(a) On or before the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety, the commission shall meet and confer with respect to the development of a management plan to determine the optimum use or disposition of all institutional farms, at which time the farm management director shall provide the commission with a complete inventory of all institutional farms, and such information relating to easements, mineral rights, appurtenances, farm equipment, agricultural products, livestock, inventories and farm facilities as may be necessary to develop such management plan. The commission shall complete and provide to the governor a management plan, which plan shall set forth the objectives of the commission with respect to institutional farms, the criteria by which the commission shall determine the optimum use or disposition of such property, and determinations as to whether each institutional farm shall be used in production, sold, or leased, in whole or in part. Prior to the adoption of any plan, the commission shall consult with the secretaries of the various departments of state government and shall request from such secretaries suggestions for land use and resource development on farm commission lands. On or before the first day of December, one thousand nine hundred ninety, such management plan shall be presented to the Legislature, by providing a copy to the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Delegates. The commission may confer with any other agency or individual in implementing and adjusting its management plan. The management plan established pursuant to this subsection may be amended, from time to time, as may be necessary.
(b) The commission shall manage its institutional farms, equipment and other property in order to most efficiently produce food products for state institutions and shall implement the intent of the Legislature as set forth by this article. From the total amount of food, milk and other commodities produced on institutional farms, the commission shall sell, at prevailing wholesale prices, and each of the institutions under the control of the bureau of public health and the division of corrections shall purchase, a proportionate amount of these products based on the dietary needs of each institution.
(c) If requested by the commissioner of corrections, the commission may authorize the division of corrections to operate a farm or other enterprise using inmates as labor on such lands. The commissioner of corrections is responsible for the selection, direction and supervision of the inmates and shall assign the work to be performed by inmates.
(d) The commission is hereby authorized and empowered to:
(1) Lease to public or private parties, for purposes including agricultural production or experimentation, public necessity, or other purposes permitted by the management plan, any land, easements, equipment, or other property, except that property may not be leased for any use in any manner that would render the land toxic for agricultural use, nor may toxic or hazardous materials as identified by the commissioner of agriculture be used or stored upon such property unless all applicable state and federal permits necessary are obtained. Any lease for an annual consideration of one thousand dollars or more shall be by sealed bid auction and the commission shall give notice of such auction by publication thereof as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication is the county in which the property to be leased is located;
(2) Transfer to the public land corporation land designated in its management plan as land to be disposed of, which land shall be sold, exchanged or otherwise transferred pursuant to sections four and five, article one-a, chapter twenty of this code: Provided, That the net proceeds of the sale of farm commission lands shall be deposited in the general revenue fund of the state: Provided, however, That no sale may be concluded until on or after the fifteenth day of March, one thousand nine hundred ninety-one, except with respect to: (A) Properties located at institutionsclosed on or before the effective date of this section, the tenth day of March, one thousand nine hundred ninety; or (B) properties conveyed to or from the farm management commission to or from any other entity in order to facilitate the construction of a regional jail or correctional facility by the regional jail and correctional facilities authority or the state building commission, with the decision to execute any such conveyance being solely within the discretion of, and at the direction of, the regional jail and correctional facilities authority;
(3) Develop lands to which it has title for the public use including forestation, recreation, wildlife, stock grazing, agricultural production, rehabilitation and/or other conservation activities and may contract or lease for the proper development of timber, oil, gas or mineral resources, including coal by underground mining or by surface mining where reclamation as required by specifications of the division of environmental protection will increase the beneficial use of such property. Any such contract or lease shall be by sealed bid auction as provided for in subdivision (1) above;
(4) Exercise all other powers and duties necessary to effectuate the purposes of this article.
(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (d) herein, no timberland may be leased, sold, exchanged or otherwise disposed of unless the division of forestry of the department of commerce, labor and environmental resources certifies that there is no commercially salable timber on the timberland, an inventory is provided, an appraisal of the timber is provided, and the sale, lease, exchange or other disposition is accomplished by the sealed bid auction procedure provided above in subdivisions (1) or (2), as applicable.
(f) The commission shall promulgate, pursuant to chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, rules and regulations relating to the powers and duties of the commission as enumerated in this section.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session