A $2.6 billion, two-year state capital improvements budget, which funds all manner of projects in virtually every county, is taking wings through the Ohio General Assembly.
Fifteen ACEC Ohio members attended the Council's annual convention in Washington, DC, last week and took advantage of the opportunity to meet with most of the members of the state's Congressional delegation to discuss issues of importance to the industry.
Next Tuesday, May 3, is the deadline to get the 'Early Bird" registration rate for the annual ODOT/ACEC Ohio Partnering Conference, to be held Tuesday, June 7, in Columbus.
A third of the way through the year, 21 ACEC Ohio member firms have met their 2016 voluntary contribution goals for ACEC's state and national political action committees, but many more firms need to pitch in order for the Council to hit its target numbers.
Beth Easterday has been selected by the ACEC Ohio Board of Directors to be the organization's new Executive Director. She will officially assume her duties July 1.
Providing the structural engineering and building systems design for the new $768 million Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans has earned AECOM Technical Services the top award in ACEC Ohio's Engineering Excellence Awards competition.
Michael E. Duffey, a principal with the SSOE Group, based in Toledo, has been nominated to serve as the next president of ACEC Ohio, effective July 1.
Big Ohio contingent to attend national convention; sign up and plan to visit your Congressional representatives
A big contingent from Ohio is registered to attend next month's national ACEC Annual Convention and Legislative Summit in Washington, DC, but there's still time for you to sign up and arrange to visit with your members of Congress.
A rare bipartisan proposal that would see the state issue $1 billion in bonds over a decade to fund water infrastructure projects around the state got its first hearing in the Ohio Senate Tuesday.
Fourteen entries, ranging from the design of massive building and public works construction projects to the rehabilitation of a covered bridge, will be honored at ACEC Ohio's Engineering Excellence Awards luncheon on March 10 in Columbus.
State lawmakers came very close to passing legislation last year to prohibit municipalities from imposing local hiring quotas on those who want to compete for city contracts. In testimony before the House Government Affairs Committee last week, ACEC Ohio Executive Director Don Mader urged legislators to finish the job.
Even though extending the state sales tax to services has been rejected twice by the Ohio General Assembly, Governor John Kasich said last week he will not give up on the idea.
After 34 years of service, Don Mader, executive director of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Ohio, will retire effective June 30, 2016.
Whether your company is seeking to hire new technical staff, or just trying to retain the quality staff you have, it is vital that your firm’s salary and fringe benefit plans are competitive in the industry. That’s why your company should participate in ACEC Ohio’s 2015 Salary & Fringe Benefit Survey.
Professional engineers and surveyors shouldn't be misled into thinking they can meet their biennial continuing professional development requirement just by completing a correspondence course, warns the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers & Surveyors.
A Cleveland-area sewer district has the power to assess regional storm water management fees in an area covering 60 cities, villages and townships in four counties, according to a recent ruling of the Ohio Supreme Court.
Work underway on new two-year state capital budget bill; few local enhancement projects to be funded
The process of developing the state's next two-year capital improvements budget bill is just getting underway and the state's budget director is already warning that there won't be much in the bill in the way of funding for local community enhancement projects.
Bipartisan group of state senators proposes new $1 billion bond fund to finance water, sewer projects
A bipartisan group of members of the Ohio Senate has introduced legislation that could eventually authorize the state to issue up to $1 billion in bonds to help upgrade and expand local water and wastewater facilities.
With summer winding down and your calendar filling up, serving on an ACEC Ohio committee may not be high on your priority list. But it should be.
Many ACEC Ohio firms are busy preparing their entries for the 2016 Engineering Excellence Awards competition, but even if you haven't started yours yet, you still have two months to "git 'er done."
Lynn S. Miggins, of KS Associates, Inc., in Elyria, assumed the reins as the new president of ACEC Ohio at the Council's Annual Meeting on June 25, succeeding Richard J. Iafelice, of CT Consultants, Inc.
Design firms are continuing their steady recovery from the recession but have yet to return to the level of financial strength they enjoyed prior to the downturn, according to the 2014 Deltek Clarity A/E Industry study.
For engineering companies, the best feature of the new two-year state budget signed into law by Governor John Kasich last week is what it doesn't contain: his proposal to extend the state sales tax to engineering services.
For the second year in a row, advocates of the PVC pipe industry are asking the Ohio General Assembly to limit the professional engineer's ability to specify the most appropriate piping material for local government water and wastewater projects.
