Marshall County Sees Reward From Coal Severance

Marshall County commissioners plan to help install some additional water lines and perform some maintenance work on the county courthouse with the $2.94 million worth of coal severance cash they are carrying over to fiscal 2015.

The amount commissioners Don Mason, Brian Schambach and Bob Miller approved Tuesday is $1.44 million more than the amount they originally believed they would have left from the fiscal 2014 budget year that ended June 30.

“It came in a little higher than what we thought,” Mason said. “It is better that way, though, than to have to make up for it at the end of the year.”

County Clerk Jan Pest emphasized this amount is only for coal severance, as the 2014 general fund cash carryover is not yet finalized. Coal severance funds are received because of the large amount of mining operations taking place in the county.

Commissioners are spending $950,000 worth of the coal severance carryover money for sewer lines and another $976,000 for courthouse maintenance.

“We help out the Public Service Districts when we can with their sewer projects,” Mason said.

County Administrator Betsy Frohnapfel said the courthouse maintenance funding is needed in case something breaks or goes bad.

She also said the county will eventually need to do some work on the courthouse pillars.

Also during the meeting, Mason said the commission received word from West Virginia Treasurer John Perdue that coal severance funds of about $1.56 million would soon be in the county’s bank account.

During the July 8 meeting, Mason said the state was withholding this money, in addition to the severance tax revenue for oil and natural gas drilling. The State Tax Department is moving the oil and gas severance tax distribution date to Oct. 1.

“This should have been here in June, but it is good to receive it because it will help our county budget,” Mason said of the $1.56 million distribution.

Commissioners, however, will not receive the fiscal 2014 oil and natural gas severance tax money until Oct. 1.

Mark Muchow, deputy secretary of the West Virginia Department of Revenue, said this is because tax collectors are trying to use more current well production information to determine how much they should distribute to the counties.