H. B. 4397
(By Mr. Speaker, Mr. Kiss, and Delegate Ashley)
[By Request of the Executive]
[Introduced February 12, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to repeal article six, chapter fifteen of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended,
and to amend chapter fifteen of said code by adding thereto
a new article, designated article one-i, relating to state
armories; eliminating the state armory board; establishing
new legislative purpose and authority; defining terms;
placing responsibility for the armories with the adjutant
general; providing powers and authorizations to the adjutant
general; collection, use and distribution of rentals and
other revenues; vesting title to armory property in the
state; authorizing the adjutant general to transfer title to
any armory to the United States under certain circumstances;
handling of money received for sold, damaged or destroyed
armories; purchasing and condemning property for armory projects; expending funds for studying armory projects;
permitting counties and municipalities to provide financial
assistance to armories; conveyance of armories; taxation of
armory related properties; authorization to issue bonds with
the concurrence of the board of public works; terms of
bonds; use of proceeds from the bond; transfer of moneys in
existing accounts to the adjutant general.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article six, chapter fifteen of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
repealed; and that chapter fifteen of said code be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article one-i, to read
ARTICLE 1I. FACILITIES.
§15-1I-1. Legislative purpose and authority.
In order to provide modern and efficient facilities for the
training, operations, supply and administration of the national
guard, to provide for the defense of the state in time of war and
to repel invasion and suppress insurrection, to provide
facilities for use in time of fires, floods, riots and other
natural and manmade disasters and to provide public meeting
places and to promote the general welfare, the adjutant general
is hereby authorized and empowered to construct, acquire, improve, maintain, repair and operate armories and armory
projects (as hereinafter defined).
The following terms, wherever used or referred to in this
article shall have the following meanings, unless a different
meaning clearly appears from the context:
(a) The term "armory" shall mean and embrace buildings, areas
and centers and the equipment and other facilities appurtenant
thereto, including armories, arsenals, ranges, campgrounds,
service centers, training areas, containment areas, and
warehouses, used for the training, administration, operations and
maintenance of the national guard or any combination or
combinations thereof, and any other equipment and facilities
incorporated therein for the accomplishment of the purposes set
forth in section one of this article.
(b) The words "project" or "armory project" shall be deemed
to mean collectively the acquisition and construction of
buildings, structures and other works, together with all roads,
incidental approaches and other facilities appurtenant thereto
and all property, rights, easements and other interests, which
the adjutant general shall determine to construct, acquire, or
improve under the provisions of this article in order to provide
new or improved military facilities, and the necessary maintenance and equipment therefor.
(c) The term "cost of project" shall embrace the cost of
construction, the cost of all land, rights-of-way, property
rights, easements and interest acquired by the adjutant general
for such construction, the cost of all property, material, labor,
machinery and equipment deemed essential thereto, cost of
improvements, financing charges, interest during construction and
for a period not to exceed one year after completion of
construction, cost of preliminary estimates, plans, surveys and
other expenses necessary or incident to determining the
feasibility or practicability of construction of the project,
administrative expenses and all other expenses, including legal
fees, trustees', engineers' and architects' fees which may be
necessary or incident to the financing, construction and placing
of the project in operation.
(d) The term "rent" or "rental" shall include all moneys
received for the use of any part of the project, whether from the
state of West Virginia, or any officer, department or public
corporation thereof, or from any private corporation or person:
Provided, That nothing in this article shall be taken to
authorize the payment by or on behalf of the state of any rent in
excess of the fair rental value of the property used by or for
such state officer, or department, or public corporation in the exercise of his or its statutory duties.
The adjutant general shall be responsible for the
acquisition, construction, and disposition of armories and shall
properly maintain, repair, operate, manage and control all
armories, fix the rates of rental, and establish rules and
regulations for their use and operation, and may make and enter
into all contracts, agreements necessary and incidental to the
performance of his duties under this article. He shall audit and
approve all bills, claims and accounts in connection with the
construction, acquisition, maintenance, repair and operation of
all armories before such bills, claims and accounts shall be
paid, and he shall perform such other duties as this article may
require or as may be otherwise required by law.
§15-1I-4. Powers of the adjutant general.
The adjutant general is hereby authorized and empowered:
(a) To construct, maintain, repair, operate and dispose of
armories and armory projects at such locations within the state
as may be determined by him to be necessary.
(b) To contract and to acquire in the name of the state by
purchase or otherwise on such terms and in such manner as it may
deem proper, or by the exercise of the right of condemnation in
the manner hereinafter provided, such public or private lands, including public parks or reservations, or parts thereof or
rights therein, rights-of-way, property, rights, easements and
interests, as it may deem necessary for carrying out the
provisions of this article; and to dispose of the same in
accordance with the law: Provided, That no compensation shall be
paid for public lands owned by the state or any subdivision
thereof so taken and that all public property damaged in carrying
out the powers granted by this article, shall be restored or
repaired and placed in its original condition as nearly as
(c) To acquire, hold and dispose of real and personal
property in the exercise of its powers and for its corporate
(d) To make and execute all contracts, agreements and other
instruments necessary or incident to the performance of his
duties under this article.
(e) To receive and accept from any federal agency grants for
or in aid of armory projects, and to receive and accept aid or
contributions of either money, property, labor or other things of
value, from any source including counties, municipalities, boards
of education and other political subdivisions or agencies of the
(f) To charge rent for the use of any armory or armory project, or any part thereof.
(g) To enter upon any lands or premises for the purposes of
making surveys, soundings and examinations.
