Public hearing on city trash fee to be Nov. 23

Public input on a proposed $10-a-month trash fee for Huntington residents will be sought during a public hearing to be held on Monday, Nov. 23.

The ordinance setting out the fee was introduced during the Nov. 10 meeting of the Huntington Common Council, but was not discussed. City Attorney John Branham suggested that the proposal be set for public hearing on Nov. 23 so that the council could consider, and possibly vote on, the ordinance during its regular meeting the following morning.

The trash fee was proposed by Mayor Steve Updike as a way to make up for a dramatic drop in city revenues from property taxes.

Under the proposed ordinance, the fee would be paid by "any individual, business, or nonprofit organization in whose name an account for city utility services is maintained."

The same $10 fee would be paid by each user, no matter how much trash that user generates, a point that didn't sit well with Councilman Steve McIntyre. McIntyre says he'd rather see those generating more trash pay a higher fee.

If a property is temporarily unoccupied, the ordinance states, a trash fee waiver for up to five months can be requested for each 12-month period.

The fee would be charged beginning in January 2010.

The public hearing on Nov. 23 will begin at 7 p.m., but a location for the hearing has yet to be selected. A standing-room-only crowd attended the Nov. 10 council meeting, prompting calls for the public hearing to be held in a larger space. Both the PAL Club and Heritage Hall, Hier's Park, are being considered as possible locations.