By Sarah Hayes
Shinnston City Council approved the 2022-2023 budget on March 28, in addition to discussing city improvement projects, repairs and upcoming events.
Shinnston City Council held a special meeting and work session at the Woman’s Club. During the special meeting, City Manager Chad Edwards discussed the $1.96 million budget submission, which was voted on and approved by members of City Council.
The overall budget was reduced a little more than 3% for 2022-2023; most department budgets were reduced by 1% to 3%, stated Edwards. Expected costs for Parks and Recreation increased to $71,233 due to having an active park now. Fundraising projects for Parks and Recreation are in the works. Meanwhile, sales tax revenue is expected to increase.
The largest expense in the budget is the police department, with a $626,000 allocation. The next two highest expenses are the garbage department, which receives $280,000 and the fire department, which receives $196,000. Streets and highways will receive $197,000 and the public works department is set to receive $80,000.
Shinnston Police Chief Jon Harbert spoke of the ever-growing drug problem in the area. Harbert was happy to announce that a large amount of narcotics were recently confiscated, as well as a sawed off shotgun.
“Proactive policing is what we were asked to do, and I hope the public notices everything we’re doing,” he said. “It’s not a problem that we will fix overnight, but we’ll continue to try to do so.”
Among other items discussed by city officials:
Shinnston City Pool is on track to be open Memorial Day weekend. City officials discussed the condition of the water slide. The slide will have to be fixed, which will cost approximately $18,000, or replaced. Edwards is researching the best course of action. Mayor Pat Kovalck said he believes the water slide is one of the main attractions for the Shinnston City Pool and he is not interested in removing it all together.
The City of Shinnston is applying for American Rescue Act Funds to start the demolition of abandoned and dilapidated houses within the city. This project is expected to take up to two years to complete. Kovalck said although this project is important for improving the look and feel of the city, he also stated, “It shouldn’t be the taxpayers’ responsibility to clean up other people’s messes.”
The repair of Oakwood Road from the damage caused by rain will be underway in the near future. The repair will also include replacing the drains for that area.
New meters are being installed throughout the city. There were discussions of re-painting the parking lines and curbs, and City Council may create a volunteer work party to get this done.
Local business owners are requesting a new sign board be placed at the trail head near the sewer plant showing the businesses that are in the city of Shinnston. Brendan Gallagher, co-owner of Black & Teal Concepts, is working with the city to come up with a design plan.
Several events are in the works. Dr. Andrew Minigh will be sponsoring an Easter Egg Hunt on April 16 at Shinnston City Park. The City of Shinnston is excited to bring the Farmer’s Market back, which starts May 7 and will be held monthly on the first Saturday of the month from May to October. The first Wind Down Wednesdays will be on May 18; starting in June they will be held the first Wednesday of the month. The City-Wide Yard Sale is scheduled to take place the first Saturday in August. Frontier Days will be held August 11-13. Local business owner, Jason Martin, owner of Pike Street Bikes, will be hosting a Beer Fest on September 17.