The office staff includes clerical, bookkeeping, record keeping, drafting, tax map, and engineering staff for drainage, road, and bridge departments. Staff members assist the public in obtaining public records located within the office of the Engineer, as well as, designing, engineering and inspecting county highway and drainage projects.
Office staff may be contacted at 419-947-4530.
L. Randy Bush, P.E., P.S., - Morrow County Engineer
- Morrow County Engineer: January 1989 till present
- Previous Experience:
- Morrow County Assistant Engineer and Bridge Inspector
- Morrow County Highway Department Surveyor and Engineer
- Justin Earley & Associates
County Engineer Responsibilities
- The duties of the County Engineer are established by the Ohio Revised Code. These duties encompass the areas of County Highways, Township Highways, Bridges, Tax Maps, and Drainage issues.
- County Highways: The County Engineer is responsible for the maintenance, repair, widening, resurfacing, and reconstruction of pavements and bridges in the County Highway System. Maintenance duties include traffic control, safety projects, mowing and snow removal.
- Township Highways: The County Engineer serves as an engineering advisor to the Township Trustees for the maintenance, widening and repair of the Township Highway System.
- Bridges: The County Engineer is responsible for bridges on both the County and Township Highway Systems. Annual inspections are performed to evaluate the condition and load-bearing capacity of each bridge.
- Tax Maps: The County Engineer participates in county and regional planning commissions and provides tax map drafting services for the county.
- Drainage: In unincorporated areas, the County Engineer may also be involved in the establishment and maintenance of petitioned and mutual agreement ditches.
Funding for the County Engineer Office
- The activities of the County Engineer are financed from various sources.
- The major responsibility, the upkeep of roads and bridges, is primarily financed by highway user fees such as motor vehicle fuel taxes and registration fees.
- Supplemental funds (voted bond issues and levies, as well as fines) are available for specific highway improvement purposes.
- Fuel taxes earmarked for highway purposes are levied at the state and federal levels of government. State revenues are distributed for use in the State, County, Township and Municipal Highway Systems by means of statutory formulas.
- The amount of tax varies depending on legislative action. Also, some of the monies distributed to the states from federal funds are passed on to local governments on a project-by-project basis.
- The income from state motor vehicle registration fees (after state administrative costs are deducted) is returned to the local government units on the basis of a statutory formula. Currently, the distribution percentages are 71% for counties, 24% for municipalities, and 5% for townships. County, municipal and township government agencies have the authority to also levy their own motor vehicle registration fee in the form of an additional tax of up to $20.00 (in $5.00 increments). Several townships and incorporated villages have enacted the additional $5.00 increments.
- The amounts levied vary from county to county according to highway improvement needs and the enactment procedure of the three levels of local governments. The revenues received must be used for highway purposes.
- Funding information was provided by the County Engineers Association of Ohio.
History of the County Engineer
- The office of County Engineer evolved from the important role played by the County Surveyor in the first decades of Ohio's statehood.
- As early as 1785, Ohio served as a "laboratory" for the development of the Public Lands rectangular survey system, and well into the 1800's, the County Surveyor was charged with the tremendous task of clarifying land titles and boundaries. After 1820, a movement for the "internal improvements" swept through the state, and County Surveyors became increasingly involved in transportation-related projects: specifically in the development of canals and roads. By the late 19th century, the major duty of the County Surveyor was the building and maintenance of roads, bridges and drainage ditches.
- The office of County Surveyor was established by the first General Assembly following the admission of Ohio to the Union in 1803. Whenever a new county was created, the County Surveyor, Recorder, Prosecuting Attorney and Clerk were appointed by the legislature. County Surveyors were paid only a per diem wage ($5.00 in the late 1800's) for those days when they were actually employed.
- In 1831, the legislature voted to make the office elective because of the increased responsibilities it entailed. The law stated that a County Surveyor would serve a term of three years, "if he so long qualified."
- Legislation passed in 1915 established a salary and conferred on the County Surveyor the title of "Resident Engineer for the State Highway Department." In 1928, the term of office was lengthened from three years to four. Then on August 30, 1935, the title was changed to "County Engineer."
- Today, only persons who hold registration certificates from the State of Ohio as a "Registered Professional Engineer" and "Registered Professional Surveyor" may hold the office of County Engineer.
- This history of the County Engineer in Ohio was provided by the County Engineers Association of Ohio.