Help Keep Locks Open, City Urged
Resolution asks Corps to find alternative funds
Morgantown Dominion Post
1 August 2012
By Tracy Eddy
Morgantown City Council will consider a resolution encouraging the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the federal government to
keep the Monongahela River locks open to recreational boaters.
Barry Pallay, vice president of the Upper Monongahela River
Association, presented the resolution to council Tuesday, during
its Committee of the Whole meeting. No official action was taken.
The resolution also includes suggestions for making sure the locks
are accessible on a limited basis until their operations can be
“We recognize we may have to make some compromises,” Pallay said.
“But it’s not acceptable just to shutter” the locks.
USACE could close the Hildebrand and Opekiska locks, due to
national budget cuts. There also is a proposal to reduce operating
hours at the Morgantown lock, from eight hours daily to eight
hours on weekends and holidays only. The changes would likely take
effect in October 2013.
Pallay said the resolution suggests leaving the upper Mon locks
open for 45 days from April 1-Oct. 31 for the recreational boating
season. They’re now open for 91 days, he said.
The resolution also asks USACE to investigate innovative ways to
fund operation of the locks, such as creating an Upper Mon Port
Authority that governments, businesses and others could join and
contribute funds to, according to the document.
Using contractual, part-time or seasonal employees or volunteers
to operate the locks was also recommended.
Pallay said Fairmont City Council, as well as the Marion and
Monongalia county commissions, would be asked to consider similar
here to read the Resolution as presented by Pallay