UPDATE: Town of Matoaka moves towards dissolving charter - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Town of Matoaka moves towards dissolving charter

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MATOAKA, WV (WVVA) -

The mayor of the town of Matoaka along with residents met with the Mercer County Commission to take the steps toward  dissolving the town's charter and becoming unincorporated.

As of Wednesday morning, Matoaka has ceased it municipal responsibilities.

That means that functions like garbage pick up and the police department and the park will no longer be active.

Town Council members say the decision comes after years of depleting funds  in order to maintain the town's water system.

"This is coming directly from the water system, it's been eating a hole in our pocket for years," says Matoaka Reporter Travis Colonna. "The whole council right now, we've all donated money. Every single council member's donated money, time. We've all done everything we possibly can to keep it going, and we just can't do it anymore."

The county commission has agreed to take the charge in getting Matoaka a new water system.

They've also asked State Police and the Sheriff's Office to take over patrolling in Matoaka.

"Money is no object as long as we have the money," said Commissioner Gene Buckner. "It will be used to satisfy and take care of the safety and well being of the people of this county."

Mayor Marsha Howell says her three months in office has been tough but she feel the decision is best for residents. 

"I mean it's sad to have to unincorporate but when you don't have financial means and there's only 3 businesses in town, you can't operate," Howell said. "I been there all my life, I was raised in Matoaka. So it's tough. but we'll be okay."

Although the Matoaka town hall has closed, the volunteer fire department is free standing and will continue its operations.

In order to officially dissolve the charter, citizens of Matoaka must vote in a special election that will happen this upcoming May.

Council members also say if you have an emergency don't call the Matoaka Police Department, but instead dial 9-1-1.

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