703.201 Dissolution of village.

(A) As used in this section, "condition for surrendering corporate powers" means any of the following:

(1) The village has been declared to be in a fiscal emergency under Chapter 118. of the Revised Code and has been in fiscal emergency for at least three consecutive years with little or no improvement on the conditions that caused the fiscal emergency declaration.

(2) The village has failed to properly follow applicable election laws for at least two consecutive election cycles for any one elected office in the village.

(3) The village has been declared during an audit conducted under section 117.11 of the Revised Code to be unauditable under section 117.41 of the Revised Code in at least two consecutive audits.

(4) The village does not provide at least two services typically provided by municipal government, such as police or fire protection, garbage collection, water or sewer service, emergency medical services, road maintenance, or similar services. "Services" does not include any administrative service or legislative action.

(5) The village has failed for any fiscal year to adopt the tax budget required by section 5705.28 of the Revised Code.

(6) A village elected official has been convicted of theft in office, either under section 2921.41 of the Revised Code or an equivalent criminal statute at the federal level, at least two times in a period of ten years. The convicted official with respect to those convictions may be the same person or different persons.

(B) If the auditor of state finds, in an audit report issued under division (A) or (B) of section 117.11 of the Revised Code of a village that has a population of one hundred fifty persons or less and consists of less than two square miles, that the village meets at least two conditions for surrendering corporate powers, the auditor of state shall send a certified copy of the report together with a letter to the attorney general requesting the attorney general to institute legal action to dissolve the village in accordance with division (C) of this section. The report and letter shall be sent to the attorney general within ten business days after the auditor of state's transmittal of the report to the village. The audit report transmitted to the village shall be accompanied by a notice to the village of the auditor's intent to refer the report to the attorney general for legal action in accordance with this section.

(C) Within twenty days of receipt of the auditor of state's report and letter, the attorney general may file a legal action in the court of common pleas on behalf of the state to request the dissolution of the village that is the subject of the audit report. If a legal action is filed, the court shall hold a hearing within ninety days after the date the attorney general files the legal action with the court. Notice of the hearing shall be filed with the attorney general, the clerk of the village that is the subject of the action, and each fiscal officer of a township located wholly or partly within the village.

At the hearing on dissolution, the court shall determine if the village has a population of one hundred fifty persons or less, consists of less than two square miles, and meets at least two conditions for surrendering corporate powers. If the court so finds, it shall order the dissolution of the village and provide for the surrender of corporate powers in accordance with section 703.21 of the Revised Code. The attorney general shall file a certified copy of the court's order of dissolution with the secretary of state and the county recorder of the county in which the village is situated, who shall record it in their respective offices. Upon the recording in the county recorder's office, the corporate powers of the village shall cease.

(D) For purposes of this section, the population of a village shall be the population determined either at the last preceding federal decennial census or according to population estimates certified by the department of development between decennial censuses.

(E) The procedure in this section is in addition to the procedure of section 703.20 of the Revised Code for the surrender of the corporate powers of a village.

Effective Date: 08-29-2003; 12-20-2005