Chapter 5555: COUNTY ROAD IMPROVEMENT

5555.01 County road improvement definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Cost" or "costs" includes compensation, damages, and expenses that are incident to an improvement covered by this chapter and all items of cost described in division (B) of section 133.15 of the Revised Code that are incident to an improvement covered by this chapter.

(B) "Public obligations" has the same meaning as in section 133.01 of the Revised Code.

(C) "Road" includes any state or county road or part of any state or county road, or any state or county road and any municipal corporation street, or part of a road or street of those types, which form a continuous road improvement.

Effective Date: 03-12-2001

5555.02 General powers of board of county commissioners relating to public roads.

The board of county commissioners may construct a public road by laying out and building a new road, or by improving, reconstructing, or repairing any existing public road or part of an existing public road by grading, paving, widening, altering, straightening, vacating, changing the direction, draining, dragging, graveling, macadamizing, resurfacing, applying dust preventives, or otherwise improving the same, and, where an established road has been relocated, the board may construct and maintain connecting roads between the old and new locations as will provide reasonable access thereto. The board also may place a county road on nonmaintained status pursuant to section 5541.05 of the Revised Code. The board may purchase or lease, erect, and maintain automatic traffic signals at intersections of public highways outside municipal corporations as necessary for the protection of the public traveling upon those highways. Automatic traffic signals shall not be placed at intersections of public highways on the state highway system unless the board first obtains the approval of the director of transportation.

This section does not apply to roads or highways on the state highway system, except such portions as the board constructs under plans and specifications approved by the director and under the director's supervision and inspection.

Effective Date: 09-28-1973; 06-10-2004

5555.021 Improving approaches to rural mail boxes.

The board of county commissioners may construct, improve, maintain, or repair the berm of any road under its jurisdiction, in order to provide a hard surface, or other improved approach to rural mail boxes located on public highways.

Effective Date: 10-13-1965

5555.022 Improving roads where no special assessment levied.

(A) A board of county commissioners, by resolution adopted by a majority vote and acting without regard to or the necessity for a petition, may find that the public convenience and welfare require the improvement of any public road or roads, or parts of any public road or roads, identified in that resolution in a manner provided in section 5555.06 of the Revised Code and may fix the route and termini of the improvement. If the board determines, in that resolution or in a subsequent resolution, that special assessments are not to be levied and collected to pay any part of the county's costs of the improvement, the board, in that resolution or in a subsequent resolution, including a resolution authorizing the issuance or incurrence of public obligations for the improvement, may authorize the improvement and the expenditure of funds required by the county for its construction and may proceed with the improvement without regard to any other procedures required by sections 5555.03 to 5555.42 , 5555.45 to 5555.47 , 5555.50 , and 5555.81 to 5555.83 of the Revised Code except as otherwise provided in this section.

(B) This section applies to and authorizes an improvement located wholly within a single county, an improvement located in a county and one or more other counties in this state, an improvement along the county line between a county and one or more other counties in this state, an improvement extending from a county into or through one or more adjoining counties in this state, and an improvement on or along the line between this state and an adjoining state. If an improvement involves more than one county in this state, the portion of the cost of the improvement to be borne by each county, after deducting any amount agreed to be paid by any township in that county in which the improvement is located in whole or in part, shall be determined, without regard to or necessity for a joint board of county commissioners, in an agreement among the counties. Those counties may proceed in accordance with this section if special assessments are not to be levied and collected, or may proceed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter applicable to a single county improvement if special assessments are to be levied and collected. If an improvement is on or along the line between this state and an adjoining state, the portion of its cost to be borne by a county in this state shall be determined in an agreement between the county and the proper authorities of the adjoining state or its participating or cooperating subdivision or agency.

(C) The following provisions also apply to an improvement undertaken pursuant to this section:

(1) The improvement and the proceedings for its construction and financing, including a contract for the construction, may include, consistent with the other provisions of this section and notwithstanding any provisions of this chapter to the contrary, any road or roads or parts of any road or roads, and the provisions of sections 5555.61 to 5555.69 of the Revised Code relating to contracts for the construction of an improvement shall be construed accordingly and shall be controlling to the extent applicable.

(2) Any surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, estimates of cost, and specifications that may be required:

(a) In the case of a single county improvement, shall be prepared by the county engineer at the direction of the board of county commissioners and shall require the board's approval;

(b) In the case of an improvement undertaken cooperatively by two or more counties in this state, shall be prepared by a county engineer of one of the counties as agreed to by the relevant boards of county commissioners or, if the boards are unable to so agree and certify that fact jointly to the director of transportation, by a county engineer of one of those counties designated by the director, and the surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, estimates of cost, and specifications so prepared shall require the approval of each of the boards;

(c) In the case of an improvement on or along the line between this state and an adjoining state, shall be prepared by the county engineer of the county in this state and shall require the approval of the board of county commissioners and the proper authorities of the adjoining state or its participating or cooperating subdivision or agency.

(D) In the case of an improvement undertaken pursuant to this section on or along the line between this state and an adjoining state, a board of county commissioners also may join in its construction with the department of transportation and the equivalent department of the other state as if the improvement were wholly within this state.

(E) If, in the case of an improvement undertaken pursuant to this section involving two or more counties in this state, the boards of county commissioners of the relevant counties are unable to agree upon the portion of the costs of the improvement to be borne by each county and certify that fact jointly to the director of transportation, the director shall make the apportionment and certify it to each of the counties.

(F) A board of county commissioners may order that the county's cost of an improvement undertaken pursuant to this section be paid from tax levies or a road improvement fund referred to in section 5555.43 of the Revised Code. A county may enter into an agreement with any township in which the improvement is located in whole or in part for the allocation of the cost between the county and the township.

