Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Preston County Minutes May, 2008


May 21st, 2008

Recorded Attendees: Gary Howell – Mineral County, Wayne Spiggle-Mineral County Commission, David Moe - Garrett County, Arvin Harsh – Preston County, , Cate Johnson – Congressman Mollohan’s Office, Chris Strovel – Congresswoman Capito’s Office, Walt Davis – Hampshire County, Grady Bradfield – Hampshire County, Craig Jennings – Preston County, Dave Price – Preston County, Vicky Cole – Preston County, Allen Murlin – Mineral County,

Introductions: Preston County Commission Dave Price opened the meeting. Mineral County Commissioner Wayne Spiggle made the introductions welcoming everyone to the meeting.

Correspondence: None

Old Business: Dave Moe pointed out two corrections needed for the March Minutes. Corridor N (US 219) was incorrectly labeled as Corridor 0 and Federal Toll Credits was incorrectly listed as Federal Toll Funds. The corrections have been noted.

Cate Johnson of Congressman Mollohan’s (D) office indicated that no progress had been made on co-sponsors on H.R. 4827. H.R. 4827 is the bill that makes a 4-lane highway between I-68 at Cumberland, MD and Corridor H part of the Appalachian Development Highway System. The corridor would be known as a Corridor O extension and generally follow the path of the current US 220. Chris Strovel of Congresswoman Capito’s (R) office announced at the meeting that the Congresswoman would be co-sponsoring H.R. 4827, and that information would be forwarded to Congressman Mollohan’s office shortly. With the addition of Congresswoman Capito’s name on the bill, H.R. 4827 will now have bipartisan support making it easier to move forward. The Corridor O extension will build a section of US 50 as 4-lane in Mineral County if completed.

The issue of a traffic light near the WVDMV office on US 50 east of Romney was tabled until a later meeting.

New Business: It was announced that US 50 remains closed after several months near the Taylor-Harrison County line. The road was closed when the mountain slid in. Traffic is being re-routed via WV 279 to I-79. No date for the road reopening is available.

Arvin Harsh asked the group to address the state on the safety issue of the US 50/WV 24 intersection in Aurora. The Aurora Fire Department and Lions Club had previously asked the US 50 Association to ask for help from the state. The Preston County commission asked Arvin Harsh to attend the next public commission meeting for the commission to draft a formal request to the WVDOH for a realignment of the intersection. It was also decided that the US 50 Association would also draft a similar letter.

Mr. Harsh also asked if something could be done about the trees hanging over the road east of Aurora. Some of these trees have fallen onto the highway in bad weather causing traffic hazards. It was debated whether or not it was the responsibility of the land owner next to the highway to trim the trees or the WVDOH. Both the Preston County Commission and the US 50 Association will ask the WVDOH to trim the trees for safety.

West Virginians for Better Transportation released their Candidate Survey results. They can be found at:

Wayne Spiggle asked the Association if the group would like to give $1000 to WVBT to promote the need for better roads in WV. Dave Price stated that the purpose of the US 50 Association was to promote a better highway and that was the goal of the WVBT. He saw no problem giving the money to promote awareness of West Virginia’s highway problems.

Gary Howell suggested the group put its own brochure together. The brochure could be given to businesses along US 50 to promote the goals of a safer more economically viable US 50 from Winchester to Clarksburg. Grady Bradfield thought this was an excellent idea. The group decided to move forward on creating a brochure. Wayne Spiggle offered to assist Mr. Howell in creating the document.

Gary Howell spoke with Taylor County Commissioner Rusty Efaw about the up coming July meeting. Commissioner Efaw looking forward to the meeting, the Taylor County Library volunteered to host the meeting possibly in conjunction with the Taylor County Chamber of Commerce. The group was encouraged with increasing participation of the Taylor County.

It was also suggested that a special invitation to the September meeting be extended to the Frederick County, VA board of Supervisors and VDOT officials. VDOT has been working with the US 50 Association on getting out press releases on highway construction delays on their portion of US 50.

The group also decided to request that Governor Manchin send a representative to future meetings to better coordinate efforts with the state.

Regional Issues: Dave Moe spoke on the Toll Credit issue that was unique to Pennsylvania. The ability for Pennsylvania to use Toll Road Credits for completion of Corridor N, between I-70 and I-68 was in inadvertently removed. This is preventing Pennsylvania from coming up with its $9 million to complete the next section and receive $45 million in Federal matching funds. H.R. 1195 was introduced and passed out of the US House, but the correction measure was left off. Wayne Spiggle asked Dave Moe to follow up with Nora Martin in Senator Byrd’s office. Corridor N and the Corridor O extension will act as a connection between Corridor H and the PA Turnpike providing increased economic opportunity to MD, PA, VA and WV.

Additional Information: US 50 Paving Projects 2008

Grant County - US 50 - MP 7.45 - 8.83 - 1.38 miles - Mt. Storm - Skyline ($325,000)

Grant County - US 50 - MP 8.83 - 9.64 - 0.81 miles - Mt. Storm - Skyline ($192,000)

Mineral County - US 50 - MP 0.00 - 3.44 - 3.44 miles - Abrams Creek - Skyline Road ($923,000)

Preston County - US 50 - MP 8.84 - 10.88 - 2.04 miles - Macomber Road West ($477,000)

July Meeting:

Taylor County is next on the schedule to host the July 16th meeting at a place to be determined.

Meeting Adjourned at 2:05

Tentative Meeting Schedule

16 July 2008 - Taylor County
17 September 2008 - Hampshire County
19 November 2008 - Mineral County

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