Friday 17 December 2004
Governor-Elect Joe Manchin
Manchin Transition Team 2004
1614 Kanawha Blvd
Charleston WV 25311
SUBJECT: Federal Boating Infrastructure Grant for Upper Monongahela River in WV
Dear Governor-Elect Manchin:
I ask that your Transition Team look into why this grant is stalled, apparently due to inaction on the part of state officials to comply with federal requests for information.
This federal grant, along with other Upper Mon river-related projects, is important for the economic development of our Mon river region in WV.
The Upper Mon Water Trail VISION 2020 committee (now the Mon River Recreation Committee), Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce, advocated preparation of a BIG application, summer 2002.
Enclosure one, Transient Non-Trailerable Boat Facilities - A Plan for the Upper Monongahela in West Virginia, prepared by UMRA members, was given to Patrick Donovan of the WV Public Port Authority in August 2002. Patrick used this information to apply for the grant, which he submitted September 2002. We have not been copied on that BIG application, or on any subsequent paperwork.
The grant should have been available in the spring of 2003. Our questions as to the status of the grant since that time are met with Patrick's response that the grant will arrive shortly.
Enclosure two is Congressman Mollohan's letter of 10 November 2004 to me concerning the status of the grant, with the response of the U.S. Fish Wildlife Service to Congressman Mollohan's inquiry. Note the FWS statement re the popularity of the BIG program.
Our grant, however, is a Tier One non-competitive grant from the $100K/year allotted to each state. Once FWS has all the information they need, our grant therefore should be a pro forma action by FWS.
Your help in resolving this issue will be most appreciated.
I may be phoned at 304-599-7585 if you wish to further discuss this issue.
I also ask that you phone our UMRA vice-president, Barry Pallay, at 304-599-2077, cell 304-276-3792, to gain Barry's input on this issue. Barry is a member of the Monongalia County Development Authority, and, Region 6 of the WV Regional Planning & Development Council.
Please also visit our website, UPPERMON.ORG, for information about us.
Donald C. Strimbeck, Secretary
LETTER FROM CONGRESSMAN MOLLOHAN, ON HIS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LETTERHEAD
November 10, 2004
Mr. Donald C. Strimbeck
P. O. Box 519
Granville WV 26534-0519
Dear Mr. Strimbeck:
I have received a response from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regarding my inquiry on behalf of the West Virginia Port Authority's request for funding from the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program. Enclosed you will find a copy of that letter for your reference.
As you will note, FWS states that a decision has not yet been reached because they did not have all the requested information from the Port Authority. According to FWS, the additional information has again been requested. I hope you find this information helpful.
Please don't hesitate to contact me again if I may be helpful in any way. I want to be of all possible assistance.
/s/ Alan B. Mollohan
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington DC 20240
October 25, 2004
In Reply Refer To: FWS/AWSR/FA: 017308
Honorable Alan B. Mollohan
House of Representatives
Washington DC 20515-4801
Dear Mr. Mollohan:
Thank you for your letter inquiring about the status of the West Virginia Port Authority's project proposal for funding from the Boating Infrastructure Grant Program (BIG) for Morgantown and Star City. BIG is one of the most sought-after grant programs administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service).
The project proposal remains under consideration because not all information requested has been received. The Service has communicated with the State on this matter and hopes to receive the required information in the immediate future. If the State or project sponsors would like assistance with issues associated with the needed material, they should contact Mr. Al Ortiz in our Region 5 office at, 413-253-8406
/s/ Illegible Signature