Senate Bill No. 404

(By Senators Facemyer, Smith, Minard, Sharpe, Edgell,

Boley, Deem and Kessler)


[Originating in the Committee on Finance;

reported February 17, 2003.]


A BILL to establish the blue and gray intermodal highway authority; functions; members; appointment; powers and duties; officers; bylaws; rules; compensation; and authority as corporate body.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
§1. Intermodal highway authority created; functions.
There is created a blue and gray intermodal highway authority, to promote and advance the construction of a modern highway which would connect Interstate 79 and Interstate 77. The highway must travel through Jackson, Roane, Calhoun, Gilmer, Braxton and Lewis counties. The authority shall coordinate with counties, municipalities, state and federal agencies, public nonprofit corporations, private corporations, associations, partnerships and individuals for the purpose of planning, assisting and establishing recreational, tourism, industrial, economic and community development of the blue and gray intermodal highway for the benefit of the region and all West Virginians.
§2. Members; appointment; officers; bylaws; rules; compensation.
(a) The authority shall consist of twelve voting members and two ex officio nonvoting members. All members shall be appointed before the first day of July, two thousand three.
(b) Each of the county commissions of the counties of Jackson, Roane, Calhoun, Gilmer, Braxton and Lewis shall appoint two voting members to the commission. The terms of the voting members initially appointed by a county commission are as follows: One member from each county shall be appointed for two years and the other member appointed from each county shall be appointed for four years. All successive appointments are for terms of four years. Any voting member may be removed for cause by the appointing county commission.
(c) The two ex officio nonvoting members are the commissioner of highways or his or her designee and the executive director of the West Virginia development office or his or her designee. All terms of ex officio nonvoting members are for four years.
(d) If a vacancy occurs, the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall serve only for the unexpired portion of the term. All members are eligible for reappointment.
(e) The authority shall meet annually on the third Monday in July and at other times that the authority designates in its bylaws. A special meeting may be called by the president, the secretary or any four members of the authority and may be held only after all members are given notice of the meeting in writing. The presence of seven voting members constitutes a quorum for all meetings. At each annual meeting of the authority, the members shall elect a president, secretary and treasurer. The authority shall adopt bylaws and rules that are necessary for its operation and management.
§3. Powers of authority.
The authority, as a public corporation and governmental instrumentality exercising public powers of the state, may exercise all powers necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of this article, including, but not limited to, the power to:
(1) Acquire, own, hold and dispose of property, real and personal, tangible and intangible;
(2) Lease property, whether as lessee or lessor, and to acquire or grant through easement, license or other appropriate legal form the right to develop and use property and open it to the use of the public;
(3) Sue and be sued;
(4) Adopt, use and alter a corporate seal;
(5) Promote economic development and tourism along the blue and gray intermodal highway;
(6) Advocate actions consistent with its plan of economic development and tourism or its provisions to or before any governmental entity or any private person or entity;
(7) Otherwise act in an advisory capacity with regard to any aspects of the blue and gray intermodal highway at the request of or without the request of any governmental entity or private person or entity;
(8) Zone property adjacent to the intermodal highway;
(9) Regulate advertising along the intermodal highway; and
(10) Regulate the speed limit on the intermodal highway.
The authority may own any of the real estate or real property described in this section for development and is responsible for operating or maintaining the blue and gray intermodal highway.
Each voting member of the authority shall be compensated monthly by the governing body that appointed him or her in an amount to be fixed by the governing body.
§4. Body corporate.
The authority created in this article is a public corporation with all the powers and duties of a public corporation.