PRINCETON, W.V. (LOOTPRESS) – The Mercer County Commission met for a special session Thursday afternoon to further discuss the future of the Town of Matoaka.
According to Commissioner Greg Puckett, in the past, the town has struggled with fiscal issues, dilapidated structures, poor water and more. By shifting the town’s jurisdiction to the county, Puckett says they can secure the safety and wellbeing of the citizens of Matoaka by ridding the area of its rundown buildings, managing the collection of monies and fixing the other issues that are present.
“The issues with the town wanting to be dissolved has been going on since before 2018,” Puckett shared. “They just don’t have the manpower or the facilities in which to keep the town afloat. By unincorporating the town and allowing this it come back to the county, we will have the jurisdiction and can make the people in that community safer in many ways.”
While the town is not yet under the complete jurisdiction of the county, an executive order from Circuit Court Judge Mark Wills gave the commission permission to go into the town and begin work on taking down its dilapidated structures- a project the whole county has been working on since last year.
In the fall of 2021, the county recorded 100 structures that needed to be removed. Since then, 32 have been dealt with and now, with permission to enter Matoaka, Puckett says even more will be checked off the list.
“It’s a continual process,” he stated, adding that the commission works with the property owners so agreements can be made to ensure the buildings are properly taken down. A meeting will be held next week to allow these owners to talk with the commissioners about how to best move forward with the process.
Matoaka’s unincorporation is now in its final stages. Stay with Lootpress as this story develops.