August 5, 2004

Mr. Parry G. Petroplus
Managing Partner
Platinum Properties, LLC
150 Clay Street, Suite 200
Morgantown, WV 26501-5948

Dear Mr. Petroplus:

I appreciate your contacting me regarding your support for the Upper Monongahela diver Association's proposal for alternate Upper Mon lock hours. Thank you for being in touch.

I commend you on your efforts thus far toward the development of the Wharf District and I can certainly understand your economic interest in longer hours for the locks. You may be interested to know that I have contacted Pittsburgh Corps of Engineers District Commander Colonel Raymond Sorocco on behalf of the Association and asked that he consider the proposal.

Further, I continue to pursue Federal funding opportunities to automate the locks, which would allow for a much fuller lock timetable. In the Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, I obtained $342,000 for a study to examine the practicality of remote control automation of the Hildebrand, Opekiska and Morgantown locks. Further, I have been working to include funding for the automation of the Upper Mon locks in the FY 2005 version of the spending measure. The bill passed the House of Representatives an June 25, 2004, however the automation project was not specifically included in this version of the bill. Likely, the funding for the Upper Mon locks automation will be addressed in Conference with the Senate, once they complete action on their version of the spending measure. Please be assured that I will, continue to pursue funding for this project,

I hope you wont hesitate to contact me again if I can be helpful in any way. I want to be of all possible service.

ABM - km