RIPLEY - The dust has settled from a passionate outcry from Jackson County residents and communities from around the state of West Virginia who frequent the 300-acre facility.

A lot has happened since early September when the threat of 39 permanent employees losing their jobs loomed large after The West Virginia Board of Education was forced via budget cuts to assess the overall viability of Cedar Lakes.

Legislation was passed by the State Senate last month to allow Cedar Lakes to operate outside of the scope of the West Virginia Board of Education. Via this legislation, the 50-year home of the Mountain State Art and Craft Fair can set their own salaries which has not been the case up to this point as minimum requirements for school service personnel has applied.

  After a 2013 audit of the WVDOE, it was recommended that fiscal operations of Cedar Lakes be closely assessed.

  Fast-forward to today, and all involved parties are working to find a seamless property transfer from the West Virginia Board of Education to the Cedar Lakes Foundation.

   The WVBOE voted earlier this month to approve hikes in meals and lodging. Increases in pricing for meals ranged up to $1.25 hike and lodging prices rose $5 (Main Lodge), $7 (Holt Lodge) and $15 (Cedars Lodge).
  The facility is free to charge market rates but will walk the high wire in terms of providing value to customers and being financially sound as a business.

Cedar Lakes boasts lodging, swimming, crafting classes with dining and meeting facilities while serving organizations like the FFA and various school related camps conducted during the summer months.