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Published: Wednesday, 6/15/2005

County discount proposed

Mayor Jack Ford said yesterday he ll submit legislation to Toledo City Council that would formally put Lucas County businesses at a greater advantage when applying for city contracts.

Currently, those advantages are more spread out.

Businesses in 10 northwest Ohio counties receive a discount of 2 percent when bidding on city projects valued at over $40,000, and 3 percent for contracts under $40,000.

Mayor Ford s proposed legislation would give Lucas County businesses a discount of 2.25 percent for the larger projects and 3.5 percent for the smaller ones.

The city s business ought to be with local business, Mayor Ford said in a statement, noting that the measure is designed to stimulate local business growth.

The legislation also would increase the maximum dollar amount of bidding discounts, regardless of county, to $37,500 for contracts over $1 million, up from the current cap of $15,000.

The legislation is expected to be considered by council at its next session, June 28.

During yesterday s council meeting, $588,000 was approved for equipment for the forestry division, including a stump grinder, chipper, and four trucks.

Additionally, $40,000 was allocated to start the bidding process to repair the city s parks maintenance building, whose roof is leaking and in need of replacement.

In other business, council sent a resolution opposing a FirstEnergy Corp. rate increase request to its utilities and environmental committee, which will meet the second week of July.

FirstEnergy s proposed rate hike would cost the average Toledo household $2 a month.

Lucas County commissioners already voted to oppose the rate increase.

Councilman Ellen Grachek, the committee s chairman, said she will invite representatives of the Ohio Consumer s Counsel as well as the utility to the meeting.

We have to have the hearing for a reason, but I m in favor of a resolution, Ms. Grachek said. It s only going to be $2, they say. But at some point, we have to say enough is enough. We have to hold utilities accountable.

Council also reappointed Rey nold Boezi to a five-year term on the Toledo Plan Commission.

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