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Chesapeake fills vacant council seat

CHESAPEAKE — The village of Chesapeake has filled the vacant seat on its council.

The council voted Jan. 14 to name Alex Hackney to the position. The seat, previously held by Tommy Templeton, became empty after he was sworn in as the village’s new mayor.

Hackney works as an information technology director for Kindred Communications, a locally owned radio and media company in Huntington.

Council member Paul Hart said he was optimistic about the choice of Hackney. He said five candidates were interviewed for the seat. All council members, except one, voted for Hackney.

In other news, Hart said the council has put on hold plans to close the tunnel under the Robert C. Byrd Bridge leading to Huntington.

The closure was approved in December and garage doors were installed. However, a petition opposing the move, with more than 50 signatures, was presented to the council at its January meeting.

Hart said the main objection was from residents who used the tunnel as a shortcut when walking through the village.

He said the problems with the tunnel that led to the closure still need to be addressed.

“It’s filthy in there,” he said. “There are needles, defecation, urination and writing on the walls.”

He said, as a result of the objections, the council decided to raise the doors for now and will consider the closure again at its next meeting, set for 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 1.