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South Charleston wants a shot at 'home rule'

By Gracie Ferretti
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Following in the footsteps of other West Virginia municipalities, South Charleston has decided to pursue lobbying for home-rule legislation.This legislation allows municipalities to make decisions on things that are usually reserved for the state alone.Mayor Frank Mullens announced Thursday that he is appointing city attorney Michael Moore to be his point man, and will try to get the home-rule legislation extended to South Charleston.With home rule, Mullens wants to diversify the revenue of South Charleston. With 45 percent of the city's revenue coming from business and occupation taxes, the city is "limited on how we produce revenue," said Mullens.The West Virginia cities that are currently part of a home-rule pilot project are Charleston, Wheeling, Bridgeport and Huntington.Also Thursday, and since the last city council meeting, the recent partnership between the Dunbar and South Charleston fire departments has been used and "has already paid off," said Chief John Taylor.The Dunbar Fire Department has responded to two fires, one on Indiana Avenue and one at Kroger in South Charleston.
"They went off with out a hitch," Taylor said.The first reading to rezone property on several city streets also passed Thursday, which if later approved would control and limit multi-family housing in the city by way of a special permit.The areas that would be affected are: Elm Street, Monroe Street, Macon Street, Henson Avenue, Central Avenue, Forest Avenue, Shepherd Avenue and Montrose Drive.Also, South Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Bob Anderson recognized 12 businesses in the area that have made significant improvements in recent months. Among those that were awarded on Thursday were Mojo's, First Baptist Church, The Tattoo Shop, and Huntington Banks.Also, Brittany Fisher was sworn in as a South Charleston police officer.   
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