The Morrow County Commissioners approved the creation of a Transportation Improvement District, giving the Ohio Department of Transportation an agency with which it can work to help fund infrastructure improvement projects throughout the county.
Fostering intergovernmental and public-private collaboration, the Transportation Improvement District (TID) provides a local structure which coordinates federal, state, and local resources in planning, financing, constructing, and operating transportation projects.
The TID drives the responsibility for transportation improvements to the local level and serves a group of local governments collaborating to achieve common transportation goals.
As the name implies, a TID is a “district,” a geographic area organized for the purpose of improving the existing road system. The TID does not represent a single city, nor is it a large government agency.
In fostering cooperation among local governments, the TID increases the impact and effectiveness of local transportation planning and funding. The cooperative structure of the TID allows Morrow County communities to accomplish more together than they would if they acted alone.
“This allows ODOT to work with transportation improvement districts to fund some county-wide projects,” county commissioner Tom Whiston said. “It’s a necessity to be able to apply for extra ODOT funds.”
Whiston emphasized that this was not the reason this district was formed. Instead, the aim is procuring other ODOT funds that would be made available to improvement districts.
The board will be made up of the Morrow County Engineer Bart Dennison, Commissioner Tom Whiston, Morrow County Development Director Shane Farnsworth, Mount Gilead Administrator Dan Rogers and Chester Township Trustee Lynn Shinaberry.
“The idea is to identify the projects that we could do if we had a little more help and fit the overall ideas of what ODOT has for these improvement districts,” county engineer Bart Dennison said. “The Transportation Improvement District will provide us the ability to leverage new tools we have not historically had access to.”
“We want to be on an even playing field with other counties our size and compete in our region for economic and transportation projects,” Dennison said.