After the filing of a petition for the organization of a conservancy district, and before the district is organized, the costs of publication and other official costs of the proceedings shall be paid out of the general funds of the county in which the petition is pending. The payment shall be made on the warrant of the county auditor or on the order of the court. If the district is organized, the costs shall be repaid to the county out of the first funds received by the district through levying of assessments, selling of bonds, or borrowing of money. If the district is not organized, the cost shall be collected from the petitioners or their bondspersons. Upon the organization of the district, the court shall make an order indicating a preliminary division of the preliminary expenses between the counties included in the district in approximately the proportions of interest of the various counties as estimated by the court. The court shall issue an order to the auditor of each county to issue a warrant upon the county treasurer of the county to reimburse the county having paid the total cost.
As soon as any district has been organized and a board of directors of the conservancy district has been appointed and qualified, the board may levy upon the property within the district in each of not more than two years a preliminary assessment, based upon the benefit determined by the court as provided by section 6101.08 of the Revised Code, but not to exceed three-tenths of a mill on the assessed valuation of the property, to be used for the purpose of paying expenses of organization, for surveys and plans, appraisals, estimates of cost, and land options, and for other incidental expenses that may be necessary up to the time money is received from the sale of bonds or otherwise. This assessment shall be certified to the auditors of the various counties and by them to the respective treasurers of their counties. If the items of expense have already been paid in whole or in part from other sources, they may be repaid from the receipts of the levy, and the levy may be made although the work proposed may have been found impracticable or for other reasons is abandoned. The collection of the assessment shall conform in all matters to the sections of the Revised Code governing the collection of assessments levied by local political subdivisions, and the sections of the Revised Code concerning the nonpayment of assessments levied by local political subdivisions shall apply. The board may borrow money in any manner provided for in this chapter and may pledge the receipts from the assessments for its repayment, the information collected by the necessary surveys, the appraisal of benefits and damages, and other information and data being of real value and constituting benefits for which the assessment may be levied. In case a district is disbanded for any cause before the work is constructed, the data, plans, and estimates which have been secure shall be filed with the clerk of the court before which the district was organized and shall be matters of public record available to any person interested.
The board shall, upon levying the preliminary assessment, certify to the director of natural resources an estimate of the amount of money the district will need to pay expenses of organization, for surveys and plans, appraisals, estimates of cost, and land options, and for other incidental expenses up to the time money is received by the district from the sale of bonds or otherwise. The director, within sixty days after the receipt of the certification, shall, upon finding that the organization and operation of the district contribute to the general welfare of the state, determine an equitable percentage of the amount so certified to be paid by the state. The director shall certify the determination to the board and shall cause to be paid to the district, out of any moneys appropriated to the department of natural resources for the purpose of assisting conservancy districts to pay expenses of organization, for surveys and plans, estimates of cost, and land options, and for other incidental expenses, the amount determined by the director to be the equitable share of the state in meeting the expenses. The director shall make available to the board all plans, data, surveys, or other information, which the department of natural resources or any division of it may have, which will be beneficial to the board in furthering the purposes for which the district is organized.
Effective Date: 09-21-2000