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City OKs ordinance authorizing contract for demolition work

Nov. 13, 2012 @ 11:05 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Huntington City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday authorizing a contract for demolition work.

The one-year contract was awarded to R&B Tassen Construction, the city's current demolition contractor. The company will demolish and remove debris at a rate of $2 per square foot. The current contract is for $2.25 per square foot.

The city just completed a joint demolition program with the West Virginia National Guard and Division of Highways that saw the removal of 54 dilapidated structures in 28 days. The work erased all of the dilapidated structures on the city's priority list, according to Development and Planning Director Charles Holley. Once a new list is compiled, the city will have about $160,000 in federal grant funds to tear down more structures this fiscal year, he said.

Also Tuesday, the council unanimously approved an ordinance appointing Tyler Beckett Smith as interim municipal judge. Smith will take over for Sharon Frazier, who had to resign from the position because of a work conflict, Mayor Kim Wolfe said.

Appointing Smith in the interim was a mutual decision between Wolfe and Mayor-Elect Steve Williams. Meanwhile, numerous people have applied for the position, and Williams said he would prefer former municipal judges or a committee of attorneys review the applications during the next few weeks and make a recommendation.

In other business, the council unanimously approved an ordinance which repeals a fee tacked onto municipal court costs and designated for the Cabell County Teen Court program. The program has been suspended indefinitely because of the inability to find and retain a qualified coordinator to manage it.

The council also moved to a second reading on four ordinances pertaining to the purchase of five new police cruisers, two utility police vehicles, 24 mobile data terminals for police cruisers and two crew cab trucks for the Public Works Department.

The police cruisers cost $113,570 and would be acquired through a three-year, lease-purchase agreement. One of the utility police vehicles would be added to the lease-purchase agreement, while the second vehicle would be purchased with insurance proceeds and money from the Police Department's budget. Each utility police vehicle costs $25,518.

The crew cab trucks cost $90,266, while the mobile data terminals cost $50,376 and will be paid for through a state grant.