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 continue to weigh an offer to turn the former Mercy Mount Airy hospital into a new crime lab.
Catholic Health Partners is willing to give the facility to the county for free and the county coroner says the cost to renovate the old hospital would be a lot less than building a whole new crime lab. To make the deal cost effective, however, the county wants to move the Board of Elections out there as well.
Hamilton County Commissioners say they're willing to work with the city but when it comes to making Metropolitan Sewer District decisions, they're in charge.
In a resolution passed Wednesday the board agreed to set inclusion goals similar to the aim of the city's Responsible Bidder ordinance. The county says that ordinance is unfair. It also dislikes the city's Local Preference policy and says it's illegal.