Several WV House GOP delegates to visit Va. for highway info - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Several WV House GOP delegates to visit Va. for highway info

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West Virginia's Blue Ribbon Highway Commission recommended increasing taxes in the form of increased DMV fees and increased tolls on roads. But the commission failed to look at cost saving measures, innovation and elimination of waste, according to Republican members of the West Virginia House Committee on Roads and Transportation.

Those members include the committee's Minority Chairman Delegate Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan, Delegate Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson, and Delegate Gary Howell, R-Mineral. As a result, the members will travel to Richmond, Va. and meet with Virginia Speaker of the House William Howell, who is a Republican, to learn about highway innovations and cost saving measures Virginia is implementing.

The fact-finding trip will take place Oct. 16 with a visit to the Virginia state Capitol. The West Virginia delegation is making the trip at members' own expense. 

Cowles said the members have seen Virginia addressing many of the same highway construction, maintenance and funding problems West Virginia faces.

"The difference is they came up with common sense cost saving solutions," he said. "Some are ideas that may work here, ideas that the Blue Ribbon Commission failed to consider."

Espinosa said a change in attitude often can make a big difference in how you approach a solution to a problem. 

"Virginia looks at business and job creation as a top priority and it shows on how they are solving problems," he said. "Adopting their best practices to highway construction and maintenance could save money, help create jobs and improve the economy in West Virginia."

Howell said every dollar saved can build more roads, fix more pot holes or install more guard rail.

"Republican legislators are working to cut cost assisting our fellow West Virginians by helping to lessen their tax burden instead of increasing it as the Blue Ribbon Commission recommends," he said.