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Legislative audit: WV parks should revisit entrance fees for funding

By PHIL KABLER

Charleston Gazette-Mail

Ruins of the old Cass logging mill are one of the first things riders on Cass Scenic Railroad pass on their 11-mile trip to Bald Knob.
(W.Va. Department of Commerce photo)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Legislators should reconsider imposing entrance fees at state parks and forests to help close a multimillion dollar funding gap for needed capital improvements and deferred maintenance, a legislative performance audit released Tuesday concludes.

The audit notes that, using the park system’s own estimates, the state needs somewhere between $75 million and $100 million of new funding to complete a backlog of capital improvement and deferred maintenance projects throughout the park system.

A pending $60 million Lottery bond issue approved by the Legislature during the 2018 regular session will help fund many, but not all, of the needed capital improvement projects, the audit notes.

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