West Virginia governor announces funding for former mine

ROCK CREEK, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said Friday he is committing $39 million toward development of the former Hobet mine site in Boone County, The Herald-Dispatch reported.

Justice said the money will go toward developing an access road to the site and an intersection at the entrance that would include a bridge that will allow further development of the Rock Creek Development Park.

“In addition to that, today I’m announcing that the West Virginia National Guard will resume their activities at Hobet, and today I am directing our DNR to explore all of the possibilities here for recreational and wildlife enhancement and growth to absolutely inspire more and more activities on this property,” Justice said.

Earlier this month, the West Virginia National Guard said it was pulling out of the site and relocating its operations elsewhere.

Justice’s administration initially committed $30 million to the site in 2017, but the project but saw no dirt moved. Justice said that’s because the state was in bad shape fiscally at the time.

“In 2017, the state was bankrupt, and the prospect of bringing business here by building a road to nowhere and everything and bring new business here really was a tough pull,” he said. “Today it is a different time. …Recruitment now is a real possibility.”

Highways Commissioner Jimmy Wriston confirmed that the project was ready to go.

“We’re ready now, as soon as we clear the right of way,” Wriston said alongside the governor.

Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.