Hurricane city council chambers were filled on Monday, April 4, as the Calvary Baptist Academy boys basketball team and Hurricane High’s Show Choirs were honored for bringing State Championship trophies home to their schools.
The crowd did not witness the business meeting and updates from city administrators which followed because the chamber emptied following the recognition proceedings.
The Police Department has acquired two flashing notification signs which instantly inform motorists of their speed. The signs are programmed to keep a record all speeding information. The information does not include pictures of license plates. Mayor Scott Edwards said that the signs will allow the city to identify areas in which motorists are regularly exceeding the speed limit. The city has recently reduced the speed limit to 15 mph in some residential areas.
Edwards announced that officer Brett Johnson has been recognized for making a high number of DUI arrests. Only one other officer in the state, a member of the Huntington Police Department, has made more DUI arrests this year. Johnson has been with the Hurricane PD for seven months.
City Manager Andy Skidmore announced that the pickle-ball courts at Bridge Park will officially open on Monday, April 18. Skidmore also announced that Hurricane will be obtaining two generators at no cost to the city. Funding will be through FEMA grant money which became available after the June 2012 Dorecheo which left Hurricane without electricity for close to a week. The State of West Virginia will provide the required 25% match for the grant.
Skidmore informed council that the new Fire Station adjacent to Bridge Park is still slated for a December 9, 2022 completion.
Marketing and Development Manager Amanda Ramey announced that the merry-go-round at City Park has been restored and is back in operation for the joy of all. The merry-go-round has been part of City Park since initial construction on the park was completed in the early 1970’s.
Ramey told council that Hurricane’s Main Street Spring Festival will be Saturday, May 7, from 1-5 p.m. May will also see the return of Food Truck Fridays at the Gazebo.
The sign-in sheet for council meetings seldom has more than one or two who wish to address the council. There were four names at Monday’s meeting. All were candidates for political office who wished to introduce themselves and make their priorities known.
First to speak was Michael Kidd, candidate for the House of Delegates, 21st District (the City of Hurricane and immediate areas north of Hurricane and all area south of Hurricane make up the 21st District). Kidd is a private investigator whose services is available to insurance companies and corporations. Kidd listed service to his church and community and family values as factors which voters should consider.
Next up was Michael Thompson, a candidate for Circuit Clerk. Thompson currently serves as the City of Hurricane’s municipal judge. He cited church and community service along with experience in the judicial system as things which voters should know.
Incumbent County Commissioner Ron Foster is seeking reelection. Foster touted savings to the county which resulted from his knowledge of the construction industry. He said it was not time to change horses. Foster is the owner of Foster Supply which is a supplier for developers and utilities.
Todd Dillon, also seeking election to the County Commission, informed council of his career choice (financial management) and his service to church and community. Dillon stated that his priorities included protection of family interests.
In other business, council held the second reading of an ordinance approving two annexation by petition requests. The properties involved are the 13.31 acres behind Wendy’s on Teays Valley and the access road to the 13.31-acre property.
Council also granted Mayor Edwards authority to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU will qualify the city to receive opioid settlement funds. The funds must be used by police departments for specific purposes. Final guidelines have yet to be established but funding for PRO officers in public schools (something that Hurricane currently does) is expected to be an approved use.
The next regular council meeting will be Monday, May 2, at 6:30 p.m.The Putnam County Commission