This week in local government (Aug. 29)

August 29, 2014 by Matt Murphy

Here’s a recap of Daily Mail coverage related to local government this week, Aug. 25 to Aug. 29:

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Monday

CHARLESTON – Charleston council’s Planning Committee approved a delayed demolition ordinance for historic properties.

Thursday

COUNTY (Commission) – Kanawha County commissioners learned 23 parcels in Kanawha County are actually being taxed in Lincoln County.

CHARLESTON – Charleston council’s Environment & Recycling Committee learned the city must collect more recycling than at present in order to receive royalties (by Marcus Constantino).

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In other Kanawha County local government news, trash bag distribution begins in Charleston in a few weeks, though there will be fewer places to redeem vouchers; Mayor Danny Jones called for a special prosecutor in the Edward Gardner case, then rescinded his request Thursday; the band “Everclear” will headline West Side Main Street’s OktoberWest; the Staats Hospital project on the West Side was awarded a state grant to assist with roof repairs; a group related to the animal shelter is compiling a list of pet-friendly landlords; road slips are causing problems for the state Division of Highways; and local governments are starting to receive checks for FEMA reimbursement money for the Freedom Industries chemical leak.

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Here are government meetings and related events scheduled next week in Kanawha County:

Monday, Sept. 1

Labor Day – Government offices closed, most meetings moved to Tuesday.

Tuesday, Sept. 2

10 a.m. – Kanawha County Parks Commission  (special meeting).

1 p.m. – Charleston Municipal Beautification Commission.

6 p.m. – Cedar Grove Town Council.

6:30 p.m. – Charleston Finance Committee.

7 p.m. – Charleston City Council.

7 p.m. – Chesapeake Town Council.

7 p.m. – Dunbar City Council.

7 p.m. – Nitro City Council.

7:30 p.m. – St. Albans City Council.

Wednesday, Sept. 3

5:30 p.m. – East End Main Street Annual Meeting.

Thursday, Sept. 4

7:30 p.m. – South Charleston City Council.

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“The Week in Local Government” is a weekly post, published around lunchtime on Fridays, that recaps the Daily Mail’s local government coverage for the week. Past editions are available by clicking on the “The Week in Government” link on the right side of this page.

Some Morgantown business owners oppose Home Rule sales tax

August 26, 2014 by Matt Murphy

Monday marked the fourth of five regional meetings around West Virginia for cities to present their home rule proposals to the state Municipal Home Rule Board.

If you haven’t kept up, 23 cities have applied for 16 new slots in the West Virginia Home Rule Pilot Program. Those cities have collectively identified more than three dozen issues they’d like to address with home rule.

As part of the selection process, the Home Rule Board is holding regional meetings to hear presentations from each applicant city. After the hearings, the board will select the 16 new cities.

Those meetings were in Beckley on July 7, Charleston on Aug. 4, Wheeling on Aug. 11 and Bridgeport on Monday. The last meeting will be in Martinsburg on Sept. 8.

St. Albans’ application was rejected during the Charleston-based hearing on Aug. 4 because the city failed to complete the application requirements before the June 1 deadline (The Daily Mail pointed this out in June).

During Monday’s hearing in Bridgeport, at least two Morgantown business owners opposed the city’s proposal for a one-percent sales tax, according to articles from the Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram (read here) and Morgantown Dominion-Post (read here).

This was the first instance I’m aware of where several community members attended a home rule hearing to oppose their city’s home rule application – notably on one issue.

Of course, there have been some instances of opposition to home rule, but that’s occurred at the municipal level before applications were due.

Of the 22 remaining home rule applications, 15 want to create municipal sales taxes. Assuming the 16 cities selected aren’t forced to amend their home rule plans, that means at least nine additional cities will have local sales taxes when all is said and done.

So far, seven municipalities in West Virginia have local sales taxes – a figure which includes three current home rule cities: Charleston, Huntington and Wheeling.

If you’d like to read more about the subject, check out this blog post I wrote a few weeks back about local sales taxes in West Virginia and how they compare with other cities and states.

 

 

 

Bill Watch (Aug. 26)

August 26, 2014 by Matt Murphy

Action on bills in Charleston City Council for this update took place from Aug. 19 through Aug. 25:

ORDINANCES

PASSED on second reading at city council, making the ordinance law

No council meeting.

ACTION on previously introduced measures

City Council

No council meeting.

