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Huntington City Council: Initiative nets more than 1,000 citations

Oct. 28, 2013 @ 11:47 PM

HUNTINGTON -- The city of Huntington's code enforcement unit has issued more than 1,000 citations for trash, tall grass, weeds and other external sanitation violations since July 1, Mayor Steve Williams told City Council members Monday.

Approximately 76 percent of the 1,002 citations issued have been resolved before the scheduled court date because property owners are conforming to regulations, Williams said.

Code enforcement officers also will start working on weekends as they look for unlicensed contractors, he said.

The increased enforcement efforts are part of the mayor's multi-pronged initiative to clean up the city. It kicked off earlier this year with a spring cleanup that netted more than 2,000 tons of trash.

Also Monday, Williams said the Huntington Sanitary Board's long-term control plan for combined sewer overflow abatement projects will have to be revised because several scheduled projects have not been completed. Williams said the plan, which was adopted in 2009, was "ambitious."

Huntington Sanitary Board Executive Director Lou Akers has been to Charleston to meet with the state Department of Environmental Protection about updating the plan, Williams said. It will prioritize from the most critical to long-term, he said.

"I'll state this bluntly. This does not paint a pretty picture, and for that, it's absolutely imperative that we respond to it brutally and honestly," Williams said.

In other business, the council approved a $280,000 engineering contract for the second phase of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's certification of Huntington's floodwall. It also withdrew a budget revision increasing the revenue projection for the 1 percent sales tax by 16 percent to $6.43 million and moved it to a special call meeting Thursday, Nov. 7. Council members will receive an update on this year's budget during the meeting.

Follow H-D reporter Bryan Chambers on Facebook or Twitter @BryanChambersHD.

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