Senate
6:10 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Senators Bring Local Issues to Senate Floor

Senators Bob Williams and Bill Cole on the Senate floor.
Senators Bob Williams and Bill Cole on the Senate floor.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two senators rose to speak on the floor Wednesday about local issues they feel could have larger state impacts.

Senator Bill Laird brought to the chambers attention the possible closure of the Hawk’s Nest Golf Course in Fayette County.

Sixty-two percent of the course’s budget is absorbed by the state because of a lack of participation from the community, but Laird said the point of state parks is not to make a profit. The point is to provide recreational opportunities to the people of West Virginia while protecting its wildlife.
 

“Mr. President, I rage today on behalf of the people who live in a region that once contributed greatly to the economy of this great state. Mr. President, I rage today on behalf of the communities who are struggling to rebuild themselves in the wake of declining populations and shrinking economic opportunities. Mr. President I rage today on behalf of families who want their children to learn to hit a golf ball rather than a crack pipe. Mr. President and ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, thank you for allowing me to rage.”
 

Senator Mike Hall of Putnam County stood to address the struggles the city of Hurricane is facing in trying to build a water impoundment to use as a secondary, emergency water source.

The city currently has a pond that can provide a 25 day supply, but Hall said since 2010, they’ve been trying to build a second that could provide and additional 17 days worth of water.

The plan is being blocked because the Department of Environmental Protection says it impacts a small stream and three tenths of an acre of wetlands.
 

“I understand wetlands and streams need to be mitigated, but the frustration that I personally feel for the city and the citizens is that this is a water project and I can tell you that since what’s happened recently with the Elk and so forth, people came to Hurricane for water during the crisis. If you look, there aren’t any above ground tanks there. There isn’t anything to interfere with this and because our county does well and our per capita income is what it is, we apparently can’t get some relief that some of your counties might get.”