EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSCedar Lakes Conference Center Faces Possible Closure
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Bob Aaron
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Sep. 13, 2013 4:34 PM EDT
Updated: Sep. 13, 2013 6:20 PM EDT
Ripley , Jackson County , West Virginia
The state Department of Education has a plan to close the Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley to help cut 7.5 percent from its budget.
The move comes as West Virginia faces declining tax revenues. An education audit, some state school board members and the state school superintendent favor cutting some 35 permanent and as many as 60 part-time positions. Current numbers are 39 permanent positions and 38 to 49 part-time positions.
State workers who were forbidden to talk with Eyewitness News got the bad news earlier this week that only a skeleton maintenance staff would be left by next July if the cut comes. There will be a million dollar political fight first.
With many longtime workers and salary scales based on state school pay, labor costs make up more than 70 percent of Cedar Lakes’ budget. It would be in the black with about 20 full-time workers, but it could not operate the sprawling campus.
Sen. Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, said he thinks Cedar Lakes can be kept open, but maybe not in Education. He points out it is early in the budget process and the closure has not formally passed a state school board vote or review by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. Ripley Mayor Carolyn Rader said she will fight the move to close the facility.
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