Comprehensive Plan, Skatepark Approved by Huntington Council

by Tony Rutherford, Editor
Comprehensive Plan, Skatepark Approved by Huntington Council

Huntington City Council unanimously approved the 2025 Comprehensive Plan, which had previously been recommended by the Planning Commission.

Breanna Shell, planner, received praise from two council members for her work and that of her team on the document which included many evenings and weekends to visit neighborhood organizations to explain the process.

Councilman Gary Bunn, a prior city planner and city manager, complimented Ms. Shell for “outstanding work,” adding that “hard work means nothing, if we do not implement (the plan).”

Bunn recalled working on an earlier plan which included proposals such as downtown urban renewal, new bridges, Marshall expansion to 20th Street and Interstate 64.

Councilman Scott Caserta thanked Ms. Shell for “bringing a part of (the city’s) jigsaw puzzle (together),” adding, “our pride in the city is growing.”

Earlier in the council meeting, Mayor Steve Williams emphasized that Huntington is a "planned city. It's time we get back to that. We are planning for growth beyond the city's borders" both geographically and population. He stressed, "We want to become the fastest growing city our size in the nation" and to do that "we have to start acting like the exceptional to which we aspire."

In other council business, clean up and modifications were passed to city plumbing regulations.

Council passed two resolutions which will enable the start of a new skatepark at Harris Riverfront Park. Construction begins in the Spring.

Gary Bunn
Gary Bunn

Also, council approved a grant of approximately $800,000 for the hiring of five new police officers. The grant covers three years; the city must pay their fourth year salaries.

Councilman Pete Gillespie asked Police Chief Skip Holbrook how the hiring would impact the budget the fourth year.

Holbrook explained that funds will be set aside during the life of the grant to ensure that the salaries do not all come out as a lump sum from  the fourth year budget.

Earlier in the evening, Mayor Steve Williams told council that revenue collections are running at 39% (with one third of the year past). He attributed “aggressive collection” of city fees, as well as the flexibility to not just “shut somebody down,” despite a “flat, no growth economy.”

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