Plans for barge facility on hold for now

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2005

SOUTH POINT - Plans for a new

barge docking facility on the Ohio River have hit rough waters, leaving some residents and the barge company waiting for the outcome.

Huntington (W.Va.) Marine Services hoped to build a barge docking facility that would extend for about a mile along the West Virginia shore near Camden Park, just across the river from South Point and Burlington. This is the company's third attempt to construct the facility since 1994.

Email newsletter signup

Recently, Huntington Mayor David Felinton decided to terminate the lease because Huntington Marine Services failed to pay the city the $120,000 that it demanded for delinquent lease payments.

&#8220We are at a loss for words at what the mayor did,” Huntington Marine Services owner Dale Manns said.

Manns said the matter has been turned over the company's legal department who is looking into it.

&#8220We'll just have to see what happens,” he said.


U. S. Army Corps of Engineers has not received any information regarding the termination of the lease, they are still proceeding with evaluations of the permit application, said representative Peggy Noel. And the Corps will continue to do so until they receive documentation that the property owner has been changed, she said.

Burlington resident Pam Pitsenbarger said she is happy the city has terminated the lease contract with the property owner.

&#8220Of course, I'm thrilled,” she said.

Pitsenbarger said those barges would be right across the river from her house - where children play, build fires and enjoy the scenery. Pitsenbarger said the river is &#8220picturesque to look at” and she is &#8220thrilled out of her mind that it will not be there.”

&#8220Those barges have absolutely ruined South Point as far as I'm concerned,” she said. &#8220It's a sin, it's really a sin.”

Rodney Banks, who also resides along the river, said hopefully this will be the conclusion of the barge issue, and that once the litigation is over the property owners will not return every three or four years to try and put the facility there.

&#8220I think it is a great first step,” Banks said of the lease termination.

Banks said he enjoys going out back to watch the ducks on the river. Banks said there would be many problems with the installation of the barge facility. Hopefully, he said, this will be the final step.

Barges are already in the area from another facility.

The proposed barge docking facility would accommodate up to 200 barges moored in four clusters, each consisting of 10 five-barge strings, according to the permit application filed with the Corps in November 2004.

The installation would include 12 mooring structures positioned in the river between 25 and 50 feet out from the shoreline and four more on the bank outside the floodwall.

Many residents have written letters to the Corps opposing the facility, but for now, residents and Huntington Marine Services will have to wait to see what the outcome will bring.

&#8220We try to co-exist, but we don't want to be overwhelmed,” Banks said.