Newspaper Archive of
The Glenville Democrat
Glenville, West Virginia
August 22, 1975     The Glenville Democrat
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August 22, 1975

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[ @ A Gilmer Graphics, Inc. Newspaper Published By and For Gilmer County People Single Copy Price 15 [incl. Tas] 47 GLENVn-IF= GH.ME2 COUNTY, WV 26351 Friday, August 22,1975 At aH/ysis- labeled as electric will introduce for any institute an without full e Pliance with introduce a regula r ) "reduce the Service they have e and properly 6nact- despite a February by Co. filed new 28. The residential per rate or per day. in Burke's Gilmer. have escalat- utilized a ~Prevision to automatically pass on alleged increas- ed fuel costs to consumers. The PSC accused Appalachian Power Co. last fall of overcharging about 300,000 state customers by more than $2 million. In addition, PSC ordered Appalachian to refund an estimated $39,236,099 to its customers. But. Burke noted, after lengthy court action. PSC delayed a refund set at $24 million for an undetermined period of time. Burke said that although consumers may receive 6 percent interest on the refund, Appalachian earns 7 percent interest while it holds the money which, he said. "belongs to the consumer." Burke said that the consumer presently pays "an unreasonably high" bill and when he finally does receive his refund it may not include all the interest his overpayment has earned. "'My two legislative bills will legally l revent this and encourage the PSC to truly serve the public or face a cut in salary." he said. Burke. along with Del. Harold V. Long, last year urged that the legislature consider disallowing auto- matic electric rate increases and also review the regulatory activities of the PSC. Iohn E. Arbuckle Gilmer nearly dishes last ta one of the out for the in Bank. It annual Loren affair with Betty ]o led the f Mrs. John end Virgil Several guests were introduced: John Butler. State Faln Bureau field ,~arvices director from Buckhannon; State Sen. Walter Neeley. Paul Nay, State Farm Bureau president: Tal- madge Somerville. representing the State Farn~ Bureau Board of Directors: Dr. Lynwood Zinn of Clarksburg, whose father was a long-time assistant cashier at Kanawha Union Bank and superintendent of the First Baptist Church of Glenville; and Alice Arbuckle, sister of John Arbuckle. Guest speaker for the affair was George W. McOuain a lawyer with Steptoe and Johnson in Clarksburg and member of the Board of Directors at Kanawha Union Bank. He reminisced about the long career of Mr. Arbuckle and his contributions to the development of Gilmer County. (Continued on Page 8) Talk of a natural gas shortage this winter is not iust "talk" according to Roy Mork, President of Pacific States Gas & Oil, Inc.. an independent producer with operations here and in other states and with offices in the Petroleum Building at Sand Fork. The shortage, however, is not in gas deposits, but is in the amount of gas being brought above ground, this reporter learned, in an interview with several independent producers last week. Drilling activity in West Virginia, for example, has been drastically reduced. One year ago. 17 well-drilling rigs were active in West Virginia, As of July 29 this year, only eight were reported active, with none in Gilmer County. one in Calhoun and one in Braxton. according to figures in "Petroleum Information," a weekly publication covering drilling activity throughout the nation. Approximately 50 percent of the natural gas used in the 13-state Appalachian area is piped in from Texas. Louisiana and Oklahoma. said Mork. These states, for reasons that currentl' are being debated, say they will have to cut back deliveries this winter. The Governor of Louisiana in an interview on television this past week flatly stated that he did not intend to see his state run short of gas in order to send it to other states that should be exploring for and producing from their own reserves. The remainder ot the gas used in the Appalachian area comes from within - from West Virginia. for example. Unless drilling activity increases, this Appalachian supply may not keep up with the demand this winter, thus contributing to the "shortage.'" Present homeowners and small businesses may not see any actual cutback in their natural gas: howevm. the)' will see and already are seeing the effects in other ways. such as unemployment, lack of purchasing rower, and the migration from th~ I Illllllll Ill [d/tot w/as award for best/ocal cobra lira lacobs: editor of the Glenville Democrat/Pathfinder, won a West Virginia Press Association 1975 Better Newspa- per Award for "Best Local Column" among the Association's weekly newspapers. The WVPA award was presented to Robert Arnold. publisher of the Glenville newspa- pers, at the Association's conven- tion at Lakeview Country Club near Morgantown this past weekend. The Braxton Democrat/Central also published by Arnold. were cited for two second place awards. Mark Washburn, former editor of the newspaper, received an award for his column, "Mountain Thunder." Jacqueline Campbell. a former staff member, won for her "Appalachian Life" feature page. from Nm~~ Hill, h~aldng east, eaHy in day. / / / / // / / / \ Gas well drilling activity is a thing of the past in G4.1mer County. Photo hi of Suyder well dr~g rig contracted by Pacific States Gas and Oil, Inc. state of drillers and their crews. "The very real impending shortage is not only the natural gas shortage, "states Mork, "'but the impending economic crisis for West Virginia." Mork is not alone in his thinking, A report by the Congressional House Qovernment Operations Committee predicts that West Virginia may see a drastic migration of its population and relocation of much of its industry. This is already happening. Mork feels, and counties in Central West Virginia are feeling the economic pinch right now. According to I.L. Morris of Waco Oil and Gas a maior independent producer in this area, approximately 50 percent of the cost of drilling a well stays in the county in which the well is drilled, This money goes to local drillers, suppliers of pipe, diesek water and water tanks, heavy equipment, perforating, logging and fracturing services, All of these businesses in turn have employees. and the loss of the money spent here by these workers for housing, food, supplies, clothes, autos and trucks seriously affects the economic well-being of the area. Lyle Coffman, of Coffman Oil and Gas another well known independent producer, further explained that increased drilling not only benefited local businesses and workers, but additional wells also bring increased monies to royalty owners. Further, he stated, both the state and