About Paulding County Engineer’s Office

Duties

There are four distinct highway systems in Ohio. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is responsible for the 19,000-mile State Highway System. The Township Trustees collectively oversee the maintenance of the Township Highway System with its 39,000 miles of roads. Municipalities maintain the streets and alleys within their boundaries, which together would span over 21,000 miles. The 30,000-mile County Highway System is, of course, the responsibility of Ohio’s 88 County Engineers.

The County Engineer works with the County Commissioners and Township Trustees to carry out a wide variety of obligations, including:

Engineering

  • Roadway, bridge, and drainage design
  • Long range planning and engineering

Administration and Finance

  • Records (public access to these records is always available)
    • Permanent copies of all road and bridge plans
    • Maps | Aerial photos
    • Benchmarks
    • Land records
  • Budgets and payroll
    • Management of annual budget
    • Anticipation of fiscal needs
    • Assessment of revenue availability
  • Public Information
    • Coordination of project and construction information
    • Media relations
    • Development of Annual Report
    • Development of Official Paulding County Transportation Map

Construction and Inspection

  • Administration of capital improvement contracts
    • Bridge and roadway construction
    • Annual pavement resurfacing program
  • Inspection, measurement, and documentation of all pay items
  • Adherence to bid specifications and plans
  • Prepares partial and final payments to all contractors
  • Right-of-way acquisition
  • Utility coordination and relocation
    • Gas
    • Water
    • Electric
    • Telephone
    • Television
    • Cable
    • Sanitary sewers
  • Reviews and issues utility and driveway permits
  • Annual bridge field inspection
Development Services

  • Engineering review for Paulding County Regional Planning Commission on new subdivision developments
  • Inspects construction of new subdivision streets
    • Storm sewers
    • Storm water management systems
    • Road and bridge design
    • Soil and erosion measures
    • Traffic control

Operations and Maintenance

  • Road and bridge maintenance
    • Ditching and drainage
    • Culvert installation
    • Pavement markings
    • Pothole patching
    • Bridge repair
    • Berm work
    • Guardrail repair
    • Mowing
    • Brush and weed control
    • Snow and ice control
  • Emergency maintenance
    • Storm damage
    • Downed trees
    • High water and flooding problems
    • Debris
  • Traffic Operations
    • Maintenance of traffic signs and pavement markings
    • Collection of traffic data throughout the county
  • Maintenance and upgrade of vehicles and equipment
  • Training of personnel on safety procedures to ensure compliance with OSHA regulations
  • Building and grounds upkeep

HISTORY OF THE COUNTY ENGINEER IN OHIO

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. 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 “internal improvements” swept through the state, and County Surveyors become 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 a common court of appeals, which itself was 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 behaved well and until his successor be elected and qualified.” Legislation passed in 1915 established a salary and conferred on the County Surveyor the title “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 both “Registered Professional Engineer” and “Registered Surveyor” may qualify for the office of County Engineer. Both accreditations require a minimum of a college degree in engineering and surveying, four years of experience in engineering and surveying, and 16 hours of testing. Ohio has the most rigorous standards in the United States for qualifying its County Engineers.

The elected county Engineer is sworn to “perform for the county all duties authorized or declared by law to be done by a Civil Engineer or Surveyor.” Although specifically exempt from engineering duties affecting public buildings, he is the engineer for all public improvements under the authority of the board of commissioners within and for the county.