AKRON: The Ohio Contractor’s Association is suing the city of Akron in federal court, challenging the city’s hiring requirements for its mammoth construction project.



The Columbus-based, not-for-profit group, which represents contractors across Ohio, claims the hiring requirements violate the U.S. and Ohio constitutions and the City of Akron Municipal Code. The group is seeking to have the hiring requirements ruled unconstitutional and to stop the city from awarding bids with the thresholds in place for the Rack 15 storage basin project.



Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic announced in March that the city will require contractors to hire 30 percent of their employees from within the city this year, with the number ramping up by 5 percent a year until 2018 when it will reach 50 percent. The threshold will be in an agreement that contractors must accept when they are seeking work under the estimated $1.4 billion sewer overhaul.



Akron looked at thresholds required by other cities in hopes of adopting requirements that could withstand a court challenge.



The contractors group filed the suit Tuesday. The parties had a conference call Tuesday and met before Judge Sara Lioi Wednesday afternoon. Akron Law Director Cheri Cunningham could not be reached for comment Wednesday.