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Ohio Revised Code 6101.54 provides for the Readjustment of Appraisal of Benefits. This process provides a more equitable basis for the levy of the maintenance assessment.

In 2017 the previous Board petitioned the Court for a readjustment of the appraisal of benefits. However, very little work was done to begin the process due to the lack of funding. In 2019 assessments on the current properties were increased through Court order to address immediate maintenance needs and to build reserves to cover the cost of the Readjustment of Appraisal of Benefits.

Meanwhile the pandemic struck in 2020 and as the economy began to recover, the County Commissioners provided the District with $139,000 through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to hire an economist to perform an Economic Benefit Analysis. It is estimated to cost the District approximately $225,000 to implement this Readjustment of Appraisal of Benefits process.


The Appraisal of Benefits was conducted by Jack Faucett and Associates from Bethesda Maryland. Engineering support for the project was provided by Stantec, the conclusion of the Final Report is that the HRCD flood control system is economically justified and provides approximately $1,639,000 of net present value annual benefit for the region. Of that total, approximately $706,000 is associated with direct benefits, while $934,000 is related to indirect benefits realized by the broader region including all property within the District.

The assessment methodology was developed by Stantec at the request of the District based on assigning a proportional value to Direct Benefit (those within the Pre-Project 0.2% Annual Chance Exceedance (500-year, 1:500 year) “Pre-Project” floodplain limits), and a Base Assessment for Indirect Benefit (all parcels within the District boundary). The Direct/Indirect Assessment rates were initially calculated using a proposed HRCD Budget of $800,056 as a starting point. This budget amount was based on the projected 2024 annual operating and maintenance budget of $550,056 with an additional $250,000 set aside for matching funds to address future dam rehabilitation and modifications to meet Ohio Department of Natural Resource Dam Safety Regulations. In round numbers, of the $550,000, $275,000 would be used for day-to-day operations and maintenance requirements which includes employee and equipment expenses. The remaining $275,000 would be used for increased maintenance and engineering on the major dams and to address the aging small sediment structures, many of which have passed their useful life and need to be returned to the landowner or decommissioned and removed from service. 

The District considered the assessment impacts to the community and made the decision to reduce the annual budget to $706,324. As the review of assessments continued it was discovered that there were some additional adjustments needed due to missing building values and some due to parcel combinations, parcels for abandoned cemeteries and other unusable parcels all with no known owners. These adjustments increased the final total assessment amount to $706,721. The Board of Appraisers have approved a resolution to Adopt and Establish the Conservancy Appraisal Record. Due to delays in advancing the proposed capital projects that require matching funds over the next 20 years, the District will set aside approximately $156,700 annually, instead of the original amount of $250,000. 

A Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) greater than one (1.0) indicates the net present value of benefits derived from the
HRCD system would exceed the estimated net present value of costs, and the proposed investment is anticipated to provide positive value to the community. Since the benefits associated with the HRCD flood control system would not change with a revision to the budget, the BCR for the system would only increase with a reduction in operating and maintenance expenses, therefore, no updates to the Readjustment of Appraisal of Benefits – Final Report (JFA/Stantec, 2023) is planned at this time.

Note:  This study is based on assigning a proportional value to Direct beneficiaries (those within the Pre-Project 0.2% Annual Chance Exceedance (500-year, 1:500 year) “Pre-Project” floodplain limits) (Before the dams were constructed). Based on the Upper Hocking River valley under study, the 1:500-year floodplain and 1:100-year floodplain, for the most part, occupy the same boundary, the difference being the depth of water for these flood events.

The link below; What is a 100 Year Flood, provides an in-depth explanation of floods and recurrence intervals provided by the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey)

Be sure to click on all links to learn more about the Readjustment of Appraisal of Benefits.

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