(G) Proceedings for the appropriation of real property or interests in real property needed by a county for an improvement undertaken pursuant to this section shall take place in accordance with sections 163.01 to 163.22 of the Revised Code.

(H) If, in the case of an improvement undertaken pursuant to this section involving two or more counties in this state, public obligations are issued or incurred to pay the costs of the improvement, the obligations shall be issued separately by each county for its portion of those costs, and the boards of county commissioners may provide for the construction of a portion of the improvement wholly within one county as and to the extent authorized for a joint board of county commissioners by section 5555.32 of the Revised Code.

(I) Actions required or authorized to be taken by a board of county commissioners pursuant to this section may be taken, consistent with the other provisions of this section, by a majority vote of the members of the board.

Effective Date: 03-12-2001

5555.03 Petition to board by fifty-one per cent of landowners.

When a petition is presented to the board of county commissioners asking for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, or repair of any public road or part thereof and signed by at least fifty-one per cent of the land or lot owners, residents of such county, who are to be specially taxed or assessed for said improvement, the board shall, within thirty days after such petition is presented, go upon the line of the proposed improvement and, after viewing it, determine whether the public convenience and welfare require that such improvement be made. The petition shall state the method of paying the compensation, damages, and expenses of the improvement desired by the petitioners, who may request that such compensation, damages, and expenses be apportioned and paid in any one of the methods provided by section 5555.41 of the Revised Code.

When such a petition is filed with the board, said improvement may be determined upon and all orders with reference thereto may be made by a majority vote of the board. The procedure for such improvement shall otherwise be the same as it is when the board proceeds without a petition.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.04 Landowners must be specially taxed to be counted as petitioners.

Lot or land owners who are not otherwise taxed than to raise the proportion of the cost and expenses of the improvement, petitioned for pursuant to section 5555.03 of the Revised Code, to be paid by the township, or by the county as a whole, shall not be considered as specially taxed or assessed for said improvement, and such persons shall not be counted either for or against the improvement in determining whether the required number of persons have signed the petition for said improvement.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.05 Certain persons shall not be counted as petitioners.

In determining whether the required number of persons necessary to give the board of county commissioners jurisdiction of the improvement have signed the petition described in section 5555.03 of the Revised Code asking for such improvement, the following persons shall not be counted either for or against the improvement:

(A) Resident landowners whose only real estate within the legal assessment distance of the improvement is located in a municipal corporation shall not be counted.

(B) Owners of life and leasehold estates shall not be counted.

(C) Minors and other persons under legal disability shall not be counted unless represented by legal guardians, in which case the action of such guardian shall be binding upon such persons.

(D) All tenants in common of any undivided estate, resident within the county, shall be counted as a unit, and if all are not united, either for or against the improvement, none of such tenants in common shall be counted in determining whether the requisite number of persons have signed such petition.

No person signing a petition shall be permitted to withdraw therefrom unless the board finds there was fraud or misrepresentation in obtaining his signature.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.06 Resolution by board - plans by county engineer.

The board of county commissioners may by resolution adopted by a unanimous vote find that the public convenience and welfare require the improving of any public road or part thereof by grading, draining, paving, straightening, or widening such road and constructing or reconstructing any bridges and culverts necessary for such improvement. The resolution shall fix the route and termini of such improvement, and shall apportion the cost thereof, which apportionment may be made upon different bases for various portions of any road to be improved. Such cost shall be apportioned and paid in any one of the methods provided by section 5555.41 of the Revised Code.

The board shall in said resolution order the county engineer to prepare the necessary surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, estimates of cost, and specifications for the improvement, together with an estimated assessment, based upon the estimates of cost, upon the real estate to be charged therewith, of such part of the estimated damages and expenses of such improvement as are to be specially assessed. Such estimated assessment shall be according to the benefits which will result to such real estate. In making such estimated assessment, the engineer may take into consideration and previous special assessment made upon such real estate for road improvements.

The board may order the engineer to make alternate surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, estimates, and specifications, providing therein for different widths of roadway, different materials, or other similar variations. The engineer may, without instructions from the board, prepare and submit to the board alternate surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, estimates, and specifications, providing therein for different widths of roadway, different materials, or other similar variations.

If alternate surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, estimates, and specifications are approved by the board of county commissioners or submitted by the engineer on his own motion, the board of county commissioners and the engineer acting together shall constitute a board for the selection of the particular plan, profile, cross sections, estimate, and specifications to be used and shall, after the opening of bids, determine by a majority vote of such board which of said surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, estimates, and specifications shall be finally adopted for the improvement.

After the passage of the resolution provided for in this section, all subsequent proceedings of the board of county commissioners with respect to said improvement may be had by a majority vote.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.07 Copies of surveys, plans, and estimates transmitted to board - notice, hearing.

The county engineer shall prepare and file with the board of county commissioners, by the time fixed therefor by the board, copies of the surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, estimates of costs, and specifications for the improvement and estimated assessments upon lands benefited thereby. Thereupon such board shall file such copies in its office for the inspection and examination of all persons interested. Except in a case involving the improvement of a public road in which no land or property is taken or assessed, the board shall publish in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, for the period of two weeks or as provided in section 7.16 of the Revised Code, notice that a resolution has been adopted providing for said improvement, and that copies of the surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, estimates, and specifications, together with estimated assessments upon the lands benefited by such improvement for the proportion of the cost thereof to be assessed therefor, are on file in the office of the board for the inspection of persons interested therein. Such notice shall state the time and place for hearing objections to said improvement and to such estimated assessments. In a case involving the improvement of a public road in which no land or property is taken or assessed, the board shall publish the notice required by this section once a week for two consecutive weeks or as provided in section 7.16 of the Revised Code.

