Business tax decline darkens Wyoming County community - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Business tax decline darkens Wyoming County community


MULLENS, W.Va. (WVVA) The once well lit streets of Mullens will soon be a little darker.

In March, city leaders decided to turn off 90 of their 400 lights after their utility company, Black Diamond Power, raised rates by 10 percent.  Already facing significant tax revenue declines from a loss in business, leaders in Mullens decided not to raise rates for residents. 

"We have an excellent street department, police department. We provide sanitation. But all those things come at a cost," said Mullens Commissioner Reece Neely. 

Despite the rate increase and revenue losses, Neely said the city of Mullens is trying to maintain essential services for residents. 

"It all depends on the dark areas. We go through during the nighttime and try to eliminate the ones that are unnecessary."

Mullens is a unique city in West Virginia, explains Neely, in that almost every residential area is lit up by street lights. While their work is not complete yet, he said public crews are carefully choosing which lights to turn off.  

If the city's financial situation improves, Neely said public crews can turn street lights back on. Until then, he asks any resident who feels unsafe on their street to contact City Hall. 

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