10 October 2008

Minutes taken by Don Strimbeck.

Next meeting will be 9AM Friday 14 November 2008, at Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce.

ATTENDING: Don Strimbeck, Wally Venable, Tom Bartlett, Ralph LaRue, Peggy Myers-Smith, Paula Martinelli, Martin Christ, Maddy Hoden, Dave Weaver, Dave Bruffy, Chad Pierskalla, Billy Coffindaffer, Barry Pallay, Mark Tampoya, Julie Kagler, and, Dan Proudfoot.

Per request by our committee, Ralph LaRue invited Mark Tampoya, resident of Morgantown, and one of the developers of the Volcano Island resort in Fairmont WV, to describe the $100M+ project. Their website is http://www.volcanoislandresort.com . Mark said the project involves 107 acres around the old Sharon Steel coke ovens site. No gambling. Baseline jobs will be 600, which goes up to 900 on holidays. They will have 60-slip marina on the Mon. Omni Associates of Fairmont is their architect. Earth-moving has started Project may be open in two years. Private funding, although WV will help with access roads.

Ralph LaRue, since Patrick Kirby could not attend, gave update on Quality Glass site. The site assessment report is being reviewed. Capping (paving) the site is perhaps the most viable option. This prevents rain from percolating down thru the contaminated earth, thus lessening contaminants from leaching from the site into groundwater, and into the river. End-uses for site will be explored by a WVU landscape architecture student. Recall that our committee members in the past have said the capped (paved) area could be used for parking for MonTrails users, and, for access to the river by non-powered boats, eg, kayaks, canoes, rowboats, etc.

Strimbeck reported that the Upper Monongahela River Association belongs to two Washington waterways lobbying organizations, the National Waterways Conference, and, the Waterways Council. UMRA has been invited by NWC to provide a member for NWC board. Wally Venable has agreed to be our UMRA representative on NWC board, to present the view of recreational boaters. Keep in mind NWC and WC mainly lobby for commercial users of our nation’s waterways. Patrick Donovan, Executive Director of the WV Public Port Authority, is VP on NWC. We suspect Patrick is behind the invitation from NWC!!!

Check out these websites:





Proceedings of Mon River Summit III are posted on


The fall meeting of CERRUS (Corps of Engineers and River Recreational Users) will be evening of 21 October at Two Rivers Marina Restaurant, Dilliner PA. Those who are on my Mon River Recreation & Commerce Committee email list, and, my CERRUS email list, are receiving information about this meeting.

The Saturday 13 September Upper Mon tour on Tom & Barbara Bartlett’s THE ENCHANTRESS was a success. See the Dominion Post story by Kathy Plum on Monday 15 September, posted on UpperMon.org under news. Tom offered another tour on Sunday 19 October. He and his Coast Guard Auxiliary crew need to make one more patrol this year. This additional tour could be piggy-backed on this patrol. Strimbeck will email his MRR&CC and CERRUS lists, to see what we can put together.

Barry Pallay, Wally Venable, Ralph LaRue, Frank Jernejcic, Maddy Hoden, met with Town of Granville council on 16 September. We toured the Granville riverfront site being developed by Granville. Granville will contract with Dave Weaver, DMJM Harris, for design of the waterfront development.

Dave Bruffy described how riverfront development in Oklahoma City provides some lessons for our riverfront development. Dave also listed the potential stops for the water bus (we ain’t supposed to call it a taxi!).

Julie Kagler, Daniel Proudfoot, and Madeleine Hoden, presented their RIVERFRONT PROJECT (in fulfillment of Recreation, Parks and Tourism 365). This encompasses the river area bounded by Stansbury Hall and land in Westover opposite Stansbury. Their concept for docks and a park are worthwhile and feasible. Further study is perhaps merited. WVU probably would cooperate concerning access to a dock at Stansbury. Problem here is steep slope of riverbank and need for ADA access, both driving up cost. As for the Westover portion, problems here are the railroad and land acquisition (City of Westover does not own the riverfront). However, perhaps this RIVERFRONT PROJECT should be presented to Westover City Council?? Morgantown City Council? And, to the WVU folks responsible for planning and development for the university?? And, if the proposal gathers steam, it could be the subject of a poster display at Mon River Summit IV, Monday 13 April 2009.

One of their references is book they passed around, ANATOMY OF A PARK, by Bernie Dahl and Donald J. Molnar, ISBN 1-57766-280-6, or, ISBN 978-1-57766-280-8. Book can be ordered at www.waveland.com , or Amazon.com. I ordered book from Amazon.

Frank Jernejcic could not attend, as he had to teach a class. So, Barry Pallay reported on topic of riverfront access. Construction is well advanced on the WVDNR boat launch ramp at the Monongalia County Industrial Park. The land has been cleared and leveled, and fill has been used for that need and for sculpting the riverbank. Riprap is being put on the riverbank frontage. The ramp is done. Paving may have to wait until next spring.

Fishing access at the downstream approach to the Morgantown lock is being readdressed. A letter has been sent to COL Crall on this matter. The committee voted to endorse the concept of recreational fishing from the lockwall (this is the Old Lock 10 landside lockwall, just north of the Morgantown lock).

The concept of a trail from the new University High School, down to the river, rail trail, and Quality Glass site, was discussed. There is something like a 400 foot vertical rise involved here (similar to the trail from the Coliseum down to the rail trail). Ralph LaRue pointed out that while the trail is feasible, it will be a difficult hike (best suited for billy-goats?!).

Martin Christ reported that he has resolved most of the remaining issues with the new water trail map. He will check with Frank Jernejcic re Frank’s input, and then Martin will prepare final draft. Martin will run the final draft by those who have helped with map revisions, before he sends the map to the PA Fish & Boat Commission.

Ro Brooks and Wally Venable prepared the citation wording for plaque for Matt Cybulski. Ralph LaRue has ordered the plaque. We probably will present plaque to Matt, during one of his visits to Morgantown.

Items punted until next meeting: (1) River arts projects-Ro Brooks; (2) Letter to summit attendees; and, (3) MRR&CC mission/projects statement.