At such hearing the board may order said surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, estimates, and specifications to be changed or modified and shall make such adjustments of the estimated assessments as seem just to it. Thereupon the board may approve such surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, specifications, and estimates and approve and confirm estimated assessments as made by the engineer or as modified and changed by the board. Such assessments when so approved and confirmed shall be certified to the county auditor of the county and shall thereupon become a lien upon the land charged therewith. The board may declare against said improvement.

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

Effective Date: 03-13-1997

5555.08 Confirmation of estimated assessments - certification to county auditor.

A board of county commissioners may defer its consideration, adjustment, approval, and confirmation of the estimated assessments until all questions of compensation and damages have been determined and until the contract for the improvement has been let and the exact cost of the improvement, including compensation and damages, has been ascertained. If a board approves and confirms the estimated assessments, as made by the county engineer, or as modified and changed by the board, under authority of section 5555.07 of the Revised Code and prior to the determination of the exact cost of the improvement, such board shall, after all questions of compensation and damages have been determined, and after the improvement has been completed, cause the exact cost thereof to be determined. The board shall thereupon certify to the county auditor the estimated cost and the actual cost, including all compensation and damages allowed, and the auditor shall thereupon correct and adjust the assessment against each parcel of real estate, so that the total amount to be paid by the owner of each such parcel is based upon the actual cost of the improvement, including compensation and damages.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.09 Appropriation of land for improvements.

If the surveys, plans, profiles, and cross sections prepared by the county engineer pursuant to section 5555.07 of the Revised Code show that lands will be required for the improvement, the board of county commissioners shall proceed in accordance with sections 163.01 to 163.22 , inclusive, of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 01-01-1966

5553.10 to 5553.12 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 01-01-1966

5553.051 Fees to cover costs of notice.

The board of county commissioners may establish a fee to cover the actual costs the county incurs in providing published notice and mailed notice as required by section 5553.05 of the Revised Code. The board may require an initial deposit to be paid at the time a petition for vacation of a road is filed under section 5553.04 of the Revised Code or promptly thereafter. The clerk of the board shall maintain an accurate and detailed accounting of all funds received under this section and expended in providing the required published and mailed notice.

Added by 130th General Assembly File No. 7, HB 51, §101.01, eff. 7/1/2013.

5555.13 Order after determination.

After the determination of claims for compensation for lands taken, if the board of county commissioners is still satisfied that the public convenience and welfare require that such improvement be made, and that the cost of such improvement will not be excessive in view of the public utility thereof, the board shall order by resolution that it proceed with such improvement. The board shall adopt the surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, estimates, and specifications for such improvement, together with the assessments against property benefited by such improvement, as reported by the county engineer, or with any modifications made by the board or court, and shall order an assessment upon lands benefited by said improvement in accordance with such report of estimated assessments, or in accordance with any modification thereof made by the board or by the court on appeal.

If, in view of the amount of compensation and damages allowed by the court, the board is of the opinion that said improvement should not be made, the board shall so order.

Effective Date: 01-01-1966

5555.21 Petition relating to improvement in more than one county.

When the proposed improvement is in two or more counties or along the county line between two or more counties in this state or extends from one county into or through one or more adjoining counties in this state, the petition described in section 5555.03 of the Revised Code may be filed with the board of county commissioners of any one of the interested counties. The board with which said petition is filed shall cause a certified copy thereof to be filed with the board of each of the other counties in which some part of the proposed improvement is situated.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.22 Action by joint board on petition.

The boards of county commissioners shall meet as a joint board at the time and place designated by the board of the county where the original petition is filed pursuant to section 5555.21 of the Revised Code. The time so designated for the joint meeting shall be within thirty days from the date of the filing of the petition. Such joint board shall determine whether the petition has been signed by the requisite number of landowners who are to be specially assessed for such improvement, and it shall thereupon go upon the line of the road and shall jointly act in the same manner as though the proceedings were had before a single board. A majority of such joint board may order the construction of such road, but such majority shall be composed of at least one commissioner from each county in which the improvement is located.

No person signing a petition shall be permitted to withdraw therefrom unless the joint board finds there was fraud or misrepresentation in obtaining his signature.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.23 Improvement by joint board without petition.

The boards of county commissioners of two or more counties, acting as a joint board, may, by a resolution passed by unanimous vote, order the construction, reconstruction, improvement, or repair of any road located in said counties, or extending from one of said counties into or through adjoining counties, or along the line between said counties, and the joint board shall thereupon proceed with the improvement as if it were constructed upon a petition filed therefor.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.24 Appointment of county engineer by joint board - copies of surveys transmitted to each board.

After the joint board of county commissioners has granted the improvement, it shall appoint a county engineer of one of the counties interested, who shall make such surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, estimates, and specifications as are necessary and transmit copies of them to each board interested in said improvement. If a majority of the joint board is unable to agree as to the appointment of an engineer, the joint board shall thereupon certify that fact to the director of transportation who shall designate a county engineer of one of the interested counties.

Effective Date: 09-28-1973

5555.25 Method of payment and proportion of costs - notice of assessments - apportionment by director of transportation.

When a joint board of county commissioners is proceeding upon a petition for a road improvement, the compensation, damages, and expenses of the improvement shall be apportioned and paid in the method specified in the petition, which may be any one of the methods provided by section 5555.41 of the Revised Code. When a joint board acts by unanimous vote and without the filing of a petition, it shall set forth in its resolution declaring the necessity for the improvement the method of apportioning and paying the compensation, damages, and expenses of the improvement, which may be any one of the methods provided by such section. The joint board shall also determine the proportion of the compensation, damages, and expenses of such improvement to be paid by each of the several counties interested in the improvement.

