Two Cincinnati Council Members are calling for the city's responsible bidder ordinance to be repealed because they say it is holding up needed Metropolitan Sewer District projects.
Council Members Charlie Winburn and Christopher Smitherman discussed the issue Monday during a Job Growth Committee meeting.
“The only solution this Council has is to repeal the responsible bidder ordinance,” Smitherman said. “Then try to normalize our relationships with our county partners by talking with them offline in a tone that is understandable”
Could a Metropolitan Sewer District stalemate between Cincinnati and Hamilton County be coming to an end?
The sides have been at odds over city-enacted hiring policies. The county specifically doesn't like a responsible bidder provision requiring contractors to graduate apprentices (at least one per year for five years).
Councilman Chris Seelbach is proposing a solution he thinks the county will like. He says he's willing to throw out the apprentice graduation requirement in favor of an incentive program.
Hundreds of water and sewer utility managers from the across the country are in Cincinnati this week. They're here for the National Association of Clean Water Agencies 2013 summer conference. Some topics being discussed include innovative management, financing and a more resilient business model for public utilities.
Greater Cincinnati Metropolitan Sewer District Executive Director Tony Parrott said the industry is experiencing a rebirth.
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.