Friday, January 30, 2004

Garrett County Meeting Minutes

Meeting of U.S. Route 50 Association

Garrett County Courthouse

January 30, 2004


Garrett Co: Comm. Ernie Gregg, Fred Holliday, David Beard; Tourism Director, Deb. Clatterbuck; Dev. Auth. Director, David Moe; Planner, Peggy Jameson; Superintendent of Schools, Wendell Teets, Times-News reporter, Jo Donaldson. Preston Co.: Comm. L. Darwin Wolfe. Grant Co: Debbie Kunkle; Ec. Dev. Dir. , Elwood Williams; Taylor Co: Dev. Auth. Director, Sheena Hunt; Mineral Co.: Comm. Jack Bowers; Co. Coordinator, Mike Bland; Wayne Spiggle; Walter Grove. Hampshire County: Gubernatorial candidate, Douglas McKinney. Greater Cumberland Committee Exec. Dir., Anna Custer. WVDOH representatives: Bill Wood, Marvin Murphy and Brian Carr.

Business Accomplished

  • The WVDOH representatives reviewed the status of planning on Rt. 50 from the Va. Line to Clarksburg. The major points were:
    1. Safety is the first consideration.
    2. Establishing sections of dual lanes is a function of traffic volume.
    3. Traffic counts are done routinely every three years but spot checks can be done upon request.
    4. Several years ago, a planning document focusing of safety was done for the section of the road from New Creek, east.
    5. Improvements are a function of available funding. Groups that band together to support projects are very helpful.
    6. The section between Grafton and Clarksburg is being improved by establishing alternative routes to move traffic west from Taylor and Barbour. Two community groups are active in driving that process.
    7. Rt. 50 is considered to be an “intermediate highway” for the most part supporting local traffic. (Several members present expressed a contrary opinion, indicating the roadway has significant long haulage and, with development in the eastern panhandle, is rapidly becoming an important connector to interstate highways and employment centers.)

  • The facilitator has received verbal and/or written support for the formation of the Association. Garrett Co. Commissioners expressed intent to contribute financially per the draft organization guideline.

  • The Strategic Plan and the Guide Lines for Organization and Decision Making were amended and approved. Copies are available from the facilitator. Michael Bland is to send a letter of understanding to each county commission. The letter will incorporate the principles in the above documents.

  • Deb Clatterbuck volunteered to check into the possibility of U.S. 50 being a scenic byway.

  • Three committees were established:
    1. Committee on Transportation Needs (will be discussed at next meeting).
    2. Regional Liaison Committee: Headed by David Moe, this committee will stay in touch with other regional transportation initiatives to be certain everyone is working in unison.
    3. Congressional Liaison Committee: Chaired by Commissioner Jack Bowers, this committee will contact and raise awareness of the congressional delegation on the efforts of the Association and prepare them for eventual requests of support.

  • The next meeting will be hosted by Taylor County in their Senior Center facility at 1:00 p.m. on March 17, 2004. Directions will be issued prior to the meeting. This is a Wednesday afternoon and it was decided that every other month meetings on the third Wednesday would probably work the best for all counties.

Respectfully submitted,

Wayne C. Spiggle, Facilitator


The main order of business for the March 17 meeting will be to have each county report on their assessment of how U.S. Route 50 is being and should be upgraded along the section traversing their county. This report should focus on both short-range needs and long term planning.

Therefore, I am requesting each county commission along the route to convene an ad hoc group to make this assessment and to prepare a 15 minute report of your progress on this issue. The logical group for this task is outlined in the Strategic Plan.

Please take action on this at your next Commission meeting.



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