Williams Administration Presents City Service Fee Info to Finance Committee
Mayor Steve Williams' presented a detailed summary to City Council's Finance Committee on Monday, May 13, showing how the City Service Fee has been collected, spent and accounted for correctly since the fee was established by a previous mayoral administration in 2002.
Williams noted during the meeting that both annual independent audits and state audits conducted during the 17 years of the fee's existence have never cited the city for collecting, spending or accounting for the fee incorrectly.
City Manager Cathy Burns and Finance Director Kathy Moore also presented information showing how the fee, which is designated for "police protection and traffic and street maintenance and other valuable services associated with the police department and public works department," as stated in the City Service Fee ordinance, is placed into the city's general fund, as prescribed as the correct fund to place the fee into by state code. The fee revenue is also placed into its own account in the general fund as required by the West Virginia State Auditor's Uniform Chart of Accounts.
Burns added that of the seven West Virginia cities that assess a City Service Fee, six of those cities -- Charleston, Morgantown, Madison, Fairmont, Weirton and Huntington -- place the fee revenue into accounts within their respective general funds.
Public Works Director Jim Insco also presented information to show that the city has spent on $11,315,469 on street construction projects -- paving, road slip repairs, bridge repairs and culvert replacements -- between 2013 and this year. Click here to view a detailed breakdown of these street construction projects by year.
Police Chief Hank Dial also informed committee members that since fiscal year 2014, $28,623447 in City Service Fee revenue has been allocated to the Huntington Police Department. That amount represents 36.1 percent of the Police Department's operating expenses between fiscal year 2014 and this current fiscal year.