POINT PLEASANT — The rumor the state was going to close, or operate unstaffed, Tu-Endie-Wei State Park, appears to be just that, a rumor.
However, it also appears to be a “hypothetical rumor” for now.
To explain, late last week, the Charleston Gazette-Mail ran an article speaking about hypothetical budget cuts and how the state could absorb a “hypothetical 6.5 percent additional cut” in the 2016-17 budgets. The Gazette-Mail said this was based upon a request from House Finance Chairman Eric Nelson, R-Charleston, 35th District, for information from various state agencies which offered up possible fiscal solutions if they were faced with this hypothetical situation in the future.
One of the hypothetical remedies, according to the article, was to close or operate unstaffed, several state parks, including Tu-Endie-Wei. The suggestion that Tu-Endie-Wei would be on the chopping block, even in a hypothetical situation, caused a big reaction from local residents. Posts on social media led to residents contacting local legislators with concerns of neglect and vandalism at the park, if it was left unsupervised or closed.
Delegate Jim Butler, R-Gallipolis Ferry, 14th District, who is on the House Finance Committee, reached out to the Point Pleasant Register about what he knew concerning the rumors and the “hypotheticals.”
“I am on three committees, including the Finance Committee where legislation to cut funding would almost certainly be directed,” Butler said. “I have spoken with several of my colleagues and no one remembers seeing such a bill in any other committee either. There are 18 committees, if I remember correctly. The likely source of this is a newspaper article that resulted from a hypothetical question.”
Butler thanked those constituents who brought this to his attention but added: “The park is in no immediate jeopardy. If we don’t get our economy going in the next several years, that may change though. I will continue to keep an eye on this, and to work to preserve all that we value in our community. If you hear more about this, or anything else, please let me know.”
Tu-Endie-Wei is home to the battle monument erected on Oct. 10, 1909, as a tribute to those who fought on that same date in 1774 in the Battle of Point Pleasant. This battle was fought between Chief Cornstalk and Virginia Militiamen and is recognized as the decisive engagement in a proactive series of Indian wars.
The park is also home to Battle Days every October and sees visitors year-round, welcoming guests into the Mansion House as well when in season. Also, the park hosts many community events throughout the year.
The name “Tu-Endie-Wei” is a Wyandotte word meaning “point between two waters,” with many hoping that never translates into a moot point should the hypothetical become reality.
Reach Beth Sergent at email@example.com or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.