WEIRTON - City Council moved forward with plans to enact an increase in the city's sanitation rates Tuesday, passing the second reading of an ordinance applying to the garbage collection service.
Under the terms of the ordinance, which passed unanimously, the cost of garbage collection in the city would increase by 92 cents per week.
A public hearing on the matter was held prior to the beginning of Tuesday's council meeting. No residents spoke on the matter during the hearing.
According to previous comments by city officials, Weirton's sanitation department has operated with a debt for the last three years, with council using general fund dollars to keep it afloat.
In other action, council voted 6-1 to authorize $25,000 in financial support by the city to the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle. Ward 6 Councilman David Dalrymple opposed the resolution.
"I'm just not pleased with the progress," he said. "I have backed the funding and concept of the BDC until the last year or so, but I have yet to see the fruition of the funds given to the BDC in game-changing, dynamic job growth as was expected 10 years ago."
Dalrymple added that he hopes to be proven wrong by the BDC and that, like his constituents, he only wants to see the city grow and prosper.
Council passed the second reading of an ordinance declaring garbage, debris, high grass, noxious weeds, rank vegetation and hazardous trees or plants a public nuisance.
The purchase of new equipment inserts for three new Weirton Police Department vehicles passed unanimously along with a resolution to enter into a contract for the purchase of uniforms for the Public Works Department.
Four resolutions regarding the future of health, vision, life and dental insurance for city employees also passed unanimously. Health insurance premiums will increase by 4.68 percent in 2014, and the new policy will cover employees 100 percent for treatment at Weirton Medical Center and 90 percent at any other medical facility. Premiums for vision insurance coverage will increase 4 percent while life insurance will remain the same. Dental insurance is expected to minimally increase. There will be a series of enrollment meetings to explain changes to employees in further detail.
Another ordinance proposing changes to the Weirton Hall of Fame Study Report was tabled.