Earn a chunk of continuing education credits, improve your decision-making skills by attending Annual Meeting
Professional engineers can earn a big chunk of their biennial requirement for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours – and learn how to improve their decision-making skills – by attending the ACEC Ohio Annual Meeting, June 25, in Grove City.
Cities should be prohibited from forcing engineering and construction firms to hire a quota of city residents as a condition of competing for contracts, ACEC Ohio told a committee of the Ohio House of Representatives Tuesday.
Registration opens for ACEC Ohio Annual Meeting featuring presentation on developing your 'Infotuition'
Registration is now open for ACEC Ohio's Annual Meeting, Thursday, June 25 in Grove City, at which nationally recognized speaker, author and management consultant Shelley Row will share with you her Infotuition™ decision-making model.
If you or members of your management team are prone to over-thinking decisions, you should mark Thursday, June 25 on your calendar and plan to attend the ACEC Ohio Annual Meeting, at which nationally recognized speaker, author and management consultant Shelley Row will share with you her Infotuition™ decision-making model.
The largest contingent of ACEC Ohio members in recent memory traveled to Washington last week to attend the national Council's convention and visit with members of Ohio's Congressional delegation.
Even though Governor John Kasich's plan to increase business taxes, including levying the state sales tax on engineering services, was rejected by the Ohio House of Representatives last week, he clearly intends to try to resuscitate the plan in the Ohio Senate.
Lynn S. Miggins, of KS Associates, Inc., in Elyria, has been nominated to become the next president of ACEC Ohio effective July 1.
National ACEC launches study to compare DOTs' cost of doing engineering in-house versus hiring consultants
ACEC Ohio is encouraging its members to participate in a nationwide study, commissioned by the national ACEC, that will compare the cost to state departments of transportation of performing engineering design in-house versus contracting with consulting engineering companies to provide those services.
ACEC Ohio member Shayne O. Manning, a director at structural engineering firm THP Limited Inc., in Cincinnati, has been appointed to the Ohio Board of Building Standards by Governor John Kasich.
Before state legislators start introducing bills in the new, two-year session of the Ohio General Assembly that is just getting organized, it is useful to look back at some of the key bills that were passed – or abandoned – in the final "lame duck" days of the last legislative session.
Local governments must use QBS to award design contracts for water projects receiving State Revolving Fund grants
Local governments must use Qualifications-Based Selection in awarding contracts for the design of water projects financed through Ohio's Clean Water State Revolving Fund, thanks to the lobbying efforts of the national ACEC.
Representatives of ACEC Ohio met with the interim leader of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and his top staff Wednesday to discuss issues relating to the agency's administration and oversight of state building construction projects.
The Ohio Department of Transportation says it is ready to undertake the largest highway project in the state's history using a new project delivery method, the Public Private Partnership (P3).
In the middle of an August 7 campaign swing through her northeast Ohio district, Ohio Senate Transportation Committee Chair Gayle Manning – accompanied by Senate President Keith Faber – took time to meet with a group of ACEC Ohio leaders and members.
ACEC Ohio President Rich Iafelice is encouraging Council members to help the organization advance the industry's interests by serving on one or more committees.
If you have a relationship with a state legislator or member of Congress, please take a couple of minutes to pass this information on to ACEC Ohio by participating in the Council's Legislative Relationship Survey.
Business conditions for A/E firms continue to improve slowly and steadily, but the industry still has not fully recovered from the recession, according to the new Deltek Clarity financial performance survey.
Ohio Senate okays electronic tolls to pay for replacement of Cincinnati bridge, legislature recesses until fall
The Ohio Senate gave its okay Wednesday to a bill previously passed by the state House of Representatives that allows all-electronic toll collection to finance the reconstruction of the Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River in Cincinnati.
A bill providing $2.39 billion over two years to fund state capital improvements and local school construction was introduced Tuesday in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Imagine getting a threatening letter from an attorney half way across the country, demanding that you pay $1,000 per employee for the right to use your document scanner or your Wi-Fi system. If you think it can't happen, think again.
Profits earned by engineering and architectural firms last year continued their upward climb from the bottom hit in 2009, indicating the design professions are in real recovery mode, according to a highly regarded national survey.
Kevin L. Futryk, a partner in Government Advantage Group, LLP, has been selected by the ACEC Ohio Board of Directors to serve as the Council's legislative and executive agency representative.
Discussions got underway last week between the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and representatives of the A/E industry regarding problematic provisions included in the new agency's contracts for design services.
The immediate threat of seeing the state sales tax extended to engineering and other business services is dead, but the concept is still very much alive and kicking.
