by Tony Rutherford HuntingtonNews.Net Reporter

HUNTNGTON, WV(HNN) – Following another trip to the Huntington City Council Finance Committee, the contract limitation ordinance heads back to the full council. By a 3-1 vote (Jim Insco dissented), the committee recommended Thursday, Jan. 14 that the compromise offered by finance chairman Steve Williams at the Monday, Jan. 11 meeting.

The move to reign in the purchase threshold from $15,000 down to $5,000 had been Councilman Jim Ritter’s proposal, apparently stemming from the one salt spreader purchase. The committee’s compromise keeps $15,000 as the peak after which the purchase requires council approval. It contains a stipulation that council members be within one week notified of purchases in excess of $7,500 but less than $15,000.

“If we do our jobs” [on the Finance Committee] by monitoring line by line revenue and expenses, Williams favors the current arrangement. He does cross his fingers that the ordinance recommended for passage will find enough votes.

Expressing insight into the surprise two salt shaker turn down vote by council, he thanked Mayor Wolfe for contacting himself and at least two other council members prior to making the purchase of one spreader. Based on the spending limit, the administration could have purchased the one spreader without seeking a hint of council wisdom before exercising their discretion.

In addition, Honeywell made a presentation to the committee concerning the potential energy efficiency contract. Williams explained that it’s a win/win situation, with a portion of the savings absorbing the amount of the contract. As stated at the Monday meeting, if the company can find no savings, there will be no charge.

“We are seeking to work with Honeywell in the first phase,” stated Brandi Jacobs-Jones, director of finance and administration, “They stand by” finding energy savings explained Ms. Jacobs-Jones, who said the corporation has occasionally lost money when they did not find enough projects. According to the contract terms, non-finding of savings means the city owes Honeywell nothing. “Have you ever handed money back? Yes, they have.”

The city of Huntington owns buildings , streetlights and a landfill , all of which could generate savings.