PINEVILLE, W.Va. (WVVA) The stakes could not be higher Wednesday as WVVA News has learned the owners of Wyoming County’s biggest mine are in talks with a possible new owner.
Those with contacts close to the negotiations say there is hope on the horizen for the Pinnacle Mine.
“My sources are giving me the feel that this mine will be purchased. And if it closes, it won’t be for long,” said Wyoming County Circuit Clerk David ‘Bugs’ Stover.
While it is not clear whether the mine would continue as a union mine, other Wyoming County leaders are still bracing for the possibility it may not work out.
“We’re hard working people. We’ll have to change the way we do things for awhile but we’ll make it,” said Wyoming County Commission Pres. Silas Mullins.
According to Wyoming County Assessor Michael Cook, there are seven active mines in Wyoming County. To reach Pinnacle’s production level, one would have to add up the product of all six remaining mines. Thanks to Pinnacle, he said the county had the second highest coal production level during the first six months of 2018 than in the last 13 years.
If the mine closes, it will not only cost hundreds of jobs estimated to bring in about 25 million in wages, but $1,419,000 in taxes. Seventy-three percent of that money supports the Board of Education.
“It can’t be overstated how bad this could be,” said Stover in reference to the education cuts.
While the state pays for teacher salaries, the tax dollars support maintenance costs, field trips, extra-curricular activities, and more.
“In this county, it will be a disaster, especially for the miners. There’s a lady in my office Suzy McGraw, her son works there. He’s a young man with a young family. He just got a house. I just hope he gets to keep his job,” said Stover.