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August 24, 2018 

OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE
Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:
  • Senate President Larry Obhof (R - Medina) said this week Ohio should wait and ensure there is actually a budget surplus before deciding how to spend it, as the figures represent only a projected surplus at this time. He also said any decisions made with regards to spending the surplus should have the Legislature's input.

  • Ohio's projected tax revenue for Fiscal Year 2019 as been increased by $531.1 million, according to the Ohio Department of Taxation and the Office of Budget and Management. This increase is predicted due to changes in law as well as new economic data since the Governor signed HB 49, the latest biennial budget bill.

  • The Bureau of Worker's Compensation announced that it will grant local law enforcement agencies up to $40,000 to purchase body armor provided the municipality has a 25% match. The match will be provided through the BWC's Safety Intervention Grant Program.
 
BUDGET SURPLUS, MUNICIPAL FUNDING CUTS FEATURED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

Last week, the New York Times ran an article detailing the debate over the use of this year's budget surplus. Governor Kasich, earlier this month, announced his intention to use excess state revenue to fill Ohio's "Rainy Day" Budget Stabilization Fund to its maximum statutory limit and then make a downward adjustment to the state's withholding tables. As you may remember, this announcement received a very public pushback from Ohio's local leaders. The League made sample resolutions available to help municipalities declare publicly their opposition to the Governor's plan.

The pushback got the national spotlight in the Times, which focused specifically on the struggles of a few municipalities like Lorain and Middletown, in addition to other states. The article cited a study conducted by the League that found more than 90% of municipalities have had to delay significant road repairs.

In the article, Governor Kasich shared his perspective of how he feels municipalities are responding to the cuts in revenue and other changes that have depressed the collection of revenue locally: "We have a constant whining from local governments. They want handouts. They want it to be easy." This quote came amidst the backdrop of the article detailing the inability of Ohio's municipalities to provide basic services like adequate police protection, fire services and sewer systems that work. The article details attempts from local governments to raise taxes just to fund basic road repairs and being stymied by city councils or the voters.

The article is an interesting and important read, and you can access it HERE.
 
NEW BILLS OF MUNICIPAL INTEREST

Here are the bill introduced this week that impact local governments:
  • HB 720 - SALES TAX. Sponsored by Rep. Antani (R - Miamisburg) and Rep. Smith (R - Germantown), would require voter approval of any increase in the rate of a county sales tax.
 
OML 2018 SUMMER REGIONAL CONFERENCES A SUCCESS

We want to thank all of the municipal officials who have joined us for our four 2018 Summer Regional Conferences held in Athens, Mason, Canton and Findlay. The response from League members to our efforts to take a portion of our annual conference to the four corners of the state has been very gratifying and we appreciate the great turnout and support. We also want to especially thank Mayor Lydia Mihalik for hosting us in Findlay last Friday and for kicking off the conference.

 Our goal for the Regional Conferences was to provide an opportunity for League members prevented from attending our three-day Annual Conference held in downtown Columbus, either because of distance constraints or other issues, to have access to the timely information our attendees receive at our Annual Conference and to experience some of the opportunities that the conference provides.  

We believe the 2018 Summer Regional Conferences were an invaluable opportunity for municipal officials statewide to have the ability to be presented with critical information directly related to the success of their own communities, as well as connect and network with other local leaders in their area. Each conference was a great opportunity for all municipal and local government officials to refresh their skill sets and get the most recent information on critical topics. Once again, we want to thank each individual who attended each conference and contributed to making each event a success. WE will be working to improve the regional conference program and look forward to next year's events.
 
OML PREPARES FOR ANNUAL CONFERENCE

The League's 2018 Annual Conference will be here before we know it! The conference will be taking place in downtown Columbus at the Renaissance Hotel from Wednesday, Oct. 31 st through Friday, Nov. 2 nd. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from dynamic speakers, attend meaningful workshops and network with other municipal leaders from across the state. It is an incredible opportunity you don't want to miss!

Information about the Annual Conference, including the agenda, is being sent out today. Additionally, registration for the 2018 Annual Conference in now open - just click HERE.

The Municipal Finance Officers of Ohio will be holding their annual conference concurrently with the League from Wednesday, October 31 st through Thursday, November 2 nd. Attendees will participate in general sessions, round table discussions and workshops and will have access to the exhibitor's hall hosted by the League's Annual Conference. To register, click HERE.

