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In This Issue

Association News
Important meeting with DRC rescheduled - March 21
- Downtown redevelopment districts webinar – April 12
Legislative Briefing Update
Huron County to host “Wall That Heals” exhibit in June
In memoriam – Cheryl A. Noah


State News
2017 Ohio Sunshine Laws manual released; online training updated
BWC premium rebate update
EPA posts public water systems lead maps online
Scioto Greenways Project wins award

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Conversion Grant program

Federal News
Tax exempt municipal bond update
Census Boundary and Annexation Survey


NACo News
NACo Arts and Culture Awards applications available
NACo Annual Conference: Franklin County…here we come!

Achievement Award Program – brilliant ideas that work!

Education and Grants
State of the Region Conference – March 20
Ohio RCAP to offer sustainable infrastructure training 
Negotiations seminar to focus on health care coverage, contributions and costs – April 11


Job Postings
CCAO publishes classified ads on our website free of charge as a service to counties. When submitting your ad to CCAO, please provide a link to the online job posting and a deadline date. Email your classified ad to Mary Jane Neiman, CCAO Public Relations Associate. 

Statehouse Report
Check out the Statehouse Report for the CCAO Policy Team's updates about legislative activity affecting Ohio's counties. 

Dates

Print Version
Important meeting with DRC rescheduled - March 21

Due to the inclement weather forecast this week, the CCAO Justice and Public Safety Committee was rescheduled for Tuesday, March 21 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the CCAO Offices, 209 E. State Street, in Columbus. All CCAO members are encouraged to attend.
 
The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) Director Gary Mohr will be present to discuss the department’s proposal to require Felony 5 offenders to remain in the community.
 
Gov. John Kasich's biennial budget proposes to continue and take state-wide, in the second year of the biennium, a current pilot program designed to divert certain offenders from the state's overcrowded prisons. Under the program, DRC provides the participating counties with funding to treat low-level offenders in their communities and provide a variety of supervision services within the community.
 
Please review the following information about DRS’s proposed Targeting Community Alternatives to Prison Program.
  • Mohr’s Testimony
  • Fact Sheet
  • Columbus Dispatch article
  • County-specific data regarding CY 2016 Felony 5 commitments that are targeted in the budget proposal. The total number of commitments per county is broken down by gender, as well as the percentage that were community control violators and the percentage who had at least one prior prison commitment and
  • Estimated funding information - DRC is still refining the funding formula, and the budget is still proposed, we thought it best to provide estimated ranges to account for any changes that may occur during the budget process.
CCAO believes this is a very important committee meeting as this proposal has significant budget implications.  We strongly encourage you all to attend and take part. Lunch will be available. If you haven’t already done so, please RSVP by Monday, March 20, to Curt Pratt, CCAO Administrative Assistant, at (614) 220-7985 or (888) 757-1904.

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Downtown redevelopment districts webinar – April 12

CCAO is pleased to offer a one-hour webinar on April 12 at 9:30 a.m. on “Downtown
Redevelopment Districts”. During the past year, the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation to provide additional tools to meet the challenges of local governments establishing downtown redevelopment districts (DRD). DRDs operate similarly to tax increment financing districts except that the collected service payments can be used for a wider array of uses, including grants and loans to owners of historic buildings for renovation. This is a potential tool for courthouse restoration and renovation.
 
This webinar will focus on:
  • What is a downtown redevelopment district?
  • What is an innovation district?
  • Who establishes a downtown redevelopment district?
  • What is the territory of the district?
  • What are the economic development plan requirements?
  • What are the revenue sources and uses?
  • What are the reporting requirements?
  • How do you certify a courthouse as a historic building?
How can DRDs be used to address maintenance and rehab costs with historic county courthouses? 
Our speaker is David J. Robinson, the principal and founder of the Montrose Group, LLC. Previously, David worked for a decade managing government relations practices’ in large law firms and served in the Ohio House of Representatives. David is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and the Fisher School of Business Advanced Management Program.
 
Click here to register. If you experience difficulty in registering, please contact Curt Pratt, CCAO
administrative assistant, and provide him with your name, title, employer and email address. For
additional information regarding the topic for this webinar, please contact Brad Cole, CCAO
managing director of research, at (614) 220-7981 or (888) 757-1904. Read more…


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Legislative Briefing Update

CCAO is halfway through our regional legislative briefings. If yours is still to come…it’s time to RSVP for your briefing session. Also, personally call you legislator to remind them of the invitation they received from CCAO and encourage them to attend.

