Section 5537.13 | Contracts - bids - tolls - sinking fund - lien of the pledge.
(A) Subject to division (C)(1) of this section and section 5537.26 of the Revised Code, the Ohio turnpike and infrastructure commission may fix, revise, charge, and collect tolls for each turnpike project, and contract in the manner provided by this section with any person desiring the use of any part thereof, including the right-of-way adjoining the paved portion, for placing thereon telephone, electric light, or power lines, service facilities, or for any other purpose, and fix the terms, conditions, rents, and rates of charge for such use, provided that no toll, charge, or rental may be made by the commission for placing in, on, along, over, or under the turnpike project, equipment or public utility facilities that are necessary to serve service facilities or to interconnect any public utility facilities.
(B) Contracts for the operation of service facilities shall be made in writing. Such contracts, except contracts with state agencies or other governmental agencies, shall be made with the bidder whose bid is determined by the commission to be the best bid received, after advertisement, in accordance with section 7.16 of the Revised Code, for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in and in other publications that the commission determines. The notice shall state the general character of the service facilities operation proposed, the place where plans and specifications may be examined, and the time and place of receiving bids. Bids shall contain the full name of each person interested in them, and shall be in such form as the commission requires. The commission may reject any and all bids. All contracts for service facilities shall be preserved in the principal office of the commission.
(C)(1) Except as necessary to comply with covenants in bond proceedings in existence before July 1, 2013, for calendar years 2013 through 2023, the commission shall not increase the toll rates for any class of passenger vehicle as fixed on July 1, 2013, when both of the following apply:
(a) The tolls are collected and remitted in accordance with a multi-jurisdiction electronic toll collection agreement; and
(b) The distance traveled is thirty miles or less.
(2) Subject to division (C)(1) of this section, tolls shall be so fixed and adjusted as to provide funds at least sufficient with other revenues of the Ohio turnpike system, if any, to pay:
(a) The cost of maintaining, improving, repairing, constructing, and operating the Ohio turnpike system and its different parts and sections, and to create and maintain any reserves for those purposes;
(b) Any unpaid bond service charges on outstanding bonds payable from pledged revenues as such charges become due and payable, and to create and maintain any reserves for that purpose.
(D) Tolls are not subject to supervision, approval, or regulation by any state agency other than the turnpike and infrastructure commission.
(E) Revenues derived from each turnpike project shall be first applied to pay the cost of maintenance, improvement, repair, and operation and to provide any reserves therefor that are provided for in the bond proceedings authorizing the issuance of those outstanding bonds, and otherwise as provided by the commission. The bond proceedings also shall provide, subject to the provisions of any other applicable bond proceedings, for the pledge of all, or such part as the commission may determine of the pledged revenues and the applicable special fund or funds to the payment of the bond service charges, which pledge may be made to secure the bonds senior or subordinate to or on a parity with bonds theretofore or thereafter issued, if and to the extent provided in the bond proceedings. The pledge shall be valid and binding from the time the pledge is made; the revenues and the pledged revenues thereafter received by the commission immediately shall be subject to the lien of the pledge without any physical delivery thereof or further act, and the lien of the pledge shall be valid and binding as against all parties having claims of any kind in tort, contract, or otherwise against the commission, whether or not those parties have notice thereof. The bond proceedings by which a pledge is created need not be filed or recorded except in the records of the commission. The use and disposition of moneys to the credit of a bond service fund shall be subject to the applicable bond proceedings.
(F) The proceeds of bonds issued for the payment of the costs of infrastructure projects, net of the payment of all financing expenses and deposits into debt service reserves or other special funds as may be required in the applicable bond proceedings, shall be deposited to the infrastructure fund or funds and shall be exclusively used to pay the cost of infrastructure projects approved by the commission, except that income earned by the infrastructure fund may be used by the commission towards the payment of bond service charges.