The board of each interested county shall, with the assistance of the county engineer of that county, make the assessments against the real estate within said county to be charged therewith of the proportion of the compensation, damages, and expenses of said improvement to be raised by special assessment against the benefited real estate within such county. In making such assessments, like notice shall be given and the same proceedings had by each interested board as in the case of improvements wholly within one county.

If the joint board cannot agree on the apportionment of the compensation, damages, and expenses of the improvement among the several counties interested in such improvement, the joint board shall certify that fact to the director of transportation who shall thereupon make such apportionment.

Effective Date: 09-28-1973

5555.26 Each county may choose different method of apportionment.

When a petition asking for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, or repair of a road in two or more counties, or along the county line between two or more counties in this state, is filed with the board of county commissioners of any one of said counties, the petitioners are not limited to the statement of a single method of paying the compensation, damages, and expenses of the improvement, but may request in the petition that the share of each interested county be apportioned by a different method, subject to the limitation that as to each county the method requested must be one of the methods provided by section 5555.41 of the Revised Code.

A joint board acting by unanimous vote and without the filing of any petition, and ordering the improvement of a road in two or more counties, or along the county line between two or more counties in this state, may order the proportionate part of the compensation, damages, and expenses of each county to be paid in a different method, subject to the limitation that as to each county the method selected must be one of the methods provided by sections 5555.41 to 5555.43 , inclusive, of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.27 Hearing for objections by joint board - notice.

As soon as the county engineer has transmitted to the several boards of county commissioners copies of the engineer's surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, estimates, and specifications for the improvement, the joint board of county commissioners shall, except in cases of reconstruction or repair of roads where no lands or property are taken, fix a time and place for hearing objections to said improvement. The joint board shall thereupon, except in cases of reconstruction or repair of roads where no lands or property are taken, publish in a newspaper of general circulation within each interested county, once a week for two consecutive weeks or as provided in section 7.16 of the Revised Code, a notice that such improvement is to be made and that copies of the surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, estimates, and specifications therefor are on file in the office of the board of each interested county for the inspection and examination of all persons interested therein. Such notice shall also state the time and place for hearing objections to said improvement. Proceedings for the appropriation of land needed for such improvement shall be maintained in accordance with sections 163.01 to 163.22 of the Revised Code.

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

Effective Date: 01-01-1966

5555.28, 5555.29 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 01-01-1966

5555.30 Decision of joint board as to improvement.

After all questions relating to compensation and damages have been disposed of, the joint board shall decide whether it will proceed with the improvement, and if it decides to proceed therewith, it shall adopt the surveys, plans, profiles, cross sections, estimates, and specifications for the improvement as reported by the county engineer or with such modifications as the joint board and the engineer agree upon.

Effective Date: 01-01-1966

5555.31 Procedure when improvement is in one county but within assessment distance of another.

When the proposed improvement is wholly within one county but within less than the legal assessment distance of the county line, and a petition is filed asking for such improvement, signed by fifty-one per cent of the persons to be specially assessed therefor, such improvement shall be regarded as a joint county improvement, and shall be made in accordance with sections 5555.21 to 5555.30 , inclusive, of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.32 Joint board may place portion of improvement wholly within one county.

A joint board of county commissioners has jurisdiction to provide for the construction of a portion of a road improvement wholly within one county when it is necessary to avoid some place on the county line where the construction thereof would be unusually expensive or difficult.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.33 Bond issue by each county.

If bonds are issued in anticipation of the collection of taxes and assessments on account of the improvement, such bonds as are required shall be issued separately by each county to cover its proportion of the costs and expenses of such improvement.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.34 Single county procedure applicable to joint board.

Sections 5555.01 to 5555.72 , inclusive, of the Revised Code relating to improvements wholly within one county shall when applicable apply to improvements authorized by a joint board of county commissioners.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.41 Apportionment of costs.

The compensation, damages, and expenses of the improvement shall be apportioned and paid in any one of the following methods, as set forth in the petition described in section 5555.03 of the Revised Code.

(A) Not less than thirty-five nor more than fifty per cent thereof shall be paid out of the proceeds of any levies for road purposes upon the grand duplicate of all taxable property in the county, or out of any funds available therefor. Not less than twenty-five nor more than forty per cent thereof shall be paid out of the proceeds of any levies for road purposes upon the taxable property of any township in which said improvement is situated in whole or in part. The balance thereof, which shall not be less than twenty nor more than thirty-five per cent, shall be assessed against the real estate abutting upon said improvement, or the real estate situated within one-half mile of either side of such improvement, or the real estate situated within one mile of either side thereof, according to the benefits accruing to such real estate.

(B) Not less than one half nor more than two thirds thereof shall be paid out of the proceeds of any levies for road purposes upon the taxable property of any township in which such improvement is situated in whole or in part. The balance thereof shall be assessed against the real estate abutting upon the improvement, or the real estate situated within one-half mile of either side of said improvement, or the real estate situated within one mile of either side thereof, according to the benefits accruing to such real estate.

(C) All or any part thereof shall be assessed against the real estate abutting upon said improvement, or the real estate situated within one-half mile of either side thereof, or the real estate situated within one mile of either side thereof, or the real estate situated within two miles of either side thereof, according to the benefits accruing to such real estate. The balance thereof shall be paid by the county and the township in which such improvement is situated in whole or in part, in such proportion as is agreed upon between the board of county commissioners and the board of township trustees.

(D) All or any part thereof shall be assessed against the real estate abutting upon said improvement, or the real estate situated within one-half mile of either side thereof, or the real estate situated within one mile of either side thereof, or the real estate situated within two miles of either side thereof, according to the benefits accruing to such real estate. The balance thereof shall be paid out of the proceeds of any levies for road purposes upon the grand duplicate of all the taxable property in the county or from any funds in the county treasury available therefor.

