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Ohio River development must be done very wisely

Riverfront and economic development along the beautiful Ohio River should excite all of us.  This is a tremendous undertaking not only in time and work, but money as well.

Recent articles of wonderful development along the river makes one wonder what the KYOVA “planners” have in store for those of us on the Ohio side of the “West Virginia River.”

Evidently not much since two prominent gentlemen from both sides of the river feel that we now need a committee to “help the Tri-State to better coordinate planning for the river and all its purposes.

Dear Sirs: We already have a KYOVA Interstate Planning Commission with an office at 720 Fourth Ave.  Add to this the Ohio River Summit, held at Ohio University Southern on Aug. 2.

A panel of state and federal officials were invited by the Lawrence County Economic Development Commission and state representative John Carey. This did not include officials from either Kentucky or West Virginia.

In 2009 a permit was issued to Port Huntington Terminals to construct a materials handling dock at rivermile 308.  Mitigation includes removal of two sunken barges.

Perhaps Dr. Hunt may want to contact those responsible at Port Huntington Terminals.  Maybe they will bring the barges to your neighborhood.

Those living there must realize that their bucolic existence  could not go on forever.

In May 2010 a permit was issued to Campbell Transportation Company to fleet 60 jumbo size barges at rivermile 309.

A large fleeting facility already exists just below the 17th St. Bridge.  This is rivermile 311.

In 2006 a permit was issued to Kanawha River Terminals to construct a coal off loading facility at rivermile 314. Residents of that area of Burlington have concerns that are not handled in a timely manner.

And now we have Public Notice LRH_2010-465-OHR .  Huntington Marine Services (Superior, South Point) has applied for a permit to fleet 90 barges at rivermile 312.  The location is near the Westmoreland section of Huntington, W.Va. and Burlington.

The application process started in 1994 and has varied from 200 barges to 90. Information requested by the Corps of Engineers has resulted in several withdrawals.  A legal dispute remains unsettled.

Citizens on both sides of the river oppose the issuance of this permit, as well as the Huntington City Council, Huntington Sanitary Board, Ohio-American Water.

Surely “planners” can keep these barges out of an area that is already determined to be a congested waterway by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Economic development is essential to our area. Let’s do it wisely.

Don Saunders

Burlington