Huntington Mayor Steve Williams opened the 2015-2016 annual State of the City address with unveiling the proposed budget for the next fiscal year.
The mayor said the city is vibrant and teeming with optimism, but revealed that the revenue for the city is projected to be $1,613,455 less than what was originally projected for the current fiscal year. The mayor’s written statement in the speech said “the budget does not contain raises for our employees” the statement continued “by the time our upcoming contract negotiations mature, we anticipate that there may be a clearer picture of our revenue projections than we have today.”
After the State of the City the mayor said “The 1.6 million is not less than the 45 million, that it is actually $500,000 more than what the city reduced the revenues down to in October.” He stayed on the topic of budget after the address stating “ He reduced the budgets of three departments public works by $50,000, police by 150,000 and fire by 150,000.”
The address pushed on after the first part of the speech revealed the budget revenue losses Mayor Williams forged ahead in the speech to talk about the upcoming projects the city had in store. Four projects are being combined for one effort Hal Greer Boulevard corridor, which includes Northcott Court, the west end of Huntington centered on the River Rail area, the brownfield industrial area just east of Marshall University, adding a proposal to deploy high-speed broadband to Huntington were some of the projects to help economic expansion the mayor said in a statement a part of the state of the city speech.
The speech progressed to the Mayor office Drug Control policy. The mayor statement from his speech started with” since January 1, we have had 87 over doses and witnessed 12 deaths due to overdose.“ The mayor said, ” It’s time to establish a comprehensive plan.” The mayor then proceeded to acknowledge the youth the importance of this group to the revitalization of the city. In particular the mayor pointed out a group the Wellness Council of Huntington High. The mayor expressed, “Our communities health has been called into question.”
The mayor verbalized later on in his speech that he has organized a coalition to continue to improve upon race relations in the city of Huntington especially with the black community by promote diversity and dialogue between police stations and the community. The mayor also vocalized in the state of the city address a new council the LGBT Advisory Council to create open dialogue between the LGBT and the mayor’s office, as well as with the fire and police departments.
The mayor’s state of the city address Wednesday, Feb.17 provided a look at what economic expansion projects are in the works, true budget numbers and reductions, property to be used and explored for finical prosperity, race relations, drug addiction and communication with LGBT community to make sure there voices are heard in the city. The mayor in his annual address proposed many projects; in a year that finds Huntington in tight straits with a budget consisting only 45 million.