By Adam Pack
The Greenbrier County Commission met for their first regularly scheduled meeting of 2023, and with that handled the first-of-the-year designations and necessities. Before official business could begin, the incumbent members of the committee wished to recognize and congratulate newly elected County Commissioner Blaine Phillips.
Phillips, who was elected last November, occupies the seat left vacant by the retirement of former Commissioner Mike McClung. “It is an honor and a privilege to be elected by the people of Greenbrier County to be a member of your County Commission,” Phillips said.
The Commission then moved onto the election of a President, with Commissioner Tammy Shifflet-Tincher taking the unanimous vote. She thanked the other members of the commission for their vote and stated she is very excited for upcoming developments including the renovation of the Greenbrier County Health Department, ongoing work to expand and overhaul the Greenbrier County Courthouse, and work done to continue to bring broadband service to the region. “All totaled, 2023 is shaping up to be a great year,” she noted.
All three commissioners are sitting members on four committees within the county, including the Arts & Recreation Allocation Committee, the County Corrections Committee, the Courthouse Security Committee, and the Redistricting Committee. Commissioner Shifflet-Tincher already sits on the Greenbrier County Airport Authority, the Humane Society Advisory Board, the Extension Advisory Board, and the Greenbrier County Convention and Visitors Bureau Board. Commissioner Rose sits as the President of the Health Board, on the Economic Development board as a member, and is the Vice-Chair of the Region 4 Planning and Development Board. Commissioner Phillips has expressed interest in sitting on the Planning Commission, the Region 1 Workforce Local Elected Officials Board, and the Emergency Planning Board. The current assignments for existing commission members were upheld, and the appointment of Commissioner Phillips to his new seats was approved by the commission.
Moving on to regular business, the commission approved several motions on Tuesday, chief among them the beginning of review of the grant agreement between the WV Department of Economic Development, Office of Broadband and the County. President Shifflet-Tincher noted that the grant, which was awarded to the county in 2022, amounted to a little more than $12 million, while the cost of the entire project amounted to slightly over $17 million. The commission did not have exact figures at this time, but they approved going ahead with the agreement and are looking forward to reviewing the details with county counsel.
In other business, the commission opened bids for a new generator for the courthouse building. The bids read as follows: H&M Contracting (Covington, VA), $575,900, Gonday Enterprises, LLC (Charleston, WV) $535,000, and Greenbrier Technologies and Electrical (Lewisburg, WV) $475,497.02. The commission, which reserves the right to accept or reject any and all bids, will make a final decision at a later date.
The sheriff also spoke to recommend the hiring of a new security officer for the courthouse. The sheriff said the candidate in question, one Michael Honaker, “was conscientious and dependable” from the evidence of his previous work history, and recommended his hiring. The commission approved unanimously.
Following the recent adoption of the International Building Code, the county is required to establish an appeals board for issues arising as a result of code disputes. The commission voted to approve the creation of such a board and will designate membership on said board at a later date.
The county also approved an addendum to their purchasing policy which would require review by counsel of any contract exceeding $2,500 between contractors and the county and or county offices. This measure has been used before informally and would simply be codified into official county operating procedures.
The Commission adjourned and will meet again on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 10 a.m. Though not on its regularly scheduled date, this will be a regular meeting of the County Commission. The public is encouraged to attend.