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· The Boss
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Heard this was a good place to ride, wonder if this will affect anything.

County hands off-road park over to WVCCC
By Jessica Farrish
Register-Herald Reporter
The Raleigh County Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to transfer the lease and management of Burning Rock Off-Road Park near Sophia to the West Virginia Citizens Conservation Corps.

The transfer of the park, which spans about 100 miles of ATV and motorcycle trails on 8,000 acres of land, becomes effective Saturday.

“I think it’s a win-win situation for all of us,” commission president John Humphrey said.

Robert Martin, chief executive of WVCCC, told commissioners the CCC was founded as part of the New Deal by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression.

In West Virginia, the CCC currently oversees the Courtesy Patrol, which assists stranded motorists and ensures safety in 30 counties throughout the state. WVCCC also operates The First Tee of West Virginia, a Beckley-based youth development program, and manages money for the Appalachian Coal Country Watershed Team.

The group has received national recognition for its work.

Commissioner Pat Reed told Martin she believes the transfer will benefit Burning Rock and allow more trails to be developed.

“I think it’s a plus for Burning Rock in that it will move forward with the great efforts of your organization,” she said. “I’m very aware of your administrative staff and you ... as a director.

“I have no doubt this will be a great day for Burning Rock and for Raleigh County Commission to see Burning Rock come to its highest potential.”

Commissioners also approved the transfer of a truck, a motorcycle and two ATVs to the CCC.

Humphrey said the county will still be involved in activities and programs at Burning Rock, but that the day-to-day management issues will be handled by the CCC, which has experience in managing parks. It currently manages a park in McDowell County.

Martin said additional trails will be developed at Burning Rock.

Commissioners also approved Burning Rock field operations director Travis Jackson as conservator of the peace for Burning Rock.

Once Jackson is bonded by a circuit judge, he will have the powers of a deputy on the grounds of Burning Rock, commission attorney Bill Roop said.

Roop said although Jackson will not be under the same civil service as Raleigh deputies, he will act as a patrol on the trails.

Martin said the CCC has a $9 million budget and is one of 69 nationwide that ministers to 21 million young people and has roughly 220 employees.

“We do projects state-wide and outside of the state. That lends to our credibility to manage Burning Rock.”

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Also Tuesday, Sheriff Steve Tanner told commissioners that the previously approved Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, a mutual grant with the City of Beckley, will pay for 29 ballistic vests, 12 LED digital light bars, two Pontiac vehicles for the law enforcement division, three Ford Escape SUVs for the detective bureau for handing civil process and seven desktop computers.

The county will be reimbursed for all purchases by the JAG program.

“It is really, really outstanding,” Tanner said. “It will move us quickly forward into the 21st century, and the most wonderful part is, it does not put any financial burden on Raleigh County.

“This equipment is not luxuries but necessities.”

Commissioners also approved an additional $3 million bond for public utilities at a new development at Glade Springs Resort known as the Pluto Project.

An scheduled annexation hearing on Taco Bell on Eisenhower Drive in Beckley was continued.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for Aug. 18.

— E-mail: [email protected]
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