NEW HAVEN — West Virginia Delegate Joshua Higginbotham updated members of the New Haven town council on state issues when the council held its most recent meeting.
The delegate assured the council that a state budget will soon be passed. He also told the group about the Home Rule bill that allows towns to file exemptions, have the freedom to establish their own taxes, and to strictly enforce their city codes. He said the bill makes it easier to deal with dilapidated properties also.
Higginbotham said the broadband bill will also benefit small, rural communities. He added it will make cell and internet services more available and affordable by allowing towns to create their own infrastructure for service, rather than waiting for bigger companies.
The delegate also fielded questions from those attending on a variety of subjects. The state “rainy day fund,” special session costs, state bond rating, Medicaid and Medicare, as well as other topics were discussed.
Several residents attended the meeting with a number of concerns.
Mary Ann Richards discussed an abandoned property near her home on Dogwood Drive, where grass has not been cut for six weeks. Recorder Roberta Hysell told Richards she would have town employees mow the grass.
Ken Vickers said he attended a meeting the first of May to request a neighbor move a building from his front yard to the back, which was the location listed on the building permit. He said it has been 42 days and the building has not been moved.
He also complained about dogs running loose, which is not permitted under a town ordinance. Police Chief Dave Hardwick said he had visited three homes in the last week regarding this issue.
Roy Grimm asked if any fines had been issued for ordinance violations. He was told that warnings have been issued, but no one has been fined.
At the conclusion of the meeting, it was noted that all existing ordinances will now be strictly enforced. The council is also considering stiffer penalties for violations.
In other action, the council:
Approved the use of town water for the New Haven Youth League to have a water slide at the ballfield;
Hired Ben Turner as a full-time police officer at a rate of $10.50 per hour, following the resignation of Patrolman Kevin Day; and,
Tabled the request for a tiny house (12 x 30 ft.) to be placed in the trailer park on Mill Street, pending further information.
Attending were Mayor Jerry Spradling, Recorder Hysell, and council members Jim Elias, George Gibbs, Grant Hysell and Matt Shell. The next meeting will be June 26 at 6 p.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.