(h) To do all things necessary or convenient to carry out
the powers granted in this article, including the management and
use of armories and armory projects not inconsistent with their
use by the state for armory purposes as defined herein.
§15-1I-5. Rentals and other revenues from armories.
The adjutant general is hereby authorized to fix, revise,
charge and collect rent for the use of armories or any part or
parts thereof, and to contract with the board of education, with
any other officer, department or public corporation or political
subdivision thereof and with any person partnership, association
or corporation desiring the use thereof, and to fix the terms,
conditions, rents and rates of charges for such use: Provided,
That the primary purpose of armories shall be their use by the
national guard, and their use by other than the national guard
shall be subject to and shall not interfere with such primary
purpose. Such rents shall be so fixed and adjusted in respect of
the aggregate of rents from armories in connection with which the
bonds of any issue shall have been issued as to provide a fund
sufficient with other revenues, if any, to pay (a) the cost of
maintaining, repairing and operating such armories and (b) the principal of and interest on such bonds as the same shall become
due and payable, and to create reserves for such purposes. All
rents and other revenues received from the use of armories shall
be paid into a special account of the treasurer of the state of
West Virginia to be known as the general armory fund and shall be
used solely for the purposes of this article. In addition, the
adjutant general may transfer such amounts as he deems necessary
from unclassified general revenue funds to the general armory
fund for the purposes of this article.
§15-1I-6. Title to armory property, etc., to vest in state.
Title to all property, armories and armory projects, upon
delivery and acceptance, shall vest in the state and shall be
held in the name of the state. The adjutant general may, upon
such terms as he may deem to be in the best interest of the
state, transfer title to any armory to the United States, but may
provide for the retention by the state of civil and police
jurisdiction through such armory and a right to tax persons
residing thereon. All money received by the adjutant general
from any armory sold, damaged or destroyed, shall be paid to the
treasurer of the state and credited to a special revenue account
of the adjutant general, and may be expended for the
construction, acquisition or improvement of armories under the
provisions of this article.
§15-1I-7. Acquisition of property for armory projects;
The adjutant general is hereby authorized and empowered to
acquire by purchase, whenever he shall deem such purchase
expedient, any land, property, rights, rights-of-way, franchises,
easements and other interests in lands as he may deem necessary
or convenient for the construction or operation of any armory or
armory project upon such terms and at such price as may be
considered by him to be reasonable and can be agreed upon with
the owner thereof, and to take title thereto in the name of the
state. Whenever a reasonable price cannot be agreed upon, or
whenever the owner is legally incapacitated, or is absent,
unknown or unable to convey valid title, the adjutant general is
hereby authorized and empowered to acquire, by the exercise of
the power of condemnation in accordance with and subject to the
provisions of any and all existing laws and statutes applicable
to the exercise of the power of condemnation of property for
public use, any land, property, rights, rights-of-way,
franchises, easements or other property deemed necessary or
convenient for the construction or the efficient operation of any
armory project or necessary in the restoration of public or
private property damaged or destroyed.
§15-1I-8. Preliminary expenses of armory projects.
The adjutant general is hereby authorized in his discretion
to expend out of any funds available for the purpose such moneys
as may be necessary for the study of any preliminary armory
project or projects and for making necessary estimates, plans and
surveys to determine the feasibility of the construction and
§15-1I-9. County or municipal aid for armory purposes.
Any county or municipality or two or more municipalities
jointly may raise and appropriate money in the aid of the
acquisition, construction, maintenance, repair and improvement of
any armory located therein, and may make such further provisions
for the maintenance and improvement of such armory and its joint
use with the national guard as may be deemed necessary.
§15-1I-10. Disposition of abandoned and unsuitable armories or
Whenever any armory shall be no longer needed by the
national guard, or other military organization, or in the
judgment of the adjutant general is unsuitable for military
purposes, he shall have the authority, and he is hereby expressly
empowered to sell, transfer and convey such armory to the
municipality, county or county board of education or any two or
more of the same or combination thereof in which the same is
located, for public purposes, upon such terms as he may deem to be in the best interest of the state: Provided, That if such
municipality, county or board of education shall not purchase
such armory, the adjutant general shall then be authorized to
sell, lease, transfer or convey the same to any person, firm, or
corporation upon such terms as he may deem to be in the best
interest of the state.
§15-1I-11. Exemption of armories, etc., from taxation.
The exercise of the powers granted in this article will be
in all respects for the benefit of the people of this state, and,
as the construction, acquisition, improvement, operation and
maintenance of armories will constitute the performance of
essential governmental functions, the adjutant general shall not
be required to pay any taxes or assessments upon any armory or
any property acquired or used by him under the provisions of this
article or upon the income therefrom.
§15-1I-12. Authority to issue revenue bonds.
The adjutant general is hereby empowered to raise the cost
of armory projects by the issuance of revenue bonds of the state
of West Virginia. Such bonds shall be authorized by concurrence
of the board of public works. The form of said bonds and any
coupons attached thereto, their denominations, the rate of
interest which such bonds shall bear, the maturity dates, number
of times per year which interest shall be payable, place of payment, terms of redemption and all other particulars shall be
determined at the time of issue, according to prevailing
§15-1I-13. Proceeds from sale of bonds.
The proceeds of the sale of any bonds issued under this
article shall be deposited in the special revenue account of the
adjutant general and used for the purposes authorized herein.
§15-1I-14. Transfer of existing accounts.
Account number ZAB-0-9-XX-1-ZA-15 shall be transferred to
the use of the adjutant general's department to be used for the
purpose of this article.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to eliminate the state
armory board and to place responsibility for the armories with
the adjutant general.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.