county benefit, the state receiving $8.63 per $100 gas revenue and the county also receiving tax monies based on assessed value of gas property, These state and county benefits are in turn enioyed by the local residents in the form of various improvements. Because of the lack of natural gas, new industries are relucant to locate in West Virginia. Some present industries may find it necessary to a Tom Tinder, the nation's youngest welfare commissioner at 27, visited Area 14 offices (Gilmer and Calhoun counties] last week as part of an ongoing effort to get to know line staff and administrators. Tinder was appointed to succeed Ed Flowers last January by Gov. Ach Moore. The yotmg welfare chief admits that welfare as a system to aid the poor, aged, ~unemployed, dependent children and others is not very highly regarded by many people. "The vast majority of people think all we do is get that welfare check out on time," Tinder said. "But the concept of welfare has changed in the past few years and we're showing great progress with our employment programs, legal s~rvices, c]~fild care. medical services, home repair, food stamps and other programs designed to actually keep people independent of the welfare check." "'Where we used to put the emphasis on rehabilitatkm, we now deal with prevention." Tinder said that since 1969, when 8 of 10 clients received monthly welfare support checks, the department has changed their focus to the point where now only 2 of 10 clients receive checks. The remainder are persons helped by welfare's services and programs. He cited the state's innovative TRIP bus program which provides transportation to elderly and disabled residents. "TRIP is in its second year and we really expect it to take off." he said. Tinder said the department has ordered more mini-buses. There is currently only one mini-bus in operation here. It runs the second and fourth Tuesdays and Thursdays of each month. Books of transportation tickets for the 12.passenger bus can be purchased at reduced rates through the Welfare Department here or Community Action Ass~iation. "'We are now emphasizing finding jolm for many welfare recipients," Tinder said. "Five or six years ago we set up our own employment service and since that time we've found iobs for approximately 6,~ persons- matching them to jobs appropriate to their sk~ In order to keep people indepen- dent of the monthly check or "handout," the agency emphasizes supportive services, according to Tinder. "Many people face an ongoing battle between working for minimum wage or going on welfare. We tell them that welfare payments are generally lower than working incomes but encourage low-income workers to take advantage of many of our sm'vices like food stamps, child care, medical services and pharmacy cards," said Tinder. "By receiving food stamps-primarily low income workers and old-age pensioners-persons are helped enough to make it on their own,~' said Tinder. In Area 14, a total of 3,399 people are served by Welfare other than by receiving a monthly check {852 persons receive monthly checks for support}. Of the total, according to Tinder, 2.544 persons receive food stamps: 207 persons, mainly elderly, receive a pharmacy card which allows them to purchase medicines with help from Welfare: 239 children identified as abused, abandoned or neglected are placed in foster homes or set up for adoption: 64 children identified as being handicapped are aided in clinics: and 345 persons, primarily low-income adults, receive medical qr other services. Of the 852 per-, ms who receive monthly checks. Tinder said 544 are children. 265 are mothers and 43 are unemployed able-bodies men (13 in Gilmer County}. Tinder also said that many persons who were formerly aided by Welfare now qualify for the Social Secarity Program's Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Persons who are aided by SSA are the aged. blind and disabled. Tinder said much of the criticism of the F'o~M Stamp Program is unjustified. "'There may be a small percentage of people who abuse the system, but the majority of those aided are lOw income workers or pensioners who need food stamps to stay off welfare, Anti the program makes money." "Over $70 ~ worth of foo~ stamps were ~d last year in West .:oc~ : ' : by SCan Meseroll Executive Editor move to other states such as Texas, Oklahoma or Louisiana, where they can get all the gas they need for running their plants as well as for the products they manufacture, These states are advertising in major daily newspapers and national , magazines to attract industries. "All the gas you need" the advertisements claim. Unlike it is here, gas in those states is not dedicated on "lifetime contracts." If more gas was produced here it would greatly help industry. According to Morris, a low at the well is what has stalled in Virginia. "The people of Central West Virginia need to encourage the independent producers to drill in state right now." "One way they can do this," says Mork. "is by writing their Senatore and Congressmen urging deregula- tions." At least three companies here have recently raised the price paid natural gas to $1.00 per thousand cubic feet {mcf}. "That is a help," Mork, "but it is no enough. The price paid for natural gas should be bas on the BTU content comparable to price of 0il and coal. That would mak the price paid for Big Injun gas approximaely $2.11 per mcf." :: Mork further stated he had told this weak that Canadian gas will be priced an the BTU basis starVm@ this fall. "The current low price for gas and the increased cost of labor and materials makes it impossible for the independent to show enough profit to attract funding needed to finance drilling activity," Mork stated. Nearl , I0,000 independent producers and many drilling contractors went An;Ameri- the St y a:r: and a half." he points out. (Continued on Page 7) Virginia. Over $2 million comes back to the state via the 3 percent sales tax! and. as the state appropriates million to Welfare to run the Food Stamp Program, there is a healthy sum left over," said Tinder. "The program has become a billion business throughout the nation." ha said. Tinder admitted there were soma College students receiving food stamps, but they qualify as long as their parents are not listing them as tax deductions. TInder said that the Area 14 welfare case load increased slightly last winter but not as much as expected because of unemployment benefits being extended from 26 to 65 weeks and the agency's job placement program. He said unemployment problems were greater in neighbor m Lewis and Braxton counties industrial workers were laid off for various reasons. He cited the non-skilled laborer as the one most likely to be hurt in times of recession. Tom Tinder