by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
State Statute Mandates Council Ordinance for Closure of "Way"

Some members of the Huntington community particularly neighbors on the West and South entrances to the W. 5th Street pedestrian tunnel have expressed strong pro and con expressions concerning the fate of the walkway refurbished by community members.

A Herald Dispatch poll has keeping the tunnel open running 4-1 against closure.

Mayor Steve Williams during the Huntington City Council work session strongly insisted it would be "his" decision, not council's, and "his" decision would seek input from administrative department heads.

However, a WV State Statute pointed out to HNN by former city councilman and co-city charter writer Tom McCallister apparently tosses the ball back to council members.

WV 8-11-3 specifies what types of actions municipalities may take and how. The code mandates that council ordinance is necessary for multiple items. These include taxes, business licenses, and  bonds.

(7) states: Laying out or vacating a public street, avenue, road, alley or way;

McCallister compared the circumstance to Congress acting , not the President to pass legislation.

Williams told council that he would not be "bashful" making a decision and that unless the amount totaled over $15,000 , it was not a council decision.

"That price he can't exceed has noting to do of power of council to enact ordinance," McCallister said, adding that a public hearing on closure is necessary.

A dictionary described "way" as a pathway or other transportation styled element.

 

 

http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/ChapterEntire.cfm?chap=08&art=11&sec...

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§8-11-3. Cases requiring enactment of ordinance.
In the following enumerated cases, the action of a governing body shall, except where otherwise provided in this code, be by ordinance:

(1) Levying taxes or providing for the collection of fees of any kind;

(2) Requiring a license to do business;

(3) Relating to offenses and penalties;

(4) Authorizing the issuance of bonds or other forms of indebtedness;

(5) Providing for a public improvement;

(6) Providing for the purchase of private property by the municipality or for the sale of property belonging to the municipality;

(7) Laying out or vacating a public street, avenue, road, alley or way;

(8) Relating to planning and zoning;

(9) Granting franchises to public utilities;