Last updated: March 27. 2014 7:08PM - 2321 Views
Beth Sergent bsergent@civitasmedia.com



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POINT PLEASANT —“When I was young, I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.”


So wrote Oscar Wilde many years ago, and though he was being satirical (perhaps), for the Mason County Commission, balancing the county’s budget for fiscal year 2014-15 is no laughing matter.


The county commission unanimously passed a budget recently that left many agencies receiving reduced or no funding as a result of a loss in revenue. This loss has been severe enough that the county has dropped from being in Class II to Class III by the state when it comes to minimum and maximum valuation of property. The classifications determine the compensation of elected county officials who will see a 3 percent decrease in salary starting July 1.


County employees also have been asked to pay more out of their own pocket when it comes to PEIA health insurance — employees will pay an extra $20 for family plans and $10 for single plans.


The county commission is required by law to balance the budget and to first fund the constitutional offices of the courthouse, according to the West Virginia Code. Once these county offices are funded, then the commission can address funding other organizations with the money that is left. The following is a listing of how the funding sorted out for the new fiscal year:

  • Mason County Development Authority, which received $12,500 last year, will receive no funding in the upcoming fiscal year.
  • Ambulance Authority, received $60,000 last year, will receive no funding in the upcoming fiscal year.
  • Mason County Fair, received $5,000 last year, will receive no funding in the upcoming fiscal year.
  • Libraries received $35,500 last year, will receive no funding in the upcoming fiscal year.
  • Community Action, received $10,000 last year, will receive no funding in the upcoming fiscal year.
  • Solid Waste Authority (annual cleanup), received no funding last year or the upcoming fiscal year.
  • Health department, received $12,500 last year, will receive no funding in the upcoming fiscal year.


Park maintenance and the day report center received no funding last year and will receive no funding in the upcoming fiscal year.


The regional jail was budged for $700,000 last year, and there is $600,000 budgeted for the upcoming fiscal year with $500,000 coming from the general fund and $100,000 from the coal severance fund.


Prestera, which received $2,500 in funding last year, will also receive no funding in the upcoming fiscal year.


Local mental health hygiene cases received $5,000 in funding last year and will receive an increase to $20,000 in the upcoming fiscal year.


As for fire departments, all received cuts, though funding was not completely pulled. Last year, the New Haven Fire Department received $13,500 in funding; it will receive $3,500 in the next fiscal year.


Last year, the Mason Fire Department received $13,000 in funding, it will receive $3,000 in funding in the next fiscal year. The Point Pleasant Fire Department, which received $15,500 in funding, will get $5,500 while the Valley Fire Department, which received $13,500 in funding, will get $3,500 in funding.


The Leon Fire Department last year received $12,500 in funding. This year is a different story as it will receive $2,500 in funding. The Flatrock Fire Department will receive $2,500 in funding in the next fiscal year, down from the $12,500 it received a year ago.


As for utility assistance for community buildings around the county, Hartford, New Haven, Henderson, Letart, Baden, Beech Hill and Gallipolis Ferry last year all received $1,000 each. This fiscal year, there will be no funding allotted. The Leon Town Park also received $400 in funding last year; it will receive no funding in the upcoming fiscal year.


When it comes to festivals, both Battle Days and the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta received $1,250 each last year and will receive no funding in the upcoming fiscal year. The Mothman Festival received $750 last year and also will receive no funding in the upcoming fiscal year. Mason County Tourism, which received $3,000 last year, will receive nothing this upcoming fiscal year.


The Point Pleasant River Museum received no funding last year and will get the same treatment this fiscal year. Both the New Haven and Point Pleasant city pools received no money last year and will again receive no money in the upcoming fiscal year.


As previously reported, there’s been a significant loss in personal property revenue in Class III and IV in the county, which is defined as non-residential property.

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