Hamilton County is moving in the right direction and continuing to be strong despite facing challenging times. That's how Commission President Chris Monzel led off his 2014 State of the County address Thursday.
The speech focused on the three main priorities from last year's address: county infrastructure, finances and economic development.
Monzel pointed out the county is looking at how to best utilize its building stock and also take advantage of its newest acquisition - the former Mercy Mount Airy hospital site.
Hamilton County Commissioner Chris Monzel is clarifying what he says are some misconceptions about the current Metropolitan Sewer District standoff with the City of Cincinnati. Specifically, procurement policies set forth by the city which the county says are unfair and in some cases illegal.
"First, at this point, only three projects are potentially being impacted due to this issue," he says. "Several others are awaiting technical evaluation and others are scheduled to be brought forward over the next several months. Many of the projects do not have time sensitive schedules."
Hamilton County Commissioners are expected to vote Wednesday morning on re-opening the bidding process on some Metropolitan Sewer District projects.
The board initiated the moratorium to force renewed talks between the county and the city, which runs the sewer district. At issue are several city initiated hiring policies and practices the county dislikes, and in some cases says are illegal.
The county is re-opening the bid process following a city council vote two weeks ago to suspend the hiring policies until August.
City and county officials now have about five weeks to try to work out a compromise on several Metropolitan Sewer District policies (MSD).
Council voted unanimously Wednesday to suspend its local hiring policy until August 1. Until then the sides will try to reach an agreement on it and a portion of a responsible bidder policy that requires apprenticeships.