The condition of Ohio's infrastructure gets a grade of C-, slightly better than the nation's overall grade of D+, according to the 2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure, released this week by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
If the state sales tax is levied on engineering services, Ohio companies will be put at a severe disadvantage with engineering firms outside the state and jobs will be lost.
Governor John Kasich's plan to issue highway construction bonds backed by Ohio Turnpike tolls is the only hope the state has of cutting into its backlog of badly needed highway projects anytime soon, ACEC Ohio Executive Director Donald L. Mader told a legislative committee Thursday.
Before bringing the curtain down on the 129th Ohio General Assembly last week, legislators gave their approval, as expected, to changes in Ohio's underground utility location laws.
A delegation of members of ACEC Ohio and AIA Ohio met with representatives of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission on December 19, the first of what was agreed will be a continuing series of liaison meetings between the new agency and the design industry.
Commercial Activity Tax revenue collected from the sale of motor fuels must be used for highway-related purposes and not diverted to the state's general fund, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Friday.
A famous comedian used to quip, "Don't ever give money to politicians – it only encourages them!" That's a funny line, and there's more than a grain of truth in it.
Professional engineers and other design professionals can take comfort in the decision handed down Thursday by the Ohio Supreme Court that upholds the state's four-year statute of repose for filing medical practice lawsuits.
Legislation strengthening Ohio's underground utility location laws appears to be on its way to enactment in the final days of the current two-year session of the General Assembly.
Engineering companies that provide utility cash-flow modeling and other advice to municipalities will be faced with onerous new regulatory requirements and restrictions if the Security & Exchange Commission's proposed definition of "municipal advisor" is allowed to stand.
Several officers of ACEC Ohio attended the national Council's Fall Conference in Boca Raton, Florida, earlier this week.
If you think state and national politics don't have a significant impact on your engineering company, the Legislative & Political Action Forum that ACEC Ohio is sponsoring on October 29 is certain to dispel you of that notion.
A county may allow oil and gas drilling companies or wind farm builders to repair road they use at no cost to the county, and the design and construction of such projects would not be subject to the state's QBS or competitive bidding laws.
Registration is now open for the highly acclaimed PSMJ Project Managment Bootcamp, which ACEC Ohio will sponsor on October 2 and 3, in Columbus.
Before the summer is out, Ohio will have a new "super agency" in charge of developing all non-highway state public works projects, including state-assisted local schools.
Tucked away in a 2,581-page bill passed by the Ohio House of Representatives on April 25 are a couple dozen pages that would make big changes in the way the state of Ohio builds non-highway capital improvement projects.
The $1.74 billion two-year capital budget bill signed by Governor John Kasich Monday may be distinguished as much for what it doesn't fund as for those projects it does.
ODNR could eventually be included in merger of Ohio School Facilities Commission and State Architect
Unlike some other proposals in Governor John Kasich's ambitious "Mid-biennium Review" legislation, the planned merger of the Ohio School Facilities Commission and the Office of the State Architect appears on track for legislative approval.
The Office of the State Architect will be merged with the Ohio School Facilities Commission if Governor John Kasich gets his way.
A "restrained" $1.74 billion state capital improvements budget – the first in four years – was proposed Wednesday by Governor John Kasich.
A proposal that would require the state to issue $13 billion in bonds for clean energy development, but give the state no control over how the funds are spent, hit a brick wall with environmental groups Thursday.
Steven R. Bergman, vice president of HDR, Inc., in Cincinnati, has been nominated to serve as the next president of ACEC Ohio effective July 1.
With less than 30 days remaining before federal funding for highway construction runs out, Congress is no closer to enacting a new surface transportation funding bill than it was a week ago. In fact, today it may be even more of a political uphill climb.
State and local government agencies may now make use of sophisticated new public works project delivery systems, thanks to changes in state law enacted last year.
ACEC Ohio's ranks continue to grow with the addition of six new member companies. Extend a welcome to these new members and consider working with them when possible.
Those calling for Ohio to slap a moratorium on fracking can pretty much forget about it.
The struggle in to pass a new federal highway funding bill is taking new twists and turns literally by the hour.
Yesterday, Christmas came early for ACEC. With National Council President Dave Raymond looking on, President Obama signed legislation to repeal a tax law that would have required most government agencies to withhold 3 percent from payments made to contractors beginning in 2013.
The state of Ohio's next capital budget will include no funding for local projects such as parks, museums, and recreational facilities, if Governor John Kasich gets his way.
Slow but steady goes the process of drafting administrative rules that will allow state and local government agencies to use the new public works project delivery methods approved by the Ohio General Assembly last summer.
