(a) The term "governing body" as used in this article shall be construed to mean any city council, city commission, county court, or body acting in lieu thereof, or county board of education in the State of West Virginia; (b) the term "governmental division" when hereinafter used in this article shall be construed to mean any city, town, county, or school district in the State of West Virginia; (c) the term "board" when hereinafter used in this article shall be construed to mean any board, commission, committee, or council appointed or designated to carry out the provisions of this article.
The governing body of any governmental subdivision may provide, establish, maintain, and conduct a system of public recreation, including recreation centers, parks, swimming pools, playgrounds, and any and all other recreation facilities and activities; may set apart for such use any land or buildings and other recreational facilities by gift, purchase, lease, condemnation, bond issue, or otherwise, and may improve, maintain, and equip, and conduct the same; may employ a director of recreation and assistants and other personnel as they deem proper; may set up in their respective budgets funds to be spent for such purposes. Any such governing body or governmental division may levy annually for such purposes, in the manner provided by law for other levies: Provided, however, That in case sufficient funds cannot be raised by ordinary levies, additional funds may be raised as provided by section sixteen, article eight, chapter eleven of the code.
Any two or more governing bodies may jointly establish and conduct such a system of recreation, including recreation centers, parks, swimming pools, playgrounds, and any and all other recreation facilities and activities; and may exercise all the powers given by this article. The respective governing bodies operating such a program or programs jointly may provide by agreement among themselves for all matters connected with such programs and determine what items of cost and expense shall be paid by each.
The governing body or bodies establishing such a system may conduct the same through a department or bureau of recreation, or may delegate the administration thereof to a recreation board created by it or in conjunction and cooperation with another governing body or bodies as hereinbefore provided, or to a school board or to any other appropriate existing board. If the governing body or bodies shall decide to delegate the administration to a recreation board, the board shall consist of not fewer than five nor more than nine persons which may include representation from the school board, and shall be appointed by the governing authority or an equal number appointed by each governing body where a system is established jointly by more than one governing body as hereinbefore provided, which members shall serve for a term of not less than three years nor more than five years, or until their successors are appointed, except that the members of such board first appointed shall be appointed for such terms that the terms of not more than two fifths of the members shall expire annually thereafter. Vacancies in such board occurring otherwise than by expiration of term shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as original appointments. Members of such board shall serve without pay. Said board shall organize, adopt, and promulgate rules and regulations for the conduct, administration and management of said program: Provided, however, That in the case of a joint recreation program sponsored by two or more governing bodies, said rules and regulations shall be made subject to the approval of the respective governing bodies.
Subject to the provisions of this section, and subject further to the terms and conditions of any agreement mentioned in section three of this article insofar as such terms and conditions are not contrary to the provisions of this section, any park and recreation board created by a governing body or bodies pursuant to this article shall be a public body corporate by the name of "The ............... Park and Recreation Board" by which name it may sue or be sued, contract and be contracted with, take and hold title to any property other than real property and operate and manage programs under this article upon real property owned or leased by the governing body or bodies which create such board or by another public body corporate.
The board shall have a corporate seal and perpetual existence: Provided, That the board may be dissolved by the affirmative vote of at least sixty percent of the persons elected to the governing body or bodies and: Provided, however, That a governing body may withdraw from any board created by agreement of two or more governing bodies upon the affirmative vote of at least sixty percent of the persons elected to such governing body.
Such dissolution or withdrawal shall be effective only upon June thirtieth of any year and any action to dissolve or withdraw must be completed by city or county ordinance or Board of Education order not later than March thirty-first of such year. In the event of such dissolution or withdrawal the property of the board shall promptly be appraised by the assessor of the county in his reasonable discretion at current value and shall thereupon be apportioned among the parties in proportion to the contributions to the board after the effective date of this section from the General Funds of each governing body or by such other means as are agreed upon by all interested parties.
The board shall have the power and authority to adopt bylaws determining its name, providing for the selection and terms of its officers, personnel policy and otherwise governing the operation of the board, and the powers and duties of its officers, which bylaws shall not be effective until approved by resolution of every governing body or bodies.
The board shall have power and authority to receive any gift, federal grant, other grant, donation or bequest and to receive income and other funds, whether in cash or check, whether appropriated by governing body or bodies to the board or derived from programs under the direction and control of the board, to deposit, invest, manage and disburse, all such funds, income or receipts, including interest or income earned thereon or therefrom, to obtain one or more insurance policies affording coverage to it, to the public and to the governing bodies for loss of or damage to the property and facilities and programs under its control and affording public and employee liability coverage for the board and the governing body or bodies, their officers, agents and employees as the need therefor may arise.
The board shall annually at a time convenient to each governing body report to such body upon all receipts and disbursements of the board, the scope and location of its activities and such other information as such governing body may by resolution request and shall at the same time present a proposed budget showing projected receipts and disbursements, describing the programs and their anticipated costs and giving such other information as any governing body shall by resolution request, which annual report shall be a public record.
Any governing body or bodies are hereby authorized to contribute funds to any board, to appropriate matching funds for a federal grant or other grant to such board and to join with such board in executing any necessary application or contract for such federal grant or other grant and to give such assurances and commitments as may be necessary or convenient thereto: Provided further, That under no circumstances whatever shall any action under this section of a governing body or the board give rise to or create any indebtedness on the part of the governing body or board, except that the governing body or bodies may separately or by joint agreement enter into such revenue bond financing agreements as have heretofore been lawful.
The board shall have power and authority to do any and all things necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this section and shall furnish the governing body or bodies a blanket surety bond covering those individuals authorized by the board to sign checks in its behalf, in a penal sum of not less than $25,000.
The provisions of this article shall not in anywise repeal, affect or limit the powers and provisions heretofore or hereafter granted to any city, town, district, county, school district or independent school district, under the provisions of any charter or by any special act or acts of the Legislature, to establish, maintain and conduct parks and public recreation and playgrounds.