COLUMBUS – The Senate earlier this month unanimously passed Senate Bill 155, sponsored by Senator Dave Burke.  The legislation grants a joint board of county commissioners the authority to conduct county ditch proceedings for existing projects via teleconference or video conference. 

The purpose of a joint county ditch meeting is to review and accept the percentages, as determined by the soil and water district, to keep a ditch in working order.  

Under current law, a landowner interested in attending such a meeting would have to travel to whatever county seat the ditch hearing is in (which is normally the county where the majority of the ditch is located).  

Under SB 155 however, the public would simply attend their local county commissioner’s office where the conference call or video conference is taking place.

This is a simple yet necessary bill that not only allows joint boards to operate more efficiently, but brings such proceedings into the 21st century while allowing the public additional opportunities to get involved. 

Senator Burke worked closely with the Seneca County Commissioners, the County Commissioners Association and the Ohio Newspaper Association on this bill.  SB 155 now moves over to he Ohio House of Representatives for further deliberation.

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