ACEC Ohio's Environment & Energy Committee is forming five new subcommittees so that the Council can more effectively respond to the wide variety of issues that arise in the environmental arena.
The recently enacted amendment of Ohio's Qualifications-Based Selection law for design professionals is explained in a new ACEC Ohio publication.
The nation’s deteriorating surface transportation infrastructure will cost the American economy more than 870,000 jobs, and suppress the growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product by $3.1 trillion by 2020, according to a new report commissioned by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
ACEC Ohio President Robert W. Campbell (TranSystems Corporation) is encouraging all Council members to volunteer to serve on one or more committees of their choice.
Leasing the Ohio Turnpike could be a boon for cities and counties strapped for funds to build local infrastructure projects, Department of Transportation Director Jerry Wray said last week.
State and local governments will soon have a number of new project delivery systems available to them thanks to massive changes in Ohio's public works construction law that are included in the new state budget bill signed Thursday by Governor John Kasich.
Both houses of the Ohio General Assembly will have to give their permission before the state can proceed with any plan to lease the Ohio Turnpike to a private operator.
While ACEC Ohio succeeded in keeping language out of the state budget bill that would have permitted local governments to award A/E contracts by reverse auction, it is likely the battle will have to be fought again in the near future.
When Governor John Kasich put his signature on the state budget bill Thursday, he also signed into law a major change in the state's Qualifications-Based Selection law for design professionals.
Professional engineers and surveyors would renew their licenses every other year, instead of annually, according to a proposal in the general fund budget bill unveiled last week by Governor John Kasich.
Massive changes in Ohio law governing the design and construction of public works projects are included in the 3,224-page state budget bill proposed by Governor John Kasich last week.
While no deal for the leasing of the Ohio Turnpike has been struck, language in Governor John Kasich's $55.5 billion biennial budget plan certainly paves the way for the administration to move ahead with the concept.
A $7 billion, two-year state transportation budget bill awaits the signature of Governor John Kasich after the Ohio Senate approved the bill Wednesday and the House of Representatives concurred in the Senate's amendments.
Ohio's local governments, schools and institutions of higher education would be permitted to build capital projects using a single-prime contractor, rather than the multiple primes now required in state law, under the state general fund budget proposal unveiled Tuesday by Governor John Kasich.
A pair of significant policy initiatives deleted from the Kasich Administration's proposed two-year transportation budget bill passed by the Ohio House of Representatives just might find their way back into the version of the bill being considered in the Ohio Senate.
Local school districts that want state funds to help pay for building projects may no longer require the use of project labor agreements or the payment of prevailing wages in their construction contracts.
The Ohio Public Works Commission will run out of money to build local infrastructure projects that are scheduled for the upcoming construction season if the legislature fails to appropriate additional funds for the program soon, the director of the commission told legislators Monday.
Dwindling gasoline tax receipts will force a reduction in Ohio's highway construction program, but proposals to raise funds from other sources aren't attracting much support during hearings now underway on the state's next two-year transportation budget bill.
Robert W. Campbell, of TranSystems Corp., Columbus, has been nominated to serve as the next president of ACEC Ohio effective July 1.
Faced with opposition from homebuilders, proposed updates to the state’s commercial building codes were delayed Monday when the Ohio Board of Building Standards withdrew the proposed code revisions from consideration by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.
The state transportation budget bill, the first of several major two-year budgets that must be approved by the Ohio General Assembly before the new state fiscal year begins July 1, is due to be introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives this week.
Companies that want to clean up pollution on their properties now have access to low-interest loan funds, thanks to the reconfiguration of a little-used state brownfield program.
Governor John Kasich has named top administrators for most of the state agencies of importance to Ohio engineering companies, and among them are several former ACEC Ohio members.
If your company has design contracts funded with federal dollars, what you don't know about federal cost accounting standards and limits can cost you dearly.
ACEC Ohio is attempting to resolve concerns voiced by member companies regarding fee negotiation practices of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority.
The possibility of leasing the Ohio Turnpike to a private operator will be considered by Governor John Kasich, but the proceeds of any such deal would not be used to help reduce the huge general fund budget shortfall facing the state.
Republican John Kasich’s victory in the Nov. 2 gubernatorial election almost certainly portends big changes in the way the Ohio School Facilities Commission funds and oversees the construction of local school projects.
Just a few years ago, transportation advocates persuaded Ohio lawmakers to stop funding the operations of the State Highway Patrol out of the proceeds of the state’s motor fuel tax, freeing up well over $100 million for additional highway and bridge construction projects.
