Keystone City Hall in danger of closing due to debt - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Keystone City Hall in danger of closing due to debt


A city hall in McDowell County is in danger of closing in the matter of weeks, as the mayor says they are too far in debt to continue operations.

Mayor Elwin Thomas says the city is tens of thousands of dollars in debt due to a water system that is over 100 years old. 

Thomas says closing the doors to city hall would halt garbage pick up and shut down the police department. He also says dozens of residents would lose access to basic utilities. 

"There will be no utilities because we can't afford to keep them running, because we can't keep them running, because we can't pay them now," Thomas said "We have businesses upstairs. We have two businesses in the building. We'd have to shut the plant down because if we can't pay the bills we can't leave the plant running, because we cant add more bills to pay."

Thomas says he's reached out to county and local officials, and so far no one has been able to give him any answers.

McDowell County Commissioner Gordan Lambert says as of now, there's nothing they can do to help Keystone financially.

"We've got money but it's infrastructure and economic development money, it's earmarked," Lambert said. "We cannot help with paying bills or salaries. I don't know of any grant money out there. We checked with our accountant. We checked with the legal people, the prosecuting attorney, and they said there is no money that we have to be able to help them."

Thomas says City Hall could close as early as February 1st.

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