When the board of county commissioners acts by unanimous vote and without the filing of a petition as provided in section 5555.06 of the Revised Code, the board shall set forth in its resolution declaring the necessity for the improvement the method of apportioning and paying the compensation, damages, and expenses of the improvement which may be any one of the methods provided in this section.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.42 Application to court if equitable assessment cannot be made.

A board of county commissioners desiring to construct a county road improvement, and finding that no equitable method of apportioning the compensation, damages, and expenses thereof is provided by section 5555.41 of the Revised Code, or finding that an equitable assessment cannot be made by the use of any of the several assessment areas authorized by said section, may order the county engineer to make a tentative plan for such improvement and an approximate estimate of the cost. Such board may thereupon file an application in the court of common pleas describing the improvement in question, and a copy of the tentative plan and approximate estimate of cost shall be attached to such application. The board shall set forth in such application that the compensation, damages, and expenses of the improvement cannot be equitably apportioned under any of the several plans provided by said section or that such compensation, damages, and expenses cannot be equitably assessed by the use of any one of the several assessment areas authorized by said section, or that both such conditions exist, and it shall set forth a method of apportioning the compensation, damages, and expenses and a definite description of the area against which it desires to assess any part of such compensation, damages, and expenses. The application shall contain a prayer requesting authority from such court to construct the improvement and apportion the compensation, damages, and expenses according to the plan suggested by such board and to assess the designated portion of the cost against the real estate within the area described in the petition.

Notice of the filing and pendency of such application shall be given once a week for four consecutive weeks by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in such county or as provided in section 7.16 of the Revised Code. Such notice shall describe the route and termini of the improvement and set forth the estimated cost and the proposed method of apportionment and assessment area. After such notice has been given, the court or a judge thereof shall fix a time for a hearing on such application, and, at the time fixed, the court or a judge thereof shall hear such application and all evidence offered by the board or any taxpayer of the county for or against the proposed plan of apportionment and for or against the use of the suggested assessment area. If the court finds that the suggested plan of apportionment and the area against which special assessments are to be made are fair and just, that the cost of the improvement will not be excessive in view of the benefits conferred, and that all the real estate within the suggested assessment area will be benefited by the construction of the improvement upon the plan suggested and by the use of the method of apportionment set forth in said application, such court may authorize the board to proceed upon the suggested plan and to apportion the compensation, damages, and expenses in the manner set forth in the application and to assess against the real estate within the assessment area designated in the application, according to the benefits, that portion of the cost to be specially assessed; otherwise the court shall dismiss the application and the board may not proceed with the improvement. The court may modify the suggested plan of apportionment or the suggested assessment area and grant the prayer of the application subject to such modifications as it determines are just and proper. The board in its application may set up any division of cost which it thinks proper among the county, the owners of lands to be specially assessed, and any municipal corporation within which such projected improvement is situated in whole or in part, but no portion of the cost may be apportioned to a municipal corporation without the consent of such municipal corporation evidenced by an ordinance or resolution of its legislative authority.

When the prayer of any such application is granted by the court or a judge thereof and the plan of apportionment and area of assessment is approved by such court, either as set forth in the application or as modified by the court, the board may proceed with the construction of the improvement and use the method of apportionment and the assessment area authorized by the court. In such event, the board may levy taxes and issue bonds in the manner provided by law with respect to improvements, the compensation, damages, and expenses of which are apportioned and paid as provided in section 5555.41 of the Revised Code, and all proceedings in connection with such improvement shall be conducted in accordance with sections 5555.01 to 5555.83 of the Revised Code, except as provided in this section. The special assessments shall be made by the board against the real estate within the assessment area authorized by the court, but no assessment against any lot or parcel of real estate shall exceed the actual benefits conferred thereon by the construction of the improvement. This section also applies to improvements of sections of a state highway within counties having a tax duplicate of real and personal property in excess of three hundred million dollars, and with respect to which the board desires to co-operate with the department of transportation.

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

Effective Date: 09-28-1973

5555.43 All costs may be paid by county - agreement with townships to pay proportion.

The board of county commissioners, unless acting pursuant to section 5555.022 of the Revised Code, or the joint board of county commissioners, upon a unanimous vote, may order, without a petition, that all of a county's costs for constructing any improvement be paid out of the proceeds of any tax levies for road purposes on the grand duplicate of the county or out of any road improvement fund available for the payment of those costs, or may enter, by a similar vote and without a petition, into an agreement with the boards of township trustees of the townships in which the improvement is situated in whole or in part, whereby the entire cost of the improvement is paid by the county and townships, or one or more of them, in the agreed upon proportion or amount of the cost.

Effective Date: 03-12-2001

5555.44 Funds from which costs are paid.

When the compensation, damages, and expenses of an improvement, other than the portion thereof to be specially assessed against benefited real estate, are to be paid in part by the county and in part by the townships in which such improvement is situated, under an agreement between the board of county commissioners and the boards of township trustees entered into under section 5555.41 or 5555.43 of the Revised Code, the part of such compensation, damages, and expenses to be paid by the interested townships may be paid from the proceeds of any levy made by the board of county commissioners under section 5555.49 of the Revised Code or from the proceeds of any levy made by the boards of township trustees under section 5573.13 of the Revised Code. When bonds are issued to provide funds for any such improvement, the shares of the county and of the townships and of the real estate specially assessed may be provided by a bond issue by the board of county commissioners under section 5555.51 of the Revised Code; or in lieu of such method of providing the necessary funds, the board of county commissioners may issue bonds under section 5555.51 of the Revised Code in an amount sufficient to provide the share of the county and of the real estate specially assessed and the remainder of the necessary funds, being the share of the interested townships, may be provided by the boards of township trustees by an issue of bonds under section 5573.14 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.45 Assessment of property separated from improvement by canal or railway.

