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Yeager officials want state Rainy Day money

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Yeager Airport officials are poised to ask Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and the West Virginia Legislature to tap the state’s Rainy Day Fund for the $25 million to $35 million they believe is needed to begin rebuilding the safety-overrun zone that collapsed in a March 12 landslide.

Airport officials said insurance and lawsuit settlements won’t arrive for at least two years and they want to begin fixing the safety zone next spring.

“We can’t wait for the outcome of litigation to start turning dirt,” said Ed Hill, chairman of the airport’s governing board, during a joint meeting of the airport’s finance and construction committees on Thursday. “We know how valuable the safety overrun is. It proved its value four years ago, when it stopped a US Airways regional jet on an aborted takeoff, saving 34 lives.”

“We need to start rebuilding by spring,” said board member Allen Tackett, “What was the Rainy Day Fund put there for if not to take care of things like this?”

Hill said anticipated compensation from lawsuits and settlements from insurance carriers “would allow us to repay at least part of any money we would receive from the state.”

As of Sept. 30, the state’s two Rainy Day Funds had $857.9 million…

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