WILLIAMSON, W.Va. – At a special meeting held Thursday morning, the Mingo County Commission announced the possibility of opening the Laurel Lake swimming pool the weekend of July 4.
The Commission has entered into a temporary agreement with Cotiga Development and the State of W.Va. to establish a 4-H camp in Mingo County. The temporary agreement will allow the shelter area, swimming pool, and camp ground to remain in operation after the state announced budget cuts several months ago. Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith stated, “Today, we are going to put our heads together and come up with a plan together for dealing with this summer as to how we are going to get up and going that will be the immediate need.”
At Tuesday’s meeting, the commission discussed the possibility of opening the Laurel Lake pool on the weekend of July 4. Applications for a pool operator and life guards are currently being accepted. The pool operator position will pay $10 per hour and lifeguards will earn $8.75 per hour. No benefits will be offered with this position. Applications will be accepted through the end of the business day on Friday, June 17. A final decision concerning the new hires will be made during the next regularly scheduled commission meeting on Tuesday, June 21. Those hired will be employed throughout Labor Day weekend.
The commission also discussed shelter rentals at the Laurel Lake facility. At this time, shelters are available for rental. Those interested in renting a shelter this summer can contact Tina Abbott at 304-235-0348.
West Virginia University 4-H Extension Agent, Mark Whitt was attended Tuesday’s meeting and was involved in the discussion regarding Laurel Lake. Whitt explained that finding sources of funding is fundamental to the continuation of the project. Whitt stated, “We need to come up with a nice plan, an inventory, an assessment, a budget for what it is going to take in this three year period. If we want to make this a first class thing for Mingo County, what we need to grant wise is get on that Power Plus money, the end of the AML money, some recreation grants, to try to match with what monies we have here so we can get a shovel on the ground down there if we are going to get this started and get our people in place…”
In regard to future plans, a steering committee concerning the Laurel Lake facilities will be formed to prioritize and manage the organization as well as formulate a three, ten and five year plan. Whit stated, “We need to get a steering committee together to make sure that we get everybody that has a funding source like churches and groups involved in the steering committee to make sure we can put a little bit of everything that they want.”
Smith agreed stating, “We need to put this steering committee together. If we don’t get our grants and we don’t have all that stuff together, we aren’t going to have the funding to make this a park that will generate income to support its self and this would be a short three year venture when the state money runs out.”
(Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)