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State Lawmakers Meet in Fayette Co. to Discuss Revitalizing Southern Coalfields

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Jessica Lilly
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The second meeting of the SCORE task force met in Fayette County Tuesday night.  SCORE, Southern Coalfields Organizing and Revitalizing the Economy, is an initiative aimed to give southern West Virginia much-needed opportunities to diversify the economy and strengthen communities.

Nothing was off the table as each person that chose to speak had two minutes at the podium.

Other areas of concern brought up by the community included:

  • drug abuse
  • aging population
  • disaster preparedness
  • quality child care
  • clean water

Suggestions from other speakers included:

  • renewable energy tax credits
  • selling water as a natural resource
  • funding water protection plans
  • resisting attempts to weaken environmental law
  • Ensuring the DEP is enforcing the laws

Some folks brought up investing in tourism marketing- something brought up by Co Chair of the Committee Senator Art Kirkendoll of Logan County and Senator Bill Laird of Fayette County.

"One of the things that are particularly significant in this senatorial district the tourism the natural beauty of the area. The Greenbrier Valley certainly the New River Gorge ," he said.

A recent article in the Charleston Gazette points to a sharp decline in the rafting business, over the past few years.

And as lawmakers talk about investing more into marketing the tourism industry the state audit is questioning the ethics of the Hatfield and McCoy Authority which oversees some of the ATV trails in the state. The state auditor said  it was operating as if laws didn’t apply to it.

The SCORE Committee plans to meet two more times. While the last meeting will be held in Logan County, the next location has not been established yet.

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Credit Jessica Lilly
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State lawmakers give brief remarks after hearing from community members.


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