Hamilton County Commissioners are ordering the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) to suspend work until the City of Cincinnati changes a new hiring policy.
The County owns MSD but it's operated by the city.
On Wednesday, commissioners passed a resolution stopping work on all projects affected by the city's policy. The county argues the policy, which requires an apprenticeship program, unfairly excludes many non-union companies from bidding for construction jobs.
Hamilton County Commissioners want Cincinnati to change some language in the city's hiring policies for companies bidding on Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) construction projects.
The city wants all construction firms to have apprenticeship programs.
Groups like the Greater Cincinnati Building Construction Trades Council like the plan. However, some companies say it's not feasible for several reasons, including that apprentice programs for some specialized trades simply don't exist.
Cincinnati, known for its advanced water technology, is looking to cash in on the innovation and help other cities in the process.
At a Monday news conference City Manager Milton Dohoney announced the formation of a Global Water Technology Hub. He said, "This is the next step of carrying Cincinnati's legacy of being an historic water innovator and this technology will also be an accelerator for technology and innovation in the water industry."
The EPA says every year 14 billion gallons of wastewater is dumped into the Mill Creek. This is because Cincinnati's sewer system is too old to handle the stormwater runoff and it mixes with sewage in one series of pipes.