Minutes of MON RIVER RECREATION & COMMERCE COMMITTEE MEETING

8 August 2008

Minutes taken by Don Strimbeck

Next meeting will be 9AM Friday 12 September 2008, at chamber conference room.

ATTENDING: Don Strimbeck, Ralph LaRue, Barry Pallay, Dave Weaver, Paula Martinelli, Martin Christ, Wally Venable, Sue Thompson (Director, 3 Rivers Ecological Research Center, PFBC), Billy Coffindaffer, Frank Jernejcic, Paul Ziemkiewicz.

Fall Mon river tour on THE ENCHANTRESS. Tom Bartlett can’t do tour on 20 September. Tour therefore will be Saturday 13 September, departing Star City dock shortly after 10AM. Tour should take about four hours. Boat will go thru Morgantown lock, south to Hildebrand lock. Turn around at Hildebrand, proceed to Point Marion lock then return to Star City dock. UMRA will provide box lunch and refreshments. Boat capacity is 20. After we subtract out Captain Tom and his three Coast Guard Auxiliary crew, and tour guide Frank Jernejcic, we can accommodate 15 guests. Don Strimbeck is developing guest list. Go to UPPERMON.ORG, click on Calendars in menu, and you can see pictures of the two previous Mon river tours on THE ENCHANTRESS. The 2008 calendar shows THE ENCHANTRESS at the Star City dock.

Mon River Summit III proceedings prepared by Judy Reckart are out to presenters for their review, deadline 1 September. Then, Judy Reckart will email the proceedings to Wally Venable, for posting at MonRiverSummit.org. Barry Pallay will check on Brookfield presentation. Dave Weaver will get to Judy the Brookfield information recorded on his computer (he recorded presentations).

The Coffindaffer Riverfront Fund was discussed. Paula Martinelli and Billy Coffindaffer will look into seeking matching funds from Benedum Foundation for river projects. One such project might be river-accessible (mainly by canoes, kayaks, etc) camping site at Everettville Historical Society miners memorial.

Frank Jernejcic reported that work on the WV DNR boat launch facility at the Monongalia County Industrial Park will begin late August. Work will be done in-house by WV DNR and Soil Conservation Service staff. About 500-1,000 cubic yards of fill are needed. Various sources for the fill were discussed. Frank, Chad Pierskalla, Ralph LaRue, and David Weaver will meet to review facility design and other needs for additional amenities. Frank will make a presentation to the Monongalia County Commission concerning sponsorship of the facility, plan for maintenance needs and costs, etc. Barry Pallay will contact Commissioner Bob Bell to arrange for Frank’s presentation. We hope to make arrangements with Town of Granville for site security needs, regular visits by Granville police, and response to emergency calls from boat launch site.

Frank Jernejcic also reported that construction of the limestone unloading dock at Fort Martin requires an off-setting environmental mitigation. It was suggested that perhaps this mitigation could be the ugly shoreline at McQuain Park, to do some environmental restoration and beautification. Barry Pallay will talk to City Manager Dan Boroff about this idea, with perhaps City of Morgantown providing some of the needed funds.

Martin Christ reported that the new Upper Mon Water Trail map will be finished by the end of August. Personnel changes at the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission are causing some delay but this will be worked out. Paula Martinelli will work on getting additional donations needed for our local share of the map costs.

Progress continues on adding additional interest groups to our committee. Peggy Meyers-Smith, Executive Director of the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau is our newest member. Other recent additions are Jim Matuga (Dominion Post & WVBASS), Chad Pierskalla (WVU recreation), Paul Ziemkiewicz (Director, WV Water Research Institute, WVU)., and, Sue Thompson (Director, 3 Rivers Ecological Research Center, PFBC).

Ralph LaRue reported that work on the Volcano Island resort near Fairmont is underway. And, at our September meeting, Ralph will discuss lack of use of dock rental space at the Upper Mon River Center.

Letter to Mon River Summit attendees. Strimbeck will combine his and Barry’s drafts, and get a final draft to Barry before our September meeting.

Status of river arts projects, Ro Brooks, was postponed until our September meeting.

Wally Venable and Ralph LaRue are working on plaque for Matt Cybulski.

Dave Weaver will contact Patrick Kirby re status of Quality Glass site planning.

Barry Pallay gave brief report on 7 August meeting with LONGVIEW folks. Barry, Don Strimbeck, Paul Ziemkiewicz, and Wally Venable, met with Jimmy Laurita (MEPCO), Charlie Huguenard (VP & General Manager, Longview Power), Elizabeth Roberts (AMD Reclamation Inc), and Russ Bolyard (Permit Manager, MEPCO).

MRR&CC mission and projects draft was not discussed.

Billy Coffindaffer reported that the Corps of Engineers handshake program has a short fuse for proposals to be submitted. It was suggested that it might be best to submit proposals, even if they lack all the information required by the corps. Possible projects include improvements at Star City, the Everetteville Historical Society site, and fishing at Morgantown lock & dam downstream lockwall.

Frank Jernejcic suggested that possibly one way to address the trash problem at Morgantown, Hildebrand, and Opekiska locks, is to require that any hydropower installation at these locks incorporate features facilitating removal of trash.

Ralph LaRue reported that Waterfront Jeep might be torn down, and, another hotel built at that site!!

Ralph also reported that the WVU Crew docks at General Woodworking are available. Interested persons should contact Ralph.

Meeting adjourned 10:30AM.