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Focus of reservoir site shifting from construction to recreation

MORGANTOWN — Morgantown Assistant City Manager Emily Muzzarelli said Tuesday she is hopeful the city can begin constructing recreational improvements at MUB’s Flegal Reservoir property in the spring. 

The city intends to seek design proposals on a pair of pedestrian bridges that will allow access to trails planned for the 125-acre property.  

“We have tentative plans. We’re going to recirculate with the property owners, but we have tentative ideas of what we would like to do there. There are a couple areas that would require structural design of crossings over the tributaries that come in,” Muzzarelli explained. 

MUB, the city and BOPARC executed a three-way agreement last September through which MUB’s focus will be on the reservoir as a water source, while the city and BOPARC design, construct and oversee the recreational components using American Rescue Plan Act dollars.  

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources stocked the 370-million reservoir with bait fish earlier this year. 

In addition to the trails, swimming, fishing and non-motorized boating will be permitted. 

Muzzarelli’s comments followed a meeting of the utility’s board of directors during which Assistant General Manager Rich Rogers said the construction of the project, which began in March 2018, is basically done save some fencing along a portion of the property line. 

Rogers explained “dark sky” lighting meant to minimize light pollution and impact on neighbors has been installed. 

MUB member and Morgantown City Councilor Dave Harshbarger said millings from the city’s summer paving work have been delivered to the site and will be used to construct a parking lot in the coming weeks. 

It was previously noted the utility plans to work with the West Virginia Division of Highways to repair Upper Cobun Creek Road following years of construction on the Flegal Dam and Reservoir site.

“People should be getting excited,” MUB President Barbara Parsons said. “I’m excited. It’s beautiful up there.” 

In other news from Tuesday’s meeting, the board voted to give General Manager Mike McNulty a 3% raise, which mirrors the raise approved by the board for all MUB employees. 

McNulty has served as MUB’s top executive since the January 2021 retirement of Tim Ball. He was hired with a starting annual salary of $170,000. 

“We can’t be any more pleased with your performance and are certainly here to support you and what you need to do to keep MUB at the top of the list of water utilities in the state of West Virginia,” Parsons said. “We’re here for you and we’re glad you’re here for us.”