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County throws out MSD contract hiring policies

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.

"At the end of the day we want to make sure that the work that's coming into Hamilton County can be utilized by the businesses of Hamilton County and the citizens. And how to do that legally is the question. And that's what we're investigating and going forward with the working group," he says.

The county is in the midst of a $3.2 billion sewer system upgrade required by a federal mandate.

Cincinnati Council Member Chris Seelbach said he likes the proposal to setup a working group.

“The county and the city will work together to make sure that we are providing the job training skills needed so that more people in Cincinnati can get jobs,” Seelbach said.

Seelbach and Monzel have been working on a solution since last week.  

Meanwhile, City Council Wednesday approved an ordinance delaying the implementation of the local hiring requirement for MSD contracts until at least March 14th.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.