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EDA approves bond sales for state parks

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Economic Development Authority voted unanimously on Thursday to issue up to $52.5 million in bonds to help improvement projects at two state parks: Cacapon Resort State Park in the Eastern Panhandle; and Beech Fork State Park in Wayne and Cabell counties, outside Huntington.

Roughly half of the $52.5 million in bond funds would go to each park, under the resolution EDA passed on Thursday. The funds will come from the state Lottery Commission.

Opened to the public in July 1937, Cacapon State Park has 6,000 acres offering visitors lake activities, hiking opportunities, golfing, a golf academy, vacation cabins and a restaurant.

Cacapon Mountain, at 2,300 feet, is the Eastern Panhandle's highest mountain peak. The park is located on the mountain's eastern slope, while the Cacapon River flows along the base of its western slope.

According to the EDA resolution, up to $24.5 million in funds will help finance a variety of improvement projects which "may include 78 new lodge guest rooms, lodge kitchen and dining relocation, new outdoor dining area, lounge, spa, indoor/outdoor pool, additional conference space, lobby and office renovation."

The Cacapon project may also include "golf course renovations, ... a new manager's residence, small campground and dam safety work" in the Morgan County park.

Cacapon, according to the resort park's website, is "a derivative of a Shawnee Indian word meaning 'medicine waters,' a reference to the area's mineral waters that have been renowned through history for their healing powers."

The Beech Fork State project loan, which could also reach $24.5 million, will help finance similar changes and improvements, including: a new 75-room guest lodge, kitchen and dining facilities, conference space, a gift shop, an indoor/outdoor pool, exercise room, a new road and parking lot, as well as a lakeside walkway and boat dock.

The EDA also voted to approve two other loans:

* The Logan County Economic Development Authority will administer a 10-year loan of $885,000 to finance a new building and equipment for Mining Repair Specialists, a company that has been in business for 30 years.

* The Barbour County Economic Development Authority will administer a 10-year loan of $77,727 to help pay for new equipment for Blackheart International, a company located in Philippi that was founded in 1999.

Blackheart International (BHI) Training, formerly called Mid-Atlantic Training Resources, focuses on hands-on training for today's modern tactical units.

"Our combined facilities and personnel create secure, discreet, and realistic training for federal agencies, military units, private security companies and local/state law enforcement officers to train for continually changing environments," Blackheart's website states.

Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjnyden@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.

 


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