MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With a unanimous vote Morgantown City Council agreed to change the route of the 30″ raw water pipeline-again.
Chair of the Mon Valley Green Space Coalition, JoNell Strough presented a route they called 3/8. The route moves the beginning of Route 3A to the starting point of Route 8, then merges with Route 3A after crossing the reservoir.
The blended route avoids a widely used section of White Park where there are trees that over two feet in diameter. The route also moves construction activity further from the drip line of the tree, increasing the chances of survival through the construction process.
Strough said, “We’re not totally happy because we would have preferred to stay out of the park all together, but I think as a compromise it’s a reasonable solution. You can’t have everything you want.”
Sixth Ward Councilman and member of the Mon River Trails Conservancy Dave Harshbarger said, “You can’t put a price on the cost of old growth tress. They’re just irreplaceable and we can replace at a rate of 100 to one but will take 100 years for those trees to mature to point of the trees we may have to take down.”
Morgantown Utility Board General Manager Tim Ball wants the engineering staff to review the change but he relatively certain they can accommodate the plan. Ball said, “Modification proposed tonight by the Green Space Coalition that is really a minor modification to where Route 3 might originate on Mississippi Street and MUB expressed essentially neutrality on that.”
Now, management teams from MUB and the City of Morgantown are working to secure the licensing agreement that dictates the work, reclamation and maintenance of the area. MUB is continuing to work through the permitting process with government agencies.