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Huntington hikes user fee to $5 per week

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — After voting to not postpone the issue and after hearing more than an hour of public comment, Huntington City Council on Monday approved an ordinance that will raise the city’s user fee to $5 per week.

The fee, currently at $3 a week, is used to fund paving projects and supplement the police department’s budget. It is taken as a payroll deduction from people who work in Huntington city limits, regardless of where they live.

The ordinance was passed 8-2, with council members Scott Caserta and Rebecca Thacker providing the two dissenting votes. Councilman Rick Simmons was not in attendance.

Before the vote, Caserta made a motion to postpone the vote to look into other options for the paving projects and police.

“I’m not saying to postpone this to find another way to get the money,” Caserta said. “What I’m saying is, let’s see if our people can do the work first. We have some great equipment operators. Let’s look at the cost of the overtime and the abilities that we have, and look at the possibilities of bringing in outside agencies to help our law enforcement to get us over this hump while we look at this more closely. We may be able to invest this money to hire more public works employees that, going forward, can do this work instead of contracting it all out.”

Nine residents spoke during the public comment period to postpone the vote. Most were for postponing, though many were also speaking against the user fee increase itself.

A North Edgemont Drive resident said a fix to problems on her road has been postponed for 24 years, if not longer…

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