Huron County at a Glance
Huron County encompasses 493 square miles, has 3 incorporated cities, 7 incorporated villages, and 19 unincorporated townships with a population totaling 59,000 people.
Duties of the Engineer’s Office
The County Engineer is responsible for the design, construction, roadside drainage, and maintenance of roads and bridges on the County Highway System. This includes 226 miles of roadway, 406 bridges, 3,485 culverts and thousands of road signs. The County Engineer’s office provides the following services:
The County Engineer’s office is funded through a portion of the Ohio vehicle registration fee, part of the Permissive Motor Vehicle License Tax, and a small percentage of the gasoline tax. We also receive grants from the state and federal government for specific projects that are eligible for those funds.
Our budget has stayed the same since 2006 when the State Motor Fuel Tax increased 2 cents per gallon bringing the total to 28 cents per gallon. Counties receive 3.4 cents of this tax, which is distributed equally among all 88 counties.
Our budget will likely stay the same or decrease slightly as cars become more fuel efficient and electric vehicles become more popular, while the cost of construction and staffing will continue to increase.
According to the Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) Financial report, what cost $1.00 in 2006, costs $1.56 today!
Looking at this another way:
What it cost to pave 1 ½ mile of road in 2006, only allows us to pave 1 mile of road today!
History of the County Engineer
Ohio was admitted to the union in 1803-and one of the original offices created by the first General Assembly was that of county surveyor, from which the county engineer’s office has evolved. When a new county was created, the Legislature appointed a court of common pleas, which fixed the time and place for a county-wide election. At first, only three offices were filled by these elections: Commissioners (3), sheriff, and coroner. The court appointed the county surveyor, recorder, prosecuting attorney, and clerk.
In those early days of the state, the office of county surveyor was a very important position. As early as 1785, Ohio had been the laboratory in which the Public Lands rectangular survey system was developed; and well into the 1800’s the clarification of land titles and boundaries was the major function of the county surveyor. After 1820, however, the state became increasingly caught up in the "internal improvements" movement. Some of the county surveyors were involved with building Ohio’s network of canals, and virtually all were called upon to spend more and more time developing the state’s integrated system of good roads.
Due to the increasing responsibilities of the position, in 1831 the Legislature moved to make the office of county surveyor elective, for a term of three years.
By late in the 19th Century the county surveyor was almost totally involved with building and maintaining roads, bridges, and drainage ditches- but he still received no salary, being paid an average of $5.00 per day only on those days when actually employed. In 1915, Legislation established a salary and the responsibility of also being resident engineer for the State Highway Department.
The year 1928 saw the county engineer emerging as the public official you know today. In that year he was elected to a four (4) year term which started on "the first Monday in January after his election". Then on August 30, 1935, the title of the office was changed to "County Engineer".
Only persons who hold registration certificates of the State of Ohio as both "Registered Professional Engineer" and "Registered Surveyor" may actually qualify for the office of County Engineer.
The County Engineers' Association of Ohio
6500 Busch Blvd., Suite 100
Columbus, Ohio 43215