Road Use Maintenance Agreement (RUMA) Compliance
A Road Use Maintenance Agreement (RUMA) is an agreement between local governments and private energy developers to repair and maintain roadways damaged or degraded by the traffic associated with energy extraction. These agreements are a true example of the public and private sector partnering to ensure vital local infrastructure helps spur economic development at no additional cost to taxpayers.
RUMAS and Prevailing Wage
An important RUMA development occurred in September 2012, when Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine issued an opinion that contractors working on RUMA projects must pay their workers prevailing wage. Prevailing wage is a law that sets the wages and hours for construction workers on certain public improvement projects. These wages are set to meet the local wage standard for each construction trade.
As with any new area of legal compliance, many townships and counties struggled with their oversight responsibilities under Ohio Attorney General Opinion 2012-029. Upon investigation, it was revealed that many contractors working under RUMA agreements were violating Ohio’s prevailing wage law.
The Ohio Department of Commerce, Bureau of Wage & Hour takes this issue seriously. Failing to compensate its workers properly can result in tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in back wages and penalties.
ACT Ohio Can Help
In an effort to assist local governments that are parties to RUMAs, ACT Ohio has developed a compliance guide. It is our goal that all parties involved in RUMA projects understand and fully comply with Ohio’s prevailing wage law.