Fairmont resolution acknowledges impact of locks’ closure
Fairmont Times West Virginian
15 August 2012
By Katie Wilson
FAIRMONT — Fairmont City Council is the latest government agency
to sign a resolution in favor of the Monongahela River locks.
Council passed the resolution on a unanimous 8-0 vote at its
regular meeting Tuesday. Councilman Bob Sapp was not present.
City Manager Jay Rogers said the resolution was similar to the one
Morgantown’s council passed recently.
The four government agencies — the City of Fairmont, the City of
Morgantown, the Monongalia County Commission and the Marion County
Commission — are working on the logistics of a joint meeting to
discuss the resolutions and how they can help keep the locks open,
The resolution states the economy of the City of Fairmont and the
entire region would be impacted by the closure.
Mayor Bill Burdick said he was pleased the resolution focused on
the economic issues, even though recreational usage is important.
“I think shutting them down eliminates the possibility of
commercial development,” Burdick said.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) this year announced plans
to close or sharply curtail hours at three locks on the
Monongahela River. Under the plan, the Hildebrand and Opekiska
locks would be closed by October, and the hours cut at Morgantown.
The locks would be opened if a commercial entity applied for an
appointment with the USACE.
Basically, that would cut off river traffic between Morgantown and
Fairmont. No barges or recreational crafts would be able to make