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Insco named assistant public works director

Jul. 08, 2013 @ 11:25 PM

HUNTINGTON -- A former city councilman is coming back to City Hall in an administrative capacity.

Mayor Steve Williams introduced Jim Insco as the city's new assistant public works director during Monday night's council meeting. The position was eliminated two years ago because of budget cuts but was restored in this year's fiscal budget, which began July 1.

"The evolution of this was when I asked council to authorize the position of an assistant public works director, I had Jim in mind for the position," Williams said in an interview before the meeting. "I wasn't sure if he was going to be able to make the step when he started looking at things for him and his family, but I was thrilled when he said he could join the team."

Insco ended a 12-year run as the councilman for District 9, which covers Guyandotte and Altizer, in December. He could not run again because of term limits. Insco is the third person from Williams' transition team to take a job in his administration. The other two are Fire Chief Carl Eastham and Teresa Ball, a longtime AFL-CIO employee who was hired into the new position of labor liaison.

Insco will make $51,168 as the assistant public works director. He also said he will continue working as an insurance agent.

"It's very exciting to see how the city has moved forward with change in the past six months, and I'm thrilled to come back and be a part of it," Insco said.

Insco will answer directly to Public Works Director David Hagley, Williams said. He will be responsible for project management and have direct oversight of the supervisors in the sanitation, street and floodwall divisions.

Williams announced early in his mayoral term that he was going to hire Insco as a contracted employee to help streamline the business licensing and permitting process. Insco said he completed the work and turned his recommendations over to Williams, but he declined the $5,000 that he had been promised as a contracted employee.

In other business Monday, the council unanimously adopted a resolution authorizing Williams to accept donated real property from Campbell Transportation Co. The city will accept 2,400 linear feet of Ohio River frontage property between 2nd Street West and 7th Street West.

Williams said the barge company made a business decision to no longer operate in the Port of Huntington and discovered that it was more beneficial to donate the property to the city than sell it or auction it off. The property recently appraised for $1.5 million, the mayor said.

Asked what the city will do with the property, Williams said, "We'll weigh all of our options."

Here's a look at other actions from the council meeting:

EMERGENCY PURCHASE: The council unanimously adopted a resolution approving an emergency purchase of $82,000 to repair a land slip on Giger Street. Insco said two large boulders moved recently, triggering a large mass of land to slip. Land slides and slips on Giger Street and surrounding areas have become a growing problem during the past three years. The city had to make an emergency purchase of $45,000 in June 2012 to repair problems caused by a separate slip on Giger Street.

A.D. LEWIS: The council unanimously approved a resolution creating an advisory board for the A.D. Lewis Community Center. Councilwoman Sandra Clements, the sponsor of the resolution, said the board would coordinate volunteer and fundraising activities and help oversee the community center's pool, which has yet to open this year because of mechanical problems.

OPEN HOUSE: Williams announced that he will begin having open house meetings with the public from 3 to 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. The meetings on the second Tuesday will be conducted in the mayor's conference room at City Hall. The meetings on the fourth Tuesday will take place in neighborhoods across the city. The mayor said there will not be an open house meeting on Tuesday, July 9, because his mother is scheduled to have surgery. The meeting will be rescheduled sometime next week, he said.

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