The original schedule of benefit assessments upon owners for the construction of any improvement shall be maintained by the county auditor as the permanent base for maintenance assessments. The maintenance assessments shall be levied by the county auditor in such percentage of the permanent base as is authorized by the board of county commissioners.
The board of county commissioners, before certifying the percentage of the permanent base to be levied in any one year for the drainage maintenance fund, shall consider any recommendation by the county engineer and any application by any owner for increase or reduction of the permanent assessment base as it applies to any owner.
Any such increase or reduction of the permanent assessment base with respect to any owner shall be made for the purpose of correcting any inequity that has arisen due to increase or decrease in the proportionate share of benefits accruing to the owner as the result of the construction and maintenance of the improvement.
After six annual maintenance fund assessments have been made upon the owners benefiting from an improvement, the board of county commissioners shall review the permanent base for maintenance fund assessment and may increase or decrease the respective benefit apportionments in accordance with changes in benefits that have occurred during the intervening six years.
As soon as the board of county commissioners has changed the permanent base of maintenance assessments of any owner, the clerk of the board shall send to each owner a notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by first-class mail in a five-day return envelope. For each improvement, all individual notices shall be sent by the same type of mail. Whichever method the board chooses, the words "Legal Notice" shall be printed in plain view on the face of the envelope. The notice shall state the amount of the present permanent base for maintenance assessment, the proposed new permanent base amount with respect to each owner so changed, and the date of a hearing on the change. The hearing shall be set by the board for a date not less than twenty nor more than thirty days from the date of adoption of the changes.
At the expiration of six years from the date of the first review of the permanent base of maintenance assessments, and at six-year intervals thereafter, the board of county commissioners shall again review the permanent base and set a hearing on any proposed changes by the procedure provided in this section for the first such review.
The board of county commissioners at any time may add to the schedule of benefited owners any other owner who in the judgment of the board is benefited by the operation and maintenance of the improvement as the result of new conditions that have arisen since the improvement was constructed. The additional owner shall be given notice in writing of his permanent maintenance fund assessment base and the date of a hearing by the same procedure as provided by this section for any owner whose permanent assessment base has been changed by the board. Notice to the additional owner shall be sent by the same type of mail as the board uses for owners whose permanent assessment base has been changed.
The hearing on the changes in, or additions to, the permanent base for maintenance assessment may be adjourned from time to time by the board of county commissioners and, upon conclusion of the hearing, the revised permanent base shall be certified to the county auditor and shall become the permanent base for maintenance assessments, except as changed from time to time with respect to individual owners.
If the board of county commissioners finds that any owner was not assessed for the construction of an improvement, but now is receiving substantial benefit therefrom, or was assessed for construction, but now is receiving substantially greater benefits therefrom, the board may after thirty days notice pursuant to section 6131.07 of the Revised Code hold a hearing and determine an equitable amount as an equalization assessment to be paid by the owner. The equalization assessment shall be divided into the same number of payments as the assessments for the construction of the improvement, and the payment shall be added to the next succeeding maintenance assessments of the owner until the entire amount of the equalization assessment has been paid.
Any owner affected by an increase in the assessment base as it applies to him, or who has been added to the schedule of benefited owners, or who has been determined to be subject to an equalization assessment, all as provided in this section, may appeal to the court of common pleas from a final order made by the board of county commissioners, in the manner provided by sections 6131.25 to 6131.36 of the Revised Code, the question of whether any such assessment is levied according to benefits.
In the case of drainage maintenance districts for which the board of county commissioners has authorized a single drainage maintenance fund, a review of the permanent base of maintenance assessments shall be made not later than six years after the creation of the drainage maintenance district, and at six-year intervals thereafter, by the same procedure as provided by this section for review of the permanent base with respect to a single improvement, and it shall not be necessary to review the entire maintenance base for any improvement included in the maintenance district until the board reviews the maintenance base for the entire district.
Effective Date: 07-05-1983 .