We are excited about these upcoming opportunities and look forward to seeing you there!
 
STATE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS BOARD ANNOUNCES FILING REQUIREMENTS

The State Employment Relations Board (SERB) is required by Ohio law to collect and analyze all public sector collective bargaining agreements and provide the citizens of Ohio and collective bargaining stakeholders with a reliable source of information. SERB created the Clearinghouse database to house, manage and preserve this information, which can serve as a critically important factor in the bargaining process.

To assure the accuracy and integrity of this database, Ohio law also requires that all Ohio public employers file copies of all contracts, memoranda of understanding, contract amendment, etc., with SERB within 30 days of completion. Employers must file these relevant documents at research@serb.ohio.gov. Questions can be directed to Justin Brown at 614-466-1122 or justin.brown@serb.ohio.gov.

STATE ISSUES REGULATORY OVERSIGHT OF OHIO'S PUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS AND SPRAYGROUNDS

Public swimming pools are great places to have fun and get out of the summer heat. But did you know that spraygrounds, splash pads, and wet decks that recirculate water are considered special use pools in Ohio? These pools are very popular and are being installed all over Ohio. It's important to remember that under state law, all public swimming pools, including spraygrounds, must be reviewed and inspected by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) during construction and before licensing by the local health department. This will help to ensure that they are healthy and safe environments for everyone.

Design plans must be sent to ODH for review and approval prior to construction. Information on the standards for construction are located in Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 3701-31-05.1. This rule covers everything from materials for building public swimming pools and spraygrounds to signs and decks for public swimming pools and spraygrounds.

In some, but not all circumstances, plans for public swimming pools should be approved by ODH prior to submitting to a building department and before ground is broken for the public swimming pool or sprayground. Once plans are approved and construction begins, inspections must be requested by the operator of the pool or contractor building the sprayground. The inspection of all the pipes and drains is called a rough or underground inspection. This inspection must be done before concrete is poured and before the pipes and drains are covered.

Once a request for inspection is received by ODH, the inspection must be scheduled within two business days. After the rough inspection is complete, the rest of the public swimming pool or sprayground can be built. When the construction of the public swimming pool or sprayground is completed and ready for use, a final inspection must be requested by the operator of the pool or contractor to receive final approval from ODH. Once approved, the next and final step is to obtain a license from the local health district. Minimum standards for the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of these facilities were established to protect the public from injury, minimize the potential for disease transmission, and provide a safe and healthy recreational environment for Ohioans as they enjoy the summer season.

Contact Mary Shaffer, Recreation Programs Administrator, in the Ohio Department of Health's Bureau of Environmental Health and Radiation Protection if you have questions about how state regulations apply to your public swimming pool or sprayground. She can be reached at Mary.Shaffer@odh.ohio.gov or (614) 466-6736.
 
OFFICE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY TO HOLD CYBER SECURITY CONFERENCE

Mark your calendars for the annual Cyber Security Day Conference on Thursday, October 4 at the Ohio Department of Transportation Auditorium, 1980 W. Broad St., Columbus, Ohio.

 The Ohio Department of Administrative Services' Office of Information Technology sponsors this opportunity for cyber security professionals to network with peers and industry experts, and it will be a thought-provoking day of highly informative speakers.
 Attend to:
  •  Keep current on cyber security threats, vulnerabilities, exploits, and industry developments
  • Grow with peer networking opportunities
  • Learn from industry professionals providing information on array of security issues
 Who should attend?
 ·         Technology leaders
·         CIOs, Agency ISOs, IT administrators
·         Security and other IT staff

Registration opens in September. Detailed information will be sent out as registration nears.  Go to InfoSec.Ohio.gov for updates. This conference is free to public IT and security staff. We hope to see you there!

Upcoming Meetings & Events

OML/OMAA Webinar
  Drone Technology, The Essential Guide
September 20, 2018 

 10:00 a.m. ~ 11:00 a.m.
Registration Information 
OML Annual Conference
October 31 ~ November 2
MFOA Annual Conference
October 31 & November 1
Registration Information 

Ohio Municipal League

Legislative Inquires:
Kent Scarrett, Executive Director
Edward Albright, Deputy Director
Ashley Brewster, Director of Communications
Rachel Massoud, Legislative Advocate

Website/Bulletin Issues:
Zoë Wade, Office Manager