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Huntington City Hall is pictured in this May 2020 file photo.

HUNTINGTON — City employees will receive $3,000 each in premium pay in the coming months.

City Council members approved a resolution that authorizes the use of a portion of Huntington’s American Rescue Plan Act funds to give city employees $3,000 in premium pay for essential work during the coronavirus pandemic over the course of three payments. Part-time employees will receive $1,500. Huntington received $40 million in federal funds from the legislation.

The City Council voted on the action during its Tuesday meeting. Councilman DuRon Jackson recused himself from the vote. Councilman Todd Sweeney was absent. All other members voted in favor of the resolution.

Councilman Tyler Bowen made a motion to amend the resolution to correct the number of available funds, which is up to $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds. The amendment passed.

“Every single employee of the city of Huntington has been on the front lines,” Mayor Steve Williams said during discussion on the resolution.

He added that he views all city employees as essential workers because of the services they provide.

The resolution also stipulates that the Huntington Water Quality Board, the Huntington Municipal Development Authority, Community Block Development Grant and the Huntington Municipal Parking Board would receive funds for similar payments to their employees. The resolution was previously discussed at an Administration and Finance Committee meeting.

In other business Tuesday, City Council members approved a resolution to allocate funds for the construction of the Hal Greer Boulevard Complete Streets project from 3rd Avenue to Washington Boulevard.

City Planning Director Breanna Shell spoke about the resolution at a previous meeting of the Administration and Finance Committee. She said the estimated cost of the project is $10,790,594, but the city would only be responsible for 20% of the cost, or $2,158,119. The remaining funds would come from federal funds through the KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission.

Partners on the project are the city, KYOVA and the West Virginia Division of Highways. The project will be put out to bid soon by the DOH, Shell said Tuesday.

The council also approved the purchase of a 10th Street property that the Huntington Police Department plans to use as a parking lot and a resolution that amends the rules of business for the Huntington Planning Commission.

City Council met Tuesday because of the federal holiday Monday.

McKenna Horsley is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch, covering local government in Huntington and Cabell County. Follow her on Twitter @Mckennahorsley.

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