New Albany News

Planned medical facility

City Council approves another competitive-bidding waiver

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New Albany City Council on Oct. 2 finalized legislation allowing it to waive another competitive-bidding requirement in order to partner with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center on a clinical outpatient-services and community wellness center.

The ordinance waives the competitive-bidding requirements for the sale of the property the city hopes to build on, which is at the southwest corner of Village Hall Road and Main Street. The legislation states, "The statutory requirement to sell or lease property to the highest bidder may frustrate the city's goals and objectives where selling or leasing property to a particular person or entity as part of a larger economic development project may be much more beneficial to the city and its citizens than selling or leasing property to the highest and best bidder."

The property owner, the New Albany Co., previously agreed to donate land for the 48,000-square-foot, two-story facility and parking lot.

City Council voted 6-0 in favor of the ordinance, with Sloan Spalding abstaining because of his work as an attorney with the Ohio Board of Regents, which has some oversight of Ohio State.

City Council last month waived a competitive-bidding requirement for the Daimler Group to develop the facility.

In other business Oct. 2, City Council unanimously approved an ordinance allowing the city to solicit sergeant candidates from outside of the police department.

The ordinance permanently exempts the city from Ohio Revised Code section 124.44, which states, "Vacancies in positions above the rank of patrol officer in a police department shall be filled by promotion from among persons holding positions in a rank lower than the position to be filled." According to the legislation, "pursuant to the city charter and Ohio case law, the city of New Albany has the ability to waive and/or otherwise exempt itself from certain state law provisions, including Ohio Revised Code section 124.44."

City officials want to add a fourth sergeant to a department that includes 12 officers, three sergeants and Chief Mark Chaney.

Councilman Stephen Pleasnick said the city hopes to fill the position from within the department but does not want "to close the door to a person outside the department who may be eligible."

Chaney previously said he decided the department needs a fourth sergeant to help fill holes in supervision, especially on weekends. He said the starting salary range for a sergeant is $71,713 to $80,631.

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