WESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- The city of Weston is steadily digging out of a deep financial hole and now owes the Internal Revenue Service a little more than $65,000 in back taxes, down from more than $400,000 a few years ago.
The Exponent-Telegram (http://bit.ly/tPfmZL ) says Weston has also reduced its debt to the Public Employees Insurance Agency by about $55,000 and now owes just $195,000.
City Manager Michelle Allen says Weston remains in the red, collecting $1.44 million in revenues and spending $1.57 million for fiscal year that ended June 30. But that's also a smaller gap than in the past few years.
Allen isn't predicting how Weston will perform this year.
Weston has been in financial trouble since 2008. Its problems began under former finance manager Crystal Hixson, who was asked to resign after officials discovered she had allowed back taxes to accumulate.
The city has made unpopular decisions on its road to fiscal recovery, said Mayor Julia Spelsberg.
Last summer, it cut the Fire Department from four positions to one, leaving only the chief with a salary and relying on volunteers to handle calls.
Weston has since restored the paid firefighter positions and given city employees their first pay raise in five years.
"We're still keeping an eye on things, though," Spelsberg said. "We've learned our lessons."
Councilman Jim Oldaker said Weston has also paid off all its police cars, as well as equipment for the street department.
"All in all, we've come a long way," he said, "and I think in the next year we'll be looking even better."
Information from: The Exponent Telegram, http://www.cpubco.com