As our best advocates, your presence at these legislative briefing sessions will allow our counties to tell their stories to their legislators about the real consequences to service delivery that will be effectuated by HB 49, the proposed FY 18/19 Executive Budget. The governor’s budget casts huge doubt on the administration’s commitment to a viable state/county partnership.  

Schedule for the final briefings:
  • March 27 at 11:30 a.m. – Rootstown
    Ashtabula, Columbiana, Geauga, Lake, Mahoning, Portage and Trumbull
  • April 7 at 11:30 a.m. – Ashland
    Ashland, Holmes, Huron, Lorain, Medina, Richland and Wayne
For more information, please contact John Leutz, CCAO Legislative Counsel, at (614) 220-7994 or Curt Pratt, CCAO Administrative Assistant, at (614) 220-7985. 

Briefings This Week
Mon. – March 20 at 9 a.m.
Rob’s Restaurant, 705 Arlington Road, Brookville
Counties:  Miami, Montgomery and Preble


Mon, - March 20 at 9:30 a.m.
NorthStar Golf Club, 1150 Wilson Road, Sunbury
Counties: Delaware and Knox

Fri. – March 24 at 11:30 a.m.
The John S. Knight Center, 77 Mill Street, Akron
County: Summit

Fri. – March 24 at 11:30 a.m.
Greene County Sanitary Engineering, 667 Dayton Xenia Road, Dayton
Counties: Clark, Madison and Greene


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Huron County to host “Wall That Heals” exhibit in June

Huron County will host the “Wall That Heals”, an exhibit of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica and Mobile Education Center, in Bellevue in June. The Wall will be open at Central Park on North Street in Bellevue, 24-hours a day from Thursday, June 22 through the closing ceremony at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 25. Commissioners Joe Hintz, Bruce “Skip” Wilde, Terry Boose and the Huron County Veterans Services Office extend an invitation to all counties to join them.   
 
The exhibition features a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It is approximately 250 feet in length and, like the original Memorial, is erected in a chevron-shape. The replica is constructed of powder-coated aluminum, supported by an aluminum frame, and is made up of 24 individual panels. 

For more information about the Wall That Heals exhibit in Huron County, please contact rospertk@firelandsfcu.org or hcovso@gmail.com.  


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In memoriam - Cheryl Noah

Former Wayne County Commissioner Cheryl A. Noah died on Mar. 15. In addition to serving as Wayne County Commissioner for 16 years, Cheryl was a registered nurse and accomplished real estate professional. Cheryl was a tireless, engaging advocate for Wayne County at the state, national and international levels. 

Born and raised in Harrison County (Scio), Cheryl was educated at Riverside-Methodist School of Nursing, Kent State University, The Ohio State University and Harvard University's International Marketing Institute. Click here to leave an online condolence for the Noah family.  


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2017 Ohio Sunshine Laws manual released; online training updated

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine released the 2017 edition of Ohio Sunshine Laws: An Open Government Resource Manual, along with a complete update to the online Sunshine Laws Training.

The Sunshine Laws Manual, commonly referred to as the “Yellow Book”, provides summaries of Revised Code provisions and case law regarding the Ohio Public Records Act and Open Meetings Act. This edition includes updates on recent open government legal decisions and law changes, including a new remedy available to public records requesters in the Court of Claims of Ohio.

Along with the release of the new edition of the “Yellow Book,” the OAG’s Public Records Unit created an improved and updated online version of the Online Sunshine Laws Training. The updated training breaks down the three-hour live training into thirteen separate online lessons. To complete the training, users must watch each video lesson in its entirety, correctly answer the quiz questions and fill out an evaluation providing feedback on the quality of the training.

The OAG’s Public Records Unit conducts Sunshine Laws Training at locations around Ohio. The training on the Ohio Public Records Act, which also includes training on the Open Meetings Act, is required for local public officials or their designee at least once per elected term. Both online and live training sessions are approved for CLE credit. Read more…


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BWC premium rebate update

Ohio's employers could soon receive their third Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) premium rebate since 2013 if it is approved by the BWC Board of Directors. The rebate will return $1.1 billion to both public and private employers. To become effective, the proposal went to the BWC Board of Directors for a first read on Thursday, Mar. 15 followed by a second read and possible approval by the board on Friday, April 28.

If approved, more than 200,000 employers are set to receive rebates equal to 66 percent of the employer's premium for the policy year ending June 30, 2016, or calendar year 2015 for public employers. Private employers will receive an estimated $967 million. School districts will receive $41 million, while local governments will receive $92 million. The proposed rebates were made possible by investment returns that have increased the net position of the State Insurance Fund to $9.6 billion. If approved, rebate checks should be issued by July. It would mark the third rebate in four years, totaling about $3 billion. Click here for a fact sheet from BWC.