If property is separated from an improvement by a canal, street or interurban railway, steam railway, or in any other similar manner, such property shall be regarded for the purpose of assessment under the road improvement laws as property abutting upon said improvement. Land owned or occupied by such street, interurban, or steam railway and the land lying behind such railway shall be assessed on account of said improvement in the manner provided by law.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.46 Special duplicate of assessments - collection - installments.

All assessments, with interest accrued on them, made under sections 5555.01 to 5555.72 of the Revised Code shall be placed by the county auditor upon a special duplicate to be collected as taxes, and the principal of the assessments shall be payable in not more than forty semiannual installments extending over a period of not more than twenty years, as determined by the board of county commissioners. If any assessment is twenty-five dollars or less, or if the unpaid balance of any assessment is twenty-five dollars or less, it shall be paid in full, and not in installments, at the time the first or next installment would otherwise become due and payable.

If public obligations are issued or incurred to pay the costs of the improvement, the principal sum of the assessments shall be payable in a number of semiannual installments that will provide a fund for the redemption of the public obligations so issued or incurred. The assessments shall bear interest from the date of the issuance of the public obligations and at the same rate or rates as the public obligations, and the interest shall be collected in the same manner as the principal of the assessments.

Effective Date: 03-12-2001

5555.47 Apportionment between owners of life estate and fee - appeal.

If any lands to be assessed are subject to a life estate, the assessment made therein shall, upon application of the life tenant to the board of county commissioners, be apportioned between the owner of the life estate and the owner of the fee in proportion to the value of their respective estates. Upon the filing of the application, the board shall fix a date for hearing it and cause notice of such hearing to be served on the owner of the fee in the manner provided by section 5555.09 of the Revised Code. Either party to such apportionment may appeal to the probate court from the decision of the board relating to the apportionment of such assessment by giving the notice provided for in section 5563.02 of the Revised Code and by filing the bond provided for in such section. Thereafter, such proceedings shall be had upon such appeal as are provided in sections 5563.01 to 5563.17 , inclusive, of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 01-01-1966

5555.48 Payment of county's share - tax levy.

The proportion of the compensation, damages, and expenses of the improvement to be paid by the county shall be paid out of any road improvement fund available therefor.

For the purpose of providing by taxation a fund for the payment of the county's proportion of the compensation, damages, and expenses of constructing, reconstructing, improving, maintaining, and repairing roads under sections 5555.01 to 5555.72 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, the board of county commissioners may levy annually a tax not exceeding two mills upon each dollar of the taxable property of the county. Said levy shall be in addition to all other levies authorized by law for county purposes, and subject only to the limitation on the combined maximum rate for all taxes.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.49 Payment of township's share - tax levy.

For the purpose of providing by taxation a fund for the payment of the proportion of the compensation, damages, and expenses of the improvement to be paid by the townships in which such improvement is situated in whole or in part, the board of county commissioners may levy a tax not exceeding three mills in any one year upon all the taxable property of such townships. Such levy shall be in addition to all other levies authorized by law for township purposes, and subject only to the limitation on the combined maximum rate for all taxes.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.50 Procedure for paying expenses applicable to joint county improvement.

Sections 5555.41 to 5555.49 , inclusive, of the Revised Code apply to the proportion of the compensation, damages, and expenses of any improvement to be paid by any county or township if such improvement is authorized and constructed by any joint board of county commissioners, or by agreement entered into between such joint board and the board of township trustees of one or more townships.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.51 Issuing anticipation public obligations for road improvements.

The board of county commissioners, in anticipation of the collection of taxes, or taxes and assessments, for a road improvement or any part of a road improvement may issue and sell, or incur, public obligations of the county under Chapter 133. of the Revised Code to pay the estimated costs of the improvement. The making of any special assessments referred to in sections 5555.41 to 5555.50 of the Revised Code shall not be a condition precedent to the issuance or incurrence of public obligations under this section, and the special assessments may be made either before or after the issuance or incurrence of the public obligations.

Effective Date: 03-12-2001

5555.61 Contract for improvement not to exceed ten per cent above estimates.

After the board of county commissioners decides to proceed with the improvement, it shall do so in accordance with sections 307.86 to 307.92 of the Revised Code. No contract for any improvement shall be awarded at a price more than ten per cent in excess of the estimated cost.

Effective Date: 09-27-1972

5555.62 to 5555.64 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 12-09-1967

5555.65 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 08-27-1976

5555.66 Payment on estimates of materials delivered shall not exceed ninety per cent.

In addition to the estimates provided for by section 153.13 of the Revised Code, the county engineer may, under such conditions as he prescribes, allow and pay to a contractor a sum not exceeding ninety per cent of the value of material delivered by such contractor, and safely stored at a railroad station or siding or other point in the vicinity of the work. When such estimate is allowed, the material on which it is allowed shall thereupon become the property of the county, but in case such material is stolen, destroyed, or damaged by casualty before being used, or for any reason becomes unfit for use, the contractor shall replace it at his own expense. A contractor may insure against loss or damage, by fire or otherwise, all materials upon which estimates have been allowed under this or any other section of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 08-27-1976

5555.67 Limitation of time for completion - account of expenditures.

Each contract let under section 5555.61 of the Revised Code, shall contain a provision to the effect that if such contract is not completed within the time therein fixed, the county engineer shall, after the expiration of the time fixed for the completion of such contract, keep an accurate account of all expenditures for inspection, supervision, and all other similar engineering services in connection with the improvement, that the contractor shall pay all such expenses incurred in connection with the improvement after the expiration of the time fixed for the completion of such contract, and that the amount of such expenditures shall be retained out of any estimates due or to become due to such contractor. When the engineer allows an estimate to any contractor after the time fixed in the contract for the completion of the improvement, such engineer shall deduct from such estimate any expense for supervision, inspection, or other similar engineering services incurred after the date set for the completion of such contract. The contractor need not pay the cost of such inspection, supervision, and other similar engineering services when the board of county commissioners, for good cause shown, extends the time for the completion of the contract.

