Delaware County create Transportation Improvement District

Special to The Sunbury News

DELAWARE — The Delaware County Board of Commissioners today (May 17) authorized the creation of a Transportation Improvement District in the county and appointed members to its inaugural board.

A Transportation Improvement District (TID) is a tool that county governments can use both to obtain state funding for transportation projects and to significantly streamline the processes for project bidding, selecting contractors and consultants, locating utilities and more. These benefits also will apply to projects undertaken in partnership with private developers and with other jurisdictions in the county, including cities and townships.

A TID’s board has the authority to issue bonds in its own name, not the county’s name. Any financing mechanism used must be tied to a specific transportation or roads project and cannot be used for administrative costs.

“Transportation is one of the most challenging and important issues for our county as we continue this period of rapid growth,” said Delaware County Engineer Chris Bauserman, who is one of the five county appointees to the TID board. The other four are: Delaware County Administrator Michael Frommer, Deputy Administrator Seiji Kille, retired engineering professional Patrick Blayney, who was appointed to a public member at-large seat, and local farmer and businessman Tom Price, who fills the second at-large seat.

Bauserman went on to say: “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.”

County Commissioner Gary Merrell noted that forming the TID will help send a positive message about Delaware County’s approach to growth. After two decades of continuous population growth, the county is still the 22nd fastest growing county in the U.S., 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. “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.”

Ohio is one of four states in the U.S. where TIDs can be created—the others are Missouri, New Jersey and Virginia— and Delaware County will be the 34th out of Ohio’s 88 counties to form one. TIDs date from 2012 in Ohio when a batch of nine, including Hamilton and Butler counties, were authorized.

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Special to The Sunbury News