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South Charleston to establish urban deer hunt

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- South Charleston City Council is moving toward establishing an urban deer hunt similar to the hunt Charleston has conducted for several years.

Under the proposal, hunting would only be allowed on property of five or more acres with the written permission of the property owner and on city-owned property that the mayor or his designee permits. Mayor Frank Mullens said he intends to have Police Chief Brad Rinehart issue the permits.

Hunting would only be allowed with a bow and arrow by individuals who obtain a city permit and state hunting license. The city could charge up to $25 for a permit.

No hunting would be allowed within 500 feet of school property or 150 feet of a dwelling or occupied building. All hunting would be conducted from an elevated portable tree stand that is at least 10 feet high. Hunting would be allowed during the time established by the mayor or his designee and in accordance with all applicable state hunting rules and regulations. The ordinance would require that all harvested deer be legally checked at an official game-checking station.

Mullens said, "It's not going to be people running through your backyards and neighborhoods shooting deer. That's not how it works."

City Attorney Michael Moore said permit holders "will have to sign a release and undergo a safety and informational meeting. This is somewhat of a mirror image of what Charleston has had in place for several years. We believe it is an effective way of controlling deer."

Mullens said the proposal is recommended by a city committee and the state Division of Natural Resources.

The proposal unanimously passed a first reading and will become city law if it passes a second reading at the next council meeting, which is scheduled to be on June 20.

In other action, council approved:

n A $130,500 bid by Cincinnati Floor Co. Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio, for a portable sports floor system for the community center. Two other bids were received: Finchum Sports Floors of Sevierville, Tenn., bid $183,900 ($177,000 for the floor and $6,900 for storage carts for the floor system) and R.M. Huffman Co. of South Charleston bid $179,100, not including thresholds and base.

n A $54,203 contract with Custom Office to supply furniture for Little Creek Park conference rooms. The furniture is being purchased off a state-approved list of vendors.

n A right-of-way through Eagle Drive and through properties owned by Mackjo Inc. and others near the Budweiser warehouse off Corridor G to provide access to 2.6 acres owned by Lee and Martha Lewis. In February the South Charleston Planning Commission approved a request to subdivide the Lewis property, contingent upon the city council's approval of the right of way.

In addition, council:

n Appointed Joyce French of 311 Monroe St. to the South Charleston Public Library's Board of Directors and Chari Carico, a local Realtor, to the South Charleston Economic Development Authority's Board of Directors. Both were recommended by Mullens.

n Approved a total of $1.8 million in budget revisions, including a $1.3 million increase in business and occupation tax income and a $1 million increase in the budget for the golf course.

n Released May 16 Finance Committee meeting minutes, which revealed that an unnamed vendor who had operated unlicensed and who had paid no city business and occupation tax since 2005 has paid $194,968 in back taxes and penalties.

n Welcomed Arnett Hoston, the city's new recreation director. Mullens said, "He has been with us long time. He has worked at the community center and at the sanitary board." Hoston is a graduate of West Virginia State University.

Also at the meeting, Chief Rinehart said the city gave out 115 applications to individuals wishing to take the police officer civil service exam last Saturday. "Eighty-seven people showed up for the physical exam in the morning and 60 returned in the afternoon to take the written exam," he said. The city plans to hire two officers.

Bob Anderson, executive director of the city's Convention & Visitors Bureau, honored:

n Dakham and Khornkeo Sayavong for painting four buildings the family owns on Seventh Avenue.

n MinMing Wang for painting the front of the Asian Market on Seventh Avenue.

n Terry Bollinger of Good Shepherd Funeral Home, Chief Rinehart, Public Works Director Gerald Burgy and Sanitary Board Manager Steve DeBarr for their help in making the May 18 Armed Forces Day Parade a success.

Anderson said it was the longest, largest parade in the city's history.

Mullens said, "We took security very seriously for that parade. The Sheriff's Department, the Public Works Department were involved. We wanted to make sure it was a safe environment and it was."


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