The Office of the County Engineer provides a variety of important services to the traveling public. These are largely funded by the purchase of license plates and by gasoline taxes. There are 522 bridges and over 500 miles of public right of way – all the responsibility of the County Engineer. These responsibilities include design, construction , inspection, maintenance and study which result in safety improvements or regulations in compliance with State law .
We constantly collect data concerning taxes, utility and boundary location, as well as traffic related information. This data has always been available to the public, but only at a central location or, in the case of traffic data, by telephone. We hope to present as much of this information as is practical on this site. Some types of data will require a users fee which will vary according to type of data and media requested (currently the Engineer’s Office only accepts cash and personal checks at our downtown office). Other types of data will be available for download free of charge. Of course, this data will remain available through more traditional channels.
The Engineer’s Office is required to provide survey-related services which include surveying, record keeping, providing tax maps, reviewing deeds and maintaining necessary data for the Cincinnati Area Geographic Information System (CAGIS). Over 170 people of various skills and disciplines are employed here. Engineers, Surveyors, Drafting Technicians, CAD Technicians, Traffic Analysts, Construction Inspectors, Clerk Specialists, Traffic Signal Electricians, Construction Equipment Operators and Mechanics are all necessary for this Office to complete it’s tasks in a professional and timely manner.
History of the Hamilton County Engineer
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, and 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 became 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 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 qualified’. Legislation passed in 1915, established a salary and conferred on the County Surveyor the title of “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 a ‘Registered Professional Engineer’ and ‘Registered Professional Surveyor’ may hold the office of County Engineer .