The final hurdle has at last been cleared for the construction of a new movie theater multiplex in the Gateway Commons behind Lowe’s on North Jefferson Street. Lewisburg City Council approved both the preliminary and the final plat for Barnette Development, LLC at the Tuesday evening meeting.
Storm water drainage issues on the 3.26 acre hillside property delayed progress on the $5 million project for nearly 18 months. Barnette Development still has two erosion-related matters to address before construction can begin on the eight-screen theater complex that will accommodate 1,000 patrons.
In other business:
• Zoning Officer Tony Hinkle reported that the Planning Commission has tasked City attorney Jesse Guills to revise the tent ordinance which, as it is currently written, states no sales can be conducted from a tent within city limits. Hinkle said he has received several tent applications. He asked, “What is the intent of the ordinance?” The revision will make some allowances for the use of tents as either a temporary or permanent place of business within city limits.
• The public is invited to attend a workshop to discuss Lewisburg’s new comprehensive plan at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Mar. 5 to be held in the council chamber at City Hall, according to council member Mark Etten. Residents also are invited to complete a survey which will give city officials a better idea what the public’s main concerns are for the city’s future. Those surveys can be found at City Hall and the Greenbrier County Library as well as online at www.lewisburg-wv.com.
• While delivering the annual report, Police Chief Tim Stover remarked that the department saw a 34 percent decrease in motor vehicle accidents, which he attributed was due to the enforcement of the No Cellphone Use Law that went into effect last year. He also stated meth lab arrests have “slowed down” within the county of late. Out of 19 meth labs discovered, only six were within Lewisburg city limits. Drug arrests continue at a rate of five arrests a month with the able assistance of K9 Duke and Sgt. Eggleston, mainly through traffic stops, Stover said.
• Public Works director Mark Carver was at pains to correct some social media reports earlier this month which asserted that the city of Ronceverte had been without water for some extended period of time because Lewisburg had cut their water supply due to freezing conditions in the Greenbrier River. It was reported that water levels in one of that city’s water tanks dropped 20 feet in one night. Carver said there was only one overnight period when the water to Ronceverte was shut off (Feb. 2-3). Lewisburg continues to deliver 13,000 gallons daily to Ronceverte. Carver said currently water tank levels are up for both cities.
• Mayor John Manchester said state-wide concerns for clean water have heightened with a bill under consideration before state legislators that could require municipalities to keep a secondary supply of raw water available in case of a catastrophe like the chemical spill which occurred in nine West Virginia counties last month. Anticipating lengthy and growing water-related developments, the mayor said. “Having two sources of water for small systems is a huge expense.”