City Council Committees

No. 7628 – Delayed demolition – Establishes a process for review of demolition applications for historic properties. APPROVED by the Strong Neighborhoods Task Force on July 16. APPROVED by Municipal Planning Commission on Aug. 6. PASSED Planning Committee on Aug. 25. Moves to city council on Sept. 2.

No. 7629 – Planning Commission – Formally makes procedural rules for the Municipal Planning Commission comply with state law. APPROVED by Municipal Planning Commission on Aug. 6. PASSED Planning Committee on Aug. 25. Moves to city council on Sept. 2.

INTRODUCED bills on first reading.

None.

ACTIVE remaining bills.

No. 7630 – Parking – Establishes a no parking zone on a section of Elmore Avenue between Preston Street and Claire Street. Moves to Streets and Traffic Committee.

No. 7631 – Parking – Establishes a no parking zone on a section of Court Street between Lee Street and Quarrier Street from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Moves to Streets and Traffic Committee.

No. 7632 – Urban hunting – Formally allows persons with a Class Y crossbow permit to use a crossbow during the city’s annual urban deer hunt. Moves to Ordinance and Rules Committee.

No. 7633 – Sales tax – Establishes a one-half cent sales tax to fund police and fire pensions in the city. PASSED by Finance Committee on Aug. 19. Moves to state Municipal Home Rule Board, public hearing on Sept. 2 and city council.

INACTIVE remaining bills.

No. 7598 – CatsTABLED by council’s Ordinance & Rules Committee on Sept. 9, 2013. As written, this ordinance would place restrictions on cat ownership in city limits and other regulations on cats. Introduced by Councilman Cubert Smith. The Ordinance & Rules Committee voted to table the bill after public opposition, instead opting to look for other solutions to the city’s feral cat problem.

KILLED bills.

None.

RESOLUTIONS

Passed

No council meeting.

• Approved an agreement between the city police department and the U.S. Department of Justice for participation in the West Virginia DEA High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force.

• Approved the reception of a $136,264 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to fund equipment for the police department. Of that amount, $93,690 will go to the city and $42,574 will go to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office.

• Approved a two-year agreement with ASR – West Virginia Uniforms for employee uniforms for the public works department at $247.50 per set.

• Approved spending $25,000 to fix an embankment at 708 Amity Drive. The work will be performed by K&N Contracting.

• Approved budget amendments that removed two carpenter positions and added a foreman position and operator in the street department and that moved $5,000 from the emergency services fund for the creation of a “Flood Mitigation Plan.”

- See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140819/DM01/140819186/1296#sthash.qmQjjX8z.dpuf

• Approved an agreement between the city police department and the U.S. Department of Justice for participation in the West Virginia DEA High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force.

• Approved the reception of a $136,264 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to fund equipment for the police department. Of that amount, $93,690 will go to the city and $42,574 will go to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office.

• Approved a two-year agreement with ASR – West Virginia Uniforms for employee uniforms for the public works department at $247.50 per set.

• Approved spending $25,000 to fix an embankment at 708 Amity Drive. The work will be performed by K&N Contracting.

• Approved budget amendments that removed two carpenter positions and added a foreman position and operator in the street department and that moved $5,000 from the emergency services fund for the creation of a “Flood Mitigation Plan.”

- See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140819/DM01/140819186/1296#sthash.qmQjjX8z.dpuf

Rejected

No council meeting.

- – -

Bill Watch is a weekly series, published on Tuesdays, that provides updates on ordinances moving through Charleston city council and its committees. To see past posts, click the Bill Watch” topic link on the right of this page.

Here’s the list of FEMA reimbursements so far for the Jan. 9 chemical leak

August 25, 2014 by Matt Murphy

As of Monday, over $1.4 million in FEMA funding has been awarded to local and state government agencies for losses related to the Jan. 9 chemical leak and water contamination. Below are the award amounts as of Monday.

Read the full story here.

The week in local government (Aug. 22)

August 22, 2014 by Matt Murphy

Here’s a recap of Daily Mail coverage related to local government this week, Aug. 18 to Aug. 22:

- – -

Monday

CHARLESTON – City council’s Finance Committee moved forward on a proposed sales tax increase in Charleston.

DUNBAR – City council members approved wage increases for some city employees and passed on second reading an ordinance creating an urban deer hunt.

