The Hurricane City Council met on Monday, March 7, to conduct regular business and to receive updates from City Manager Andy Skidmore, Marketing and Development Director Amanda Ramey, and the Police and Fire Departments.
Skidmore informed council that the city expected to see an increase in property tax collections in the coming fiscal year. Skidmore said the increase was the result of increasing property valuations. The boost in property tax will not result in more revenue overall.
Mayor Scott Edwards told council that recent legislation in Charleston will require the city to reduce its Business and Occupation (B&O) tax by $200,000. Edwards said the city has budgeted conservatively and that the loss in B&O would not result in any cutback in services or construction plans. The loss may slow the development of Bridge Park.
Skidmore said that the construction of a new access road to the park and bridge over the creek behind Hurricane First Baptist Church would proceed according to schedule. Plans to construct a walking trail and disc golf course will also be implemented as planned.
The revenue loss will not affect paving of the parking area and ingress and egress to the football field. Skidmore said that the city is presently seeking paving bids. When complete, there will be two exit lanes and one entrance lane.
Skidmore expects the pickleball courts to be open by April 1.
Fire and Rescue Chief Michael Hoffman informed council that a member of his department has received national certification. Hoffman stated that the department is in a position to expand training.
In new business, Andy Skidmore informed council that the county has decided to exercise the Memorandum of Understanding option with the city to assume EMS duties which it ceded to Hurricane last year. The county will purchase Hurricane EMS equipment.
Skidmore reported that the new owner of Valley Pointe on Teays Valley Road has requested to be annexed by the city. The council is scheduled to act on the request at a special meeting on March 21st.
Council held the first reading of an ordinance that establishes a formal procedure to set speed limits on city streets. The ordinance is necessary to comply with state code. The city has recently established 15 mph limits in residential areas.
Donald Underwood, a candidate for Putnam County Circuit Clerk, presented council with a resume of his law enforcement experience and community service.
Prior to the conduct of business, the council recognized the WVCAT (West Virginian Christian Athletic Tournament) champion Calvary Baptist Academy Middle School Girls Basketball Team and the Mid-Valley Athletic Conference champion Hurricane Middle Boys Basketball Team.
The next regular council meeting will be Monday, April 4, at 6:30 p.m.