Chapter 747: RAPID TRANSIT COMMISSION

747.01 Board of rapid transit commissioners.

Whenever in any city the legislative authority thereof, by ordinance, declares it essential to the interests of such city that a rapid transit commission, with the powers and duties described in sections 747.01 to 747.13 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, be appointed, the mayor of such city shall appoint a board to be known as the board of rapid transit commissioners. Such board shall consist of five members, electors of the county within which such city is located, and a majority of whom shall be electors of such city.

The commissioners shall serve without compensation until such time as any of the contracts necessary for the construction authorized by such sections have been awarded, after which time the commissioners shall receive such compensation as is fixed by the legislative authority of the city, and shall give bond in an amount to be fixed by the legislative authority and approved as other bonds of municipal officers; the premium on such bond shall be paid by the city.

The commissioners shall be appointed for terms of one, two, three, four, and five years respectively, and their successors shall be appointed for a term of five years, in cities having no charter, and in cities having charters in accordance with the provisions thereof, and in case of vacancy by death, resignation, or removal of a member of such board, the mayor shall immediately appoint a successor to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term.

The mayor, with the approval of the legislative authority, may remove any commissioner upon charges and specifications of malfeasance or nonfeasance in office preferred by the mayor. A copy of such charges and specifications shall be furnished the commissioner accused, and he shall be given a hearing by the mayor and have the opportunity to confront the witness against him and to present his defense in person or by counsel. If the mayor's decision upon such charges is in favor of removal, he shall certify the proceedings and his findings to the legislative authority for approval or disapproval, and the action of the legislative authority thereon shall be final.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

747.02 Organization of board - rules and regulations.

The board of rapid transit commissioners shall elect one of its members president and another vice-president, who in the absence or disability of the president shall perform his duties. The board shall make its own rules, but its meetings shall be open to the public and all questions acted upon shall be decided by a yea and nay vote, with the name of each member voting recorded on the journal, and no question shall be decided unless approved by a majority of the members of the board.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

747.03 Employment of clerks, engineers, and superintendents - duties.

The board of rapid transit commissioners may employ clerks, engineers, superintendents, real estate experts, attorneys, and such other employees as are necessary. The chief engineer of the subdepartment of engineering of the department of public service may be employed as the chief engineer of the board and receive compensation in addition to that paid him as chief engineer of the subdepartment. The duties performed by the chief engineer of the subdepartment of engineering as engineer of the board and the compensation paid him shall be separate and distinct from his duties and compensation as the chief engineer of the subdepartment of engineering, and his duties as engineer of the board shall not be construed as being in conflict with his duties as chief engineer of the subdepartment of engineering. The subdepartment of engineering shall perform such engineering services as are determined by the board.

The board shall fix the compensation and term of service of all of its employees. The superintendents, clerks, engineers, real estate experts, and attorneys of the board shall be in the unclassified civil service and all other employees shall be in the classified civil service of the city.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

747.04 Control of construction and maintenance - parkways.

The board of rapid transit commissioners shall have control and management of the construction of a rapid transit railway system, in, through, under, or upon any lands, including canal lands or parts thereof, together with the streets, alleys, and public ways outside of such canal lands, whether within or without the limits of the city, and of depots and terminals for interurban, suburban, street, and other electric railways, and the construction of interurban, suburban, street, or rapid transit electric railways, and of any combination of two or more of such purposes, and may acquire, repair, control, operate, manage, and maintain the utilities so constructed and acquired.

In all cases in which the construction of a rapid transit system is in, through, or under any land, including canal lands or parts thereof, such board may construct a boulevard or parkway on, upon, or adjacent to such lands or canal lands. Plans therefor shall be first approved by the board of park commissioners in cities having such a board. On completion of any such boulevard or parkway the same shall be committed to the control, charge, and maintenance of the municipal board or officer in charge of the park system of such city.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

747.05 Control and expenditure of funds - contracts for work.

The board of rapid transit commissioners shall have control of the expenditure of all moneys appropriated by the legislative authority of the city, received from the sale of bonds provided for in sections 747.01 to 747.13 of the Revised Code, or from any other source, for the purchase, construction, improvement, maintenance, equipment, or enjoyment of all such rapid transit property, but no liability shall be incurred or expenditure made unless the money required therefor is in the city treasury to the credit of the board of rapid transit commissioners' fund and not appropriated for any other purpose. Moneys to be derived from the sale of bonds, the issue of which has been authorized, shall be deemed to be in the treasury to the credit of such fund.

All moneys expended for the construction and acquisition of parkways or boulevards, as authorized by such sections, shall be provided for partly by special appropriation or bond issue and partly by assessments, as specified in section 747.06 of the Revised Code, and such funds shall be separately accounted for, and such expenditure shall not be considered a part of the rapid transit expenditure authorized by this section. The board may let contracts for any part of the work to the lowest and best bidder after three weeks' advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or as provided in section 7.16 of the Revised Code.

