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Huntington weighs hiking user fee to $5 a week

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Huntington City Council will take up the first reading of an ordinance Monday that would raise the city user fee from $3 a week to $5, generating an additional $3 million in funding for the Huntington Police Department and city street repair.

The fee, paid by everyone who works in the city of Huntington, has been a controversial topic since its inception and any talk of raising it has typically brought hefty opposition from local workers and residents.

Mayor Steve Williams campaigned against former Mayor Kim Wolfe in 2012 based on Wolfe’s intent to do exactly what is now being proposed.

 “(Wolfe) was wanting to balance the budget on it,” Williams said Thursday. “I was saying we would be able to meet services without raising fees, and we’ve demonstrated that over the past three years.”

Williams characterized this most recent proposal as an “investment in the community.”

“The decision that has to be made by City Council is, from a law enforcement perspective, do we have the proper staffing and the equipment we need for the police department?” Williams said. “From a capital improvements standpoint, are we going to invest in our community so we can do more than our annual paving and then patch where we can…

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