Chapter 5B. Economic Development Act Of 1985


Published: 2015

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WEST VIRGINIA CODE











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WVC 5B-

CHAPTER 5B. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 1985.

WVC -2-

ARTICLE 2. WEST VIRGINIA DEVELOPMENT OFFICE.







WVC 5B-2-1

§5B-2-1. West Virginia development office; confidentiality.

The governor's office of community and industrial development

is hereby continued but is hereafter designated and shall be known

as the West Virginia development office. All references in this

code to the office of community and industrial development or the

governor's office of community and industrial development shall be

construed as references to the West Virginia development office.

Any documentary material, data or other writing made or

received by the West Virginia development office or other public

body, whose primary responsibility is economic development, for the

purpose of furnishing assistance to a new or existing business

shall be exempt from the provisions of article one, chapter

twenty-nine-b of this code: Provided, That any agreement entered

into or signed by the development office or public body which

obligates public funds shall be subject to inspection and copying

pursuant to the provisions of said article as of the date the

agreement is entered into, signed or otherwise made public.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 2

§5B-2-2. Appointment and compensation of the Executive Director of

the West Virginia Development Office.

     (a) The Governor shall appoint the Executive Director of the

West Virginia Development Office who is qualified for the position

by reason of his or her extensive education and experience in the

field of professional economic development. The executive director

serves at the will and pleasure of the Governor. The executive

director shall have overall management responsibility and

administrative control and supervision within the West Virginia

Development Office. It is the intention of the Legislature that the

executive director provide professional and technical expertise in

the field of professional economic and tourism development..

Subject to the provisions of the contract provided in section four

of this article, the executive director may hire and fire economic

development representatives employed pursuant to the provisions of

section five of this article.

     (b) The Executive Director of the West Virginia Development

Office may promulgate rules to carry out the purposes and programs

of the West Virginia Development Office to include generally the

programs available and the procedure and eligibility of

applications relating to assistance under the programs. These rules

are not subject to the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this

code, but shall be filed with the Secretary of State. The executive

director may adopt any of the rules previously promulgated by the

council for community and economic development.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 3

§5B-2-3. Powers and duties of the executive director.

     The executive director shall enhance economic growth and

development through the development of a comprehensive economic

development strategy for West Virginia. "Comprehensive economic

development strategy" means a plan that outlines strategies and

activities designed to continue, diversify or expand the economic

base of the state as a whole; create jobs; develop a highly skilled

workforce; facilitate business access to capital, including venture

capital; advertise and market the resources offered by the state

with respect to the needs of business and industry; facilitate

cooperation among local, regional and private economic development

enterprises; improve infrastructure on a state, regional and

community level; improve the business climate generally; and

leverage funding from sources other than the state, including

federal and private sources.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 3 A

§5B-2-3a.

     Repealed.

Acts, 2015 Reg. Sess., Ch. 40.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 3 B

§5B-2-3b. Development office promotion fund.

There is hereby established in the state treasury a special

revenue fund known as the "development office promotion fund."

Moneys deposited in this fund shall be administered by the

development office and used solely to promote business formation,

expansion, recruitment and retention through aggressive marketing

and international development and export assistance, which together

lead to more and better jobs with higher wages for all geographic

regions and communities of the state, including rural areas and

urban core areas, and for all residents, including minorities.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 4

§5B-2-4. Public-private partnerships.

     The West Virginia Development Office is authorized to enter

into contractual or joint venture agreements with a nonprofit

corporation organized pursuant to the corporate laws of the state,

organized to permit qualification pursuant to section 501(c) of the

Internal Revenue Code and for purposes of the economic development

of West Virginia, and funded from sources other than the state. The

contract shall include provisions relating to the employment of

economic development representatives assigned to the West Virginia

Development Office to be paid a base salary by the state and

performance-based economic incentives from private funds of the

nonprofit corporation. Provisions relating to hiring practices with

respect to economic development representatives, job descriptions,

accountability, public-private liaison and performance standards

may be the subject of contract negotiations. The contract shall

include provision for continuing education and certification in the

field of economic or industrial development for persons employed as

economic development representatives. Agreements providing for the

payment of performance-based incentives to the Executive Director

of the West Virginia Development Office are authorized. Agreements

providing for the payment of travel and expenses to the Executive

Director of the West Virginia Development Office or to economic

development representatives from private funds by the nonprofit

corporation are authorized. The prohibitions of subdivisions (b)

