Wednesday, July 19, 2006

July 2006 Minutes

Recorded Attendees: Gary Howell – Mineral County Planning Commission, Darwin Wolfe – Preston County Commission, Richard Feigley – Garrett County, Lotta Neer – Congressman Alan Mollohan’s Office, Dave Beard – Garrett County Commission, Peggy Jamison – Garrett County Development, Bob Fisher – MDSHA, Karen Allen – WVDOH, Brian Carr – WVDOH, Tom Hencke – Grant County Press, Frank Whitacre – Hampshire County Assessor, Grady Bradfield – Hampshire County, Marc Bashoor – Mineral County 911, Charles Goldizen – Grant County Commission, Elwood Williams – Grant County Development Authority, Mona Ridder – Cumberland Times-News, Don Graham – Mineral County, Terry Lively – Region 8 PDC, Chris Wakim – WV 1st District Congressional Candidate.

Opening: Lunch took place at the Hermitage Inn in Petersburg, WV. Wayne Spiggle called meeting to order at 12:50, after introductions Charles Goldizen welcomed the group to Grant County.

Old Business: Les Shoemaker not being in attendance the Roberts Rules request was tabled until a later date. Gary Howell was asked to speak on the Priority Projects list. Gary stated that the list was in the pack of materials handed out and deferred to Brian Carr from WVDOH. Brian stated that all counties but Taylor had submitted their list, and Taylor informed him that they had presented their request directly to WVDOH. Brian also stated that a search of WVDOH records turned up nothing for Taylor County.

New Business: Evelyn Baker ask the group to consider requesting a Tier 1 study for the US 50 corridor be implemented. Brian Carr of WVDOH stated that the cost of a Tier 1 study would be in the $8 million dollar range. Both Brian Carr of WVDOH and Bob Fisher of MDSHA thought it was too soon to request a Tier 1 study. They felt the money would be wasted, because the project would not be in the near term. Evelyn Baker stated the group needs to start someplace.

WVDOH and MDSHA both stated they did not believe that the signage showing mileage to Sacramento, CA and Ocean City, MD and would not place the signs. Evelyn Baker stated that the Hampshire County CVB was willing to provide funding for a sign in Hampshire County. Gary Howell stated that talking with Anne Palmer at Mineral County CVB they wanted to see what Hampshire County did and then make a decision. Wayne Spiggle spoke that the state might not want the sign on their right-of-way. Brian Carr stated that while Charleston position was opposed to it, District Offices might have some leeway to work with the CVB’s.

Karen Allen of WVDOH Byways explained that making a highway a designated Byway it opens up additional grants. WV has received $6 million since 1991. It also allows access to the Transportation Enhancement Program that WV receives $12 million annually. The state advertises the Byway Routes in West Virginia Magazine to promote tourism and travel. Limitations are placed on Byways to protect the intrinsic qualities including scenic, cultural, and historic, etc. Outdoor advertising is prohibited off the businesses immediate site. US 50 has already been listed as a Byway from Clarksburg to the Maryland State Line. Darwin Wolfe the byway interfering with upgrades, as the Preston County Commission was unaware of the designation. Karen Allen stated it was so designated in June of 1997. It is requested that the North Central Byways & Backways Inc., the group administering the US 50 Byway, be invited to the September meeting. Karen stated she would extend that invitation.

Wayne Spiggle suggested that picket the August Preparedness Summit held at Canaan Valley with place cards to draw attention to the plight of US 50. Gary Howell stated that it would be a bad idea to protest, and that is not what the group is about. We need to work with the officials to get the changes to the road. Marc Basehor stated that the county Emergency service of Eastern WV, Western MD, and Northern VA have been meeting to discuss evacuating DC and that the counties had essentially been un-invited to the event. Only state officials are being asked to attend.

Gary Howell suggested that a lower cost alternative to a full 4-lane road might be a three lane with 2 lanes in one direction and the switch to 2-lanes in the other direction to provide opportunities to pass and improve flow along the existing alignment. WVDOH stated that WV did not have that as a possibility in their guides for building roads. Gary stated that on several occasions that WVDOH has backed off on low cost solutions because they were not in the states guide. Giving examples of the 3-lane option on US 11 in PA, and that a second 2-lane road was built parallel to US 50 in VA to make it 4-lanes, Gary ask that maybe the state should look to revise its guides.

Don Graham asked if the US 50 association could have representation at the North South corridor meetings. Bob Fisher of MDSHA stated that anybody that wants put on the mailing list to attend the meetings should e@mail him and requests a summary of previous meetings. Bob Fishers e@mail is

Brian Carr of WVDOH passed out completed copies of the US 50 needs studies. He brought two copies for each county involved.

Citizen Concerns: None

September Meeting:

Preston County will host the next meeting on September 20th. Confirmed location will follow.

Meeting Adjourned at 2:01.

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