Council approves budget adjustment

PHILIPPI – Philippi City Council approved a budget revision Tuesday reflecting a surplus in the general fund balance.

The overall general fund balance will be increased by $594,053 for the upcoming fiscal year, Financial Director Jeremy Drennen said.

“The big thing was (Business & Occupation taxes),” Drennen said. “B&O was significantly higher this year.”

Drennen also pointed out adjustments needed to be made in the budget going into the upcoming fiscal year to be in compliance with West Virginia State Code.

Council also approved a draw down request on its waste water improvement project in the amount of $345,334.84 to pay toward engineers working on the project.

It is the 12th draw down request on the project, which will build a new waste water treatment facility on Maple Avenue Extended, also known as River Road, Mayor Jerry Mouser said.

After the meeting, Mouser said he wasn’t certain of the overall cost of the entire project, but knew it was estimated in the millions of dollars and will mostly be paid for through grants. Work on the project is still in progress and Mouser said he is not aware of any projected completion dates.

Mouser also said he would like to see the replacement of water and sewer lines in Philippi which are more than 100 years old.

Mouser has said at previous meetings that he would like to see those lines replaced prior to starting on the Little Laurel River Water Reserve project, which proposes to create a six-month emergency supply of water that could be distributed in cases where water is contaminated or in short supply. The project is a collaborative effort with the Barbour County Commission and also is supported by Consol Energy.

Mouser said he also would like to see Philippi work on the replacement of water towers and tanks and the upgrade of the electrical substation. He said that more storage for water is needed to accommodate the enrollment growth of Alderson Broaddus University, which he said could also require electrical upgrades to the substation to accommodate increased power needs.