With the continued rapid growth of the county, commissioners created the Delaware County Transportation Improvement District (DCTID) and authorized five trustees to finance, construct, maintain, repair and operate transportation projects.
Mike Frommer, Delaware County administrator; Si Kille, Delaware County Deputy Administrator; Pat Blayney, public at-large member; and Tom Price, public at-large member, all met Wednesday for the district’s inaugural meeting in which trustees elected officers, approved the bylaws that will govern the board, and set the time, dates and place of meetings.
Chris Bauserman, Delaware County engineer, is the fifth member of the board, but he was unable to attend the meeting due to being on a trip to Japan.
The five appointed by the commissioners are voting members of the board.
State representatives Andrew Brenner, Ohio House District 67, and Rick Carfagna, Ohio House District 68, were appointed by Sen. Larry Obhof, president of the Ohio Senate, as two non-voting members of the board.
According to the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) website, “Transportation Improvement Districts (TIDs) promote intergovernmental and public-private cooperation of transportation resources and investments.”
“It gives us the ability to bring multiple jurisdictions together under one independent umbrella,” said Rob Riley, Delaware County chief deputy engineer, who was sitting in for Bauserman.
Riley used the City of Delaware’s The Point Railroad Bridge Replacement Project (intersection of U.S. Route 36/state Route 37) as an example.
“The city has made a request of the commissioners to help fund the project,” he said. “The discussion has been if the commissioners are funding it, it obviously creates a precedent for every other city to ask for help from the county.”
Riley said the TID is able to cross jurisdictional boundaries that counties, cities and townships can’t. He said the goal of the TID is to aid in projects for all the multiple jurisdictions in the county, because the TID allows for a quicker implementation of projects than going through conventional means.
This year, ODOT’s Office of Jobs and Commerce will award $4.5 million to TID projects for 2019.
Riley said the board is submitting an application for $250,000 to help fund the first phase of the Home Road extension, east of U.S. Route 23.
“From what I hear from the board, we are going to apply every year,” he said.
Commissioner Jeff Benton said during the commissioners’ May 17 meeting that other counties have reported positive results from creating TIDs.
“Licking County had a very successful area that they developed quicker, cheaper, faster and easier,” he said. “They attracted the Amazon Distribution Center. If they hadn’t had this in place, it would of never happened.”
“I think this enables us to do some positive transportation projects quicker than we would have otherwise,” Benton added.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.