ST. ALBANS – St. Albans city council considered updating its traffic violation ordinance to include insurance requirements already enforced by the state.

Tuesday

COUNTY(SWA) – The Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority voted to spend over $90,000 to pave the public drop off area at the recycling center on Slack Street.

Thursday

COUNTY (Parks) – Kanawha County Parks and Recreation commissioners discussed the future of a new boat ramp at Coonskin Park as well as the outcome of the Coonskin logging trial.

SOUTH CHARLESTON – South Charleston Public Works Director Gerald Burgy told city council the city is still working to acquire salt for the winter.

- – -

In other Kanawha County local government news, a three-judge panel has been appointed in the Mark Plants case; Glasgow residents could see water and sewer bills go up around 26 percent on average; prices for road salt are double what they were last year, putting strain on city budgets; alternate options for electronics recycling are available; the hearing on the mountaintop removal mine near Kanawha State Forest is finished; and the accused Coonskin Park logger was found not guilty (timeline and background here).

- – -

Here are government meetings and related events scheduled next week in Kanawha County:

Monday, Aug. 25

5:30 p.m. – South Charleston Library Board

Thursday, Aug. 28

5 p.m. – Kanawha County Commission.

5:30 p.m. – Charleston Environment & Recycling Committee.

- – -
“The Week in Local Government” is a weekly post, published around lunchtime on Fridays, that recaps the Daily Mail’s local government coverage for the week. Past editions are available by clicking on the “The Week in Government” link on the right side of this page.

Bill Watch (Aug. 19)

August 19, 2014 by Matt Murphy

Action on bills in Charleston City Council for this update took place from Aug. 12 through Aug. 19:

ORDINANCES

PASSED on second reading at city council, making the ordinance law

No. 7616 – Race fees – Establishes fees for races and changes fees for recreation facilities in the city. PASSED by council’s Parks and Recreation Committee on Aug. 4. PASSED by council on Aug. 19.

ACTION on previously introduced measures

City Council

None.

City Council Committees

No. 7633 – Sales tax – Establishes a one-half cent sales tax to fund police and fire pensions in the city. PASSED by Finance Committee on Aug. 19. Moves to state Municipal Home Rule Board, public hearing on Sept. 2 and city council.

INTRODUCED bills on first reading.

None.

ACTIVE remaining bills.

No. 7628 – Delayed demolition – Establishes a process for review of demolition applications for historic properties. APPROVED by the Strong Neighborhoods Task Force on July 16. APPROVED by Municipal Planning Commission on Aug. 6. Moves to  Planning Committee.

No. 7629 – Planning Commission – Formally makes procedural rules for the Municipal Planning Commission comply with state law. APPROVED by Municipal Planning Commission on Aug. 6. Moves to  Planning Committee.

No. 7630 – Parking – Establishes a no parking zone on a section of Elmore Avenue between Preston Street and Claire Street. Moves to Streets and Traffic Committee.

No. 7631 – Parking – Establishes a no parking zone on a section of Court Street between Lee Street and Quarrier Street from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Moves to Streets and Traffic Committee.

No. 7632 – Urban hunting – Formally allows persons with a Class Y crossbow permit to use a crossbow during the city’s annual urban deer hunt. Moves to Ordinance and Rules Committee.

INACTIVE remaining bills.

No. 7598 – CatsTABLED by council’s Ordinance & Rules Committee on Sept. 9. As written, this ordinance would place restrictions on cat ownership in city limits and other regulations on cats. Introduced by Councilman Cubert Smith. The Ordinance & Rules Committee voted to table the bill after public opposition, instead opting to look for other solutions to the city’s feral cat problem.

KILLED bills.

No. 7626 – Fire protection fees – A bill to double fire protection fees for residential and commercial properties in the city. Introduced by request of Mayor Danny Jones on July 21. Jones requested the bill be withdrawn on Aug. 4. Withdrawn by council on Aug. 19.

No. 7627 – Refuse fees – A bill to raise refuse fees for refuse collected by the city. Introduced by request of Mayor Danny Jones on July 21. Jones requested the bill be withdrawn on Aug. 4. Withdrawn by council on Aug. 19.

RESOLUTIONS

Passed

488-14 -  Approves an agreement between the city police department and the U.S. Department of Justice for participation in the West Virginia DEA High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force.

