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Huntington City Council considers increasing municipal court costs

By JOSEPHINE MENDEZ
The Herald-DispatchHUNTINGTON, W.Va.  — An ordinance that would increase municipal court fees in the city will be heard by the Huntington City Council at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 22.

The proposed ordinance on first reading would increase court fees from $35 to $65. This excludes court costs related to individuals who contest parking tickets, which is being raised from $4 to $8.

Huntington Police Chief Joe Ciccarelli said $15 of the existing court fee is used to cover maintenance costs on the Jean Dean Public Safety Building, which houses the police department and the municipal court.

 If the increased court cost is approved, Ciccarelli said an additional $15 will be filtered into the maintenance fund.

In other business, council will hear the first reading of an ordinance authorizing a mutual aid agreement with the Huntington Police Department and the Kenova Police Department that allows officers to lend assistance to other officers across jurisdictional boundaries.

Ciccarelli said they have mutual aid agreements with other local agencies in Cabell and Wayne counties as well as the state police.

Council members will also vote on accepting a $2,000 Historic Preservation federal grant from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

Scott Lemley, the executive director of the city’s Department of Planning and Development, said the grant funds will be used to host a historic preservation class for realtors in the area, which will include information about opportunities and regulations for historic buildings and properties.

The grant also requires also in-kind match of $1,333, which Lemley said will come from donations in time and effort from city employees as well as a location.

Prior to the city council regular meeting Monday night, council’s Finance Committee will meet at 6 p.m. in City Hall to discuss the Huntington fire and police pensions as well as other matters.

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