Commission approves broadband bidder interviews

By Peggy Mackenzie

Tuesday’s Greenbrier County Commission virtual meeting included a discussion and scheduling of broadband bidder interviews. First proposed in 2009, the regional broadband project of a publicly-owned fiber system was designed to serve southern West Virginia and  called for collaboration between Region 4 and Region 1 Planning and Development Councils.

In scheduling broadband bid interviews, Commissioner Tammy Shifflett-Tincher put in a call to John Tuggle, executive director of District 4, to get clarification on procedures for the interviews. Tuggle suggested the interviews could be done by phone or in person if done with the correct social distancing. The total cost of the project, he anticipated would run to $250,000. He recommended interviewing a minimum of three prospective bidders.

Commissioner Lowell Rose said that with the reopening of the Greenbrier County Courthouse on Monday, May 18, he recommended waiting until then to conduct in person interviews of the four bidders for the project. He asked that Division 4 help schedule the interviews, giving a variance of two to three days. Tuggle agreed, stating a preliminary engineering report for the project will be required, as well.

In other county business, the Commission approved the 2020 HAVA Care Act Grant Resolution, which, as explained by County Clerk Robin Loudermilk, are funds provided for the 2020 election office for poll workers’ overtime coverage.

Also considered were two annual agreements regularly presented before the Commission for each upcoming fiscal year. The first was for the Humane Society’s 2020/2021 fiscal year agreement of $200,000 for the upkeep and maintenance of the Greenbrier County Animal Shelter. The agreement was the same as in previous years. The motion passed 2-1, with Commissioner Mike McClung opposed.

The second consideration was the funding for Mountain Transit Authority’s (MTA) request for 2020/2021 fiscal year funding of $8,000, also the same amount as in previous years. That motion was approved unanimously.

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