Council Refers Arena Seating and Landfill Contracts Back to Finance; Approves Worker Overtime for Floodwall Overtime Work

by Tony Rutherford HuntingtonNews.Net Reporter
Council Refers Arena Seating and Landfill Contracts Back to Finance; Approves Worker Overtime for Floodwall Overtime Work

HUNTINGTON, WV (HNN) - Huntington City Council’s plate had an array of financial issues of which two went back to the Finance Committee for further discussion, and three were approved.

There were no dissenting votes. But about 100 union members  in the audience represented 800 pound gorillas that in one way or another always visits challenging the administration , council chambers, and the public.

As anticipated, contract examination concerning landfill bids and arena seats were sent back to finance, where choice, price and specification matters remain to be resolved.

Activist Tom McCallister through a curve regarding “referral” of the proposed five year contract hauling Huntington’s garbage to one of two Kentucky landfills.

Advocating for a choice where “we do things for ourselves,” he resurrected mention of other options, specifically repairing the waste treatment incinerator. McCallister classified it as a once state-of-the-art process that met EPA burning restrictions as the incinerator had been designed to produce electricity. “We could burn garbage,” the former council member stated.

He stressed how re-thinking the proposed $2 million in expenditures for driving and landfill disposal could save funds. In fact, he suggested a look see for running city owned vehicles on natural gas, so we would not be held hostage to gasoline prices.

BIG SANDY ARENA SEATS

No council discussion occurred on the new Big Sandy Superstore Arena seat contract. From the work session, the two bids , in similarity to the Kentucky landfill distance difference, require a more coherent matrix for determining the best choice.

APPROVED

Council approved the purchase of a new vehicle for use by the fire marshal. The vehicle will be purchased through the state bid and come from the fire department’s current budget.

During the open public comment period, Danny Plybon, Local 598 AFSCME president, put in a plug for support of the budget adjustment to cover floodwall pump overtime from operating 17 pumps 24/7 during 24 days of high water.

Thanking employees from the floodwall and public works departments, Plybon said, “We had nothing flooded,” then crouched his comment to allow for the Huntington normal overflows like viaducts. But, without the floodwall, the whole west end [or more] of the city would have been under water, Plybon said.

City Finance Director Deron Runyon explained to council members that an audit adjustment made the carryover $226324 for the fiscal year. . To accommodate the floodwall OT expense, $75,000 would be moved from contingency to cover $67,000 in OT..

In addition, council approved annexation re-zoning of new portions of a subdivision.

FIRST READINGS

Property surrounding 1329 Sixth Avenue would be re-zoned to allow the opening of a Mediterranean deli and the Huntington Police Department would receive approval to use funds from a COPS grant to purchase a new computer server.

Finally, approval was given for acceptance of a $5,000 grant by the A.D. Lewis Center for which the city serves as fiscal agent.


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