WEST LOGAN, W.Va. — West Logan Town Clerk Mark Mareske discussed his town’s upcoming 2016-17 budget with members of the Town Council during the March 14, 2016 meeting.
“We had a loss of $41 last month, but our revenues are already up for this month,” Mareske said when the council discussed the monthly financial stats. “And we are still ahead for the year.”
Mareske said property taxes were down a bit this past month, which was to be expected from a year when the state had been hit hard by a $400 million loss in tax revenues from the laying off of thousands of coal miners across West Virginia.
Mareske explained that the town had to approve the proposed budget then lay the levy on the third Tuesday in April.
Last year’s budget was a little over $160,000 but this year’s will be $157,000.
“I looked into where we can make some cuts,” Mareske said. “I think our Business and Occupation Taxes will be down in the coming year. I also think our town municipal fees will be down, and we will have less income to work with.”
Marekse said he cut $3,000 from Town Hall, noting with recent renovations that repairs should be lesser. He noted that a newer police cruiser would also be saving the town some money on the extensive repair bills the old cruiser had. On the other hand, the town’s street department vehicles are aging and will probably need more repairs this coming year.
“Mark knows what he is doing and he has worked hard on the budget,” noted Mayor Darren Akers.
Mareske also discussed the town’s expenses from last month noting that the towns’ police cruiser had been in the shop for some long delayed repairs and that the town had gotten two invoices from Toppings Auto Repair when the police car was taken in to get an inspection sticker.
“They do not send out statements,” Mayor Akers explained, noting that when a town employee went in for something they would ask for any invoices.
Mareske said the repairs on the police cruiser were done at Big Al’s Engine Repair, a new business in town and were “very reasonable.”
In other West Logan news:
• Akers said there were some reports of what may have been a prowler in the neighborhood based on reports of a strange individual on an out-of-the-way street and another resident reported footsteps in snow leading from around his house onto his porch.
Akers said the West Virginia State Police was handling a burglary investigation in the neighborhood when a resident came home and found their house had been apparently broken into and several items were missing.
• Mayor Akers noted a wall on Third Avenue was still slipping badly and that it had been reported multiple times to the Department of Highways. “That wall is going cave in and they know it,” he added.
• Akers said a vehicle apparently stuck the street light down by the hotel and left part of it hanging by a wire and that shortly after it was reported the DOH had shown up and repaired it.
• Akers said part of the street down from Hicks Hollow has also been reported as slipping.
• Akers said there were more complaints about stray animals in town from residents and that he had noticed a litter problem in the streets as well. Akers said the street department employees would be asked to do some extra pickups to help fix the problem.
J.D. Charles is a freelance writer and a former reporter for The Logan Banner.