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Proposed Fee Would Go Toward Fixing Huntington Storm Drainage

Reported by: Send eMail Dan Matics
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Dec. 19, 2013 5:31 PM EST
Updated: Dec. 20, 2013 8:57 AM EST

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Huntington Storm Drainage
Eyewitness News Photo

Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams has a proposal to fix the city's deficient storm water drainage system, but it leaves those living in Huntington picking up the tab.

It is a long-standing joke in the city that if you flush the toilet, the street will flood.

The sewage system and storm drains are very old, very clogged and tied together.

Among pressure from the state and federal government, city leaders are taking action, but it won’t come cheap.
Scenes of flooding are all too familiar in downtown Huntington, and, just ask anyone, it's a headache.

And, because fishing isn't really why people make their way into downtown, Williams wants the problem fixed.

The plan is to regulate, enforce codes to reduce debris buildup and improve the infrastructure.

But that takes revenue, and if the mayor gets his way, most people in Huntington would have to pay a $4 to $7 monthly fee, based on the size of their home.

Ninety percent of the people are going to be paying $4 to $7 a month.

Doug Hall of Huntington said he thought it was fair "if that's going to be where it goes."

But some, like Tracy Fields, said the problem should be fixed with money the city already generates through taxes.

"They always find something new to tax, so I don't think so," she said.

But Williams said the other alternative isn't pretty.

"I would have to take money away from the police department, the fire department and paving,” he said. “We just can’t afford to do that."

First reading of the proposed ordinance is set for Monday.

If passed, the project could be put into place as early as April.



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