MUB sets end date for negotiations, offers counterproposal

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – MUB Director of Communications Chris Dale has notified WAJR News that there are still two major concerns in the language of the licensing agreement for the raw water pipeline.

The counterproposal eliminated the demand for replacement value of the trees, in an email to Paul Brake dated Monday, October 21, 2019 General Manager Tim Ball said,”We have reviewed the License version that you provided on the evening of Oct 16. That version deleted the demand for replacement value of the trees, thus removing one of the three major issues identified in our comments dated Oct 3. The Oct 16 version made changes to the other 2 major issues, but not in a way that resolves MUB concerns. The continued lack of resolution to either of these remaining major issues prevents MUB’s acceptance of the latest version of the license agreement.”

The email goes on to say the provision that would require MUB to remove the line for any cause has not been changed.

In the email Ball said,”This is a simple matter. MUB refuses to accept the risk of building the pipeline now, and then having to build it yet again sometime in the future at our own expense. We have painstakingly vetted the proposed route 3, and we have tentatively agreed to pay handsomely (with well documented concessions) for that privilege. If the City and/or BOPARC want to preserve their authority to order a relocation of the pipeline (as your drafts have consistently provided), then the agreement must also provide that you will pay that future relocation cost and provide a hydraulically suitable alternate location.”

MUB has agreed to adding recreational amenities at the Flegal Reservoir during pipeline contruction, but they have rquested BOPARC pay for features that create additional costs.

Ball closed the email by setting an end date for negotiations of November 1, 2020.

Ball said,”While MUB remains willing to continue the pursuit of resolution of the differences described above, we remain concerned that the differences remain so far apart that successful conclusion of these negotiations is unlikely. As directed by the Board, we will continue our immediate preparations for resuming construction, and for implementation of route #5/5A.”

“At some point soon, MUB must irrevocably commit to a route, thus ending these negotiations. In order to implement route #3, and to complete it within the construction period allowed by the license (see par 3.a), we currently estimate that negotiations must be successfully concluded by Nov 1, 2019. Protracted discussions of route #3 beyond that date will very likely cause construction (of route #3) to have to be interrupted and completed in the fall of 2020 or winter of 2020/2021. Because route #5 is not subject to the constraints of par 3.a, it will tolerate a later commitment date, but would likely provide an earlier and more certain completion date.”