Senate Bill No. 532
(By Senators Tomblin, Mr. President, and Buckalew,
By Request of the Executive)
[Originating in the Committee on Government Organization;
reported March 3, 1998.]
A BILL to repeal article six, chapter fifteen of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended;
and to further amend said chapter by adding thereto a new
article, designated article one-h, all relating to state
armories; eliminating the state armory board and
transferring its powers, duties, authority and
responsibilities to the adjutant general; powers, duties,
authority and responsibilities of the adjutant general;
exempting armories and related properties from taxation;
authorizing the issuance of bonds with the concurrence of
the board of public works; terms of bonds; use of proceeds
from the bond; and 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repealed; and that said chapter be further amended by adding
thereto a new article, designated article one-h, all to read as
ARTICLE 1H. STATE ARMORY FACILITIES.
§15-1H-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; 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 used in this article:
(a) "Armory" means the 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
(b) "Armory project" or "project" means 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) "Cost of project" means 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) "Rent" or "rental" means 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
their statutory duties.
The adjutant general's duties include:
(a) Responsibility for the acquisition, construction and
disposition of armories;
(b) Properly maintain, repair, operate, manage and control
(c) Fix the rates of rental of armories;
(d) Propose rules for legislative promulgation, in
accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this
code, for the armories' use and operation;
(e) Make and enter into all contracts and agreements
necessary and incidental to the performance of his or her duties under this article;
(f) 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
(g) Perform such other duties as this article may require or
as may be otherwise required by law.
§15-1H-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 or her 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 he or
she deems 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 he or she deems 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 his or her power.
(d) To make and execute all contracts, agreements and other
instruments necessary or incident to the performance of his or
her 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.
§15-1H-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
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 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 or she deems necessary from unclassified
general revenue funds to the general armory fund for the purposes
of this article.
§15-1H-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 or she 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
All money received by the adjutant general from any armory
sold, damaged or destroyed, shall be deposited in the 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.
§15-1H-7. Acquisition of property for armory projects;
The adjutant general is hereby authorized and empowered to
acquire by purchase, whenever he or she shall deem such purchase
expedient, any land, property, rights, rights-of-way, franchises,
easements and other interests in lands as he or she 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 or her 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.
§15-1H-8. Preliminary expenses of armory projects.
The adjutant general is hereby authorized in his or her
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 financing thereof.
§15-1H-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.
§15-1H-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, the adjutant general has the authority and is 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 or she 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 or she may deem
to be in the best interest of the state.
§15-1H-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 or her under the provisions
of this article or upon the income therefrom.
§15-1H-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
§15-1H-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.
§15-1H-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.