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Highlights from the State of the City

Feb. 15, 2013 @ 11:08 PM

Highlights from the State of the City

Here are some highlights from Huntington Mayor Steve Williams' State of the City address:

EMPLOYEES: There are no pay raises in the budget, but it does includes funding for 11 new positions spread over several departments. Williams said nine of those positions are tied to revenue creation.

NEW GROUPS: Williams proposes to establish a Mayor's Council for the Arts, a Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, and a Mayor's Council for Physical Fitness. Williams did not say whether funding would be needed to set up or maintain the new entities.

BUSINESS LICENSING: Former Councilman Jim Insco will be hired as a contracted employee to revamp the business licensing and permitting process. The budget also includes a "business services concierge" to help customers.

COLLECTIONS: The budget calls for the hiring of an assistant city attorney to collect delinquent taxes and fees.

STORM WATER: Williams wants to create a Storm Water Division under the Department of Public Works and fund a full-time position for a storm water coordinator to make sure the city complies with federal environmental guidelines.

PAVING: The city would spend $1 million on paving, the same amount as this year. Williams said he will maintain fall and spring paving programs.

CODE ENFORCEMENT: The budget includes funding for a new code enforcement officer. The city also will seek ordinances that target eyesore properties and authorize on-the-spot citations.

RENTAL UNIT REGISTRY: Landlords would be required to register their rental properties annually and pay a fee of $50 per unit per year. The funding would help pay for rental inspections every two or three years.

FIRE DEPARTMENT: Two new firefighters would be hired, allowing the Fire Department to reinstate the Fire Prevention Bureau.

POLICE DEPARTMENT: Next year's budget absorbs funding for four officer positions that have been funded with federal grants.

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