Shinnston to hold public hearing on increasing fees

HARRISON COUNTY, W. Va. (WDTV) - "We haven't had a street, fire, or police fee increase since 2008,"

For the first time in over a decade the city of Shinnston is considering an increase in their street, fire, and police fees.

Per person, the fee would break down to around a seven dollar increase on people's monthly water bills.

Broken down, this would increase the police budget by $22,000 a year and the fire budget by $11,000 a year.

Mayor Pat Kovalck says this ordinance was brought forward in an effort to stay competitive with oil and gas companies for public workers.

"What they can pay a worker for the same type of work is much greater than what a city can," Kovalck said "So we're just trying to keep competitive with other industries to keep workers here locally,"

If passed the ordinance would also give the city the means to improve their police presence.

"Newer vehicles, more polices officers, we could afford more police officers,"

But city council itself is split on whether or not this is the right move for the city and the vote to move it forward was split four to three.

The mayor says the hesitation from council comes from not wanting to raise fees too much at one time.

"We should've probably started this several years ago and just gradually increased it, but now we're up to a seven dollar increase,"

The mayor said he has not himself made a final decision, and says his vote will be determined by what the public has to say.

"My decision will solely be based on how the public hearing goes"

That public hearing will be July 29th at 7 p.m. in the Shinnston city council chambers located at 43 Bridge Street.