WILLIAMSON – At last Wednesday’s meeting, the Mingo County Commission entered into a temporary agreement with the state of W.Va. and Cotiga Development to sublease facilities in the Laurel Lake area to allow for the continuation of a 4-H camp in Mingo County.
County Commissioner John Mark Hubbard opened the discussion stating, “We are ready to do an agreement between the state of W.Va., Cotiga Development, and Mingo County in acquiring the Laurel Lake facilities. We started this in February of this year and we are excited about where it has led to today. We have an agreement for leasing the park from the state of W.Va. and also Cotiga Development …”
Hubbard continued the discussion stating, “I have to give Commissioner (Diann) Hannah credit for revitalizing the idea of having a 4- H facility in our county that had been a dream of Mike Whitt’s a number of years ago. It was going to be established in the Gilbert area but unfortunately was not able to be developed. The positive thing from that is that as they were mining coal on that property, they were taking a tonnage rate and putting it into an escrow account for the development of the 4-H park. We will be able to take that funding and use it for the continuation of the development of the Laurel Lake area for a 4-H camp. The 4-H offices will be moving down to Laurel Lake. We are excited about that. Mark Whitt has been very helpful in seeing that that we were able to do what we want to do and keeping this park open to Mingo County.”
Signing the temporary agreement is a first step in moving forward with the establishment of a 4-H camp in the Laurel Lake area. Hubbard stated, “Again, this is just the first step. We were hoping that by this time, we would have the pool open but we can’t do anything until we get these steps accomplished. Although we do not have a signed agreement from the state yet, we have been on the phone this morning with them and they ensure us that will be sent to us today.”
Commissioner Hannah explained that the agreement includes facilities around the lake but not the actual lake. Hannah stated, “We are not getting the lake. We are getting the shed, pool and campground. The state is keeping the lake.”
Hubbard responded stating, “It will be a joint effort continuing on with the state. At the same time, it will allow us to provide services for the residents of Mingo County and other counties that come to participate in those areas…”
Hubbard then moved to accept the signed agreement from the state upon arrival. “I move that upon acceptance from the state on the sublease and that being signed, that we are able to sign and move forward into the agreement between Cotiga Development and the state of W.Va. for acquiring the upper part of the park for the continuation of a 4-H camp,” Hubbard stated.
The commission expects a permanent agreement concerning the Laurel Lake facilities in the fall of 2016. “This is a temporary agreement pending a permanent agreement sometime in the fall. It is going to take a little time to work out the details…. They have agreed to let us sublease this right now,” Hannah explained.
(Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)