Unclaimed funds net town thousands

Published 8:04 am Thursday, July 11, 2019

When Keysville Mayor Steve Morris took office in January, he had no idea he would be sifting through hundreds of unanswered emails let alone finding thousands of dollars in unclaimed funds for the town.

“We were going through (emails) one day, and we found one that said ‘you need to contact the Virginia State Department of Treasury immediately’ there are funds being held in the name of the Town of Keysville,” Morris explained.

According to the mayor, the email was dated early 2018, and he was unsure of the authenticity of the email.
“I was kind of skeptical about it, and I pulled up the phone number independently of the email and called them direct and asked for the person that the email referenced, and they transferred me right through,” he said. “I spoke with them and then got another email with some paperwork, and I had to provide all my credentials as  mayor at that point.”

After filling out and sending in the required paperwork, Morris said that about five weeks later he went to the post office and received a check for $140,744.

So, how did these funds rack up for Keysville? According to Morris, he says that a lot of small towns worked with different insurance companies and insurers, and in return, they were given stocks and other perks.

“Well the State I believe, came out and determined that that was bribery basically to continue business with somebody who’s giving you stocks for your business and in us being a Municipality of a government agency we should not have been doing that,” said Morris. “So the State accumulated all of those funds and cashed out any stocks and whatever else and held them in the name of those townships, so it was just sitting there.”

Since receiving the funds, the town has put them to good use by purchasing a tractor for the maintenance department, undertaking a large paving project, upgrading the playground and bringing the town’s wells back online. “The paving project was quite extensive,” added the mayor. “It covered a lot of the worst of the worst potholes in the Township, and now we are getting ready to redo the playground, which is also being covered by those funds.”

According to Morris, the remaining funds will be carried over to next years budget to help with the towns well water project.

With all the changes taking place in Keysville, Morris says he feels the town is looking nice and everyone is appreciative of the progress that is being made. “This is stuff that needed to be done that we didn’t have to take money out of the budget to get accomplished.”