RIPLEY - With state budget cuts looming and the Cedar Lakes Conference Center in the crosshairs of the West Virginia Department of Education’s 7.5 percent budget cut, a rally has been scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. at Cedar Lakes to show support for the sprawling 400 acre facility.
There are 35-40 full time positions in jeopardy if the proposed cut is put into motion. A petition has been circulating around the county and a “Save Cedar Lakes” Facebook page has been created.
A fixture in the community since 1950, Cedar Lakes is utilized by Future Farmers of America, 4-H and the Mountain State Art and Craft Fair.
Approximately70 percent of Cedar Lakes budget is payroll based. Maintaining the facility has been troublesome to a tight budget. Much of the facility’s full time payroll is based on state school pay and wage scales.
Each department within the state has been asked to prepare two budgets for the upcoming year, one at current funding levels and the second reflecting a 7.5 percent cut.
Some state school board members are in favor of the cut.
A recent audit revealed that without support from the legislature that the Cedar Lakes Conference Center would operate at a loss every year.