Government agencies may adopt "quality contracting" rules, but they can't use them to steer contracts to preferred bidders, the Ohio Supreme Court warned in a ruling last week that could be very costly to Franklin County.
Three university building projects of various sizes have been selected to test whether state agencies and educational institutions should be permitted to use an expanded range of project delivery systems for constructing capital facilities.
A new investment option that offers the features of both a defined benefit and a defined contribution pension plan is now available through the ACEC Retirement Trust.
The Republican-controlled Ohio Senate may hold hearings on Governor Ted Strickland's plan to institute passenger rail service in the Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland corridor before deciding whether to allow the project to move ahead.
Few provisions in the Ohio Building Code are as misunderstood as the requirement for special inspections, which is why ACEC Ohio is sponsoring a half-day seminar on the topic in Columbus on May 12.
While Democrats in the Ohio House of Representatives are moving forward with development of a new two-year capital improvements budget bill, Republicans in the Ohio Senate are saying, "not so fast."
Stan A. Harris, of Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., in Cincinnati, has been nominated to serve as the next president of ACEC Ohio beginning July 1.
ACEC Ohio will oppose a proposal to amend the Ohio Constitution to remove the requirement that proceeds from the state's motor fuel tax be used only for highway and bridge construction.
The Ohio Department of Transportation has amended its controversial Audit Circulars to conform with federal audit guidelines, meaning the state will no longer disallow overhead costs that are permissible under federal guidelines.
ACEC Ohio member James D. Mawhorr, P.E., has been appointed to the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers & Surveyors by Governor Ted Strickland.
The latest effort to revise Ohio's underground utility protection law is foundering due to a longstanding dispute over who should bear the responsibility when utility lines are damaged during construction.
Although a Franklin County trial court has struck down controversial campaign finance restrictions adopted in haste by the Ohio General Assembly a year ago, engineering company owners should continue to abide by the law for now, advises ACEC Ohio's legal counsel.
New schools that receive funding from the Ohio School Facilities Commission must be designed to be energy efficient and environmentally friendly, according to new guidelines adopted by the commission Thursday.
Private developers whose projects benefit from upgrades in the transportation infrastructure should contribute more to covering costs that taxpayers currently pick up, Governor Ted Strickland said Friday.
The average ACEC Ohio member company saw its profits decline and its overhead jump last year, according to the results of the Council�s 2006 Financial Performance Survey.
Just when you thought you had a handle on the new political contribution restrictions adopted by the Ohio General Assembly late last year, the law changes.
Both Republican-controlled houses of the Ohio General Assembly voted unanimously Wednesday to adopt a $7.8 billion, two-year budget for the Ohio Department of Transportation, but a pair of provisions in the bill could be killed by line-item vetos when Democratic Governor Ted Strickland sits down to sign the measure later this week.
Ohio professional engineers will soon be able to electronically transmit an "official" set of plans bearing their digitally encrypted registration seals and signatures thanks to adoption of an ACEC Ohio proposal in the final days of the 126th Ohio General Assembly.
Counties would be required to competitively bid contracts for professional services, including engineering and architecture, if a bill introduced in the Ohio General Assembly were to become law.
Most government agencies would be required to withhold three percent from all payments for goods and services to secure payment of federal income taxes under a little-noticed provision slipped into tax legislation passed by Congress last year.
Undeterred by their failure to pass a similar bill in the previous General Assembly, subcontractors are again pushing legislation that would limit the withholding of retainage on both public and private construction projects.
Legislation aimed at increasing the energy efficiency of new and existing state buildings and public schools passed in the Ohio House of Representatives January 17.
Site engineering and environmental remediation costs can be paid from grants that will be awarded under the state's new $150 million Job Ready Site program, which was approved by voters in November as part of Issue 1.
All new state-funded facilities will be required to be designed and constructed in accordance with "green building" energy efficiency standards if legislation now being considered in the Ohio House of Representatives becomes law.
Governor Bob Taft says he expects to sign a bill passed by the Ohio General Assembly last week that would impose a moratorium on the use of eminent domain by state and local governments.
The two-year state budget bill passed by the Ohio General Assembly includes a new, 0.26 percent tax on the annual gross receipts of nearly all businesses in return for elimination or reductions in several other state taxes.
Effective May 18, companies that hold a Certificate of Authorization to offer engineering or surveying services must appoint one or more full-time partners, managers, members, officers or directors as being in responsible charge of the firm�s engineering and surveying services.