WEST LOGAN, W.Va. — If you live in the West Logan area, you might not want to do your laundry Thursday and Friday, June 16-17.
West Logan Mayor Darren Akers informed members of the public and the West Logan Town Council that the West Logan Water Department will be flushing the water lines this week and that the process will cause the water to turn a dark brown color.
“It won’t be the best time to do laundry,” he explained, noting that there are no plans for a boil water advisory. The process will just discolor the water temporarily.
Mayor Akers, Police Chief Robert Ward and Town Clerk Mark Mareske also discussed the problem of people who have gotten behind on their mandatory town service fees.
“I had to drop 20 people off of Sanitation Services this month,” Ward said, noting that while some of the people who had fallen behind were out-of-work coal miners that not everyone who was behind was facing that level of hardship.
Mayor Akers said that it was important for people to at least try to make partial payments so that their garbage service does not get discontinued and they do not fall so far behind on their payments that it becomes a big challenge to get caught up.
Mareske noted that in addition to police service and garbage service the fees pay for many other services in the town including street lights, weed cutting in the summer, snow removal in the winter and other town activities.
Several other items were discussed at the council meeting including a long term problem with a car that has been left sitting for several years without being moved. One council member noted the tags on the car state 2005 and that the owner has been asked before to remove the vehicle which has become a rusted out hulk.
Mareske said the town will be rounding out the year on a positive financial note. The town’s budget is up by about $6,200. Town Attorney Steve Wolf asked Mareske if the state’s budget crisis had affected West Logan’s coal severance money.
“Not yet,” Mareske said, noting the town received about $4,000 per year on average. “We get that in quarterly payments and we have not seen any changes — yet.”
Across the state many municipalities and government entities are waiting with baited breath to see if the state will pass a budget or be forced to shut down. The state’s budget was hundreds of millions of dollars short in the aftermath of thousands of coal miners being laid off in what has become known as President Barack Obama’s War on Coal. According to West Virginia Public Radio around 11,000 coal miners have lost their jobs in the state in the past seven years. This number is up from the 7,000 miners in West Virginia and Kentucky who had lost their jobs as of last year.
Mayor Akers noted there had been a fire in the lower end of town that took place early in the morning.
“I got up to go to the rec center and exercise, but by the time I got home the fire department had it put out,” he said.
J.D. Charles is a freelance writer and a former reporter for The Logan Banner.