By June 30, 2010, Adena was down to $1.185 million, Walker to $349,849, and the $4 million investments in Anthem and Toucan had zeroed out.
As of this June 30, only Adena had a book value, of $329,145, with Walker also zeroed out.
Under the 2002 law setting aside $25 million of state funds for venture capital investments, the state Board of Treasury Investments is required to charge 3 percent annual interest on the EDA loan, even though it is a non-recourse loan, meaning the EDA is not obligated to repay it.
Regarding a recent news item about the Division of Highways having trouble hiring and retaining truck drivers and heavy equipment operators (particularly in areas where natural gas drilling is booming and private-sector wages are much higher), Pat Murphy notes that when he ran against Senate Majority Leader John Unger, D-Berkeley, in 2010, one of his proposals was cross-training public employees to reduce personnel costs.
That included having Highways cross-train school bus drivers (who have commercial drivers' licenses) to drive trucks and snowplows for snow removal. (Given that school systems these days cancel school when there's an inch of snow forecast, the availability of bus drivers for snow removal would be a given.)
However, Murphy said Jackie Long and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association turned his proposal into a campaign attack, alleging that if he won the election, he would have school cooks and secretaries out on the roads shoveling snow.
(Murphy lost the May primary to Unger by a 4,073 to 1,784 margin, but spent just $702 on the campaign, making it very cost-effective per vote.)
Finally, thanks to the efforts of Charleston station manager Matt Crouch and Chuck Riecks and the Friends of the Cardinal Passenger Rail Advocacy group, Charleston is no longer the only Amtrak station (out of 500-plus) in the U.S. without a station sign identifying the city.
A fairly large "Charleston, WV" sign was installed on the station platform just east of the South Side Bridge last week. Which, as noted previously, corrects an omission that dates back to the station's heyday as a stop for C&O passenger service.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.