Senate Bill No. 561

(By Senators Williams, Unger, Sypolt and Miller)


[Passed April 11, 2013; in effect from passage.]





AN ACT to establish the Tucker County Cultural District Authority; providing legislative findings; forming the Tucker County Cultural District Authority; providing for appointment of members; providing for organization and bylaws; requiring quarterly meetings; providing for quorum; authorizing proxy voting; providing for parliamentary procedure; providing for certain powers and duties of the board; establishing funding priorities; allowing public and private partnerships; granting certain specific authority to the president of the authority; requiring cooperation of state agencies; and allowing various municipalities, boards, commissions, agencies and others to assist the authority.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:


§1. Legislative Intent.

    The Legislature finds and declares that:

    (1) The many and varied outdoor recreational activities in Tucker County, West Virginia, have long been an important element in a mature tourism industry for this state.

    (2) The two great state parks at Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley, the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, the Blackwater Canyon, the Monongahela National Forest making up fifty percent of land in Tucker County, and the towns of Parsons, Thomas, Davis, Hambleton and Hendricks, are sources of pride to all West Virginians and mainstays of the important tourism industry in this state.

    (3) Tucker County, West Virginia, is the home to a growing number of artists, artisans and patrons of the performing arts. The burgeoning cultural tourism opportunities offered by the performing arts compliment and enhance the outdoor recreational activities already existing in the area.

    (4) There is strong community-based support in Tucker County to encourage, develop and enhance the various aspects of the cultural tourism component of the regional economy. Opportunities exist to create, expand and compliment areas of cultural, historical, archeological and industrial heritage and educational interest in Tucker County.

    (5) The creation of additional employment and investment opportunities for the present and future residents of Tucker County is a desirable goal.

§2. Tucker County Cultural District Authority established.

    (a) The Tucker County Cultural District Authority is established.

    (b) The Tucker County Cultural District Authority consists of seven members, all of whom must be citizens and residents of Tucker County. One of the members shall be a member of the Tucker County commission, and six members shall be laypersons with a demonstrated interest in cultural tourism in Tucker County, recommended by the Tucker County Commission and appointed by the Governor.

    (c) Initial appointments shall be staggered for one year, two years and three years, divided equally or as nearly as possible between these terms. After that, terms of appointment shall be for four years. Lay members may be appointed for successive terms. All members, unless otherwise removed, serve until their terms expire or successors have been appointed. A vacancy caused by the death, resignation or removal of a member prior to the expiration of his or her term shall be filled only for the remainder of the unexpired term.

    (d) The authority shall elect from its membership a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer.

    (e) The authority shall create bylaws that establish the duties and obligations of the officers and members, including those authorized by this act.

    (f) No member of the authority may be paid for being a member, nor may any member be reimbursed for any expense related to his or her membership or travel for meetings.

§3. Meetings.

    (a) The authority shall meet at a time and place designated by the president at least quarterly or as otherwise determined by the president. Additional meetings may be held when called by the president or when requested in writing by at least three members of the authority.

    (b) Four members present at a meeting of the authority is a quorum.

    (c) Each member of the authority is entitled to one vote. A member may assign his or her vote by written proxy.

    (d) Robert’s Rules of Order is the parliamentary guide for the conduct of all meetings.

§4. General duties and powers.

    (a) The Tucker County Cultural District Authority is authorized to:

    (1) Plan and execute an ongoing and continuous program for the development and enhancement of artistic, cultural, historical and recreational attractions that will promote culture, education and tourism in Tucker County;

    (2) Plan and execute a program for the restoration and development of the Cottrill's Opera House in Thomas, West Virginia, so as to preserve and enhance the building as a significant cultural, historical and educational source of importance in this state;

    (3) Complete a comprehensive plan with a cost-benefit analysis for the entire cultural district in Tucker County, including, but not limited to, a large venue indoor/outdoor multiple-use performance hall;

    (4) Review all available funding sources and direct the president to apply for any grants, allocations, gifts or other sources of funding that may be used to further the goals of the authority;

    (5) Within the limit of available funds, from any source, whether public or private:

    (A) Apply the initial public funds received to the completion of the Cottrill's Opera House in Thomas, West Virginia, as the first and foremost priority of the authority;

    (B) Award grants and stipends for the encouragement of the arts in the public schools of Tucker County; and

    (C) Award grants and stipends to individuals, not-for-profit entities and other cooperatives for projects that further the development of the arts in Tucker County;

    (6) Perform other functions and employ individuals as necessary to carry out the goals and purposes of the authority as specified in this act;

    (7) Own or operate, individually or in conjunction with another public agency or private person, firm or corporation, facilities and equipment considered necessary or convenient for the implementation of the duties and goals of the authority; and

    (8) Report to the Tucker County commission on at least an annual basis, or as requested by the commission, as to the progress of any plan, program or objective of the authority.

    (b) The president of the authority, with the advice and written consent or authorization of the authority, is authorized to:

    (1) Apply for grants and other endowments in support of the artistic, historical or educational programs in the cultural district and the goals and objectives of the authority;

    (2) Receive and disburse funds from governmental and nongovernmental sources in furtherance of the goals and objectives of the authority;

    (3) Set up financial accounts as required and submit financial reports quarterly to the authority;

    (4) Make and execute contracts as authorized by the authority; and

    (5) Perform other duties as authorized by the authority that are consistent with the goals and objectives of the authority.

§5. Cooperation of state agencies.

    (a) All state and local governmental personnel and agencies shall cooperate to the fullest extent with the authority to accomplish any plan, project or program developed by the authority. Those agencies shall assist in the effective development of cultural, historical, education and recreational activities in Tucker County that will result in the area becoming a significant area for tourism, culture and education.

    (b) Tucker County, the towns of Davis, Hambleton, Hendricks, Parsons and Thomas and any other municipality in the county, and any board, commission, authority, agency or other office created under authority thereof, may, in its discretion, engage in any activity or undertaking designed to assist the authority in the proper and effective development of the goals, plans, programs or projects of the authority consistent with the guidelines provided in this act.