As printed in the Apr. 1, 2017 edition of the Mountain Messenger, an article titled “Resident questions value of land purchased for a sports complex to local populace” prompted a letter from a White Sulphur Springs resident quoted in the article who caught an error and demanded a retraction. The article asserted that “[t]he bed tax funds held by the [Greenbrier County C]ommission cannot be used to repair Memorial Park.”
The WV state code 7-18-14 under Proceeds of tax (referring to the bed tax); application of proceeds (4) reads as follows: “The construction, operation or maintenance of public parks, tourist information centers and recreation facilities, including land acquisition.”
Sue King, the WSS resident, is right; the Greenbrier County bed tax funds, held in an account under the heading of Arts and Recreation, can be used to refurbish and repair the flood damage toWSS’s Memorial Park. The Mountain Messenger regrets the error.
King did not request funding for Memorial Park when she went before the commission, although she did say, “FEMA will not give us any help from that park until we borrow the money and do it.” The cost to repair the park has been estimated by park director and WSS city council member Audrey Van Buren as $260,000. In contrast, the price tag for the new recreation park north of Lewisburg is $300,000. With King’s presentation, the county commission was made aware of the Spa City’s inability to pay the upfront costs to repair the park. Commission President Woody Hanna said, as reported by wvva.com, “We need to address it.”