Thursday, January 22, 2009

January 2009 Minutes - Grant County Meeting

January 21st, 2009

Recorded Attendees: Gary Howell – Mineral County, Wayne Spiggle-Mineral County Commission, Arvin Harsh – Preston County, Bill Wood – WVDOH – Charleston, Mona Ridder – MCDA, Brian Carr – WVDOH, Chris Strovel – Congresswoman Capito’s office, Dave Moe – Garrett Co. Dev. Com., Bill Ross – Grant County EDO, Karen Ebert Allen – WVDOH, Lee Thorne – WVDOH Dist 5, Steve Durst – Town of Bayard, Dave Price – Preston County.

Introductions: Steve Durst, Mayor of Bayard welcomed everyone to the meeting stating, “Without Rt. 50 they would be isolated.” Bill Ross of Grant County EDO also welcomed everyone to the Grant County meeting.

Question on the Minutes: Dave Moe asked about the following from the November 2008 minutes; “Wayne Spiggle asked if the fact the group was started by the county commissions of each county along the route could be added.” Dave Moe who attended the first meeting of the group stated it was originally set up as a citizens group. Wayne Spiggle stated it was started by the County Commissions. Mr. Moe reminded Mr. Spiggle that at the time the group as started Mr. Spiggle was not a county commissioner.

Review of Minutes: It appears the idea of bringing the County Commissions in was not offered until the 2nd Meeting of the group in March of 2004.

March 2004 Minutes - Idea to build around county commissions from Virginia state line to Harrison County.

The group invited the County Commissions to participate in the US 50 Association.

May 2004 Minutes - Memorandum of Understanding ¬ A draft memorandum of understanding was given to each county commission. The memorandum sets forth the purpose of the Association and establishes the mechanism for each commission to officially recognize and participate in its activities.

November 2004 Agenda – STATUS REPORT ON LETTERS OF UNDERSTANDING – STEVE BAKER (No Minutes for the November 2004 Meeting)

Nearly a year after the group was started the County Commissions had yet to respond to the letters of understanding. It appears from the minutes that the County Commissions were invited to be part of the group, but the group remains a citizens group. It appears that the minutes support Dave Moe’s recollections.

Correspondence: None

Old Business: The intersection of US 50 and WV 24 was discussed and the possibility of reducing the speed limit through the intersection to 40 mph from its current 55 mph. Bill Wood of WVDOH said a speed study will be done in the spring when weather will allow the installation of traffic study devices. After the study, the traffic engineering division will make a recommendation which may require a public meeting if changes are indicated.

The US 50 Brochure was not finished and 2 letters need to be sent. Gary Howell said he would finish these without additional help do to the time constraints of Mona Ridder’s job at the Economic Development Authority. Dave Moe asked to send a letter from Maryland delegation as well.

Lee Thorne of WVDOH District 5 addressed the removal of turns on US 50 where the state had already done much of the work. He stated there is no money to fix the turns. He would look at the turn west of Dorsey’s curve at the pull off area to see if it could be removed.

Dave Moe asked for a Tier 2 estimate so that the money may be requested to complete the project. He also indicated that originally the Tier 1 study was to have been completed in 18 months which would have been summer of 2007 and had yet to be completed.

Bill Woods explained that extending WV 93 was proceeding. Traffic and Engineering believes the idea has merit and will probably recommend it. The new northern terminus of WV 93 will be at the intersection of US 220 at the Blue Jay Bridge when the project is completed.

New Business:

Karen Ebert Allen of WVDOH spoke on US 50 as a scenic byway after Paul Mattox recommended it. She stated she had seen the draft of the brochure from the Association. She went on to state that the US 50 from the MD line west to Clarksburg was designated a byway and offered to set up a meeting with that group.

Dave Price stated that some byway groups oppose improving the highway to preserve the scenic qualities. He also asked about advertising being restricted along the route as a result of being made a byway. It was indicated that is the case. Mr. Price also stated he had gotten complaints from businesses unable to advertise along the scenic byway. Ms Allen stated that could be Federal restrictions and not the byway restrictions.

On a traffic light east of Romney at the entrance to the new hospital, Brian Carr stated, it will require an impact study of the new traffic pattern.

The request for center road reflectors was met with a new problem. WVDOH indicated they are not holding up well to snow plows. A new solution is centerline rumble strips. These seem to last longer. It was ask if they could look at placing these in Hampshire County along US 50 as they would help prevent sleepy drivers from crossing the centerline as many people in Hampshire County drive late and earlier hours to Winchester, VA for work.

March Meeting:

Garrett County is next on the schedule to host the March 18, 2009 meeting a t a place to be determined.

Meeting Adjourned at 2:01

Tentative Meeting Schedule
18 March 2009 – Garrett County
20 May 2009 – Preston County
15 July 2009 – Taylor County
16 September 2009 – Hampshire County
18 November 2009 – Mineral County
20 January 2010 – Grant County

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