To the Citizens and Board of County Commissioners of Butler County, Ohio:
I respectfully present the Butler County Engineer’s 2022 Annual Report for your review.
This summary of 2022 activity highlights over $28 million in capital improvements and maintenance. I am pleased to show you the great variety of our projects around Butler County that increase the safety and longevity of our roads and bridges, encourage and provide access to new economic development, and connect communities through multi-use paths.
Even with soaring inflation in 2022, the Butler County Engineer’s Office significantly advanced the county’s transportation system by collaborating with our townships and cities, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), the OKI Regional Council of Governments, and numerous other entities. Planning and identifying these outside funding sources several years before completion is crucial to accomplishing improvements like the Five Points roundabout and the Hamilton Mason Road at Mauds Hughes Road intersection improvement.
Non-contract projects performed by BCEO crews, known as force account projects, consist of everything from culvert and bridge replacements and deck repairs to general and seasonal maintenance. Per the Ohio Revised Code set in 2003, if the cost estimate
for a force account project is over $30,000 per mile for road maintenance or paving and $100,000 for structures (bridges or culverts), the project must be competitively bid, and let as a contract to the lowest qualified bidder. Unfortunately, with the construction costs nearly doubling over the last twenty years, BCEO has been restricted to smaller and smaller projects, thus causing us to be less efficient in the use of your tax dollars.
Along with other county engineers, I have been extremely vocal at the state level in unwavering support of raising force account limits to allow the BCEO to serve our citizens more efficiently and provide the best return on their tax dollars. As a result, the newly passed Transportation Budget included raising the Force Account limits by 133 percent! This increase will help us keep pace with
construction inflation and allow the contractor to build the intermediate and larger projects while we focus on smaller maintenancetype projects.
As your County Engineer, I am always searching for new and better ways to meet the growing transportation demands of this county. Being fiscally conservative by nature, efficiency is one of my core values when seeking better methods to improve our roadway network.
As always, thank you for your continued trust and encouragement as your County Engineer. Feel free to contact us with your concerns and suggestions for how we can improve our service. Please read on for a review of 2022.