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Introduced Version - Originating in Committee Senate Concurrent Resolution 57 History

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SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 57

(By Senators Laird, Edgell, Beach, Cookman, Facemire, Green, McCabe, Prezioso, Snyder, Williams, M. Hall, Nohe and Walters)

[Originating in the Committee on Natural Resources]

 

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study how to maintain the State Park System and find a dedicated source of revenue to address the maintenance, repair and renovation of West Virginia’s beautiful but aging state parks to ensure they continue to provide recreation and enjoyment to the citizens of the state and its visitors.

    Whereas, The mission of the West Virginia State Park System since its inception has been to promote conservation by preserving and protecting natural areas of unique or exceptional scenic, scientific, cultural, archeological or historical significance and to provide outdoor recreational opportunities for the citizens of this state and its visitors; and

    Whereas, The West Virginia State Park system attracts approximately 6.5 million visitors per year and contributes over $126 million dollars of economic activity to the state; and

    Whereas, Many of the facilities, such as the cabins, administrative buildings and picnic shelters were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, and many of the lodges were constructed during the 1950s and 1960s and are over fifty years old; and

    Whereas, If these aging facilities are not able to be repaired and maintained, visitor safety will be jeopardized and the state parks of West Virginia may not be available to future generations; and

    Whereas, There is currently an estimated backlog of maintenance needs to these facilities in excess of $25 million, which continues to increase on a yearly basis when projects are neglected due to lack of funding; and

    Whereas, Only $5 million from the state, which comes from lottery revenue, is currently devoted to maintenance, repairs and renovations to these facilities; and

    Whereas, The last Legislative Performance Audit of the State Park System suggested that a minimum of $3 million be allotted for this purpose; and

    Whereas, HB2060 was introduced, suggesting that an additional soft drink tax be implemented and dedicated to a state park maintenance and improvement fund; and

    Whereas, Other states have various dedicated revenue sources, such as Arkansas’ one-eighth percent sales tax and North Carolina’s real estate transfer tax, devoted to state parks; and

    Whereas, A study should be conducted of potential revenue sources that could be devoted to relieving the backlog of current maintenance needs of the state park system; therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Legislature hereby requests the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study how to maintain the State Park System and find a dedicated source of revenue to address the maintenance, repair and renovation of West Virginia’s beautiful but aging state parks to ensure they continue to provide recreation and enjoyment to the citizens of the state and its visitors; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2014, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.

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