(a) Any other provision of this code notwithstanding, there is hereby continued in the State Treasury the Industrial Access Road Fund, referred to in this article as "the fund". There shall be deposited into the fund three fourths of one percent of all state tax collections which are otherwise specifically dedicated by the provisions of this code to the State Road Fund or the percentage of those tax collections that will produce $3 million for each fiscal year. At the end of each fiscal year, all unobligated moneys in the fund revert to the State Road Fund.
(b) The moneys in the fund shall be expended by the Division of Highways for constructing and maintaining industrial access roads within counties and municipalities to industrial sites on which manufacturing, distribution, processing or other economic development activities, including publicly owned airports, are already constructed or are under firm contract to be constructed. In the event there is no industrial site already constructed or for which the construction is under firm contract, a county or municipality may guarantee to the Division of Highways an acceptable surety or a device in an amount equal to the estimated cost of the access road or that portion provided by the Division of Highways, that an industrial site will be constructed and if no industrial site acceptable to the Division of Highways is constructed within the time limits of the surety or device, the surety or device shall be forfeited.
industrial access roads.
In determining whether or not to construct or improve any industrial access road and in determining the nature of the road to be constructed, the division of highways shall base its decision on the costs of the industrial access road in relation to the volume and nature of the traffic to be generated as a result of developing the industrial site within the total industrial area. In making a decision on any industrial site, the total volume of traffic to be generated shall be considered in regard to the overall cost of the project. The division of highways shall consult and work in cooperation with the West Virginia development office in determining the use of industrial access road funds.
Prior to a formal request for the use of moneys from the fund to provide access to new or expanding industrial sites, the location of the industrial access road shall be submitted for approval of the division of highways. The division of highways shall consider the cost of the industrial access road as it relates to the project's location and as it relates to the possibility of future extensions of the road to serve other possible industrial sites as well as the future development of the surrounding area.
Prior to the allocation of moneys from the fund for the construction or maintenance of an industrial access road to an industry proposing to locate or expand in a county or municipality, the governing body of the county or municipality shall, by resolution, request moneys from the fund and shall be responsible for the preliminary negotiations with the industries and other interested parties. The division of highways shall be available for consultation with the governing bodies of the counties or municipalities and other interested parties and may prepare surveys, plans, engineering studies and cost estimates for the proposed industrial access road.
Any industrial access road constructed under this article is a state local service road in the state road system and shall thereafter be maintained in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(b) Moneys from the fund may not be expended until the governing body of the county or municipality certifies to the division of highways that the industrial site is constructed and operating or is under firm contract to be constructed or operated, or upon the presentation of an acceptable surety or device in an amount equal to the estimated cost of the access road or that portion provided by the division of highways in accordance with section one of this article.
(c) Not more than four hundred thousand dollars of unmatched moneys from the fund may be allocated for use in any one county in any fiscal year. The maximum amount of unmatched moneys which may be allocated from the fund is ten percent of the fair market value of the designated industrial establishment. The amount of unmatched funds allocated may be supplemented with additional matched moneys from the fund, in which case the matched moneys allocated from the fund may not exceed one hundred fifty thousand dollars, to be matched equally from sources other than the fund. The amount of matched moneys which may be allocated from the fund over and above the unmatched funds may not exceed five percent of the fair market value of the designated industrial site.
(d) Funds may only be allocated to those items of construction and engineering which are essential to providing an adequate facility to serve the anticipated traffic. Funds may not be allocated for items such as storm sewers, curbs, gutters and extra pavement width unless necessary to extend or connect an existing access road.
The Legislature, acting through the joint committee on government and finance, shall obtain the services of a resident independent certified public accountant for this purpose, the cost of which shall be payable out of funds appropriated by the Legislature. Any audits of the funds which have been made by any official auditing agency of the United States government shall be accepted in lieu of the state audit.