About the Office
The mission of the Mahoning County Engineer's Office is to design, build, and maintain the safest, most efficient roadway network possible for the citizens of Mahoning County, Ohio. This includes approximately 485 miles of roadway, approximately 300 bridges and thousands of culverts on the County system.
We are a multi-faceted public agency covering all facets of road and highway transportation, tax mapping, and commercial and subdivision development services. The principal duty of Mahoning County Engineer, Patrick T. Ginnetti, is to provide quality service to the public in a safe, efficient, productive and positive manner while supporting the continued growth of a strong local economy.
What We Do
The Mahoning County Engineer serves as the County’s surveyor and civil engineer. The County Engineer is required to be a Registered Professional Engineer and Professional Surveyor in the State of Ohio. The County Engineer has general charge of the following: construction, reconstruction, improvement, maintenance, and repair of all 320 county bridges, 493 miles of county highways and thousands of culverts under county roads. Additionally, the County Engineer is responsible for ditches, traffic signals and signs, review of plans, inspection, pavement markings and safety.
The Mahoning County Engineer's Office is primarily funded by the Motor Vehicle Gasoline Tax and License Plate Fees, and partially funded by Traffic Violation Fines from all County Courts. We also seek and utilize grant funding for various highway projects, however the grant revenue is not part of our operating expenses.
Departmental functions include some of the following:
- Provide snow and ice control for County roads and bridges
- Maintain, repair and improve County roads and bridges
- Serve as engineer to the townships
- Advise and provide plan review and construction inspection services to Planning Commission
- Maintain and repair equipment and vehicles used by County Engineer
- Advise and provide plan review and construction inspection services to Special Projects for CDBG Projects
- Insure compliance and provide reporting to OEPA for Phase 2 of Clean Water Act
- Serve on GIS Board and provide technical guidance and funding for mapping
- Provide technical expertise to public regarding property transfers, plats, surveys, etc.
- Maintain archival road and survey records
- Maintain, restore and document survey control monuments
- Maintain traffic control devices including signage, signal and pavement markings
History of 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 survey system. Well into the 1800s, 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 a common court of appeals, which itself was appointed by the legislature. County Surveyors were paid only a per diem wage ($5 in the late 1800s) 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 the County Surveyor would serve a term of three years, "if he so long behave well and until his successor be elected and 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 certification of the State of Ohio as both "Registered Professional Engineer" and "Registered Professional Surveyor" may qualify for the office of County Engineer. 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.