Mike Nolting WAJR
Morgantown City Council update
February 16, 2021
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  • MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The city of Morgantown made another step toward breaking ground on Phase I of the airport runway extension and starting the groundwork for the proposed I-68 Industrial Park.

    In April of this year, the FAA signaled the project would be be approved for $7,777,778 from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program, which received additional funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

    “It is anticipated the FAA will offer the grant later this month, so it’s really important that council provides in first reading final acceptance of the grant funds,” city manager Kim Haws said,” Because it’s time sensitive.”

    The airport project will extend the runway by 1,000 feet. The extension will improve safety during bad weather and better serve the needs of WVU, businesses and community members.

    The dirt generated from the project will be used to build the proposed I-68 Industrial Park. The I-68 Commerce Park is planned for clean, light to heavy industrial or logistics activities.

    “It’s part of the establishment of a borrow site that will benefit a series of projects out there including the business park,” Haws said.

    Pittsburgh-based Doss Enterprises submitted the apparent low bid for Phase I work at about $5.7 million that council is expected to award.

    Deputy mayor Rachel Fetty told council members Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has received the proposed Citizens Police Review Board ordinance and it is under review.

    ACLU community outreach director Mollie Kennedy has told council members during the process of developing the ordinance sectors of the of the community have expressed fear and concern about their relationships with police.

    “Whether another individual, based on their own experience doesn’t see a need for it or not,” Kennedy said,” Really does not change the fact that many community members, particularly people from marginalized groups are telling you there are problems and we can make things better.”

    The City of Morgantown is still working on concerns over the removal of trash.

    During Morgantown City Council’s regular meeting Tuesday, concerns over city garbage, and the disposal of it among other issues, were brought forward by Morgantown City Manager Kim Haws during his city manager’s report. While addressing council, Haws elaborated on some of the efforts being taken by the city to address concerns from the “Trash Force” established in late 2020.

    “Our Code Enforcement is running a trash route of them (Republic Services), to ensure that the proper procedures is being followed by our service provider,” said Morgantown City Manager Kim Haws.

    Efforts by code enforcement, as well Haws and others in city management, were addressed by council members including members of the “Trash Force” themselves. This included negotiations with Republic Services, the waste disposal provider for the city, to negotiate on performance incentives while also pinpointing key areas of need in Morgantown. While council was happy by some positive developments, some members felt that this should eventually find some sort of endpoint

    “I’m concerned that, while it’s good to have our own staff running around trying to make sure that they do the right thing, It would be better if they figured out how to di it themselves,” said Councilor Jenny Selin.

    City council members also recognized Black History Month and declared the February “General Aviation Appreciation Month.”