HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The latest blow against constructing a lodge at Beech Fork State Park in Wayne County fell Friday, when West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin used a line item veto to reject issuing bonds for the project.
For Delegate Don Perdue, D-Wayne, a longtime proponent of the project, it was another slap in the face on a long road of letdowns.
“It’s really disappointing,” Perdue said Tuesday. “I’m starting to call into question whether there was ever actually any desire to make this happen.”
Tomblin actually vetoed issuing $52 million in bonds, $28 million to go toward the Beech Fork project and the remainder to go toward improvements at Capacon State Park in Morgan County. Issuing the bonds for the two projects was attached to an appropriations bill that would put expiring and excess revenue from various state agencies into the state’s general budget to help stem a revenue shortfall.
The state Senate tacked an amendment onto House Bill 2769 stating use of those excess funds was conditional on the state issuing the bonds for the two projects. The amended bill was approved by the House of Delegates just under the midnight deadline on March 14 as the 2015 legislative session came to a close.
In his veto, which rejects the conditional issue of the bonds but still allows the state to access the money in the original bill, Tomblin restated the argument that if the bonds were issued, they would downgrade the state’s bond rating because of declining revenue in the state lottery fund…