and (d), section five, article two, chapter six-b of this code are not applicable to the receipt by economic development

representatives or by the executive director of performance-based

incentives and other payments made by the nonprofit corporation and

specifically authorized pursuant to this section.

     From time to time the executive director may enter into joint

ventures wherein the West Virginia Development Office and the

nonprofit corporation share in the development and funding of

economic development programs.

     All contracts and joint venture agreements must be approved by

the executive director. Contracts entered into pursuant to this

section for longer than one fiscal year shall contain, in

substance, a provision that the contract shall be considered

cancelled without further obligation on the part of the state if

the State Legislature or, where appropriate, the federal

government, shall fail to appropriate sufficient funds therefor or

shall act to impair the contract or cause it to be cancelled.







WVC 5B-2-4A

§5B-2-4a. State allocation to regional councils.

The West Virginia development office may enter into

contractual agreements with the regional councils formed under the

provisions of section five, article twenty-five, chapter eight of

this code to provide funding to the regional councils to be used to

obtain federal matching grants and for other purposes determined to

be appropriate by the development office. The maximum state

allocation to each eligible regional council shall be forty

thousand dollars: Provided, That the amount of the allocation

shall be determined by dividing the number of eligible regional

councils into the total amount of funds made available for

allocation by the Legislature. The West Virginia development

office shall develop criteria to determine a regional council's

eligibility for the state allocation.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 5

§5B-2-5. Economic development representatives.

     (a) The executive director may employ economic development

representatives to be paid a base salary within legislative

appropriations to the West Virginia Development Office, subject to

applicable contract provisions pursuant to section four of this

article. Economic development representatives may receive

performance-based incentives and expenses paid from private funds

from a nonprofit corporation contracting with the West Virginia

Development Office pursuant to the provisions of section four of

this article. The executive director shall establish job

descriptions and responsibilities of economic development

representatives, subject to the provisions of any contract with a

nonprofit corporation entered into pursuant to section four of this

article.

     (b) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the

contrary, economic development representatives employed within the

West Virginia Development Office are not subject to the procedures

and protections provided by articles six and six-a, chapter

twenty-nine of this code. Any employee of the West Virginia

Development Office on the effective date of this article who

applies for employment as an economic development representative is

not entitled to the protections of article six, chapter twenty-nine

with respect to hiring procedures and qualifications; and upon

accepting employment as an economic development representative, the

employee relinquishes the protections provided for in article two, chapter six-c and article six, chapter twenty-nine of this code.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 6

§5B-2-6. Transition; savings provision.

     All programs, orders, determinations, rules, permits, grants,

contracts, certificates, bonds, authorizations and privileges which

have been issued, made, granted or allowed to become effective

pursuant to any prior enactments of this article or by the

Governor, the Governor's Office of Community and Industrial

Development or its director, or by a court of competent

jurisdiction, and which are in effect on February 1, 1992, shall

continue in effect according to their terms until modified,

terminated, superseded, set aside or revoked by the Governor or the

Executive Director of the West Virginia Development Office pursuant

to this article, by a court of competent jurisdiction or by

operation of law.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 6 A

§5B-2-6a. Brownfield economic development districts; applications;

fees; rules.

(a) Any property owner of a tract of land that is a brownfield

or voluntary remediated site pursuant to article twenty-two,

chapter twenty-two of this code may, if the site and surrounding

area were involved in the extraction and processing of coal,

limestone or other natural resources, apply to the development

office to become a brownfield economic development district.

