The need for responsible contracting measures to be applied and enforced on all public construction projects in Ohio, as is roundly supported by ACT Ohio, was again made clearly evident recently in Kent, Ohio.

Without responsible contractors on the job, 23 illegal immigrants were found to be among the construction workers building The Province in Kent, a planned 596-bed student housing complex.

Meanwhile, the workers’ foreman was arrested and charged with making meth in his hotel room. The contractor was brought in from Alabama.

“These are structures that are going to be student housing. Where’s the due diligence?” Kent City Councilman Robin Turner rightly questioned.

Once again, this is a situation that supports ACT Ohio’s call for cities to adopt “responsible contractor” language in its construction bidding. Without it, these are the kinds of incidents that take place when out-of-state, “shady” and un-responsible contractors are awarded construction jobs in Ohio.”

The lack of responsible contracting measures typically attracts “flight by night” operations, with owners who do not care about quality construction, only profits.

That is why ACT Ohio believes the state needs responsible contractors in Ohio that are part of the community and care about performing only quality work with a qualified workforce.

In Barberton, City Council became the first to introduce an ordinance giving the city the right to skip over the best bidder on a public project if that bidder does not meet certain standards and is deemed “responsible.”
Kent officials don’t know what wages were to be paid to the illegal immigrants, but they are likely NOT prevailing wages; because The Province is a private project, companies are required only to pay minimum wage.

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