Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Taylor County Meeting

Rt. 50 Group meeting

Held at Taylor County Senior Center

March 16th, 2005 @ 1:00 pm

Sign – in Sheet

1) Diane Parker Taylor Cty Planning Commission

2) Dick Feigley Garrett Co. (Solid Waste)

3) David W. Gobel Taylor Cty Commission

4) Chad Swick Taylor Cty Dev. Authority

5) Ron Swick Taylor Cty Planning Commission

6) Dave Beard Garrett Co. Commissioner

7) Peggy Jamison Garrett County

8) Robert (Buck) True Barbour Cty Rd. Comm

9) Spencer Wooddell Taylor Cty Planning Commission

10) R. Darion Wolfe Preston Cty Comm

11) Robert L. Knotts Taylor Cty Planning Comm

12) Rob Watson WVDOH/Planning

13) William Wood WVDOH/Planning & Res Div

14) Brian Carr WVDOH/Planning & Res Div

15) Joe Mattalion BCEDA-Philippi

16) Don Smith Barbour

17) Rise Straight Mountain Statesman

18) Evelyn Baker Hampshire Cty Planning

19) Charles Baker Mineral County Planning

20) Larry Weaver Preston DOH

21) James M. Smith Taylor County

22) Tony J. Veltri Taylor County Commission

23) Ken Musgrave Mineral County

24) Gary Howell Mineral

25) Arvin Marsh Preston

Suggested Agenda:


County by County update, including accident report for the last two months

Update on planning process … Bill Woods, Brian Carr and Associates

Report of Funding Committee … Deb Clatterbuck, Gary Howell, Eleanor Baker, Darwin Wolfe, Ken Musgrave

Review of WVU study on funding issues … Wayne and others

Comments on regional transportation issues … Buck True and others

Potential Web Page… Ken Musgrave, Gary Howell

Next steps and next venue (We haven’t met in Grant County yet.)

Agenda sent by prior email

Introductions – see signup attendance

Brief recap of mission of Rt 50 Assoc. and Strategic Plan

High degree of interest continues after 1 ½ yrs meeting – floating locations in Counties covered by group.

Counties – regions working together for common goals – also important to current Gov. and admin as was last.

All levels of government are acknowledging the efforts of group and “one voice”

County –by-county update

Hampshire; Mineral; Garrett; Preston; Taylor

Absent: Grant

[Funding sources will be discussed in greater detail]

Dave ask where TC projects stand w/state – B. Carr said that 1 (Pruntytown) is held because of historical – but we say has been resolved – always excuses given –

We’ve had 169 accidents in just a 1 ½-1 ¾ mile section of Rt.50 from hosp to 4-corners over the last 4 yrs.

State update of planning process

Brian – 33 sections broken out for accident comparisons –

15 below statewide average

7 just at

10 above or significantly higher than statewide average

“Wish” list – needs further analysis – Taylor County ahead of game because much research and background info done

79 projects on list – including Taylor County.

There was a TC study from Harrison to Grafton but not from Grafton to Preston (East) – needs reviewed and any projects added to list ASAP in order to be considered per Carr – running out of time

Larry Weaver – some on list are small – some he has been able to address directly –reminds us we should also be working w/local depts. For i.e.: guardrails, speed limits, (small project)

Might not be immediate but will be done [ditches, slides] – few thousand dollar price range.

“State” list ranges form $100,000 – to millions.

Prioritize list by state reps – requested last meeting. Hampshire reports they have completed and given to Carr.

List of projects “programmed” but awaiting funding – Carr said may have been handed out last meeting – Doesn’t have today – we requested it!

32 mil – Hampshire

10 mil – Taylor

Dave told about our meeting on 23rd and need last estimates ASAP

We ask that he redistribute this list “quickly” after this meeting for our reference – He said he has it in his box somewhere and will do his best.

Talked about project that was delayed in Romney and has been in system for 12yrs.

May be other issues – outdated permits or docs – but they will check and try to resurrect.