(1) Applicants for a brownfield economic development district

must demonstrate that the district when designated will create

significant economic development activity;

(2) Applicants shall submit a development plan that provides

specific details on proposed financial investment, direct and

indirect jobs to be created and the viability of the district;

(3) Brownfield economic development districts:

(A) May not contain single-family housing;

(B) Shall provide all the infrastructure within the district

without cost to the state, county, public service district or local

municipal government;

(4) Applicants shall demonstrate that were it not for this

designation, the contemplated development would not be possible and

that the development is in the best interest of the state;

(5) The applicant shall own or control the property within the

district;

(6) All costs for the application process shall be borne by the applicant;

(7) An applicant shall demonstrate that the applicant has

attempted to work in good faith with local officials in regard to

land-use issues;

(8) Brownfield economic development districts are not subject

to the provisions of chapter eight-a of this code;

(9) Prior to granting a designation of brownfield economic

development district, the applicant shall provide documentation

that the applicant has met all the requirements set forth in

article twenty-two, chapter twenty-two of this code to be

designated as a brownfield site or voluntary remediated site and is

in compliance with the remediation plan;

(10) Nothing may be construed by this section to exempt

brownfield economic districts from environmental regulation that

would pertain to the development;

(11) The decision of the development office in regard to an

application is final; and

(12) Once designated, the district shall work in conjunction

with the regional brownfield assistance centers of Marshall

University and West Virginia University as specified in section

seven, article eleven, chapter eighteen-b of this code.

(b) The development office shall propose rules for legislative

approval in accordance with the provisions of article three,

chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement this section and

the rules shall include, but not be limited to, the application and time line process, notice provisions, additional application

consideration criteria and application fees sufficient to cover the

costs of the consideration of an application. The development

office shall promulgate emergency rules pursuant to the provisions

of section fifteen, article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this

code by the first day of October, two thousand eight, to facilitate

the initial implementation of this section.







WVC 5B-2-6b

§5B-2-6b.

Repealed.

Acts, 1992 Reg. Sess., Ch. 55.







WVC 5B-2-6c

§5B-2-6c.

Repealed.

Acts, 1992 Reg. Sess., Ch. 55.







WVC 5B-2-6d

§5B-2-6d.

Repealed.

Acts, 1992 Reg. Sess., Ch. 55.







WVC 5B-2-6e

§5B-2-6e.

Repealed.

Acts, 1992 Reg. Sess., Ch. 55.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 7

§5B-2-7.

     Repealed.

Acts, 2015 Reg. Sess., Ch. 40.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 8

§5B-2-8. Division of Tourism and Tourism Commission continued;

members, appointment and expenses.

     (a) There is hereby continued within the Department of

Commerce the Division of Tourism and an independent Tourism

Commission, which is a body corporate and politic, constituting a

public corporation and government instrumentality.

     (b) Prior to July 1, 2011, the Governor, by and with the

advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint to the Tourism

Commission three members from the private sector to represent

participants in the state's tourism industry, one for a term of

four years, one for a term of three years and one for a term of two

years.

     (c) Commencing July 1, 2011, the Tourism Commission shall

consist of the following fifteen members with staggered terms:

     (1) Twelve members appointed by the Governor, with the advice

and consent of the Senate, representing participants in the state's

tourism industry. Ten of the members shall be from the private

sector, one shall be a director employed by a convention and

visitors bureau and one shall be a member of a convention and

visitors bureau. In making the appointments the Governor may

select from a list provided by the West Virginia Hospitality and

Travel Association of qualified applicants. Of the twelve members

so appointed, no less than three shall be from each congressional

district within the state and shall be appointed to provide the

broadest geographic distribution which is feasible;

          (2) One member to be appointed by the Governor to

represent public sector nonstate participants in the tourism

industry within the state;

     (3) The Secretary of Transportation or his or her designee, ex

officio; and

     (4) The Director of the Division of Natural Resources or his

or her designee, ex officio.

     (d) Each member appointed by the Governor shall serve

staggered terms of four years. Any member whose term has expired

shall serve until his or her successor has been appointed. Any

person appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve only for the

unexpired term. Any member shall be eligible for reappointment.

