By Derek Tyson, The Welch News Editor
WELCH, WV – State Treasurer John Perdue traveled with members of his office to Welch yesterday to present the Town of Iaeger with a $7000 Unclaimed Property return.
County Assessor Ray Bailey introduced Perdue at the Jack Caffrey Arts and Culture Center.
Feeling at home is how Perdue opened, claiming all of Southern West Virginia felt like home to the Boone County native.
“I’m from Dog Fork Hollow and I tell you that because I took my dad to one of the first speeches I gave,” said Perdue. “During the speech, I said I was born in Madison, West Virginia. On the way home, Dad said it sounded good, but there was just one thing. ‘You weren’t born in Madison, West Virginia, but in Dog Fork Hollow. Never be ashamed of where you came from.”
Years in office representing West Virginia, Perdue said he loves to tell people he hails from the coalfields of Southern West Virginia.
“Since I became Treasurer, I realized that there was unclaimed property in the State of West Virginia. $100 million was laying in the Treasurer’s Office,” said Perdue. “I found out it was the people’s money and it was the duty of the Treasurer of the State to find the rightful owners of that money before it was turned over to the State’s General Revenue.”
He continued about years of hard work to modernize the Treasurer’s Office, bring in transparency and ensuring checks and balances were in place.
“But going out and finding people’s unclaimed property was like finding lost gold,” said Perdue. “You don’t know how many times its touched my heart when finding this property helped a couple having car trouble with no money to fix it. I found out how much this meant to the people of West Virginia.”
According to Perdue, the State Treasurer’s Office has returned $230 million dollars during his time in the position.
“Boards of Education, Counties, Cities, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H Clubs, all kinds of organizations lose money,” said Perdue. “Every day we are trying to find the rightful owners of that money. The largest amount we ever found was in McDowell County, $900,000, 12 or 14 years ago.”
Perdue turned his attention over to Town of Iaeger’s Mayor, Joe Ford.
“Today, we’re here to give a little check, but I don’t like to call any check little,” said Perdue. “In a time of need in the City of Iaeger, Mayor Joe Ford, please come up.”
Perdue presented Ford a check for $7,043 in Unclaimed Property, lost over the years but returning just in time according to Ford.
“So where do you plan to spend the money,” asked Perdue.
“It’s already spent,” said Ford, getting a laugh out of the entire room. “I’m just telling the truth. We had a roof leak and were using an umbrella to keep water out of the ceiling. Iaeger needs it bad right now. The timing was perfect. It really was a blessing.”