by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor

A proposed zoning change for a parcel at 2800 First Avenue likely will draw neighborhood opposition, said council member Jim Insco during the Thursday, September 6 work session. Surrounded by St. Mary’s Medical Center, the parcel has previously been occupied by a yogurt shop and restaurant but the owner found out it had an R-2 not C-1  classification went he applied to open a gun shop.

“[Neighbors] do not want a gun shop or business” in the structure,” Insco explained to council member Sandra Clements who inquired about “opposition” to the proposed shift from single family dwelling to commercial. Insco added , there’s “no way to put a single family home there” in front of a parking garage.

Council will hear the first reading of an ordinance allocating $198,020 for professional engineering services for Phase One of the floodwall certification by FEMA.

Public Works director Jim Hagley told council that “all levy operators must certify that the wall can withstand a 100 year storm.” If the upgrades necessary for certification are not performed, in Hagley’s words, “the floodwall does not exist on the [FEMA, Corps. Of Engineers] map” for purposes flood insurance.

In addition, the Huntington Sanitary Board requested approval of an effluent line which will cost $141,600. Ed Romans told council that “we consider replacement of the 54-inch pipe an emergency,” adding the pipe is “buckling and we do not want it to fail.”

The Finance Committee has favorably recommended the $187,000 contract with the Greater Huntington Parks and Recreation District for maintenance and operation of Harris Riverfront Park. Councilman Insco will sponsor a separate resolution calling on the state legislators for assistance in repairing bridges, such as Military Road, Fifth Street and Eighth Street. According to a park board member’s research the bridges were built under the WPA program and the state is responsible for their maintenance. The park board has passed a similar resolution.

Council will meet Monday, September 10 in council chamber at Huntington City Hall. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. and is televised on Comcast Channel 24.