In cases of vacancy in the office of member, such vacancy shall be

filled by the Governor in the same manner as the original

appointment.

     (e) Members of the commission shall not be entitled to

compensation for services performed as members. A majority of

these members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of

conducting business. The Governor shall appoint a chair of the

commission for a term to run concurrent with the term of the office

of the member appointed to be the chair. The chair is eligible for

successive terms in that position.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 9

§5B-2-9. Powers and duties of tourism commission.

     (a) The commission shall develop a comprehensive tourism

promotion and development strategy for West Virginia.

"Comprehensive tourism promotion and development strategy" means a

plan that outlines strategies and activities designed to continue,

diversify or expand the tourism base of the state as a whole;

create tourism jobs; develop a highly skilled tourism work force;

facilitate business access to capital for tourism; advertise and

market the resources offered by the state with respect to tourism

promotion and development; facilitate cooperation among local,

regional and private tourism enterprises; improve infrastructure on

a state, regional and community level in order to facilitate

tourism development; improve the tourism business climate

generally; and leverage funding from sources other than the state,

including local, federal and private sources.

     (b) In developing its strategies, the commission shall

consider the following:

     (1) Improvement and expansion of existing tourism marketing

and promotion activities;

     (2) Promotion of cooperation among municipalities, counties,

and the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council

in funding physical infrastructure to enhance the potential for

tourism development.

     (c) The tourism commission shall have the power and duty:

     (1) To acquire for the state in the name of the commission by purchase, lease or agreement, or accept or reject for the state, in

the name of the commission, gifts, donations, contributions,

bequests or devises of money, security or property, both real and

personal, and any interest in such property, to effectuate or

support the purposes of this article;

     (2) To make recommendations to the Governor and the

Legislature of any legislation deemed necessary to facilitate the

carrying out of any of the foregoing powers and duties and to

exercise any other power that may be necessary or proper for the

orderly conduct of the business of the commission and the effective

discharge of the duties of the commission;

     (3) To cooperate and assist in the production of motion

pictures and television and other communications;

     (4) To purchase advertising time or space in or upon any

medium generally engaged or employed for said purpose to advertise

and market the resources of the state or to inform the public at

large or any specifically targeted group or industry about the

benefits of living in, investing in, producing in, buying from,

contracting with, or in any other way related to, the state of West

Virginia or any business, industry, agency, institution or other

entity therein: Provided, That of any funds appropriated and

allocated for purposes of advertising and marketing expenses for

the promotion and development of tourism, not less than twenty

percent of the funds shall be expended with the approval of the

Director of the Division of Natural Resources to advertise, promote and market state parks, state forests, state recreation areas and

wildlife recreational resources;

     (5) To promote and disseminate information related to the

attractions of the state through the operation of the state's

telemarketing initiative, which telemarketing initiative shall

include a centralized reservation and information system for state

parks and recreational facilities; and

     (6) To take such additional actions as may be necessary to

carry out the duties and programs described in this article.

     (d) The commission shall submit a report annually to the

Secretary of Commerce, the Governor and the Legislature about the

development of the tourism industry in the state and the necessary

funding required by the state to continue the development of the

tourism industry.

     (e) The Commissioner of the Division of Tourism shall assist

the commission in the performance of its powers and duties and the

commissioner is hereby authorized in providing this assistance to

employ necessary personnel, contract with professional or technical

experts or consultants and to purchase or contract for the

necessary equipment or supplies.

     (f) The commission shall promulgate legislative rules pursuant

to the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to carry

out its purposes and programs, to include generally the programs

available, the procedure and eligibility of applications relating

to assistance under such programs and the staff structure necessary to support such programs, which structure shall include the

qualifications for a professional staff person qualified by reason

of exceptional training and experience in the field of advertising

to supervise the advertising and promotion functions of the

commission, and shall further include provision for the management

of West Virginia welcome centers. The commission is further

authorized to promulgate procedural rules pursuant to said chapter

to include instructions and forms for applications relating to

assistance.







