If the board of county commissioners finds that a proposed improvement is necessary and that it will be conducive to the public welfare, and if the board is reasonably certain that the cost thereof will be less than the benefits, it may grant the prayer of the petition. When deciding whether to grant the prayer of the petition, the board shall give consideration to the protection of environmentally significant areas when those areas could be adversely affected by the construction of the proposed improvement and, if necessary, to alternative plans providing for that protection as well as for construction of the proposed improvement. Upon granting the prayer of the petition, the board shall determine the route and termini of the proposed improvement and of the branches, spurs, and laterals thereof and the manner of constructing the same. On any petition for any improvement of a ditch, drain, watercourse, or levee, the board, without request or application, may by its order change either terminus of the proposed improvement or the route thereof if it finds that the change is necessary to accomplish the purposes of the improvement. An order issued by the board under this section granting the prayer of the petition is effective on the day of the hearing at which the board issued it.
Upon granting the petition, the board shall order the county auditor to transfer from the general revenue funds of the county, not otherwise appropriated, to the general drainage improvement fund an amount not more than twenty-five per cent of the engineer's preliminary estimate after the twenty-one day period for appeal, as provided in section 6131.25 of the Revised Code, has expired and no appeal has been taken, and as soon as the transfer of funds has been authorized, the board shall order the county engineer to prepare the reports, plans, and schedules as provided in sections 6131.01 to 6131.64 of the Revised Code. It shall fix a date for the filing of the reports, plans, and schedules by the engineer, allowing such time as is necessary for the preparation of the reports, plans, and schedules by the engineer, and such time may be extended from time to time by the board.
The board shall adjourn the hearing on the improvement to the date that it has fixed for the filing of the reports, plans, and schedules by the engineer and adjourn the proceedings from time to time, if necessary, thereafter. No change in the route or termini of any proposed improvement shall be made, no branches, laterals, or spurs shall be granted, and no change shall be made in the nature of the work proposed after the first hearing is completed, except upon application of an interested owner affected by the proposed improvement and upon notice given to all owners affected by the change, as provided in sections 6131.01 to 6131.64 of the Revised Code. All the findings and orders of the board shall be entered in its journal.
The route of an improvement shall so far as practicable be located so as to avoid running the improvement diagonally across property and shall where practicable follow property lines, section lines, and lines of public highways, but where the line of a public highway is followed, approval must be obtained from the agency owning the highway.
If the board finds for the improvement, and if the improvement is being undertaken through the joint efforts and cooperation of the board and any federal or state agency, and if the federal regulations, state agency rules, or other procedures of the cooperating agency are in conflict with Chapter 6131. of the Revised Code with respect to the procedures for the preparing of contracts, the issuing of bids, the making of awards, and generally the administering of the contracts, the board may adopt the federal regulations, state agency rules, or procedures in those areas where conflict exists and proceed with the improvement in accordance with the requirements of the federal regulations, state agency rules, or procedures.
Effective Date: 04-09-1981 .