WHEREAS, due to severe budget cuts, the Pittsburgh District of the US Army Corps of Engineers has cut the hours of operation of the Morgantown, Hildebrand, and Opekiska Locks on the Upper Mon in West Virginia to the point where river commerce and long-range recreational boating are badly hurt; and
WHEREAS, economic development of the Upper Mon region in West Virginia is stymied by the Hildebrand and Opekiska Locks being totally closed all year except for the hours of 12:30 PM to 8:00 PM Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays during the recreational boating season; and
WHEREAS, with the Morgantown Lock now cut to dayshift only (7AM-3PM) all year (but with Morgantown Lock conforming to Hildebrand Opekiska schedule during recreational boating season), which virtually halts both commercial and long-range recreational boating South of the Morgantown Lock.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Marion County Commission:
1. Supports the "Interim Solution Upper Mon Lock Hours"
proposed via letter fax to Congressman Mollohan by the Upper Monongahela River Association Incorporation on May 10, 2004 calling for our three Upper Mon Locks to be open from 6AM to 1OPM on Fridays Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays during the May 1 - October 31 recreational boating season, until such time as these three Locks are restored to 24/7 operations all year, either through implementation of Congressman Mollohan's initiative for remote operations of these Locks from the Point Marion Lock, or by funding sufficient to staff our three Upper Mon Locks with Lock Operators.
2. The Marion County Commission feels that the modest $100Kannual cost of the "Interim Solution Upper Mon Lock Hours" is feasible even in these times of federal budget difficulties, and would enable the Marion County Commission and other organizations to pursue the overall economic and recreational development of our Upper Mon Region in West Virginia.
3. The Marion County Commission fully supports Congressman Mollohan's initiative to provide for remote operation of our three Upper Mon Locks from the Point Marion Lock.
Given under our hand and the Seal of the County of Marion this the 18th Day of August, 2004.