CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Senate took a step Wednesday to provide critical funding to the West Virginia Parks system.

The Senate passed SB 346 that will take $48.5 million from state Lottery profits and allocate $6.5 million to the park system. More than half of that total, $3.7 million, will help Canaan Valley State Park and Resort. The remaining $2.8 million would fund day-to-day operations of the parks system.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Roman Prezioso told fellow senators the rest of the money, more than $41 million will go toward Medicaid, senior services, and the Lottery’s senior citizens fund. Prezioso said the funding for Medicaid is needed because of a revenue shortfall in the current state budget.

“Actually what this supplemental does is it makes Medicaid whole again in this year’s existing budget,” Prezioso said.

State Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss told MetroNews earlier a number of issues have combined to put the parks system in a budget crunch.

“They simply have not had the resources to run the park system the way they are running it,” Kiss said.

He said the legislature would have to approve the additional money by the end of January to avoid shutdowns and layoffs.

State Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette said the funding at Canaan Valley is needed because of the delay in finishing the new lodge.

Canaan Valley Resort General Manager David Herscher said the money would be a big help.

“We were delayed a little bit just from weather conditions early in the process and the renovation and this is going to help supplement us as we move forward,” he said. “It will help us provide wonderful service that repeat guests have come to know and the new ones will enjoy.”

The bill now goes to the House of Delegates for consideration.


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  • mook

    A couple of you morans making comments apparently don't use the parks. Canaan Valley is still one that most people can afford to go too. Go to Stonewall and pay to go have some fun. See what you think about their prices, and how many times you can afford to go there!

    • WVU1

      Sure, it is more affordable than Stonewall, but it is hard to have it both ways related to being profitable. It is either subsidized and cheap or self supportive and appropriately priced. As a taxpayer, i don't like my inputs supporting the vacations of those from outside of WV.

  • TC

    How is Canaan Valley a bad location for a ski resort?? Aren't most on top of mountains within a hour or so drive from larger cities??

    • WVU1

      Then why does it always need subsidized with tax dollars versus supporting itself? Something is wrong with the business model.

  • WVU1

    Private entities can't make bad locations and mediocre facilities self sufficient. Canaan has been privately managed for the State by Guest Services for years. It is clear that the State has problems managing anything, but the biggest hope would be to cut the amount of taxpayer support needed.

  • Aaron

    I would think that if Canaan Valley is not self sufficient, perhaps the state should look to leasing it out to a private entity that has the knowledge and capability of at the very least breaking even.

    • Chris1529

      sure...lets privatize it so some company can pay everyone that works there minimum wage, onlywork them part time, pay no benefits, or lay them off at will, while the person leasing the resort is raking in the profits.

      • Aaron

        You prefer a government subsidy in which those of us who work pay the bills?