Over the past several years, there have been numerous deaths in the river at or near the Party Rock. A large number have been alcohol-related.
An ideal solution would be to create a park to extend from Philippi down river to Arden. The park could have walking trails; trails that would accommodate golf carts for use by the elderly and handicapped. It could also include horseback riding trails. There could also be other water-related activities.
I believe that while it would be costly up front, that a state park there would be an asset in the long run. It would add to the tourist trade and would create business. The state and county/city might explore some public/private partnerships in this endeavor.
I feel that the governments involved should conduct a feasibility study in this regard. I am aware that law enforcement is undermanned and short on personnel both from a state and county standpoint; however, special problems require special attention.
Perhaps the sheriff could use his auxiliary offices to conduct patrol along the river. While they have no arrest powers, they could act as eyes and ears for the law enforcement and report violations to sworn personnel.
In the meantime, law enforcement should have a zero tolerance policy in the area to all violation of existing laws.
Mayor of Philippi