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Transmission line upgrade expected to add funds

Appalachian Power's proposed transmission line upgrade is expected to add about $2.5 million in public utility taxes to Kanawha County's coffers.

That's welcome news to county officials who were expecting a $1.1 million loss in property taxes when the company's coal-fired plant in Glasgow goes offline in 2015.

County commissioners discussed the situation during a regular meeting Thursday evening.

The loss of the power plant will affect about 40 jobs, though Commission President Kent Carper said that AEP has "indicated to us that they're doing everything they can to mitigate those losses."

Glasgow will lose about $197,000 in business and occupation taxes, Kanawha County Economic Development Coordinator Matt Thomas said.

Carper said he has asked AEP to look into the possibility of converting the plant to be powered by natural gas, thus protecting it from closure.

In other business, the commissioners:

* Discussed the sale of the Pratt water system to West Virginia American Water. The sale has been submitted to the state Public Service Commission for approval, a process that will take several weeks.

Carper was disappointed the town did not take care of its water system to arrive at the point that required it to be sold.

"We bailed you out not for town mistakes, but for the people who live there," he said to Pratt Mayor Gary Fields at the meeting.

Carper added there wouldn't be any discussion of what to do with the Pratt's aging sewer system, which is separate from the water system, until after the water project is finished.

* Voted to require spouses of employees on the county's health plan to have a physical exam each year. Employees are already required to have a physical, and the change will begin June 1, 2014.

Contact writer Matt Murphy at Matt.Murphy@dailymail.com or 304-348-4817.


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