The Hurricane City Council met on Monday, October 4, to conduct regular business and hear updates from the city manager and the police and fire departments.
New business included the first reading of an ordinance which will restructure the city’s water pollution control fee schedule. If enacted at a second reading, individual user fees will double from $1.50 to $3.00 and the commercial rate will be lowered. The changes will result in an annual revenue increase of $100,000. A public hearing will be held prior to any action by the council.
In another first reading, council voted to extend the ordinance that prohibits firearms at City Park to include all parks within city limits. If approved at the second reading in November, firearms will be prohibited in both Valley Park and Hurricane Bridge Park.
In other new business, the council approved a zoning change recommended by the Hurricane Planning Commission for a parcel on Kanawha Avenue from R-1 single family to R-2 multi-family. The parcel involved is near the eastern end of the street.
Council granted Appalachian Power a right-of-way from Peach Ridge Road to its new powerline maintenance center behind St. Mary’s Family Care and Willow Tree Apartments. The maintenance center is projected to be operational by year’s end.
Council also gave City Manager Andy Skidmore the go ahead to pursue a tourism funding grant from a federal agency. Skidmore said that the city will be asking for $2.5 million for recreational trail development. The proposal will include a trail which connects Hurricane Bridge Park to City Park via Water Tank Hill. Skidmore made it known that Hurricane will be in competition with other West Virginia cities and cities in neighboring states for a grant. If awarded the grant, Hurricane will need $500,000 in matching funds. Skidmore said that the development plans at Bridge Park are not dependent upon receiving the grant.
Skidmore informed council that the long-waited-for pickleball courts should be open before the end of the month.
EMS Coordinator Ryan Lewis informed council that Hurricane has the promised new ambulance and that the second ambulance from the county is scheduled to have its new engine installed this week.
Police Chief Mike Mullins presented a summary of his department’s activities for September. During the month, the HPD made twelve arrests charged to the state and fourteen which were charged to the city. Four of the state arrests were DUI related. Others involved prohibited firearm possession, fleeing, and state warrants.
Two city arrests were drug related with one for possession of Meth and one for possession of marijuana. There were 7 arrests for shoplifting.
Mullins said that the HPD department issued 78 citations and 50 warnings while responding to 27 EMR calls, 18 alarm calls, 3 domestic violence calls, 21 suspicious person calls, 5 suspicious vehicle calls, 6 well-being checks, and 8 disturbance calls. The department took 15 accident reports during the month.
Mayor Scott Edwards announced that the city’s annual Pumpkin Carving Contest will be Sunday, October 24th. Edwards said that there will be two Trick or Treats in Hurricane this year. There will be Main Street Trick or Treat on Friday, October 29 and Citywide Trick or Treat on Saturday, October 30.
The next regular council meeting will be Monday, November 1, at 6:30 p.m.