WELCH, W.Va. — The fate of six McDowell County sheriff’s deputies, scheduled to lose their jobs this month, may be decided when a new county commission meets Tuesday.

The McDowell County Commission will discuss the situation to see if money is available to retain the positions.

Last month, the commission voted to shift money from the county’s ambulance authority to the sheriff’s department in an attempt to keep deputies from being laid off.

The agreement will direct $21,000 a month from the ambulance authority, but the authority is remaining idle because of budget problems. The commission said it would still have to closely monitor revenue collections because the county has been hard hit by the downturn in coal production.

Sheriff Martin West told MetroNews last month losing six deputies would essentially “wipe out” the department and that he just wants to make sure that the new commission will fund the sheriff’s office.

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