Cash-strapped Wirt County got a $70,000 shot-in-the-arm yesterday, a Budget Digest grant secured by Senator Donna Boley. Wirt's Commissioners have been seeking assistance to stay the financial collapse of the county.

"We've got to get to the table and find some solutions to help rural counties survive," said Senator Boley, who has advocated for the survival of low tax-based counties. She does not agree that small counties should be swallowed up by larger ones. "The quality of life in rural counties needs to be protected," she said. "It may be one of our greatest assets as time goes by."

Wirt is facing critical financial problems with the opening of the regional jail at West Union, and probably will have to fire nearly all county employees, leaving elected officials. Boley said the $70,000 may buy a small amount of time to work on a longer term solution.

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