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Introduced Version House Bill 4078 History

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hb4078 intr
H. B. 4078


(By Delegates Morgan, Martin, Argento, Beach, Eldridge,

Hartman, D. Poling, Staggers, Andes, Porter and Rowan)


[Introduced January 17, 2008; referred to the

Committee on Government Organization.]



A BILL to amend and reenact º29-8-2, º29-8-3, º29-8-4 and º29-8-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to the termination of the Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park Commission; exempting the termination of the commission from the wind down provisions of §4-10-12; and providing for the transfer of all remaining property and authority of the commission to the Division of Natural Resources.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That º29-8-2, º29-8-3, º29-8-4 and º29-8-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 8. BLENNERHASSETT ISLAND HISTORICAL STATE PARK COMMISSION.

§29-8-2. Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park Commission established; members; terms; meeting; quorum; compensation; expenses termination.

(a) There is within the Division of Natural Resources the Blennerhassett Island historical state park commission. All assets, real and personal property, debts, liabilities, duties, powers and authority are the property of the division of natural resources. The Blennerhassett Island historical state park commission is maintained as an advisory commission as hereinafter provided. The commission is composed of ten members who must be citizens and residents of this state, appointed by the Governor for terms of four years, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate: Provided, That the terms of all members previously appointed to the Blennerhassett Island historical state park commission prior to any amendment and reenactment of this section shall continue for the periods originally specified and no member serving as of the effective date of the amendment and reenactment need be reappointed.
(b) Each member must be qualified to carry out the functions of the commission under this article by reason of his or her special interest, training, education or experience.
No person may be eligible to appointment as a member who is an officer or member of any political party executive committee; or the holder of any other public office or public employment under the United States government or the government of this state or a political subdivision of this state. Not more than six members may belong to the same political party.
(c) The commission shall elect a chairman from among its members on the second Monday in September of each year.
(d) All members are eligible for reappointment once by the Governor. A member shall, unless sooner removed, continue to serve until his or her term expires and his or her successor has been appointed and has qualified. A vacancy caused by the death, resignation or removal of a member prior to the expiration of his or her term shall be filled only for the remainder of term.
(e) For the purpose of carrying out its powers, duties and responsibilities under this article, six members of the commission constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Each member is entitled to one vote. The commission shall meet at a time and place designated by the chairman at least four times each fiscal year. Additional meetings may be held when called by the chairman or when requested by five members of the commission or by the Governor. All meetings shall comply with the provisions of article nine-a, chapter six of this code. Each member shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of his or her duties under this article.
(f) The commission shall advise the Division of Natural Resources in all matters relating to the development, establishment and maintenance of the Blennerhassett Island historical state park.
(g) All employee positions in the former Blennerhassett Island historical state park commission transferred to the Division of Commerce by a previous amendment and reenactment of this section are continued in the classified service of the civil service system pursuant to article six of this chapter. Any person included in the classified service by the provisions of this section who is employed in any of these positions as of the effective date of any amendment and reenactment of this section shall not be required to take and pass qualifying or competitive examinations upon or as a condition to being added to the classified service: Provided, That no person included in the classified service by the provisions of this section who is employed in any of these positions as of the effective date of any amendment and reenactment of this section, be thereafter severed, removed or terminated from such employment prior to his or her entry into the classified service except for cause as if the person had been in the classified service when severed, removed or terminated.
(h) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, the Division of Natural Resources is vested with exclusive regulatory authority over watercraft transport of visitors to the Blennerhassett Island portion of the Blennerhassett Island historical state park and the watercraft transport of these visitors is not subject to the provisions of article eighteen, chapter seventeen of this code.
(I) Notwithstanding the provisions of section fifty-eight, article two, chapter twenty of this code, the Natural Resources Commission shall promulgate rules pursuant to the provisions of section seventeen, article one, chapter twenty and section three, article one, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to permit and regulate the hunting of white-tailed deer at Blennerhassett Island historical state park.
The Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park Commission shall cease to exist on the first day of July, two thousand eight. The termination of the commission is exempt from the wind down provisions of section twelve, article ten, chapter four of this code. All members of the commission duly appointed and serving shall cease to hold the office or perform the duties that the office may provide. All property, real or tangible, all powers, expressed or implied, and all authority granted to the commission transfers to the Division of Natural Resources effective upon passage of this section.
§29-8-3. General powers of Division of commerce Natural Resources with respect to the Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park.

The administrator of the Division of Commerce Natural Resources, with respect to developing and maintaining Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, may exercise all powers and duties granted to him and the administrator and his or her predecessor in respect to the development and operation of other state parks, and in addition, is specifically authorized to:
(1) Establish and maintain an office in the county of Wood;
(2) Exercise his or her powers in the state of Ohio to the extent permitted by the laws of the state of Ohio;
(3) Enter into any agreement with the state of Ohio or any person, firm or corporation therein for the provision of electricity, water, sewer and such similar services to Blennerhassett Island as are necessary;
(4) Own or operate, or both, individually or in conjunction with any other public agency or any private person, firm or corporation, such facilities and equipment as he or she considers necessary or convenient for the implementation of his or her duties under this article. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, such facilities and equipment may include boats, docks, an amphitheatre, parking facilities, the reconstructed Blennerhassett mansion and other buildings; and
(5) Promulgate rules and regulations Propose rules for legislative approval, in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, to implement and make effective the powers and duties vested in him by the provisions of provided in this article and take such other steps as may, in his discretion, be necessary or expedient for the proper and effective development of Blennerhassett Island and related locations in the county of Wood into a major educational, cultural and recreational attraction.
§29-8-4. Duties of Division of commerce Natural Resources with
respect to the development of Blennerhassett Island.

Within the limit of funds available from this state, the United States and any other source, whether public or private, the administrator shall:
(1) Plan and execute a program for the development of educational, cultural and recreational attractions related to events known or believed to have occurred on and near Blennerhassett Island; and
(2) Plan and execute a program for the development of Blennerhassett Island and related locations in the county of Wood so as to preserve and enhance the island and related locations as a significant historical, natural and archaeological resource of importance to this state and the nation.
In carrying out his duties under subdivisions (1) and (2) of this section, he shall, as near as practicable, adhere to the recommendations and plans for development contained in the documents prepared for the Blennerhassett historical commission, submitted to the Blennerhassett historical park commission on the eighteenth day of February, one thousand nine hundred seventy-five, and titled as follows: (a) Summary report for the development of Blennerhassett Island, (b) physical master plan, (c) interpretive master plan, (d) environmental impact and (e) market and economic impact.
§29-8-5. Cooperation of state agencies and local government with
Blennerhassett historical state park commission and the Division of commerce Natural Resources; powers of local government with respect to development.

(a) All other state and local governmental personnel and agencies shall cooperate to the fullest possible extent with the commission and the division to accomplish the proper and effective development of Blennerhassett Island and related locations in the county of Wood into a major educational, cultural and recreational attraction.
(b) The county of Wood, the city of Parkersburg, any other municipality in the county and any board, commission, authority, agency or other office created under authority thereof authorized legal entity may in its discretion, engage in any activity or undertaking designed to assist the commission and the division in the proper and effective development of Blennerhassett Island and related locations in the county of Wood into a major educational, cultural and recreational attraction.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to terminate the Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park Commission. The termination is exempt from the wind down provisions of §4-10-12. The powers of the commission are transferred to the Division of Natural Resources.


Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.


This bill is recommended for passage during the 2008 Regular Session by the Joint Standing Committee on Government Organization.
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