MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Morgantown City Council has formally passed an increase in compensation for council members as efforts to fund city streetscapes continue.

The second reading of an ordinance that would increase per-meeting pay from $250 to $350 for council members and from $350 to $450 for the mayor was passed in a 6-1 vote during the council’s meeting Tuesday. The pay raise will be implemented starting for councilors serving in July 2027, with the measure passed to prevent a potential pay raise from being delayed until July 2029. This is despite concerns from both members of the council and city residents related to the pay increase.

“There’s not usually a good time to take care of matters like this,” said Morgantown Mayor Jenny Selin. “It seemed as though this was the time to do it, in that if we waited, that then we would be looking at 2029 when it would take affect,” she said.

Councilor Danielle Trumble remained the lone dissenting vote, basing her reasoning on an apparent lack of priorities from the City of Morgantown governing body. In her objection, she mentioned the multiple concerns from city employees, which have led to multiple departments losing staff members, as well as the numerous complaints from residents related to a lack of firm action on issues related to unsheltered individuals in the city. With those issues not resolved, adding to her multiple calls for a city charter change, she felt a no-vote was necessary.

“I still think it’s incredibly shortsighted that we are talking about this right now instead of so many other things,” said Trumble in her objection ahead of her no-vote.

The council also approved three separate resolutions to apply for over $1.1 million in Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant funds. These would support separate streetscape projects located on Spruce Street, Chestnut Street, and the streets surrounding the Morgantown Municipal Airport. The grants are supported by the Department of Transportation and would include ADA infrastructure, lighting improvements, and other streetscape upgrades.

“Sidewalks, ADA infrastructure, lighting, landscaping, and instead of a road diet, probably more along the lines of pavement markings for shared use lanes,” said Morgantown Assistant City Manager Emily Muzzarelli, describing some of the work that is included as part of the applications.

A grant of $450,000 was requested for the Spruce Street Streetscape Project, $300,000 for the Chestnut Street Streetscape Project, and $350,000 for streetscape work around the Morgantown Airport.

A resolution was also approved to authorize Morgantown City Manager Kim Haws, Muzzarelli, City Finance Director Kevin Tennant, and Assistant Finance Director Denise Stefanizzi to transact business with banking institutions on behalf of the city. This was approved on behalf of the City Finance Department in order to keep transactions moving forward in regards to bank records, despite the planned departure of Tennant in the coming weeks. With new city officials expected to be announced and hired within the next month, the council expects to take up a similar resolution later this summer.

“Individual names need to be used (in accordance to state code), should they need to be updated in the future, they can be done by resolution,” said Kay, Casto and Chaney, attorney representing the city Ryan Simonton on what is council’s next move once Tennant departs from his position.

The council also unanimously approved the annexation of approximately 0.4 acres of property around Brookhaven Road into city limits on behalf of Bruceton Farm Service Inc. A bid to purchase five breathing apparatuses for the Morgantown Fire Department for approximately $53,000.

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