Stormwater Hiring on Huntington Council Agenda

Updated 4 years ago by Tony Rutherford HuntingtonNews.Net Reporter
Police Chief Skip Holbrook and Capt. Hank Dial
Police Chief Skip Holbrook and Capt. Hank Dial
(file photo0

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams has told a council work session "it won't happen again", referring to earlier statements by government officials that Huntington demonstrates a case on how not to operate an MS 4 permit.

"I shared with you my frustrations" at the time. Now, council will consider the hiring of a full time storm water director (with benefits) to adhere to the step by step process of improving storm water collection and runoff.

When the hiring process is finalized "that will send a strong message we will be doing things in ways to set the standard for others", Williams explained.

According to the Mayor, the salary and benefits of the storm water coordinator and the storm-water director will be within the existing $92,000 in the current fiscal year budget.

"We will have additional training. We will have additional items that we will begin implementing this coming year that will be well in excess of $90,000. We do not have those identified yet or the funding mechanisms put in place. But we have to be moving forward", Williams said, referring to U.S. Environmental Protection mandates.

He said other storm water adjustments will be coming before council. The timetable for "seriously and aggressively going forward" will be fall.

Concerning the burglary tools ordinance, Capt. Hank Dial confirmed that "probable cause" will be necessary. "This allows us to conduct a legal search if we find something."

As applied in other cities, possession of certain tools that are used for breaking and entering, would be probable cause to conduct a future search. Previously, Chief Skip Holbrook cited instances where officers had observed suspects with tools at night who appeared to be making a get-a-way from a burglary. Currently, they could not be stopped. With the passage of the ordinance, they could be stopped and searched if an "intent' factor to break into structures was present.

Dial added, "a good police department arrests people who break in to houses. An excellent police department uses the environment of the city to stop people from breaking into houses. It will enable us to find someone who is obviously going about looking to break in houses, then if they continue to demonstrate it, we can arrest them."

Council member Rick Simmons asked whether a construction working walking to work at 3 a.m. would be subject to stopping by police. "Common sense says you are not going to stop him", Simmons asked.

Dial responded, "That's absolutely right. They will not be fined. It gives our office a tool to use. As every police officer knows "discretion" is something every policeman knows. I'm proud of the way we use discretion in handling things properly."

Also on the agenda will be honoring Sterling Supply for its years of doing business in Huntington.

For a prior story concerning vehicular purchases and a copy of the council agenda, visit one or both of these links.

Huntington City Council meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday night, July 22 in council chambers at City Hall. or



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