Section 5537.17 | Maintenance and repair of turnpike project - restoration or repair of damaged property - cooperation by governmental agencies - bridge inspection - annual audit.
(A) Each turnpike project open to traffic shall be maintained and kept in good condition and repair by the Ohio turnpike and infrastructure commission. The Ohio turnpike system shall be policed and operated by a force of police, toll collectors, and other employees and agents that the commission employs or contracts for.
(B) All public or private property damaged or destroyed in carrying out the powers granted by this chapter shall be restored or repaired and placed in its original condition, as nearly as practicable, or adequate compensation or consideration made therefor out of moneys provided under this chapter.
(C) All governmental agencies may lease, lend, grant, or convey to the commission at its request, upon terms that the proper authorities of the governmental agencies consider reasonable and fair and without the necessity for an advertisement, order of court, or other action or formality, other than the regular and formal action of the authorities concerned, any property that is necessary or convenient to the effectuation of the purposes of the commission, including public roads and other property already devoted to public use.
(D) Each bridge constituting part of a turnpike project shall be inspected at least once each year by a professional engineer employed or retained by the commission.
(E) On or before the first day of July in each year, the commission shall make an annual report of its activities for the preceding calendar year to the governor and the general assembly. Each such report shall set forth a complete operating and financial statement covering the commission's operations and funding of any turnpike projects and infrastructure projects during the year. The commission shall cause an audit of its books and accounts to be made at least once each year by certified public accountants, and the cost thereof may be treated as a part of the cost of operations of the commission. The auditor of state, at least once a year and without previous notice to the commission, shall audit the accounts and transactions of the commission.
(F) The commission shall submit a copy of its annual audit by the auditor of state and its proposed annual budget for each calendar or fiscal year to the governor, the presiding officers of each house of the general assembly, the director of budget and management, and the legislative service commission no later than the first day of that calendar or fiscal year.
(G) Upon request of the chairperson of the appropriate standing committee or subcommittee of the senate and house of representatives that is primarily responsible for considering transportation budget matters, the commission shall appear at least one time before each committee or subcommittee during the period when that committee or subcommittee is considering the biennial appropriations for the department of transportation and shall provide testimony outlining its budgetary results for the last two calendar years, including a comparison of budget and actual revenue and expenditure amounts. The commission also shall address its current budget and long-term capital plan.
(H) Not more than sixty nor less than thirty days before adopting its annual budget, the commission shall submit a copy of its proposed annual budget to the governor, the presiding officers of each house of the general assembly, the director of budget and management, and the legislative service commission. The office of budget and management shall review the proposed budget and may provide recommendations to the commission for its consideration.