Upper Monongahela River Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 519
Granville, WV 26534-0519

Friday 20 June 2003

RE: Second Mailing to Congress re Support for Navigation Resolution


(1) Senator Rick Santorum, 202-224-6324, FAX 202-228-0604. Landmarks Building, Suite 250, 100 West Station Square Drive, Pittsburgh PA 15219, 412-562-0533 (Fax 4313).

(2) Senator Arlen Specter, 202-224-4254, FAX 202-228-1229. Suite 2031, Federal Building, Liberty Avenue and Grant Street, Pittsburgh PA 15222, 412-644-3400 (Fax 4871).

(3) Representative Mike Doyle, 202-225-2135 (Fax 3084). 627 Lysle Boulevard, McKeesport PA 15132, 412-664-4049 (Fax: 4053).

(4) Representative John Murtha, 202-225-2065 (Fax 5709). P. O. Box 780, Johnstown PA 15907-0780, 814-535-2642, FAX 814-539-6229.

(5) Representative Melissa Hart, 202-225-2565, FAX 202-226-2274. 4655 Route 8, Suite 124G, Coventry Square Shopping Center, Allison Park PA 15101, 412-492-0161 (fax 0178).

(6) Representative Tim Murphy, 202-225-2301 (Fax 1844). 504 Washington Road, Pittsburgh PA 15228, 412-344-5583, FAX 412-429-5092.

(7) Senator Robert C. Byrd, 202-224-3954, FAX 202-228-0002. 300 Virginia Street East, Suite 2630, Charleston WV 25301, 304-342-5855, FAX 304-343-7144.

(8) Senator Jay Rockefeller, 202-224-6472 (Fax 7665). 118 Adams Street, Suite 301, Fairmont WV 26554, 304-367-0122 (Fax 0822).

(9) Representative Alan B. Mollohan, 202-225-4172 (Fax 7564). P. O. Box 720, Morgantown WV 26507-0720, 304-292-3019 (Fax 3027).

(10) Representative Nick Rahall, 202-225-3452 (Fax 9061). 845 Fifth Avenue, Huntington WV 25701, 304-522-6425, FAX 304-529-5716.

(11) Representative Shelley Capito, 202-225-2711. 4815 MacCorkle Ave., SE, Charleston WV 25304, 304-925-5964, FAX 304-926-8912.

Dear Senators and Representatives:

This is our second and final mailing to you of expressions of support for the Navigation Resolution offered by us and by the River Navigation Coalition. Our first mailing to you was sent on 29 April 2003. Please refer to my cover letter for our first mailing, re our requests for congressional consideration.

This cover letter will be faxed to your Washington office. The entire package will be sent via US Postal Service to your district office.

A Table of Contents follows this letter. But, let me call your attention to two items. First, the Corps of Engineers briefing on pages 85 - 97.

The bottom line, per pages 93 and 95 of Corps briefing, is that the Upper Allegheny and Upper Mon locks will be slammed shut come the start of the federal Fiscal Year 2004 on 1 October 2003. This will absolutely just kill our efforts to develop a local recreational and long-range tourist recreational boating industry on our Upper Allegheny and Upper Mon. Having the upper locks open from 1230-2010 on Saturdays, Sundays, and, holidays during the recreational boating season will just keep local folks boating in their own pool. And, no long range recreational boater will visit the upper reaches of these rivers for fear of being stuck in a pool when the lock closes!

We understand the predicament of COL Scrocco, District Engineer, Pittsburgh District, US Army Corps of Engineers. He is doing the best he can to help us, under existing law which grants credence only to commercial tonnage when setting lock hours.

My second item concerns commerce on the Upper Mon south of the Morgantown lock. I refer you to the letter from Greer Industries , and, the two letters <1> <2> re Morgantown Industrial Park. Both have terminals immediately south of the Morgantown lock. Their businesses will be hurt if the Morgantown lock goes from 24/7 all year, to day shift only.

I had hoped to get a letter of support from Tom Vismans, who ships coal from his terminal located at Old Lock 15, south of the Opekiska lock, the last lock on the Upper Mon. Tom did not get a letter to me. His business suffered when the Hildebrand and Opekiska locks went from 24/7 to day shift only in 1985. He cannot compete with the railroad. My point here is that cutting lock hours stifles any hope of encouraging river commerce.

So, we ask Congress to change the rules that govern how the Corps sets lock hours. The law should require the Corps to consider the value (not just tonnage) of commercial lock transits. And, recreational boating and river community development must also be factors in setting lock hours.

We, UMRA, cannot speak to what is best for the Upper Allegheny. Captain Mike Ferris, President, River Navigation Coalition, is of course working that problem.

But, for the Upper Mon, at a bare minimum, during the 1 May through 31 October recreational boating season, the Morgantown, Hildebrand, and Opekiska locks should be open from 8AM to midnight.

We appreciate that you are hearing our concerns and are working to solve this problem.



Donald Strimbeck, Secretary
Upper Monongahela River Association, Inc.