised Code, but not more than once in each year, unless mutually satisfactory to both parties to the contract, the board of township trustees may increase the number of lights to be maintained under the contract, at not more than the same price per light, and the contract shall provide for such change in the number of lights.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

515.10 Inspectors.

The board of township trustees may employ inspectors at such times as it deems proper to test the lights installed as provided by sections 515.08 and 515.09 of the Revised Code and determine whether they comply with the contract. The compensation of such inspectors shall be paid from the general fund of the township.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

515.11 Certificate by trustees to county auditor - assessments.

The board of township trustees shall certify to the county auditor the boundaries of the district in which lights are to be erected, and, when requested to do so by the board, the auditor shall apportion the valuation for taxation of any lot or parcel of land lying partly within and partly without the district.

The board shall, by resolution, assess against the benefited lots and parcels of land in the district, in accordance with section 515.08 of the Revised Code, such portion of the costs of furnishing and maintaining the lights, for the period of the contract and the proceedings in relation thereto, as does not exceed the special benefits resulting from the lighting, and shall certify such costs to the auditor. The auditor shall annually place upon the tax duplicate, for collection in semiannual installments as provided in that section, the two installments of the assessment for that year, which installments, together with any accrued interest on unpaid assessments, shall be paid and collected as provided in that section.

If the number of lights to be furnished and maintained in a district under any such contract is increased, pursuant to section 515.09 of the Revised Code, the board shall make such additional assessments as are necessary to pay the cost of furnishing and maintaining the additional number of lights. If the cost of providing the lights increases, the board may make such additional assessments as are necessary to pay the additional cost of the lights. The additional assessments shall be made, certified, and collected in the same manner as an original assessment, but shall be only for the unexpired portion of the term of the contract.

The additional assessments and any unpaid interest thereon, when collected, shall go into the township treasury and shall be used by the board only for the purpose for which they were levied and collected.

Effective Date: 11-02-1981; 2008 HB244 08-14-2008

515.12 Compensation of officers - additional personnel.

(A) All officers shall receive for services performed under sections 515.01 to 515.16 of the Revised Code the same fees allowed for other similar services.

The township fiscal officer shall receive for the fiscal officer's services the sum of fifty cents from each lot or land owner for whom a notice is prepared and the sum of fifty cents for each annual assessment certified to the county auditor.

All payments for the services of township officials shall be included in the cost of the lighting district or relocation and assessed against the property. The compensation shall be in addition to all other compensation provided by law.

(B) The board of township trustees may, by resolution, employ additional personnel in place of the township fiscal officer to prepare and certify notices for each lot or land owner and shall pay a reasonable sum not to exceed fifty cents for each lot or land owner for whom a notice is prepared and a reasonable sum not to exceed fifty cents for each annual assessment certified to the county auditor. The actual cost of the additional personnel, together with other reasonable expenses incurred by the board, shall be assessed proportionately against each lot or land owner and shall be included in the cost of the lighting district or relocation.

Effective Date: 04-04-1985; 12-20-2005; 2008 HB244 08-14-2008

515.13 Combined contract.

The board of township trustees may combine in a single contract the lighting of streets, public ways, roads, highways, or public places as authorized by sections 515.01 to 515.11 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, provided:

(A) That no such contract shall be made to cover a period of more than ten years;

(B) That the procedure for entering into such contract is in accordance with the provisions of section 515.01 of the Revised Code;

(C) That the price per light in the contract is the same throughout the township and for each district within the township.

Effective Date: 09-14-1961

515.15 Relocation of overhead cables, wires, equipment.

A board of township trustees may contract only with the corporation, company, partnership, association, municipal corporation, or person that owns overhead cables, wires, and appurtenant equipment on a street or right-of-way located within the township for the relocation of the overhead cables, wires, and appurtenant equipment underground. Nothing in this section requires the owner of the overhead cables, wires, and appurtenant equipment to agree to a contract that contains terms or conditions that are not acceptable to the owner. Unless a pre-existing arrangement provides otherwise or the parties to the contract agree otherwise, the township shall pay the cost of the relocation as provided in the contract. A proceeding for the relocation may be combined with a proceeding for the furnishing of new street lighting facilities or other street improvement.

A board of township trustees may, by resolution, adopt and enforce regulations requiring owners of property abutting a street in which overhead wires, cables, and appurtenant equipment supplying a utility service have been relocated underground and service connections have been provided to the street, right-of-way, or property line, to install underground wires, cables, or conduits from the street or right-of-way to the buildings or other structures on the property to which the utility service is supplied. The township may pay the cost incurred in installing underground wires, cables, or conduits from the street or right-of-way to the buildings or other structures on the property to which the utility service is supplied.

