BECKLEY, W.Va. — Facing a $600,000 budget cut for the fiscal year that begins today, Nicholas County Sheriff David Hopkins laid off four more deputies, reducing his department by a quarter within the last few months.
The county-wide budget cuts are the result of declining coal severance taxes collected by the county, an estimated $1.4 million over the last year and a half.
Hopkins expected to lay off eight deputies in April, but was able to reduce the number to four. However, with the new fiscal budget he was not able to avoid laying off more deputies, as his annual finances were cut by 45 percent.
The four laid-off officers are road deputies, the sheriff said. The department will be down to 18 officers, but two are assigned court duties and two are resource officers at schools.
Nicholas County, which is 654 miles long, will still be patrolled. “Between us and the State Police we will be able to patrol the county…