Community supports Essential Air Service rebid process

All parties are in agreement to give the green light to the Department of Transportation (DOT) to consider approving the Greenbrier County Airport Authority’s (GCAA) request for a rebid of Via Air’s Essential Air Service (EAS) contract.

During the Tuesday evening Greenbrier County Commission  meeting, commissioner Woody Hanna said that several concerned community members and tourism-related organizations have now joined the commission and the GCAA to open the bid to every airline in the country to serve Greenbrier Valley Airport.

That list includes the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), the Chamber of Commerce, The Greenbrier, the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation, as well as Senator Ron Miller and Congressman George ”Boogie” Ambler. Mayor John Manchester is also on board, Hanna said, in a follow-up phone call on Wednesday. All parties have submitted letters to the DO) in support of the GCAA’s rebid request.

Once the DOT approves the request to rebid, the time line for the process may extend to October before a new (or continued) airline will begin operations in providing continued essential air service to the area.

Hanna said other airports, including Shenandoah Regional Airport and, as previously reported, Clarksburg’s North Central Airport, are also rebidding their contracts with Via.

In other business:

  • Home Security Executive Director Al Whitaker was approved to hire three full time employees for the 9-1-1 Center. Todd Foular and Marisa Dunbar will go from part-time to full-time, as will rehiree Josh Doss.
  • An unbudgeted Special Election addressing a prosperity amendment not to exceed $1.6 billion for safe roads in the state is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7, said County Clerk Robin Loudermilk. Early voting dates are Sept. 22-Oct. 4. The up/down vote will held in the County Clerk’s Office at the courthouse. The poll workers list was approved by the commission.
  • Commission Clerk Kelly Banton said courthouse facility grant has been secured to advertise for a contractor to address a drainage issue in front of the courthouse, which was approved by the commission. Banton said with the assessment of engineers, the storm water will be directed around the building to a drop inlet.
  • Two new committee appointments were approved: Tammy Tincher will replace Wallace Jones and Melinda Workman will replace Kellen Leef on the arts and recreation committee.
  • The commissioners agreed to reject a single bid offered by Brown Construction on repairs for a new Greenbrier County Sheriff’s office in Rupert. The bid was rejected because it was more than what the commission paid to purchase the building, commissioner Lowell Rose said.

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