[Preston] Commissioners to Ask Mon to Contribute to Watershed

Morgantown Dominion Post
21 February 2016
By Kathy Plum

KINGWOOD — Preston County commissioners will ask the Monongalia County Commission to contribute to the Upper Deckers Creek Watershed Association.
Commissioners will look over the letter to Mon County at Monday’s meeting. Mon County said it will consider the request.

Ed Martin, Watershed Program manager at the West Virginia Conservation Agency, spoke to Preston commissioners last week about the watershed’s maintenance plans for this year and asked for Preston’s continued financial support.

Plans for the year include assessing a 7-mile channel, which runs from around the coke ovens at Reedsville to below Bretz, and removing brush from the embankments.

“It’s a big undertaking, and it’s going to be a very costly project,” Martin said.

The watershed was created in the 1960s and dams and ponds were built in order to prevent flooding, particularly downstream. There are 170 similar structures statewide, and five are in Preston County, Martin said.

Preston County contributed $3,000 to the watershed in the current fiscal year. Mon County did not make a contribution, and that prompted the discussion in Preston County about the benefits of the watershed for both counties.

“What they would get flooded is totally different; Sabraton would be flooded,” Commission President Craig Jennings said.

Mon County Commission President Eldon Callen said commissioners there weren’t approached for funding in the current fiscal year but heard a pitch recently for funding in the coming fiscal year. He said they also asked if Preston would be approached.

“I think from the presentation this is a worthwhile endeavor,” Callen said. “What our financial situation is, we won’t know until we sit down.”

He noted Mon County has already received funding requests totaling more than $2 million from outside agencies.

The watershed asked Mon County for $4,000 in 2016-’17.