Welcome to West Virginia’s May 2019 Monthly Recap! We like to keep our eyes on the local market and bring you the stories and regional updates to help you stay in the loop on what’s happening in West Virginia. May 2019 saw some exciting news. Read on!
Interest Rates at Historic Lows
30-year fixed rate mortgage rates averaged 3.99% in the week of May 30, down from 4.06% the previous week, according to Freddie Mac. Analysts attribute this rate drop, a 16-month low, to growing concerns over the U.S.-China trade war and slowing global growth. For West Virginia, home values have steadily appreciated over the course of the first half of 2019, and current data on delinquency rates show a downward trend throughout the first quarter of this year. While the market has shown signs of softening, unemployment is relatively low (4.9% in April 2019, the lowest rate since November 2008) and the decline in 90+day mortgage delinquencies are good signs of a steady economy.
West Virginia Chamber, manufacturers association support the Student Success Act
West Virginia’s Student Success Act, which originated in the state Senate, proposes a significant investment into the state’s public education system. Key provisions of the act include:
- A five percent pay raise for teachers and school service personnel
- Increased funding and greater flexibility on how systems spend school aid funds
- Open enrollment across county lines and more alternative schools
- More funding for counselors, nurses, and mental health professionals in schools
Rebecca McPhail, president of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association, states, “Successful business and industries are built on innovation, competition, evaluation, and evolution. Strong education systems must demonstrate these same qualities. Members of the WVMA support efforts to leave behind the status quo mentality in West Virginia education and increase student achievement.”
Martinsburg Reimbursed $4.9M related to PFAS Cleanup
The U.S. Air Force is reimbursing the City of Martinsburg for expenses related to the cleanup of the city’s water supply after two industrial chemicals – perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFAS) were found in the city’s drinking supply in 2016. The plant was closed shortly after the EPA discovered the contamination and determined it was caused by firefighting foam used by the Air National Guard at the Eastern Regional Airport. A filtration system was put in place and the system went back into operation in December of 2017. This marks a high level of coordination between city, state, and federal lawmakers to ensure the health and safety of the region’s residents. Lawmakers are working together to ensure the future safety of the city water supply.
National Trails Day
Saturday, June 1st was National Trails Day! We hope you got out and enjoyed the view from one of the beautiful hiking trails throughout the state. At Chief Logan State Park, naturalist Lauren Cole led a hike on the 2.5-mile Rattlesnake/Coal Mine Trail, and hikers received a patch and certificate of accomplishment upon completion. Summer is a great time to get out and enjoy the natural beauty of our state!
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