UPDATE: Huntington Council and Mayor's Office to Work on Future Purchasing Decisions

By: Tim Irr, Sarah Sager Email
By: Tim Irr, Sarah Sager Email

UPDATE 5/10/11 @ 5:55 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- New seating in the Big Sandy Superstore Arena is needed badly, but Tuesday a decision from the Finance Committee couldn't be made.

It’s something that frustrates Huntington City Councilman Steve Williams.

"On so many different occasions we have found ourselves where we have to start second guessing and start diving in a little bit deeper," Williams said. "As soon as we dive in a little bit deeper, we find that every I is not dotted and every T is not crossed."

The lowest bidder on the job didn't have a contracting license in the state of West Virginia.

It's something several council members feel should have been caught before the bids came for their review.

"There's a mandate from council, obviously, that these items were tabled," Councilman Mark Bates said. "That does make a statement to say we're not going to review things in the future if the process has not been followed properly."

Huntington Mayor Kim Wolfe says he is dealing with the here and now.

"We’ll work well with council to get through this," Wolfe said. "We'll get the process through. There's a little hiccup there, but we'll get it done."

Williams said, "What we're looking for moving from all this is to assure that we have an air of professionalism in the way that we go about doing business. City Council expects it. The public should demand it. From what I've observed in the Wolfe administration is that they are prepared to deliver it."

Williams believes a bid for the new arena seats will have to be awarded sometime this summer. That's to prepare for a few major events coming to Huntington this fall.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Huntington City Council did not get a chance Monday night to vote on a controversial issue, but did end up approving six new police cruisers.

Regarding the first issue, two companies were bidding to replace the seats at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

Council was all set to accept the higher of the two bids, which stirred up a lot of buzz.

Councilman Steve Williams said, in order to refrain from the appearance of "unprofessionalism," the finance committee decided to put it on the shelf.

"One worry that we had is that we had our backs against the wall on this and that we were quote, unquote, in a position where we had to award the bid," Williams said. "I and members of council feel that we don't have to do anything if we are not comfortable with the process."

The bidding process will now start from scratch, opening it up to anyone interested.

In other business Monday night, council approved six new Dodge Chargers for the Huntington Police Department with money from drug seizures, plus $60,000 in emergency funding for the Floodwall Division.

Council also announced a 16 percent cut from the feds in community block development grant funding that will effect everything from Habitat for Humanity to infrastructure improvements.

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