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Beech Fork lodge project on hold, proponents upset

Herald-Dispatch file image The Corps of Engineers has approved a market and feasibility study for a lodge and conference center at Beech Fork State Park. Pictured is an artist's rendering of the facility.
Herald-Dispatch file image
The Corps of Engineers has approved a market and feasibility study for a lodge and conference center at Beech Fork State Park. Pictured is an artist’s rendering of the facility.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Joyce Clark still has the pen Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin gave her in April 2012 after signing Senate Bill 362, which authorized a $28 million bond issue to build a lodge at Beech Fork State Park in Wayne County.

At the time, Clark was a member of a grassroots lobbyist group called HubCAP, which had pushed for the project for more than two years.

On Thursday, Clark, now a member of Huntington City Council, said she just felt tired.

Earlier this week, Tomblin’s Chief of Staff Charles O. Lorenson wrote a letter to six state legislators who had requested an update on the project stating the bonds would not be issued now or anytime in the foreseeable future.

Clark received a copy of the letter Wednesday.

“We worked really, really hard,” Clark said. “We were told this had passed and everything was going to happen. The bonds were supposed to be sold, ground was supposed to be broken and the lodge was supposed to be open by 2016. This is quite a shock…

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