The board may reject any bid, and the proceedings for such contracts and payment therefor shall be the same as provided for the director of public service except the requirement of the approval of the board of control.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

747.06 Assessment against property owners for construction of boulevard or parkway - limitations.

The board of rapid transit commissioners may assess upon the abutting, adjacent, contiguous, or other specially benefited lots or lands in a city fifty per cent of the entire cost or expense connected with the construction of any boulevard or parkway authorized by sections 747.01 to 747.13 , inclusive, of the Revised Code. The proceedings by such board for the levying and collecting of any special assessments, including the issuance and sale of bonds in anticipation of the collection of such special assessments, shall be as provided by law for the levy and collection of special assessments and the issuance and sale of bonds in anticipation of the collection of such assessment for street improvements in municipal corporations. Resolutions of necessity, determinations to proceed with the improvements, the making of the assessments, the letting of contracts, the appointment of estimating and equalizing boards in cases of assessments in proportion to benefits, the authorizing, issuance, and sale of bonds in anticipation of the levy or collection of such assessments, and all other steps and proceedings preceding or relating to the levy of such assessments shall be adopted, passed, made, taken, or performed by such board, and the board may adopt, pass, make, take, and perform all such resolutions, steps, and proceedings. In such cities the plans, specifications, and estimates shall, at the time of the passage of the resolution of necessity, be on file in the office of the board, and notice of the resolution shall be served by such board or any person designated by it for the purpose. Objections to assessments and the claims of property owners for damages shall be filed with the clerk of the board, and such board shall determine whether claims for damages shall be judicially inquired into before commencement or after completion of the improvement, and in general all steps required by law to be taken by or with the clerk of the legislative authority shall, as regards said parkway construction be taken by or with the clerk of such board.

Assessments for the purpose of this section shall be subject to the limitations provided by law for assessments for street and other improvements, and all collections made pursuant thereto shall be credited by the city auditor to the respective parkway improvement.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

747.07 Issue of bonds - maximum issue without vote.

The taxing authority of a city may pay the preliminary expenses of the board of rapid transit commissioners and include the cost of such preliminary expenses as part of the cost of the rapid transit system for which bonds may be issued.

No bonds shall be issued for any rapid transit system in excess of one hundred fifty thousand dollars without a vote of the people, and the total bonds issued by any city for a rapid transit system shall not exceed two per cent of the total value of all property in such city as listed and assessed for taxation.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

747.08 Application of proceeds from sale of bonds.

The proceeds from the sale of bonds issued under section 747.07 of the Revised Code may be used by the board of rapid transit commissioners for the construction in, through, on, over, upon, or under any canal lands or property leased by the city from this state, or any lands, right of ways, or property outside of such canal lands, whether within or without the city, of depots and terminals for interurban, suburban, rapid transit, or street electric railways, or for the construction of interurban, suburban, rapid transit, or street electric railways, or of any combination of two or more of such purposes, and the necessary tracks, way stations, depots, workshops, conduits, elevated structures, subways, tunnels, offices, sidetracks, turnouts, machine shops, bridges, and other appurtenances, and for the purchase, acquisition, or condemnation of the necessary lands, easements, and rights of way, and for the purchase of the equipment necessary for the operation thereof. The proceeds of bonds specially issued for such purposes shall be used to pay the cost for the construction of boulevards or parkways upon or adjacent to such lands or canal lands, subject to the provisions relative to the construction of and assessments for boulevards or parkways, as specified in sections 747.04 to 747.06 , inclusive, of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

747.09 Acquiring or appropriating property.

The board of rapid transit commissioners may acquire by purchase or appropriate, enter upon, and hold any real estate or easement, partial or otherwise, therein, thereon, thereunder, or thereover, or any interest therein, both within and without the limits of the city, which it deems necessary for the purposes specified in section 747.08 of the Revised Code, and in the manner provided by sections 163.01 to 163.22 , inclusive, of the Revised Code.

The board may cross and occupy streets and highways in the manner provided by law for street, suburban, or interurban electric railways, and may receive grants from city, township, or county officers of the right to use or occupy streets and other public highways which such officers may give the board.

The board may order the removal of pipes, sewers, conduits, poles, and other structures that are in the way of construction authorized by sections 747.01 to 747.13 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, and may temporarily suspend streetcar traffic. The cost of changing sewers and water pipes shall be included as part of the cost of construction, and the board may enter upon lands or buildings for examination and surveys prior to appropriation proceedings therefor.

