Minutes of MON RIVER RECREATION & COMMERCE COMMITTEE

12 September 2008

Minutes take by Don Strimbeck

Next meeting will be 9AM Friday 10 October, at Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce.

ATTENDING: Don Strimbeck, Peggy Myers-Smith, Barry Pallay, Billy Coffindaffer, Frank Jernejcic, Ralph LaRue, Ro Brooks, Christopher Pitt (BOPARC), Tom Bartlett.

Minutes of 8 August meeting were approved. (Nobody likes to read long windy minutes, so folks just approve them and move on!!)

The Mon River tour on Tom & Barbara Bartlett’s 52-foot Coastal Cruiser THE ENCHANTRESS for Saturday 13 September was discussed. That tour went off beautifully, and thanks to Kathy Plum, Dominion Post, for front-page article, Dominion Post, TOUR SHOWS POTENTIAL OF MON RIVER, Monday 15 September 2008. Strimbeck can furnish copy of Kathy’s article, upon request. WBOY Channel 12 Clarksburg also covered the tour, and, many thanks to Channel 12!

Barry Pallay reported that Don Rienke, Executive Director of the Monongalia County Development Authority, is interested in holding a MCDA meeting on THE ENCHANTRESS! Stay tuned for further developments here!

Fall 2008 CERRUS meeting (Corps of Engineers & River Recreational Users Summit) is on for evening Tuesday 21 October at TWO RIVERS MARINA AND RESTAURANT, Dilliner PA. Those who receive these minutes are on email list for this meeting. Hope you will attend the meeting. Two local topics for this meeting are improved fishing access in the Point Marion pool, and, Town of Granville plans for dock and water taxi (see www.busride.org).

Upper Mon lockage statistics for first seven months of 2008 were provided in handout for meeting. No further explanation needed here.

Proceedings of Mon River Summit III, April 2008, prepared by Judy Reckart, will be posted on MonRiverSummit.org, when webmaster Wally Venable & Norma return from Europe on 30 September. Presenters were given opportunity to review Judy’s report. Only response was from Jeff Hawk, PIO, Pittsburgh District, who said OK.

Coffindaffer Riverfront Fund was discussed. Has about $40K at present. Need to get some major donors who might contribute big bucks to the fund. This will be topic for 10 October meeting. Billy Coffindaffer reported that he checked out Pittsburgh District HANDSHAKE opportunity. Has to be on corps property. Won’t work for us!! Plus, HANDSHAKE had a short fuse, and, has expired.

Peggy Myers-Smith reported on talks with Petroplus over past couple of years, re staging a powerboat regatta on Mon, based on Upper Mon River Center docks, etc. Perhaps work with Pittsburgh folks who stage such at Pittsburgh. Obvious problem here, as pointed out by Ralph LaRue, who has experience with such races on Ohio river, is narrowness of our river, so, loup races which involve high speed boats being able to turn, are impossible in our setting!! However, we need to think about some type of major event on the Upper Mon in Morgantown area! (Strimbeck thought! Why not a Charleston Regatta event?!)

Frank Jernejcic reported construction is underway for the WV DNR launch ramp at the Monongalia County Industrial Park. Looking at spring 2009 completion date. There will be one light at facility (solar?). WV DNR debating concrete pier or regular floating dock for site. Sponsor(s) needed for amenities such as toilets, trash pickup. Also need to arrange for police visits to site on a regular basis, and, on-call police availability for help calls originating at the site.

Frank again discussed idea of fishing area at Morgantown lock and dam, at the Old Lock 10 lockwall on west bank downstream approach to the lock. Pittsburgh District staff opposes this for security reasons. It was agreed that UMRA would draft a letter on this concept, to be sent to COL Crall.

Frank also reported that the new limestone unloading docks at the Fort Martin powerplant require offsetting environmental remediation. Frank suggested that perhaps this remediation might involve the riverbank at McQuain Park, for repairing the nasty shoreline (beautification?) and improving fishing access. Barry Pallay also has talked to Morgantown City Manager Dan Boroff re McQuain needs, and, Dan is receptive. Frank and Barry will continue to see what might be done here.

Frank said he gave Chad Pierskalla a tour of the Morgantown-Point Marion pool. This will help Chad develop some projects for his WVU recreation students.

Frank also reported that mitigation of the old Sharon Steel coke oven site in Fairmont (part of Volcano Island Resort) is providing $500K for use at other Mon sites. Frank is suggesting that, since the WV DNR boat ramp at Uffington is silted in and can’t be cleaned out, that one use for these funds might be a new launch site a bit south of Uffington where creek enters river.

Frank also asked if the docks at the Upper Mon River Center might be used for fishing, especially since docks are failing to attack slip renters! Big discussion here, and, Ralph LaRue pointed out that fishing was expressly prohibited when plans were being made for these docks -- fishing would interfere with boats, WVU women’s crew, coming & going. Discussions will continue here, to see what might be worked out.

Tom Bartlett reported that he would like to dock his 52 foot Coastal Cruiser THE ENCHANTRESS at the Upper Mon River Center. But, he will not do so because he can’t park by the docks. Ralph pointed out close-by parking garage. Problem here is major parking fee ($8/day), and lack of space for ready access to cart stuff to and from boat. Basically, boaters view UMRC docks as difficult for shoreside access, thus, slips are not renting!

Martin Christ did not attend meeting, but lady dropped off at the meeting latest revision of Upper Mon Water Trail map, with problem list from Martin. Don Strimbeck is addressing issues raised by Martin.

We have a continuing effort in getting additional interest groups on our committee. Peggy Myers-Smith, Executive Director of the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau is our latest member! We are going to ask Peggy to help with the Upper Mon Water Trail map situation!

Ralph LaRue reported on the Volcano Island resort at Fairmont (which involves site of old Sharon Steel coke ovens). This is being developed by two Morgantown guys. Perhaps we should invite them to attend a MRR&CC meeting and give us a project presentation?! It is a recreational theme park, $100M, hotel, conference facilities, office space, no gambling. Park will apparently have river access.

Letter to past attendees of our three Mon River Summits, re Mon River Summit IV, Monday 13 April 2009, at Waterfront Place Hotel. Letter ain’t done! Pallay & Strimbeck will get draft done so letter can be mailed in the near soon.

Here is email from Ro re river arts projects:

Don, for your MRRCC minutes:

Brooks reported that in preparation for the 2009 Mon River Summit Images of the t! Why not a Charleston Regatta event?!)

Frank Jernejcic reported construction is underway for the WV DNR launch ramp at the Monongalia County Industrial Park. Looking at spring 2009 completion date. There will be one light at facility (solar?). WV DNR debating concrete pier or regular floating dock for site. Sponsor(s) needed for amenities such as toilets, trash pickup. Also need to arrange for police visits to site on a regular basis, and, on-call police availability for help calls originating at the site.

Frank again discussed idea of fishing area at Morgantown lock and dam, at the Old Lock 10 lockwall on west bank downstream approach to the lock. Pittsburgh District staff opposes this for security reasons. It was agreed that UMRA would draft a letter on this concept, to be sent to COL Crall.

Frank also reported that the new limestone unloading docks at the For