Nicholas County Commission Believes Worst of Financial Issues is Over

SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. — After a round of budget cuts to adjust for losses in coal severance taxes, Nicholas County Commission President Ken Altizer believes the worst of Nicholas County’s financial issues are behind them.

“Nicholas County’s in decent shape at this point,” he said. “We knew four or five months ago that we were short on money. Coal severance, one thing or another, was down. We made moves back then to compensate for that.”

Some of those moves included massive lay-offs in the Sheriff’s Department and pay cuts for county employees.

“We think, the way things look right now, from here on out it’ll be good,” Altizer said. “We’ve had to reduce our budget, but that’s just simple economics.”

Altizer ruled out the possibility of bringing back employees who had been let go, saying that the State Police were doing a good job picking up the slack in the wake of lost manpower.

“We won’t be bringing anybody back to work at this point,” he said. “We won’t be adding to it, but most of the departments have worked diligently together. And we got a lot of support from the state troopers.”

The cash flow situation was so dire that there was particular concern about the month of July due to it’s history as a slow collecting month as the fiscal year comes to an end June 30th. But Altizer said collections are much stronger in August.

“We had to plan on the cash-money for July to be a little sparse,” he said.

The Commission’s lawful requirement of a balanced budget means they have had to borrow some money from a money market account that covers other costs in the budget, but Altizer believes that likely won’t happen again.