By Lyra Bordelon
The Greenbrier County Commission formally signed a consent order from the West VIrginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) resulting from issues with drainage from the Greenbrier County Sportsplex. Although the consent order requires the commission to pay over $100,000 in fines, a majority of that amount is expected to be paid by Terradon due to on-site issues with the project.
In 2019, at the recommendation of their engineer, Greenbrier County Commissioners Lowell Rose and Mike McClung voted to remove field drainage from the Sportsplex’s $1 million contract for mass grading of the 140-acre site. According to Rose, the drainage was not needed if certain steps were taken as the contract moved forward. These mitigation steps were not followed, and, after the removal of silt drainage ponds on the Sportsplex site, the Greenbrier River turned orange with runoff from the project.
Following inspections in both October 2019 and August 2020, the DEP met with the contractors and the commission, and set an eight-page consent order, requiring action from the commission on these issues and issuing an over $100,000 fine.
“The DEP had sent us this about the Sportsplex,” explained Rose. “We had problems with the drainage, basically with the way things were handled with the drainage and the seeding. I met with, on the phone, Pat Via and both representatives, Terradon’s president and Kanawha Stone’s owner and president, and folks with the DEP. … In my agreement with Terradon’s president, they agreed to pay a $100,000 chunk of this that we discussed. That leaves us $9,150 from the previous contractor.”
Previously, the consent order had to go through a public comment period before it could move ahead – now that this comment period is over, the commission can approve their response and settle any fines.
“They’ve sent it back to us for signature and we will settle with them once we settle with Terradon,” Rose said before moving to sign the DEP agreement.
The fact that the contractor is willing to take the lion’s share of the financial responsibility is an indicator of what the problems have been,” said McClung. “I would like to commend them for the posture they have taken.”
A change order totalling $12,199.60 was approved to Kanawha Stone as part of the Sportsplex work, getting stone provided by the Greenbrier Valley Airport in place before construction can continue. A payment to Kanawha Stone was also approved from the Arts and Recreation fund, totalling $96,597.26, for already contracted and completed construction.
Each of the items were approved by the commission, with Rose and McClung voting in favor and Commissioner Tammy Shiflett-Tincher voting against.
In other business:
A new records and digital system is coming to Greenbrier Valley thanks to an agreement signed by the commission with Motorola.
A waterline extension for Public Service District number two can expect to see a Small Cities Block Grant as a result of the commission agreeing to serve as their sponsor. The water line will connect Sam Black to Asbury, and is also expected to connect Rainelle and Charmco. This is part of a years-long water infrastructure improvement project spearheaded by Rose.