By Kara Linaburg
Shinnston City Council discussed 2023 goals, city improvement projects, and ongoing project updates at their Jan. 30 meeting.
One update that was discussed by the Council was the new building inspector who they hope will bring vast improvement to Shinnston. “He will be reporting to the police department as opposed to coming to the city hall,” City Manager, Chad Edwards, said. “I’m hoping that by him working closer with the police department, that we can get more done.”
The inspector started working in January, and Edwards is thus far impressed. He said that they had issues in the past with the previous building inspector not working together with the police department, and he’s hoping that this will no longer be the case, allowing for faster action and following through with court summons, building permits, and code violations.
The city is also moving forward with landlord inspections. “We will be shutting down landlords who aren’t maintaining their properties. That’ll be a two-prong thing, the building inspector and our fire inspector, Randy,” Edwards said.
The Council also talked about dilapidated buildings in Shinnston, as well as the condemning and tearing down of said buildings. After considerable work in Charleston, $112,000 has been awarded for the project as well as some money from the county, and members discussed why the condemnation of homes and buildings hasn’t worked in the past and why it will now. “They don’t get this in Bridgeport,” Edwards said. “And there’s a reason for that. They stop it before it starts, and we’re doing the same thing from here on.”
Mayor Rodney Strait also brought updates from a meeting with Gov. Jim Justice earlier that day on a proposed tax plan by the governor which West Virginia lawmakers are currently considering at the ongoing 2023 legislative session. The plan to cut personal income taxes passed the House of Delegates but has hit a roadblock in the state Senate. Strait said that in the states surrounding West Virginia, their income taxes are lower. “And the states that don’t have an income tax, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas are growing, and they’re growing because more people are moving there, more businesses are moving there, which allows more money into the economy.” He also said that the governor had assured that the plan has nothing to do with federal funding, but about a surplus of revenue that has come into the state, allowing the chance to give more money back to the citizens. “The main thing is, he wants to bring our money back to us.”
Meanwhile, the left-leaning research and advocacy organization, the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, argues that people move based on job opportunities and that most people who move to West Virginia come from Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, and Florida. They’ve also said the surplus is in part due to extra funding from federal stimulus dollars.
Edwards also discussed the new app that will soon be used by citizens to read their water usage in their homes. He said that when it is released to the public, he hopes to have an event at the library to allow citizens to learn how the app works.
The council also discussed building a boat ramp sometime this summer, moving on with plans for a pickleball court, as well as replacing fire hydrants. Strait said that it is “imperative” that the work with the hydrants gets done.
In other Council news:
- The budget for 2024 will be in by mid-March.
- Three new businesses are coming to Shinnston.
- Councilmember Mary Ann Ferris brought up looking for a location for a dog park as well as replacing street signs.
- A St. Patrick’s Day parade is scheduled for March 17 with an emphasis on honoring first responders
I didn’t know you are mayor now! Good luck during your tenure. Does that make Kim the First Lady?? Just kidding but wish you well!
I hope they follow thru and get properly owners to step up , those houses at the end of Saltwell Rd are awful
And dangerous also the house by T and L hot dogs looks like has been broken into and the porch pole is gone will cause the roof to fall in . The old Shinnston Glass needs painted and the house down from Go Mart need to finished getting torn down .