WVC 5B-2-10

§5B-2-10. Program and policy action statement; submission to joint

committee on government and finance.

The tourism commission, the West Virginia development office

and any other authorities, boards, commissions, corporations or

other entities created or amended under this chapter and article

eleven, chapter eighteen-b of this code, shall prepare and submit

to the joint committee on government and finance on or before the

first day of December, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five, and

each year thereafter, a program and policy action statement which

shall outline in specific detail according to the purpose, powers

and duties of the office or section, its procedure, plan and

program to be used in accomplishing its goals and duties as

required under this article.







WVC 5B-2-11

§5B-2-11. Public private partnerships.

(a) The commission is authorized to enter into contractual or

joint venture agreements with a nonprofit corporation organized

pursuant to the corporate laws of the state, organized to permit

qualification pursuant to Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue

Code and organized for purposes of the promotion and development of

tourism in West Virginia, and funded from sources other than the

state. Members of the commission are authorized to sit on the

board of directors of the private nonprofit corporation.

(b) From time to time the commission may enter into joint

ventures wherein the West Virginia development office and the

nonprofit corporation share in the development and funding of

tourism promotion or development programs.

(c) All contracts and joint venture agreements must be

approved by recorded vote of the commission. Contracts entered

into pursuant to this section for longer than one fiscal year shall

contain, in substance, a provision that the contract shall be

considered canceled without further obligation on the part of the

state if the Legislature or, where appropriate, the federal

government shall fail to appropriate sufficient funds therefor or

shall act to impair the contract or cause it to be canceled.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 12

§5B-2-12. Tourism Promotion Fund created; use of funds.

     (a) There is hereby continued in the State Treasury the

special revenue fund known as the Tourism Promotion Fund created

under prior enactment of section nine, article one of this chapter.

     (b) Seventy-five percent of the moneys deposited in the fund

each year shall be used solely for marketing, advertising and

public relations efforts for building the brand identity of Wild,

Wonderful, West Virginia and promoting travel and tourism within

the state at the discretion and direction of the Commissioner of

the Division of Tourism: Provided, That no less than one percent

of these funds be expended, with the approval of the Secretary of

Commerce, to effectively promote and market the state's parks,

state forests, state recreation areas and wildlife recreational

resources. "Direct advertising" means advertising which includes,

but is not limited to, television, radio, mailings, newspaper,

magazines, digital marketing, including the Internet and social

media, and outdoor billboards or any combination thereof.

     (c) The balance of the moneys deposited in the fund shall be

used for direct advertising within the state's travel regions as

defined by the commission. The funds shall be made available to

these districts beginning July 1, 1995, according to legislative

rules authorized for promulgation by the Tourism Commission.

     (d) No member of the commission or of any committee created by

the commission to evaluate applications for advertising or other

grants may participate in the discussion of, or action upon, an application for or an award of any grant in which the member has a

direct financial interest.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 12 A

§5B-2-12a. Tourism fund support for 2004 Pete Dye West Virginia

Classic in Harrison County.

Notwithstanding the provisions of section twelve of this

article, the tourism commission may expend moneys from the tourism

promotion fund in the amount necessary and up to but not exceeding

seven hundred fifty thousand dollars to support the 2004 Pete Dye

West Virginia Classic in Harrison County which will be held in the

month of July, two thousand four. Any requirements for matching

grants under the rules promulgated pursuant to section twelve of

this article shall not apply to this section.

The provisions of this section shall expire on the thirtieth

day of December, two thousand four.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 13

§5B-2-13.

Repealed.

Acts, 2010 Reg. Sess., Ch. 32.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 14

§5B-2-14. Certified development community program.

The certified development community program is continued and

is transferred to, incorporated in and administered as a program of

the West Virginia development office. The program shall provide

funding assistance to the participating economic development

corporations or authorities through a matching grant program. The

West Virginia development office shall establish criteria for

awarding matching grants to the corporations or authorities within

the limits of funds appropriated by the Legislature for the

program. The matching grants to eligible corporations or

authorities are in the amount of thirty thousand dollars for each

fiscal year, if sufficient funds are appropriated by the

Legislature. The West Virginia development office shall recognize

existing county, regional or multicounty corporations or

authorities where appropriate.

