Delaware County commissioners on May 17 created a Transportation Improvement District, which can be used to consolidate and expedite efforts on transportation infrastructure.
Authorized by the Ohio Revised Code, a TID can help facilitate state funding for transportation projects and streamline processes such as project bidding, selecting contractors and consultants, and locating utilities, county communications manager Jane Hawes said.
In Delaware County, the TID will be used mostly for road projects, she said.
The TID can be used on projects in partnership with private developers and other jurisdictions in the county, including cities and townships.
Commissioners also named a TID board. It includes County Engineer Chris Bauserman, County Administrator Michael Frommer and Deputy Administrator Seiji Kille. In addition, retired engineering professional Patrick Blayney and local farmer and businessman Tom Price were named to two at-large seats on the board.
The county undertakes multiple road and bridge projects each year.
The county engineer's website -- www.co.delaware.oh.us/ engineer/currentprojects.htm -- lists five projects set to begin this year. At least four are planned for 2019. Six were conducted in 2016, four in 2015 and nine in 2014.
"Transportation is one of the most challenging and important issues for our county as we continue this period of rapid growth," Bauserman said in a county press release.
"The TID will be valuable in expediting future transportation projects and facilitating projects involving multiple public and private partners. I'm very encouraged by the county commissioners' vision to create the TID and I'm convinced that, over time, this tool will benefit our entire county," he said.
Commissioner Gary Merrell said formation of the TID sends a positive message about Delaware County's approach to growth.
After two decades of continuous population growth, the county remains the 22nd fastest-growing county in the United States, according to the Delaware County Regional Planning Commission.
"Finding creative ways to control costs, raise revenues and keep our county moving forward is a challenge the commissioners take seriously," Merrell said in the press release.
"A great deal of research has been done on the value and practicality of establishing a TID. Chris Bauserman and I have traveled to southeast Ohio to study a successful TID and we are excited about the benefits this tool can provide the taxpayers in Delaware County," he said.
Ohio is one of four U.S. states where TIDs can be created. The others are Missouri, New Jersey and Virginia.
Delaware County is the 34th of Ohio's 88 counties to form one. TIDs date from 2012 in Ohio when nine, including those in Hamilton and Butler counties, were authorized.