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EPA posts public water systems lead maps online

Maps identifying lead service lines across the state have been released by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Ohio has 1,878 Ohio public drinking water systems that were required to submit the maps as part of recent drinking water reforms to ensure our communities are provided information and being protected like never before from lead in drinking water.

Click here for a list of available maps. Public water systems that are required to comply with this new requirement are listed alphabetically. Maps received by Ohio EPA can be accessed by clicking the link on the public water system name. If citizens have questions about the service lines in their area, they should call the public water system contact listed on the website. Read more…


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Scioto Greenways Project, Columbus

Scioto Greenways Project wins award

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Ohio (ACEC Ohio) recently recognized 29 projects as part of their annual Engineering Excellence Awards Competition. The awards spotlight engineering projects that demonstrate a high degree of uniqueness, ingenuity and value.

The 2017 Grand Award winner was the Scioto Greenways Project. The Main Street Dam impounded 2.3 miles of the Scioto River in Columbus which caused the river to be a slow-moving, overly wide pool of sediment laden water. This project involved three components: removing the dam, restoring the Scioto River and creating 33 acres of new green space. The project created a healthy riverfront that enabled recreation and improved connectivity allowing the City of Columbus to thrive and ensure maximum economic, ecological and social benefits.

Click here for more information about other Ohio projects recognized by ACEC Ohio.

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Alternative Fuel Vehicle Conversion Grant program

The Ohio EPA is drafting rules to implement a new Alternative Fuel Vehicle Conversion Grant program to award $5 million in grants to encourage the purchase of new large trucks (26,000 pounds or more) that run on compressed natural gas, liquid natural gas, or propane, or the conversion of existing trucks to run on these fuels.  Ohio EPA prepares early stakeholder outreach fact sheets to ensure stakeholders are brought into the review process as early as possible, and to seek additional input before development of the draft rules. Ohio EPA is accepting written comments through the close of business on Mar. 30. Please submit comments to Ohio EPA, Office of Environmental Education, 50 W. Town Street - Suite 700, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH  43216-1049, fax (614) 752-0727 or derg@epa.ohio.gov.

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Tax exempt municipal bond update

On March 8, seven members of the Ohio Congressional Delegation signed a “Dear Colleague” letter that was sent to the House Ways and Means Committee leadership encouraging protection of tax-exempt municipal bonds in any future tax reform or infrastructure measures. The letter was signed by Bob Gibbs (Dist. 7), Bill Johnson (Dist. 6), David Joyce (Dist. 14), Marcy Kaptur (Dist. 9), Bob Latta (Dist. 5), Tim Ryan (Dist. 13) and Steve Stivers (Dist. 15).
 
As tax reform and infrastructure discussions advance on Capitol Hill, proposals that would cap certain tax benefits, including the exemption for municipal bond interest, continue to be offered as a way to help address the federal debt and deficit. The House Ways and Means Committee continues to work on a tax reform package and could finalize details in the weeks and months ahead.
 
Tax-exempt municipal bonds have been a fundamental feature of the U.S. tax code since 1913. They remain the primary method used by states and local governments to finance public capital improvements and public infrastructure projects that are essential to creating jobs, sustaining economic growth and improving the quality of life for Americans in every corner of this country.
 
Between 2003 and 2012, counties, states and other localities invested $3.2 trillion in infrastructure through long-term tax-exempt municipal bonds, 2.5 times more than the federal investment. During that decade, $514 billion of primary and secondary schools were built with financing from tax exempt bonds; nearly $288 billion of financing went to general acute-care hospitals; nearly $258 billion to water and sewer facilities; nearly $178 billion to roads, highways, and streets; nearly $147 billion to public power projects; and $105.6 billion to mass transit.
 
Click here for more information from NACo’s Muni Bond Action Center. Click here for your county’s municipal bond profile. 

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Census Boundary and Annexation Survey

The U.S. Census Bureau Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS) is the primary way that local and tribal governments ensure that their legal boundaries (and, consequently, their official population counts) are correctly recorded with the federal government. Every year, governments use the BAS to update their legal boundaries, official names, (dis)incorporations and (de)annexations.
 
Legal boundaries determine your county’s population count every year in the American Community Survey and the Population Estimates Program. Accurate boundary records directly affect the quality of life in your community.
 
