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Cincinnati Council rejects repeal of responsible bidder

A Cincinnati Council majority has rejected the latest attempt to repeal the city's responsible bidder law for Metropolitan Sewer District and Water Work projects.  It requires companies bidding on contracts worth more than $400,000 to have apprenticeship programs to train workers. 

The law is causing friction between the city, which manages MSD, and Hamilton County which owns the district and funds it.  County Commissioners are refusing to approve contracts awarded using the city's responsible bidder ordinance. 

Vice Mayor David Mann voted not to repeal the measure. "Obviously in its present form the responsible bidder should not continue," Mann said.  "But I'm not going to vote to repeal it until we have a substitute.  To have a substitute we have to have conversations."

Mann has agreed to lead a committee to work with the county commissioners on a compromise. 

"Instead of passing text messages and memos that are dropped at our desks, why don't we just have a joint meeting and hash this out," Council Member Yvette Simpson said.  "I think we can do that, an official meeting where we hash it out together."

If the situation is not resolved soon, M-S-D construction during the spring and summer months is at risk.  The stoppage could also land the county and city back in federal court for failing to meet milestones in a consent decree to stop sanitary sewer overflows into local waterways.