There is some discrepancy about info from Maddix about missing permits, as Evelyn Baker reports those permits are in the Planning Commission file in Hampshire.

Gary Howell is working w/subgroup for Federal funding but must have list.

In State: 1.5 Billion of Unfunded projects on Books right now.

Things are tight and DOH has been telling folks for years.

WVU conducted studies in order to be independent. He works w/road fund a lot. Federal aid gets about 1 bil/yr – but before any projects can be funded:

Debt Service for Road Bonds – 50mil/yr – 2012

Admin Cost – ie: equip – not salaries 45 mil

Routine Maint – roads/bridges – 320 mil/yr

576 mil per year in State Revenue

450 mil spoken for

115 mil left to use for Fed matching funds or 400/mil per year

Only leaves about 20 mil per year for any/all projects throughout state!

State revenues continue to decrease because of fuel costs going up.

FEAR – if new highway bill goes through and we get 15-20% increase in match – if they (state) get it – they might not qualify because revenues down.

DOH employees cut – 10,000 down to less than 5,000

No way to continue to cut their own budgets.

Now’s the time to get in on ground floor and put name in hat but not a real expectation to be able to add our projects

DMV is not part of DOH – separate agency and DMV gets funds 1st before DOH

State Police 6 or 7 mil

Now increasing request to 9 mil in order to continue to patrol –

All of these come out of same “pie”. Used to be paid from General Fund but now shifted to highways.

Even Robert Byrd (a genius for getting WV funding) is no longer effectively getting federal highway funds.

70 mil – Appalachian Corridor

40 mil – Interstat

40 mil – NHS – National Highway System (1873 miles in state now)

?) from Spencer – should we seek “National Historic Highway Status”

A) A lot of our requests are Safety related – 5 mil per year

For this group is it better to be NHS? It does have to be voted on - but tabled by group currently –

It was the consensus of the group that “Historic” status hurts us per Howell - - Fed funding is preferred

?) What do we need to do to enable them to get projects

A) We are on right track – get money line – itemed for our projects.

“Magic Money” best from Fed. Budget – doesn’t require state funds (matching) but very hard to get.

Get on Fed. List – keep it simple or we won’t progress

This is band aid – need long term fix – to have revenue increase per WVU Study and recommendations

Private funding only happens through tolls – no one likes and traffic not great enough to sustain consideration

They can take/seek donations from Private Enterprise who needs access – public/private partnering is possible in this respect.

Any of us can download WVU study @

Regional issues – Buck True talked about “creative packaging” of road projects.

Frank Moretti article quoted – is great safety concerns and does cause greatest risk

Rural Roads – High unacceptable risks

Buck has a limited stretch of 50 he is presenting – it is a big project but not all of our wish list – mostly Barbour County.

Byrd relies on DOH to give him priorities but will keep True informed of funding as it is sent.

If we (in solidarity) go down and lobby House/Senate we will get farther as an Association

Web page – Ken Musgrave and Gary Howell – update:

They will create and publish a web site for the association to serve as an informational site. Also will upload historical post card images of Rt. 50 to show nothing has changed.

Summary – Wayne

Next steps

- complete wish list and studies – almost done

- Funding revenues

- One voice in Charleston/Fed.

- Web Page

Will meet in Grant next – location/date/time TBA in email.

Other business/comments

Chad Swick - Thanks to TC Comm for food and McDonald’s drinks

Mr. Harsh – 1st meeting he attended but suggested Merger/Passing lanes’ talked about 219 and relocation of corridor H and its potential effects on economic development and Rt 50 connectors will/may become important; guard rails should be buried – several other comments about Aurora (overhand of trees –widowmaker)and econ dev.

He appreciates leadership of the association.

Wayne advised him to seek approval through his County Commission

Dave Gobel – consider the following as very possibly going to happen in future –scenario:

I79 shut down and all traffic routed on 50-119 if accident(s). All Northern state traffic stops! A sobering note to end upon.

Meeting adjourned at 2:15 p.m.