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Legislation would close Mason County tree nursery

WEST COLUMBIA, W.Va. — “The lack of money is the root of all evil.”

So wrote Mark Twain. Not many people know Twain’s grandparents, Samuel and Pamela Clemens, lived in Mason County in the early 1800’s on a piece of property just north of Point Pleasant. That property currently belongs to the state of West Virginia and is known as the Clements State Tree Nursery.

Recently, a bill to close the tree nursery was introduced in the West Virginia Senate. Senate Bill 39 asks the West Virginia Division of Forestry to close and sell the nursery. It includes the following language: “The director shall phase out use of the Clements State Tree Nursery and cease operations at the facility on or before July 1, 2018. At that time the Clements State Tree Nursery shall be sold for fair market value and proceeds from the sale shall be deposited into the State General Revenue Fund.”

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Robert D. Beach, a democrat out of Morgantown representing the 13th senatorial district.

House of Delegates member Jim Butler (R-Gallipolis Ferry) represents the 14th District which includes most of Mason County.

“I recently learned about a bill that was introduced on the Senate side that proposes that the state sell the Clements Tree Nursery in West Columbia,” Butler said. “While I am naturally going to be protective of anything in Mason and Putnam counties, I do think that we have to carefully evaluate how your tax dollars are being spent…

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