489-14 – Approves the reception of a $136,264 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to fund equipment for the police department. Of that amount, $93,690 will go to the city and $42,574 will go to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office.

490-14 -  Approves a two-year agreement with ASR – West Virginia Uniforms for employee uniforms for the public works department at $247.50 per set.

491-14 -  Approves spending $25,000 to fix an embankment at 708 Amity Drive. The work will be performed by K&N Contracting.

492-14 -  Approves budget amendments that removed two carpenter positions and added a foreman position and operator in the street department and that moved $5,000 from the emergency services fund for the creation of a “Flood Mitigation Plan.”

• Approved an agreement between the city police department and the U.S. Department of Justice for participation in the West Virginia DEA High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force.

• Approved the reception of a $136,264 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to fund equipment for the police department. Of that amount, $93,690 will go to the city and $42,574 will go to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office.

• Approved a two-year agreement with ASR – West Virginia Uniforms for employee uniforms for the public works department at $247.50 per set.

• Approved spending $25,000 to fix an embankment at 708 Amity Drive. The work will be performed by K&N Contracting.

• Approved budget amendments that removed two carpenter positions and added a foreman position and operator in the street department and that moved $5,000 from the emergency services fund for the creation of a “Flood Mitigation Plan.”

- See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140819/DM01/140819186/1296#sthash.qmQjjX8z.dpuf

• Approved an agreement between the city police department and the U.S. Department of Justice for participation in the West Virginia DEA High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force.

• Approved the reception of a $136,264 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to fund equipment for the police department. Of that amount, $93,690 will go to the city and $42,574 will go to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office.

• Approved a two-year agreement with ASR – West Virginia Uniforms for employee uniforms for the public works department at $247.50 per set.

• Approved spending $25,000 to fix an embankment at 708 Amity Drive. The work will be performed by K&N Contracting.

• Approved budget amendments that removed two carpenter positions and added a foreman position and operator in the street department and that moved $5,000 from the emergency services fund for the creation of a “Flood Mitigation Plan.”

- See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140819/DM01/140819186/1296#sthash.qmQjjX8z.dpuf

Rejected

None.

- – -

Bill Watch is a weekly series, published on Tuesdays, that provides updates on ordinances moving through Charleston city council and its committees. To see past posts, click the Bill Watch” topic link on the right of this page.

The week in local government (Aug. 15)

August 15, 2014 by Matt Murphy

Here’s a recap of Daily Mail coverage related to local government this week, Aug. 11 to Aug. 15:

- – -

Wednesday

CHARLESTON (CURA) – CURA board members discussed the possibility of obtaining the old Mount Vernon Apartments building on Quarrier Street.

Thursday

COUNTY – A victims’ advocate told Kanawha County commissioners the Plants case is worrying to some domestic violence victims, as commissioners voted to begin proceedings to remove Plants from office (read the petition here). The commission also discussed the future of coal in the county.

- – -

In other Kanawha County local government news, a hearing before the Surface Mine Board began over the mountaintop removal mine near Kanawha State Forest; Charleston is trying to figure out what to do with a vacant neighborhood center; the West Virginia Taxi Association has withdrawn a petition with the PSC concerning rideshare services like Uber and Lyft; and the final boundary map released for the proposed expansion of the East End Historic District.

- – -

Here are government meetings and related events scheduled next week in Kanawha County:

Monday, Aug. 18

6:30 p.m. – Charleston Finance Committee.

7 p.m. – Charleston City Council.

7 p.m. – Dunbar City Council.

7 p.m. – Glasgow Town Council.

7 p.m. – Marmet Town Council.

7:30 p.m. – St. Albans City Council.

Tuesday, Aug. 19

8:30 a.m. – Upper Kanawha EDC.

10 a.m. – Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority.
1 p.m. – South Charleston Sanitary Board.
7 p.m. – Belle Town Council.
7 p.m. – East Bank Town Council.
7 p.m. – Nitro City Council.
Wednesday, Aug. 20
1 p.m. – South Charleston CVB.

Thursday, Aug. 21

8:30 a.m. – Kanawha County Parks Commission.

8:45 a.m. – KRT board of directors.

7:30 p.m. – South Charleston City Council.

- – -
“The Week in Local Government” is a weekly post, published around lunchtime on Fridays, that recaps the Daily Mail’s local government coverage for the week. Past editions are available by clicking on the “The Week in Government” link on the right side of this page.