Effective Date: 12-09-1967

5555.68 Completion of improvement on failure of contractor.

If, in the opinion of the board of county commissioners, the contractor has not commenced his work within a reasonable time, does not carry such work forward with reasonable progress, is improperly performing his work, or has abandoned or failed to complete a contract entered into, the board shall make a finding to that effect, enter such finding on its journal, and so notify the contractor in writing, and the right of the contractor to control and supervise the work shall immediately cease. The board shall forthwith give written notice of the sureties on any bond of the contractor of such action. If, within ten days after receipt of such notice, such sureties, or any one or more of them, notify the board in writing of their intention to enter upon and complete the work covered by such contract, such sureties shall be permitted to do so and the board shall allow them twenty days after the receipt of such notice in writing from such sureties within which to enter upon the work and resume construction, unless the time is extended by the board upon good cause shown. If such sureties, entering upon the work, do not carry such work forward with reasonable progress or improperly perform, abandon, or fail to complete the work covered by such contract, the board shall complete the work in the manner provided in this section.

If, after receiving notice of the action of the board in terminating the control of the contractor over the work covered by his contract, the sureties on such contractor's bond do not within ten days give the board the written notice provided in this section, the board shall complete the work. The board shall first advertise the work for letting as provided by section 5555.61 of the Revised Code, and the estimated cost at which the work shall be advertised shall be the difference between the original contract price and the amount paid to the original contractor, and at such letting the contract for the completion of the work shall not be let at a price in excess of such estimate. If no bids to complete the work are received, the board shall cause that part of the work still uncompleted to be re-estimated, shall readvertise it at the amended estimate, and shall let the work for not more than such re-estimate. In reletting uncompleted work in the manner provided in this section, the contract shall be awarded by the board in accordance with sections 307.86 to 307.92 of the Revised Code. If the cost of completing the contract exceeds the amount of the balance of the fund set up for the original contract, the board may pay such excess out of any available funds for the construction, reconstruction, improvement, maintenance, or repair of highways. When the estimated cost of completing a defaulted contract does not exceed five thousand dollars, the board may complete it by force account, or by contract let without advertising.

Effective Date: 08-01-1980

5555.69 Allowances and contracts for extra work.

In case of an unforeseen contingency not contemplated by a contract, allowances for extra work may be made by a board of county commissioners, but the board must first enter into a new contract in writing for the extra work. In all cases in which the amount of the original contract price is less than twenty-five thousand dollars for any particular line item listed in the new contract and the overall total estimate for the extra work does not exceed ten per cent of the total of the original contract, the contract for the extra work may be let by the board at private contract without publication or notice. Section 5555.61 of the Revised Code applies to all other new contracts for extra work, except that if an emergency exists and the time required for complying with section 5555.61 of the Revised Code would unduly delay the completion of the project, the board, after making a finding of emergency and entering it on its records, may contract for the extra work by private contract without complying with that section.

(B) No contract shall be awarded for extra work at any price in excess of the original contract unit price for the same class or kind of work in connection with the original contract. If there is any new class or kind of work, the board and contractor shall agree as to the price to be paid. The contractor shall submit a bid in writing, and if the board accepts the bid, the board immediately shall enter its acceptance on the journal. The costs of the extra work shall be paid by the board out of any funds available therefor, and shall be charged to the cost of construction of the improvement and apportioned as the original contract price for the improvement.

Effective Date: 09-14-1995

5555.71 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 12-17-1971

5555.72 Record of cost.

When the board of county commissioners constructs, reconstructs, widens, resurfaces, repairs, or improves a road by force account, and the estimated cost of the work, as defined in section 5543.19 of the Revised Code, exceeds three thousand dollars per mile, such board shall cause to be kept by the county engineer a complete and accurate account in detail of the cost of doing such work. Such account shall include labor, materials, freight, hauling, fuel, and all other items of cost, including a reasonable allowance for the use of tools and equipment owned by the county and for depreciation on such tools. The engineer shall keep such account, and within ninety days after the completion of any such work he shall prepare a detailed and itemized statement of such cost and file it with the board, which shall thereupon examine such statement, correct it if necessary, and cause such statement to be filed in its office. Such statement shall be kept on file for not less than two years and shall be open to public inspection.

Effective Date: 07-01-1985

5555.81 Improvement of state line road.

When it is desired to construct, improve, or repair a road on or along the line between this state and an adjoining state, the board of county commissioners of any county of this state may join with the proper authorities of any adjoining state, or subdivision thereof, in such construction or improvement. Each party to such agreement shall pay such proportion of the costs of said improvement as is agreed upon by the parties thereto.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.82 Assessment and levy of county proportion.

The proportion of the cost and expense of a road improvement on or along the line between this state and an adjoining state to be paid by any county in this state may be assessed or levied upon the property of this state by the board of county commissioners of such county in any of the ways provided in sections 5555.01 to 5555.72 of the Revised Code, in the case of an improvement wholly within this state. Such board may also join with the department of transportation of this or other states in the construction of such road as if the improvement were wholly within this state.

Effective Date: 09-28-1973

5555.83 Powers of joint boards.

In exercising the powers enumerated and granted in sections 5555.81 and 5555.82 of the Revised Code, joint boards of county commissioners shall be governed and act in accordance with sections 5555.01 to 5555.72 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, in so far as such sections are applicable.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.91 Annual tax levy.