Effective Date: 01-01-1966

747.10 Disposition of fees and earnings.

All rentals, payments, and fees of every description and all other income, earnings, or revenues received from all persons, firms, and corporations for the use of depots, terminals, and railways, shall be kept in a separate and distinct fund, and after paying the expenses of the city for maintaining, conducting, and managing such depots, terminals, and railways, including the setting aside of a reasonable sum annually for depreciation to be applied to the repair or replacement of any portion of such work, from the remainder of such receipts there shall annually be paid into the sinking fund of the city such sum as is necessary for the payment of accruing interest on the bonds issued and outstanding for the construction of a rapid transit system, and to provide a sinking fund for the redemption thereof at maturity. The city, to the extent that such remainder is not sufficient for the payment of the interest on such bonds, and for the bonds issued during construction, and for the accumulation of a sinking fund sufficient for payment thereof at maturity, shall annually levy a tax sufficient for such purposes, which tax shall not be subject to any of the limitations provided by law for maximum tax rates on property in the city, except the combined maximum rate fixed in section 5705.02 of the Revised Code, and in addition thereto one-half mill may be levied.

The surplus in any year above such expenses, depreciation charges, interest, and sinking fund charges shall, up to the amount necessary to equal the deficiencies of previous years, be paid into the sinking fund of such city until the amounts paid into the sinking fund from such revenues equal the total accrued interest and sinking fund charges on such bonds, and any amounts thus paid in on account of such past deficiencies, may be applied to interest or sinking fund charges on any indebtedness of the city. Any surplus above such expenses, depreciation charges, current interest, sinking fund charges, and reimbursement of past deficiencies of interest and sinking fund charges, may be used for the reconstruction of, improvement of, additions to, or extensions of such depots, terminals, and railway equipment.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

747.11 Power to lease depots and terminals - submission of question to electors.

The board of rapid transit commissioners may grant to any corporation organized for street or interurban railway purposes the right to operate, by lease or otherwise, the depots, terminals, and railways mentioned in section 747.08 of the Revised Code upon such terms as the board is authorized by ordinance to agree upon with such corporation, subject to the approval of a majority of the electors of the city voting on the question.

The board of rapid transit commissioners shall certify such lease or agreement to the board of elections, which shall then submit the question of the approval of such lease or agreement to the qualified electors of the city at either a special or general election as the ordinance specifies. Thirty days' notice of the election shall be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the city once a week for two consecutive weeks prior to the election, or as provided in section 7.16 of the Revised Code. If the board of elections operates and maintains a web site, the board of elections shall post notice of the election for thirty days prior to the election on its web site. The notice shall set forth the terms of the lease or agreement and the time of holding the election. On the approval by a majority of the voters voting at the election, the corporation may operate such depots, terminals, and railways as provided in the lease or agreement, and corporations organized under the laws of this state for street or interurban railway purposes may lease and operate such depots, terminals, and railways.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 10-07-1977; 06-01-2006

747.12 Sale or lease of unused real estate - procedure - proceeds from sale - execution of contract.

Whenever the board of rapid transit commissioners of a city declares by resolution that real estate of the city acquired for rapid transit purposes is not needed for the proper conduct and maintenance of such rapid transit system, such real estate may be sold or leased by the board to the highest bidder after advertisement once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within the city or as provided in section 7.16 of the Revised Code. The board may reject any bid and readvertise until all such property is sold or leased. When the board has twice so offered to sell or lease such property, and it is not sold or leased, the board may privately sell or lease it.

Moneys arising from such sales or leases shall be deposited in the treasury of the city to the credit of the board of rapid transit commissioners' fund, and may be expended for the purchase, construction, improvement, maintenance, equipment, and enjoyment of the city's rapid transit property, as such board directs.

Contracts, leases, deeds, bills of sale, or other instruments in writing pertaining to such sales or leases shall be executed on behalf of the city by the board, by its president and secretary.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

747.13 Unused real estate available for boulevard purposes.

Whenever the board of rapid transit commissioners of a city declares by resolution that certain real estate of the city, acquired for rapid transit purposes and paid for out of rapid transit funds, is not needed for such purposes and is available for boulevard or parkway purposes, such board, by resolution, may determine to use the real estate for boulevard or parkway purposes, and may transfer from any boulevard or parkway funds in the treasury of the city and subject to its control to the board of rapid transit commissioners' fund a sum not in excess of the cost of such real estate. If such real estate was acquired as part of a larger parcel of real estate, the sum so transferred shall not be in excess of the proportion which the cost of such real estate bears to the total cost to the city of the larger parcel of real estate of which it is a part, measured by giving to each square foot of the larger parcel of real estate the same value.

This section does not authorize any such board to transfer from any parkway or boulevard funds subject to its control a total sum in excess of one hundred fifty thousand dollars. All moneys so transferred to the board's funds may be expended for the purchase, construction, improvement, maintenance, equipment, or enjoyment of the city's rapid transit property, as the board directs.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953