Hamilton County Commissioners are throwing out hiring and procurement policies related to the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD).
The city, which operates MSD had instituted new bidding requirements the county, which owns MSD, says were unfair- and in some cases illegal. Chief among them were apprenticeship requirements and a policy giving preference to contractors within city limits.
Commission President Chris Monzel says a working group will be formed to draft a new procurement policy.
Hamilton County Commissioners reorganized Monday with Chris Monzel assuming the presidency.
Monzel says he plans to stay the course laid out by fellow commissioner Greg Hartmann.
"Definitely public safety is the number one priority for Hamilton County. And it's something that's important and especially with the new Sheriff coming on board of what the public safety needs are. So that's number one, that's always been the number one priority to me in government," he says.
Hamilton County Commissioners have approved a 5-percent rate increase for Metropolitan Sewer District customers starting January 9. Sewer rates have been climbing for several years to pay for a $ 3.2 billion system upgrade required to comply with the federal Clean Water Act.
Commissioner Todd Portune said about 780 other local governments are in the same position at a cost of more than $500 billion.
Sewer rates in Hamilton County will likely go up again next year, though not quite as much as expected.
The Metropolitan Sewer District is recommending County Commissioners approve a five percent increase for each of the next five years. That's less than the eight percent rates went up in 2012. Sewer District Director Tony Parrott says the smaller projected increases are possible because of reduced costs related to changes in a project along the Lower Mill Creek.