WILLIAMSON – The Mingo County Commission held a special meeting Tuesday, Nov. 17 to discuss the financial status of the county.
Commissioner John Mark Hubbard opened the discussion saying, “This is just a very informal meeting to let you know where we are. We thought the best thing to do was another face to face meeting and discuss where we stand at this present time.”
At the meeting, a spread sheet was provided that showed general revenue funds from 2014 compared to the revenue funds generated in 2015.
The sheet indicated that revenues have decreased compared to 2014. “It is somewhat frightening when we look at this and know of the economic state in not only our county but in the state as a whole,” Hubbard said in reference to the data.
According to the data sheet, revenues in July 2014 were $431,696. For July 2015, revenues were $339,361. In Aug. 2014, revenues were $1,650,024. August revenues for 2015 were $1,180,208. Sept. revenues for 2014 were $1,353,309. Sept. revenues for 2015 were $1,197,030. Oct. revenues for 2014 were $470,177. Oct. revenues for 2015 were $391,294.
The data sheet states, “This cash balance includes all sources of revenue received (including tax collection and taxes paid with credit card collection of $22,000).”
Hubbard commended the Mingo County Sheriffs’s Department for establishing the credit card system and giving tax payers a different avenue to pay their taxes.
“I would like to be able to sit before you and say I think things will get a little better in the near future but I don’t think that is the case,” Hubbard continued.
The data sheet also listed Coal Severance revenues for July through Oct. In 2014, Coal Severance revenues for Mingo County were $583,191. In 2015, Coal Severance revenues were $455,184. The data indicates an approximate $130,000 decrease from 2014.
Actions and possible solutions were also discussed at the meeting. Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith said, “We have been working with the Redevelopment Authority to try to think outside the box. There is no fast answer for this. All we can do is diversify, and increase where we can. It is a tough situation.”
“We have to continue to invest in other efforts to try to diversify, bring jobs and expand the tax base,” Smith continued.
Despite the financial situation the county faces, Hubbard explained that the county has a lot to be thankful for. “We have a lot to be thankful for in spite of all that we have talked about. Sometimes we get in this rut thinking about all the negative things but we could talk for the next hour about all that we have to be thankful for,” Hubbard said.
The Mingo County Commission plans to have another special meeting in February to provide an update on the county’s financial situation.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2279.)