Several online readers of The Herald-Dispatch expressed their support for construction of a lodge and conference center at Beech Fork State Park in Wayne County after a recent report on the financial feasibility of the project was released.

Some Wayne County officials stated their concerns about the prospects for the lodge after the report said it might be five years before the lodge would turn a profit on operating costs. The report was released at a third and final public meeting earlier this month about the proposed 75-room lodge and conference center.

The project has been sought for many years, but so far has not been able to garner the necessary state funding. A bright note, according to Wayne County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Park Ferguson, is that the study projected the lodge could profit hundreds of thousands of dollars annually once established.

Here is what some readers had to say:

Jon Auvil: “This is an investment in the future. To expect a positive cash flow in the short term is unrealistic and short sighted.”

Connie Walker Laishley: “Well..... there’s a huge area on the campground side that has been clearcut. So what is that all about? I had hoped they were clear cutting for development.”

Frank Albert: “I started my career with the Huntington District Corps of Engineers in 1979 working in the Recreation Design and Architecture Section. That year we walked to the proposed lodge site up from Stowers Branch ... and we thought back then the lodge was coming along ‘soon’ ... been at least 40 years now.”

Dawn E Topping-Streets: “They need to do a study on how to make it profitable before 5 years then. The whole area and county could benefit.”

Darrell Chapman: “Would rather see them build a trail around the perimeter of the lake. With primitive camp sites every half mile or so apart. To give access to hunters, bicyclists, hikers and so on. Would open up several hundreds of acres to the public.”

Jon Auvil: “Be interesting to see how Stonewall’s cash flow was for the first 2-3 years.”

Connie Venoy: “They got a lot homes for nothing. Don’t want anything to do with lake or camping. Such a waste. Took my grandma’s house, my home place.”

Christy Green Heather Oliver: “Aren’t most new businesses in the red until about year 5?”

Amanda Hooser: “It took Amazon 9 years.”

Rhonda Layne: “If it’s not needed, don’t do it now. If it is, then do it.”

Value of education debated

A recent editorial by The Herald-Dispatch regarding a poll suggesting that many young people do not value education beyond the high school level sparked some comments from some readers.

The editorial noted that a recent Associated Press poll showed about 40 percent of Americans ages 13 through 29 believe a four-year college degree prepares people somewhat well, or even poorly, for today’s economy. About half the people polled said their high school education provided the skills they need to obtain a good job after they graduate. About 45 percent say a high school diploma is good preparation for future successful workers.

Here are some responses:

Walt Barnett: “Too many PEOPLE undervalue education, especially in WV, where educated people are generally regarded with a fair amount of disdain.”

John A Weber: “No. Too much value is put on college ... trade schools make a lot more than ‘most’ degrees.”

Heather Conley-Maynard: “John A Weber yes exactly! Also add that many (not all) are part of a continuous cycle of the welfare system. They don’t see a reason to work or educate themselves to do better.”

Belinda Akley DiMarcello: “... Education includes ALL types of education!! Trade and college and on the job! There’s still nothing wrong with going to college — it opened many doors for me for my career.”

Danielle Mullins: “Probably because a college degree doesn’t guarantee even a livable wage anymore, but does almost always guarantee unlivable debt.”

Belinda Akley DiMarcello: “Danielle Mullins, not necessarily. It depends on what a person majors in. Majoring in chemical or electrical engineering pays off extremely well.”

Dawna Bruner Adkins: “Too expensive for one. But I also feel that the ‘rewards for ALL participants’ mentality has eliminated some of the ‘you have to work for what you get’ and when the going gets tough people quit.”

John Seals: “Maybe if higher ed was actually funded like it used to be instead of forcing students to take out ridiculous amounts of student loan debt, they would value it more .”

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