Huntington Sanitary Board Freezes Honeywell Consulting Contract, Goes into Executive Session

Updated 6 years ago by Tony Rutherford HuntingtonNews.Net Reporter

A contract with Honeywell for consulting services with the Huntington Sanitary Board has been placed on hold.

Prior to the vote, interim sanitary board director Lou Akers, told board members, "We should always do business with  a West Virginia company (first), adding before the vote, "We have to make a decision on a consultant with which we are comfortable."

The board has contracts with other consulting vendors, too, which will be now be placed "on hold."

Akers has been touring various components of the board facilities and speaking with employees. In his report, he described continuing "employee morale" issues. Before contemplating a long term plan, the interim director stressed, "We have to implement an immediate short term catastrophic plan." As an example of short term needs, he stated that addresses events such as a "major spill" must be determined in the event "people cannot access the sewer system."

The concern with a major spill and proactive reaction thereto apparently related to response to a  spillage from Huntington Alloys that was apparently contained to within the waste treatment plant system.

He indicated thatgreater "leadership" is necessary regarding  employees --- "the people on the ground"  working together on the same page.

Akers reported that a meeting has been scheduled with Huntington Alloys to discuss the draft consent decree wherein the Huntington Sanitary Board alleged various violation and asked for fines of around $250,000. No details on the alleged violations were mentioned. They were the subject of a September 1 story in the Herald Dispatch.

The interim director said that he has met with the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection which recited "several small issues." HSB must report back on October 1.

Akers emphasized a need to "only make agreements we can meet" with regulatory agents. "We [must tell them] what we can and can not do."

Summarizing his orientation to the HSB, Akers described interim leadershhp as a "very big job with alot of moving parts... but we have the people to get [the] the job done" and ensure that all employees are "going in the same direction."

After approving two invoices from C.J. Hughes construction for sewer infrastructure repairs for $102,000 and $90, 773 respectively, the body voted to go into "executive session" to consider personnel matters and/or topics subject to attorney/client privilege.


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