In developing its plan, the West Virginia development office

shall consider resources and technical support available through

other agencies, both public and private, including, but not limited

to, the state college and university systems; the West Virginia

Housing Development Fund; the West Virginia Economic Development

Authority; the West Virginia Parkways, Economic Development and

Tourism Authority; the West Virginia Round Table; the West Virginia

Chamber of Commerce; Regional Planning and Development Councils;

Regional Partnership for Progress Councils; and state

appropriations.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 6 A

§5B-2-6a. Brownfield economic development districts; applications;

fees; rules.

     (a) Any property owner of a tract of land that is a brownfield

or voluntary remediated site pursuant to article twenty-two,

chapter twenty-two of this code may, if the site and surrounding

area were involved in the extraction and processing of coal,

limestone or other natural resources, apply to the Development

Office to become a brownfield economic development district.

     (1) Applicants for a brownfield economic development district

must demonstrate that the district when designated will create

significant economic development activity;

     (2) Applicants shall submit a development plan that provides

specific details on proposed financial investment, direct and

indirect jobs to be created and the viability of the district;

     (3) Brownfield economic development districts:

     (A) May not contain single-family housing;

     (B) Shall provide all the infrastructure within the district

without cost to the state, county, public service district or local

municipal government;

     (4) Applicants shall demonstrate that were it not for this

designation, the contemplated development would not be possible and

that the development is in the best interest of the state;

     (5) The applicant shall own or control the property within the

district;

     (6) All costs for the application process shall be borne by the applicant;

     (7) An applicant shall demonstrate that the applicant has

attempted to work in good faith with local officials in regard to

land-use issues;

     (8) Beginning July 1, 2011, an application for a brownfield

economic development district may not be approved unless the

district conforms to a county's or municipality's planning and

zoning laws established pursuant to the provisions of article

seven, eight and nine, of chapter eight-a of this code.

     (9) Prior to granting a designation of brownfield economic

development district, the applicant shall provide documentation

that the applicant has met all the requirements set forth in

article twenty-two, chapter twenty-two of this code to be

designated as a brownfield site or voluntary remediated site and is

in compliance with the remediation plan;

     (10) Nothing may be construed by this section to exempt

brownfield economic districts from environmental regulation that

would pertain to the development;

     (11) The decision of the development office in regard to an

application is final; and

     (12) Once designated, the district shall work in conjunction

with the regional brownfield assistance centers of Marshall

University and West Virginia University as specified in section

seven, article eleven, chapter eighteen-b of this code.(b) The

development office shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter

twenty-nine-a of this code to implement this section and the rules

shall include, but not be limited to, the application and time line

process, notice provisions, additional application consideration

criteria and application fees sufficient to cover the costs of the

consideration of an application. The development office shall

promulgate emergency rules pursuant to the provisions of section

fifteen, article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code by

October 1, 2008, to facilitate the initial implementation of this

section.







WVC 5 B- 2 - 8 A

§5B-2-8a. Commissioner of Tourism.

     (a) The division of tourism is under the direction and charge

of the Commissioner of Tourism.

     (b) The commissioner shall be appointed by the Governor:

Provided, That the person serving as commissioner at the time of

the enactment of this section in 2011, shall continue to serve in

that capacity at the will and pleasure of the Governor. The

commissioner's salary shall be set the Governor. The commissioner

shall be a competent person, having executive ability and knowledge

of publicity, advertising and tourist promotion.

     (c) In addition to other duties required of the division by

other provisions of this code, the division shall:

     (1) Coordinate media events to promote a positive image of

West Virginia and new investment in the tourist industry;

     (2) Provide comprehensive strategic planning services to

existing tourism enterprises;

     (3) Promote attractions of West Virginia in other states; and

     (4) Distribute West Virginia informational publications and

manage the West Virginia Welcome Centers.





Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session

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