After the annual estimate for the county has been filed with the board of county commissioners by the county engineer, and the board has made such changes and modifications in the estimate as it deems proper, the board shall then make its levy, for the purposes set forth in the estimate, upon all taxable property of the county, not exceeding in the aggregate two mills upon each dollar of the taxable property of said county. Such levy shall be in addition to all other levies authorized for said purposes, but subject to the limitation upon the combined maximum rate for all taxes. This section does not prevent the board from using any surplus in the general funds of the county for the purposes set forth in said estimate.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.92 County maintenance and repair fund.

The board of county commissioners shall provide annually by taxation an adequate fund for the maintenance and repair of improved county highways. Such fund shall be provided by levies made under sections 5555.48 , 5555.49 , and 5555.91 of the Revised Code and sections amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto. The maintenance and repair fund shall not be less than one hundred dollars for each mile of improved county highway within the county. Such levies for maintenance and repair purposes shall be separately set forth in the annual budget of the board presented to the budget commission, and the levies made by the board, pursuant to this section shall be preferred levies as against any others made by the board for county road purposes. If the budget commission of any county is unable, by reason of the limitations of law, to allow all of the road levies made by the board, such reductions as are necessary shall be first made in levies other than those for maintenance and repair purposes made under this section. The fund produced by such levies shall not be subject to transfer by order of court or otherwise, and shall be used solely for the maintenance and repair of the improved county roads. This section does not prevent the board from using any other available road funds for the maintenance and repair of improved county roads.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.93 Powers of board of county commissioners and board of township trustees.

Whenever the board of county commissioners or the board of township trustees may levy on the general duplicate of the county or of any township therein any portion of the cost and expense of the construction or improvement of any public road, and such levy is, in pursuant of such authority, made upon property already assessed for payment of the total cost and expenses of construction of a public road, and such assessments or any portion thereof remain unpaid at the time of the making of the general levy, the board of county commissioners in case such levy is upon the grand duplicate of the entire county, or the board of township trustees of the proper township in case such levy is upon the grand duplicate of one or more townships in such county, may assume and pay out of any funds under its control, and not otherwise appropriated, such portion of such outstanding assessments as is represented by the portion of the amount of the total cost and expenses of such subsequent improvement as is levied upon the grand duplicate of the county, against the taxable property of the county or township.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.94 Repair of damaged roads.

The board of county commissioners shall repair all substantial damage caused to county or township roads by the transportation of materials or equipment over such roads for use in constructing or repairing any road by such board. Such repairs shall be made immediately upon the completion of the work for which such materials and equipment were transported, or as soon thereafter as weather conditions will permit. The work may be done either by contract let in the manner provided by law or by the employment of labor and purchase of materials, as in the ordinary repair of county roads.

The cost of such repair shall be paid, so far as funds are available, from any balance remaining in any special fund created for the construction of the improvement for which such materials and equipment were transported. If there is no balance in such fund, payment shall be made from any fund in the county treasury created by general taxation for county road purposes and against which no contractual obligations exist. Immediately upon the completion of any road work carried forward by the county, an inspection of the county and township roads over which material and equipment for use thereon were transported shall be made by the board, or it may require the county engineer to make such inspection and report to it in writing as to any substantial damage caused to such roads by such use thereof. The board shall then make the repairs and make payment therefor as provided in this section.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.95 Tax levy for road repairs.

When one or more of the principal highways of a county, or part thereof, have been destroyed or damaged by freshet, landslide, wear of watercourses, or other casualty, or, by reason of the large amount of traffic or from neglect or inattention to repair, they have come unfit for travel or cause difficulty, danger, or delay to traffic passing thereon, and the board of county commissioners is satisfied that the ordinary levies, authorized by law for such purposes, will be inadequate to provide the money necessary to repair such damage, to remove obstructions from, or make the changes or repairs in such roads as are rendered necessary, the board may annually thereafter levy a tax at its June session, not exceeding five mills upon the dollar upon all taxable property of the county, to be expended under its direction or by the employment of labor and the purchase of materials in such manner as seem most advantageous to the interest of the county, for the construction, reconstruction, or repair and maintenance of such roads.

This section does not authorize the board to refuse to make a levy for a road fund under the laws relating to levies for road and bridge purposes.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.96 How surplus of tax to be disposed of.

All money assessed and collected under section 5555.95 of the Revised Code, which remains in the hands of the county treasurer, unexpended and unappropriated, for a period of six months after the annual September settlement for the fiscal year during which the tax was collected, shall be paid to the township or treasurer of the municipal corporation from which it was collected. Such funds shall be expended on the public roads under the direction of the board of township trustees of the proper township or legislative authority of the municipal corporation, in such manner as seems to them most advantageous to the interest of the township or municipal corporation for the construction, reconstruction, or repair of roads, and in building or repairing bridges.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5555.97 County road districts.

The board of county commissioners of a county in which there is located municipal corporations or a part thereof, may, by resolution, create that portion of the county not included within the corporate limits of such municipal corporations into a road district, whenever in its opinion it is expedient and necessary and for the public convenience and welfare, for the purpose of constructing, reconstructing, resurfacing, or improving, the public roads within such district. The district so created shall be given an appropriate name by which it shall be designated.

After such district has been created, the board shall have all powers and duties which it has under sections 5555.02 to 5555.96 , inclusive, and 5559.02 to 5559.16, inclusive, and 5591.02 to 5591.41, inclusive, of the Revised Code, and it shall proceed in like manner in the constructing, reconstructing, resurfacing, improving, maintaining, repairing, and dragging of county roads, or parts thereof, in such cases as provided for the board in county road construction.

Effective Date: 09-24-1963