BAS Schedule:
  • Dec. 2016 - The Census Bureau sent BAS information to the highest-elected county official (i.e., county commissioner or county executive); GIS staff, planner, clerk or other contact on file; and relevant state-level official.
  • March 1 (1st deadline) – Legal boundary updates included in the next American Community Survey and Population Estimates Program.
  • May 31 (final deadline) – Legal boundary updates will appear in the 2017 BAS shapefiles. 
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NACo Arts and Culture Awards applications available

The NACo Arts and Culture Award recognizes county governments for their efforts to enrich American cultural and intellectual life, promote lifelong learning and protect our national heritage. These efforts include activities from arts education to historic preservation to the support of local museums, cultural institutions and nonprofit arts organizations.

Both ongoing programs and onetime projects are eligible. The eligible program/project must have become operational after Jan. 1, 2012 and have measurable results. County officials and/or staff, as part of their official duties, must have played a significant role in developing and implementing the program or project.
Application deadline: Apr. 17. Presentation of the award will be made at the Arts and Culture Commission Awards function held at the NACo Annual Conference hosted by Franklin County in July. For more information about the Arts and Culture Awards Program, please contact Jenna Moran, NACo Program Manager, at (202) 942-4224. Read more…


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NACo Annual Conference: Franklin County…here we come!

Franklin County Commissioners John O’Grady, Marilyn Brown and Kevin Boyce are proud to host the National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Conference on July 21-24 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, 400 N. High Street, in Columbus, O-H…I-O!

Columbus, the 15th largest city in the country (right behind San Francisco), is the largest and fastest-growing city in Ohio. Columbus is located within a one-day drive or one-hour flight from more than half of the U.S. population. Read more…
 
This is a great opportunity for Ohio officials who have never attended a NACo Conference to see what they have been missing! When registering, notice the new option for those that cannot attend the entire conference - you can register for two days at a reduced price. And remember to register online to save $25! Register here…
 
If your county is not a member of NACo, new members that join this year get unlimited free registrations for a year…a $865 value per registration. Contact Andrew Goldschmidt, NACo Membership/ Marketing Director, at (202) 942-4221 for membership information.


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Achievement Award Program – brilliant ideas that work!

The National Association of Counties (NACo) is accepting submissions for the 2017 Achievement Awards program. 

For 47 years, NACo has recognized innovation in county government through the Achievement Awards Program. The awards provide an excellent opportunity for counties to promote their successes to a larger audience, as well as share best practices with partners and peers across the nation. 

As a non-competitive awards program, each application is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received. Awards will be presented in 18 categories during the 2017 NACo Annual Conference and Exposition to be held in Franklin County (Columbus), O-H-I-O. All steps in the application process must be completed and application fees must be paid in full by the March 27 deadline. Click here for more information or email awards@naco.org if you have any questions.

As part of the 2016-2017 Presidential Initiative of NACo President Bryan Desloge, the association is launching, Counties Matter Challenge: Brilliant Ideas that Work, a friendly competition to identify and share 100 examples of visionary county leadership that highlights county innovation at its best. Your entry in the Achievement Award program will be in the running for the Challenge.


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Ohio RCAP to offer sustainable infrastructure training 

The Ohio Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) has released their spring sustainable infrastructure training schedule. During Mar., Apr. and May training will be held for local officials in several locations. RCAP is providing the workshops through funding from the Ohio EPA.  

Utility Management Series
Courses:  Asset Management, Applied Asset Management Using CUPSS, Utility Management, Financial Management
Sustainable Infrastructure Series
Courses:  Best Management Practices for Collection Systems, GIS for Small Systems, Guiding and Funding Your Future, What are You Missing and What Does it Cost You? and Tools to Save Money

There is no cost to attend the training. Lunch is on your own. Click on the training links for the date, time, location and OEPA contact hours for each course. The pre-registration deadline is the Friday before each training. Register online or contact Nadine Thompson, Program Assistant - WSOS CAC/Great Lakes RCAP, at (800) 775-9767. 
  
RCAP, part of the WSOS Community Action, provides technical assistance to small, rural communities to help solve water and wastewater problems. 


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Negotiations seminar to focus on health care coverage, contributions and costs – April 11
 
The State Employment Relations Board’s (SERB) Mediation Section will hold its 2nd Annual Negotiations Seminar on April 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the State Library of Ohio, 274 E. First Avenue, in Columbus. The seminar will emphasize health care negotiations featuring six top negotiators in Ohio. 

In the morning, the negotiators will discuss the featured topics followed by mock negotiations in the afternoon. The session will then be open for additional comments and questions. Mediators and speakers will also discuss health care, health care costs, key elements in the health care coverage, health savings accounts and related items.  

Registration fee: $50. Registration deadline: April 3. Space is limited. Register here… 

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