WSAZ | Huntington, West Virginia | News

Flood Fees Considered in Huntington


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Two words no one wants to hear: fees or flooding.

But to fix the flooding problem, Mayor Steve Williams says fees are unavoidable.

"It's the very last thing that you do, but people don't like the word fee," Williams said. "But they don't like the other F word, flood, and if we don't pay fees we don't fix the flooding. The two are inextricably intertwined."

Williams said he will propose to Huntington City Council in October a fee of a "few" dollars a month and then charging businesses $9 to $10 a month.

The Mayor says that business development would help offset those fees, but admits fees and flooded roads are no way to attract business.
If the fee is passed by City Council, the Mayor says as soon as it is collected there will be work residents can see.

He says storm drains need cleaned out. Some haven't been in nearly 30 years.

Assistant Director of Public Works John Insco, who is just starting his third week on the job, says by next April the hope is to have the street sweeping crews out on the roads for more than just special occasions.

The machines, which did run as a part of cleanup for "Huntington in Bloom," sit idled now. The problem: lack of money and manpower.
Insco says by April they hope to have a regularly scheduled street sweeping similar to what was done in the 1970s or 1980s.

He also says there are 150 catch basins that need looked at to see what repairs are needed.

"Our catch basin clean out has been erratic, to say it best. We are preparing to address our catch basin issues," Insco said.

"We don't have enough money right now within our budget to go and fix all these problems," Williams said. "If we did, we would already be doing it."


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