Thursday, March 20, 2008

Minutes March 19, 2008


March 19, 2008

Recorded Attendees: Maryland Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R) - Gary Howell – Mineral County, Wayne Spiggle-Mineral County Commission, Charlie Baker – Hampshire County Planner, Brian Carr – WVDOH Charleston, David Stemple – Preston County, Delores Stemple – Preston County, Evelyn Baker-Hampshire County, David Moe - Garrett County, Mona Ridder – Cumberland TimesNews, Bob Fisher – MDSHA, Arvin Harsh – Preston County, Brenda Frantz – Congressman Bartlett’s Office, Cat Johnson – Congressman Mollohan’s Office, Chris Strovel – Congresswoman Capito’s Office, Julianna Albowicz – Senator Mikulsi’s Office, Dennis Glotfelty – Garrett County Commission

Introductions: Dennis Glotfelty opened the meeting. Mineral County Commissioner Wayne Spiggle made the introductions welcoming everyone to the meeting. He made special recognition of Maryland Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, and thanked Gary Howell for taking care of communications and minutes.

Correspondence: None

Old Business:

Cate Johnson of Congressman Mollohan’s stated that the Corridor O Bill has been introduced as H.R. 4827. The Corridor-O bill would make the US 220 north-south corridor part of the Appalachian Development Highway System. This would allow a different funding source for earlier completion of a 4-lane US 220 connecting Corridor-H to I-68. Congressman Bartlett was presented with a copy of the bill.

David Moe gave a detailed report on the North-South Corridor Project. Gary Howell explained that US 220 in combination with several other routes was being used by truck traffic to bypass the Washington, DC when traveling out of the port of Norfolk to the industrial areas around Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit.

The US 50 Association requested that Congressman Bartlett look over the bill and if he felt it was something that he could support, would he co-sponsor the bill giving it bipartisan support. The same was asked of Congresswoman Capito’s office. David Moe reinforced the need for the road with a 1998 estimate that the US 220 upgrades could provide the opportunity for up to 10,000 jobs in the area.

David Moe also discussed a funding problem that needs changed in the Federal Law. Recently the Federal Law was changed not allowing Toll Credits to be used as matching funds. This change in the law was blocking Pennsylvania from using $9 million as matching funds to complete a section of Corridor N in Somerset County. He requested that Congressman Bartlett look at changing the law back to the way it was.

Congressman Bartlett also stated that fuel prices are causing a funding problem for most states as fuel tax is a per gallon tax. As oil reaches $110 a barrel, that people are driving less and causing a short fall in highway funding which source is the fuel tax.

Evelyn Baker explained that the stop light funding for Jersey Mountain had been returned to the state because to many entrances were now in that area. It was requested that WVDOH look into possibly closing some entrance roads and combining them into one where a traffic light could be installed. Wayne Spiggle requested that the Hampshire County Commission look into it. Association. Brian Carr said he would contact the Engineering Division to look at the area in question.

New Business:

Evelyn Baker addressed a possible way to reduce the cost of a 4-lane section to the tax payers by using an area that would have less mountains to cross. The route would follow US 50 east of Romney to Augusta where it would then swing north on WV 29 to WV 127 crossing into Virginia. In Virginia it would follow VA 127 to US 522 South to VA 37 to Interstate 81 South, then returning to the existing US 50. A 4-lane section should connect the Capon Bridge Industrial Park to the VA line.

Arvin Harsh presented two resolutions requesting the changing of the intersection of US 50 and WV 24 in Aurora for safety. One was from the Mountains Lions Club and the other from the Aurora Volunteer Fire Department. (A version will be added to the US 50 Association Website for revue). The estimated cost to change the intersection from a “Y” to a “T” was $150,000 several years ago.

Congressman Roscoe Bartlett was given an opportunity to make a few remarks. The congressman stated that we need citizens groups involved like the US 50 Association. We need less government and more citizens’ involvement. He agrees that we need better roads.

November Meeting:

Preston County is next on the schedule to host the May 21st meeting at Melanie’s in Aurora.

Meeting Adjourned at 2:11

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