Minutes of MON RIVER RECREATION & COMMERCE COMMITTEE Meeting
13 June 2008.
Minutes taken by Don Strimbeck.
REV 1, 30 June 2008, corrections from Barry Pallay: (1) Construction of boat ramp & parking at Mon County Industrial Park may begin in July 2008 - depends on DNR having funds budgeted at start of FY beginning 1 July 2008; (2) Barry is currently not on Dominion Post advisory board, but, he can still write a guest editorial re MRR&CC etc.
The Mon River Recreation & Commerce VISION 2020 Committee, Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce, met 9AM Friday 13 June 2008 at chamber conference room.
Attending: Kenneth H. Busz (new President/CEO of chamber), Don Strimbeck, Martin Christ, Billy Coffindaffer, Barry Pallay, Ro Brooks, Paula Martinelli, David Weaver, and Ralph LaRue.
First order of business was to select a committee chair. Barry Pallay was chosen as chair, and, Don Strimbeck as vice chair.
Introductions around the table were made, for benefit of the new chamber president.
The need to set date for Mon River Summit IV was discussed. Ken Busz will contact Waterfront Place Hotel to arrange a Monday date in April 2009 that will not conflict with state legislature session. We are looking at Monday 6 or 13 April 2009. Ken & Barry will get date settled before committee next meets on 11 July.
Ken agreed to block out on chamber conference room bookings, second Friday of month at 9AM for MRR&CC meetings.
Barry Pallay wants suggestions for agenda for our next meeting, which will be 9AM Friday 11 July 2009. And, Barry wants suggestions as to committee goals, both long-term and for the coming year.
Barry suggested we need Mission/Vision statements for MRR&CC and for Mon River Summits. The monriversummit.org website does not have a posted vision statement. I have 2-1/2 page hardcopy of a VISION FOR THE UPPER MONONGAHELA RIVER, handed out at meeting. If someone can send me computer file for this, I will put it out to committee members.
Barry is on Dominion Post advisory board. Barry will prepare guest editorial re MRR&CC for DP.
Committee approved Barry's suggestion that we add a prominent retired coal executive to committee. This individual will be a great help in continuing to bring river industry folks to our summits. Barry will seek to get this individual to join our committee.
We need WV BASS participation on committee. We will talk to Jim Matuga and John Burdette about such participation. Strimbeck will add Jim Matuga to committee email list.
We need participation by Morgantown Utility Board, to help address public mis-perception that river is unsafe for swimming and water sports. Strimbeck will add Scott Copen and Rachel Asbury to committee email list.
David Weaver suggested we add a conference call capability for our meetings. This will be discussed with Ken Busz (Ken had to leave meeting early for other commitment). This capability would help, for example, when we need Pittsburgh District input on a meeting topic, yet do not want to inconvenience them by asking them to drive to Morgantown.
Lady reporter from Channel 12 TV attended entire meeting. Her report was on 6PM news that evening.
We would like to revive the Tom & Barbara Bartlett tours on their 52 foot coastal cruiser THE ENCHANTRESS. Ken Busz and other newcomers to Morgantown organizations, others, need to see the river from the river! The Channel 12 lady reporter would like to join the tour for a news story! Strimbeck will call Tom Bartlett.
Status of Volcano Island resort reported on by Ralph LaRue. Dirt is flying at site, and, they are raising $80M!
Two drafts of a letter to go to summit attendees have been prepared. Barry will send this letter once date has been established for MRS IV.
Lack of boats to fill docks at Upper Mon River Center has been noted. Barry will work with Ken re suggestion that chamber newsletter be used to publicize availability of space at these docks. Lack of close-by vehicle parking appears to be a problem, especially for getting gear and fuel to boats.
Billy Coffindaffer reported on need to get contributions for his Coffindaffer Riverfront Fund at Greater Morgantown Community Trust. Purpose of this fund is to aid riverfront shoreside recreational development. The sense of the committee was that we should help here, perhaps seeking contributions from coal and barge firms, etc. Further, Barry Pallay suggested that this fund could help pay for some maintenance activities at the new DNR bass boat ramp facility at the Monongalia County Industrial Park.
Barry Pallay passed on word from Frank Jernejcic that DNR will construct the bass boat facility as an in-house job, with construction starting July 2008. Ralph LaRue has experience in running heavy construction equipment (D-9 dozer, etc) and Ralph volunteered to help!
Arts projects were discussed, as it was noted how successful the arts contest was for MRS III. Ro Brooks is working on PAINT THE RIVER for this October, and, on year-round photos of river scenes and activities. Barry asked Ro to further develop these initiatives for our next meeting.
In addition to getting MUB and WV BASS participation on committee, need to get marinas, Fairmont, Point Marion, Friendship Hill, etc, re-involved, was discussed. Paula Martinelli will phone these folks since she needs to talk to them about funding water trail map.
Martin Christ reported that water trail map in format for PA Fish & Boat Commission has been submitted to PFBC.
Many items were suggested both as goals and as agenda for next meeting. Barry & Don will work on sorting this out before next meeting.