MATEWAN, W.Va. – The Matewan Town Council met in a special meeting Thursday night to discuss plans to move forward with the town taking over the water system which is currently ran by Veolia Water and has been for the past 15 years.
The contract between the town and Veolia expired June 30, 2016. Since that time, Veolia has presented the council with a total of six amendments to the current contract without a solution being reached.
In January of this year, with the council unable to agree on the terms presented in the sixth amendment, resulting in the amendment being voted down and the council deciding instead to take over the water system.
A series of special meetings followed the decision throughout the month of January and into February. During the most recent special meeting, which was held Thursday night, the council informed the public they were awaiting financial approval from the finance company (GM) to enable them to purchase the vehicles needed to run the water department and they were in talks with an undisclosed party to purchase the needed equipment to run the operation. In addition, a jet rodder has already been purchased and will be delivered next week. Once the town takes over the water, the total number of town employees will increase to six full time and one part time employees.
Council members are also looking into the financial benefits of leasing the vehicle as opposed to trying to purchase them outright.
Kelly May, the town’s accountant, informed the council she had quotes available from two of the three insurance agents she had contacted regarding insurance coverage for the employees.
Before the close of the meeting, Mayor Shelia Kessler told council members a private party has expressed interest in purchasing the old Magnolia High School building for the amount the town was asking, which according to a legal ad ran in the Williamson Daily News December 20 and 27, 2016 was in the amount of $200,000. The mayor stated the party said, they were only interested in the property and plan to demolish the school and put a trailer court in on the property.
The next scheduled meeting of the Matewan Town Council will be on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Eddie Nenni Council Chambers of the town hall building. The meeting is open to the public.
Kendra Mahon is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News, she can be contacted at [email protected] or 304-235-4242 ext 2278.