For the purpose of relocating overhead wires, cables, and appurtenant equipment and installing underground wires, cables, conduits, and appurtenant equipment, a township may enter upon any private land to examine or survey lines for the wires, cables, conduits, and appurtenant equipment and may appropriate as much land as is necessary for the relocation and installation.

The township is not liable for any service outages or other damage caused by the underground relocation project. The owner of the overhead cables, wires, and appurtenant equipment is not liable for any service outages or other damage caused by the underground relocation project, unless the outage or other damage was caused by the owner's negligence. Nothing in this section otherwise alters township liability under Chapter 2744. of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 10-15-1991; 2008 HB244 08-14-2008

515.16 Petition to relocate overhead wires, cables, and equipment.

Any person may file a petition with the township fiscal officer requesting the board of township trustees to relocate underground any overhead cables, wires, and appurtenant equipment on streets or rights-of-way and designated private streets in an unincorporated area of the township. The petition shall specify the metes and bounds of the area to be included in the underground relocation project and any designated properties served by private streets as designated in the petition and shall be signed by at least seventy-five per cent of the landowners in the specified area whose land either abuts the streets or rights-of-way, including any designated properties served by private streets, or otherwise would be specially benefited by the project.

The township fiscal officer shall give notice of the petition and a copy of it to the board of township trustees, schedule a hearing on the petition, and provide notice in the manner set forth in section 515.04 of the Revised Code. The board shall hear the petition in the manner set forth in section 515.05 of the Revised Code.

If the board of township trustees decides in favor of the petition, it shall contract only with the corporation, company, partnership, association, municipal corporation, or person that owns the overhead cables, wires, and appurtenant equipment that are to be relocated. Nothing in this section requires the owner of the overhead cables, wires, and appurtenant equipment to agree to a contract that contains terms or conditions that are not acceptable to the owner. Unless a pre-existing arrangement provides otherwise or the parties to the contract agree otherwise, the township shall pay the cost of the relocation project as provided in the contract. Any part of the costs of the relocation project to be paid by the township pursuant to the contract shall be assessed upon abutting or specially benefited property.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, the costs and expenses of the underground relocation project and related proceedings ultimately shall be paid by special assessments against the properties located in the project area that abut the streets or rights-of-way in question, including any designated properties served by private streets, or that otherwise are specially benefited by the project. The assessments shall be made and levied in one of the following methods:

(A) As a percentage of the tax value of the property.

(B) In proportion to the special benefit resulting from the relocation project.

(C) By the foot frontage of the property abutting the streets or rights-of-way.

(D) In an equal amount against each property.

The board of township trustees, by resolution, shall assess all lands abutting the streets or rights-of-way in the project area, including any designated properties served by private streets, and lands otherwise specially benefited by the project. The resolution may allow the assessments to be paid over a number of years, but not more than ten years.

The board of township trustees, by resolution, may provide for the payment of interest on unpaid assessments, which shall be treated as part of the costs and expenses of the underground relocation project. The resolution shall specify the rate of interest, which shall be based on the current prime rate.

If the board of township trustees finds that the underground relocation project will result in general as well as special benefits, the board may pay from the township general fund a portion of the costs and expenses of the project, except for any accrued interest on unpaid assessments, that represents the value of the general benefits. In no case shall the total assessments exceed the special benefits to the entire project area resulting from the project.

The board of township trustees shall certify the assessments and interest on unpaid assessments, when applicable, to the county auditor. The auditor shall place the assessments and interest on unpaid assessments, when applicable, upon the tax duplicate and collect the assessments and interest in the same manner and at the same time that taxes are paid and collected. The collected assessments and collected interest shall be deposited into the township general fund.

During any year in which installment payments of the assessments are due, the board of township trustees, by resolution, may waive the payments for all the assessed lands and pay the aggregate amount of the assessments for that year minus any accrued interest on unpaid assessments out of the township general fund.

The township is not liable for any service outages or other damage caused by the underground relocation project. The owner of the overhead cables, wires, and appurtenant equipment is not liable for any service outages or other damage caused by the underground relocation project, unless the outage or other damage was caused by the owner's negligence. Nothing in this section otherwise alters township liability under Chapter 2744. of the Revised Code.

The provisions of section 515.15 of the Revised Code govern relocation projects requested by petition under this section.

Effective Date: 2008 HB244 08-14-2008