Contractors Come Out Against Tomblin's Hobet Mine Plan
West Virginia contractors have publicly rebuked Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's high-profile plan to build a highway to develop a former Boone County surface mine.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the Contractor's Association said in a statement that it could not support spending $99.8 million to build a highway to the reclaimed Hobet surface mine when so much money is needed just to maintain the existing highway system.
Mike Clowser, the group's executive director, says the State Road Fund, which is used to repair roads and bridges throughout the state, is "already distressed" from declining revenue. The fund's revenue fell nearly 7 percent this fiscal year from $743 million in 2015.
Tomblin announced the plan to create a business development park on the mine during his 2016 State of the State address.