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Justice family purchase of Pinnacle may boost Wyoming County’s budget

PINEVILLE, W.Va. (WVVA) The purchase of Wyoming County’s biggest mine by Gov. Jim Justice family and Contour Energy may soon help boost Wyoming County’s budget.

On Tuesday, WVVA News learned a federal bankruptcy court has ordered to the new owners to pay 1.5 million of Mission Coal’s back taxes.

“We’re at the mercy of that court,” explained Prosecuting Attorney Mike Cochran. “But it’s my understanding that it’s going to be paid by the new owners.”

The United Mine Workers confirmed Saturday the new owners are a business run by Gov. Jim Justice’s family and Contour Energy. Assessor Mike Cook said the Justice family bought the prep plant and surface property, while Contour Energy took the coal seam.

The bankruptcy court’s decision came as welcome news to county leaders.

“County government is dependent on that kind of money to a large degree and property taxes,” said Wyoming County Circuit Clerk Bugs Stover. “We have things coming on like the landfill….equipment that needs to be replaced if we want to keep the county clean as possible.”

Stover is optimistic Justice and Contour Energy will pay the back taxes. According to the Assessor’s office, of Justice’s eight businesses in Wyoming County, all are up to date on taxes for the month of May.

“There’s a lot hanging on this money. In this county, he gets them paid. In the end, he pays them all and I have no doubt he’s going to do that again.”

Annie Moore

Multimedia Journalist

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