(A) Proceedings for the organization of a regional water and sewer district shall be initiated only by a petition filed in the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas of one of the counties all or part of which lies within the proposed district. The petition shall be signed by one or more municipal corporations, one or more counties, or one or more townships, or by any combination of them, after having been authorized by the legislative authority of the political subdivision. The legislative authority of any municipal corporation, the board of county commissioners of any county, and the board of trustees of any township may act in behalf of any part of their respective political subdivisions. The petition shall specify all of the following:
(1) The proposed name of the district;
(2) The place in which its principal office is to be located;
(3) The necessity for the proposed district and that it will be conducive to the public health, safety, convenience, or welfare;
(4) A general description of the purpose of the proposed district;
(5) A general description of the territory to be included in the district, which need not be given by metes and bounds or by legal subdivisions, but is sufficient if an accurate description is given of the territory to be organized as a district. The territory need not be contiguous, provided that it is so situated that the public health, safety, convenience, or welfare will be promoted by the organization as a single district of the territory described.
(6) The manner of selection, the number, the term, and the compensation of the members of the governing body of the district, which shall be called a board of trustees. The petition may set forth procedures for subsequent changes in the composition of and other provisions relating to the board of trustees. The original or properly amended petition may prohibit elected officials from serving on the board and may permit one or more elected officials from any appointing authority to serve on the board. However, elected officials from the same political subdivision shall not comprise a majority of the members of the board. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a board appointed prior to the effective date of this amendment may continue as prescribed in the petition and rules and regulations of the district that were in effect prior to the effective date of this amendment, and, if not prohibited in the petition or rules and regulations, the board may include elected officials. As used in this division, "elected official" means an official elected to an office of municipal, township, or county government, or a person appointed to fill a vacancy in such an office.
(7) The plan for financing the cost of the operations of the district until it is in receipt of revenue from its operations or proceeds from the sale of bonds;
(8) A prayer for the organization of the district by the name proposed, either before or after a preliminary hearing as provided in section 6119.04 of the Revised Code.
(B) Prior to filing a petition under division (A) of this section, a municipal corporation, county, or township shall hold a public meeting for the purpose of receiving comments on the proposed establishment of a regional water and sewer district. If a combination of municipal corporations, counties, or townships signed the petition, the signers jointly shall hold the public meeting. At the meeting, a representative of the signer or signers of the petition shall present a preliminary study of the reasons for the proposed establishment of the district.
The signer or signers of the petition shall provide notice of the public meeting by publication once per week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in each of the counties that will comprise the proposed district in whole or in part or as provided in section 7.16 of the Revised Code.
(C) Upon the filing of the petition, the judge of the court of common pleas of the county in which the petition is filed or, in the case of a county having more than one such judge, a judge of that court assigned by its presiding judge shall determine if the petition complies with the requirements of this section as to form and content. No petition shall be declared void by the judge on account of alleged defects. The court in subsequent proceedings at any time may permit the petition to be amended in form and substance to conform to the facts by correcting any errors in the description of the territory or in any other particular.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.141,HB 509, §1, eff. 9/28/2012.
Effective Date: 12-21-1998