Senate Bill No. 409

(By Senators Wooton, Bailey, Wagner, Chafin,

Ross, Helmick, Sharpe, Buckalew, Love and Oliverio)


[Introduced February 15, 1996; referred to the

Committee on Government Organization.]


A BILL to establish the Coalfields Expressway authority; functions; members; appointment; powers and duties; officers; bylaws; rules and regulations; compensation; authority as corporate body; support, maintenance and operation; and severability.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
§1. Parkway authority created; functions.
There is hereby created a Coalfields Expressway authority, to promote and advance the construction of a modern highway through McDowell, Raleigh and Wyoming counties and to coordinate with counties, municipalities, state and federal agencies, public nonprofit corporations, private corporations, associations, partnerships and individuals for the purpose of planning, assisting and establishing recreational, tourism, industrial, economic and community development of the coalfields expressway for the benefit of West Virginians.
§2. Members; appointment; powers and duties generally; officers; bylaws; rules and regulations; compensation.

(a) The authority consists of nine voting members and three ex officio nonvoting members. All members shall be appointed before the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-six.
(b) Each of the county commissions of the counties of McDowell, Raleigh and Wyoming shall appoint three voting members to the commission. The terms of the voting members initially appointed by a county commission are as follows: One member shall be appointed for a term of one year and two members shall be appointed for a term of two years. All successive appointments shall be for a term of four years. Any voting member may be removed for cause by the appointing county commission.
(c) The three ex officio nonvoting members are the commissioner of highways or designee, the director of natural resources or designee and the executive director of the West Virginia development office or designee. All terms of ex officio nonvoting members are for four years.
(d) Should a vacancy occur, the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall serve only for the unexpired portion thereof. All members are eligible for reappointment.
(e) There shall be an annual meeting of the authority on the third Monday in July in each year and a monthly meeting on a day and at a time as the authority may designate in its bylaws. A special meeting may be called by the president, the secretary or any two members of the authority and may be held only after all members are given notice of the meeting in writing. Five voting members constitute a quorum for all meetings. At each annual meeting of the authority, it shall elect a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. The authority shall adopt bylaws, rules and regulations as may be necessary for its operation and management. The authority has all, but only, those powers necessary, incidental, convenient and advisable for the following purposes:
(1) The preparation of a plan or plans for the coalfields expressway;
(2) The promotion of economic development and tourism along the coalfields expressway;
(3) Advocating actions consistent with that plan or its provisions to or before any governmental entity or any private person or entity; and
(4) Otherwise acting in an advisory capacity with regard to any aspects of the coalfields expressway at the request of or without the request of any governmental entity or private person or entity.
The authority may not own any of the real estate or real property herein described for development and may not be responsible for operating or maintaining the parkway.
Each voting member of the authority shall be compensated monthly by the governing bodies which appointed the members in an amount to be fixed by the governing body.
§3. Body corporate.
The authority hereby created shall be a public corporation and as such it may contract and be contracted with, sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded and may have and use a corporate seal.
§4. Support, maintenance and operation.
The county commissions of the counties of McDowell, Raleigh and Wyoming may provide for the support, maintenance and operation of the coalfields expressway authority and other related activities under the jurisdiction of the authority hereby created.
§5. Severability.
If any provision hereof is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions hereof which can be given effect without the invalid provision, and to this end the provisions of this act are declared to be severable.

(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish the Coalfields Expressway authority to promote and advance the construction of a modern highway through the counties of McDowell, Raleigh and Wyoming.)