Council Unanimously Approves Budget Revisions, Initiatives, Pursuit of Lower Bond Interest

Updated 5 years ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor

Huntington City Council has unanimously approved all ordinances , resolutions and reappointments from its Monday, January 28, agenda.  Nine members attended; Scott Caserta and Rebecca Thacker were not present.

A multipart budget revision  contained a mixture of one time revenue (sale of Annex Building, sale of former W. 14th St. Fire Station), two percent budget cuts, and allocations of the onetime revenue funds.

For a detailed look click on PDF Budget Revision below.

For story breaking down the expenditures, click:  http://www.huntingtonnews.net/54273

The $339,373 in budget reductions will be placed in the contingency fund.

Activist Tom McCallister challenged a $12,500 allocation to the Cabell County Library to assist with a guard rail at their two story parking garage. When the former Annex is torn down, a guard rail will be necessary so that cars will not pull forward onto the former Annex site.

Although McCallister suggested that the money go to “patch pot holes,” Judy Rule, librarian, explained that libraries generate money for the economy. “For every dollar, we return four dollars,” Rule said. She stressed, “I’m not sad to see the building go. It’s an eyesore.”

Following a rule waiver, council allocated HOME funds from a federal entitlement grant. $100,000 will go toward upgrading an apartment complex at Third Street and Eighth Avenue. The full project cost will be about $450,000. With the HOME funds applied , the complex will contain low to middle income apartments for the next twenty years.

The body approved a new asbestos abatement contract which brings the unit price down from $2.29 to $1.78 and held  the second of three readings on authorization for the Huntington Sanitary Board to shop for a lower interest rate some of its current bonds. HSB currently pays in a 4-4.5% range, but hopes to benefit by low interest rates and targets around two percent.

Kit Anderson, Sanitary Board Director, called this a “win, no lose” situation, as bond counsel will not incur legal fees unless a savings offer is accepted.

“I do not want to anticipate” what will be offered, Anderson said, explaining that he does not know if the city’s financial state will merit the lower interest offerings. “If the savings is less than $10,000 per year, we will not go forward.”

Council honored former Guyandotte resident Michael O. Katrinic by a symbolic gesture of naming a road in his honor. Map signs do not change, but the street becomes Michael O. Katrinic Way similar to the designation of a portion of 20th Street as Thundering Herd Way.

A former VFW member who served as a Marine in Vietnam, Katrinic helped both veterans and non-veterans alike. His mother, “Pinky,” said, “They did not have to be VFW member. If someone needed food, he would take it out of his own pocket.”

Current Post Commander Wes Shepherd told council , “I have heard nothing but good and honorable things about [him].”

In other business, Mayor Steve Williams was appointed to both the Huntington Planning Commission and Tri State Airport.

 

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