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CVB names new board members at council meeting; diesel spill deadline extended

At the Tuesday Lewisburg City Council meeting, in presenting the Greenbrier County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s annual report, Executive Director Kara Dense stated that two seats have been added to the board of directors, bringing the total to 16 members.

The new members are Executive Director Andrew Hagy, representing the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation, and Airport Director Stephen Snyder, representing the Greenbrier Valley Airport.

In presenting various promotional efforts the CVB is doing for the Greenbrier Valley, Dense also mentioned the astonishing effects of Fallout 76, an online multi-player action role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks, on youthful gamers all over the country. Her remarks induced a cloud of complete mystery to older generations present. Dense was also nonplussed. It is the ninth game in the Fallout series to hit the country, but the big surprise to the gathering is that the game is set in the state of West Virginia, and features The Greenbrier and other well-known places in the state, even including Lewisburg.

In other business:

• Mayor John Manchester said for those affected by the 2015 diesel spill, the deadline to respond for compensation funds has been extended to Oct. 24. Complete details on eligibility can be found online at www.lewisburgspill.com. For those who did not receive a claim form in the mail, down loadable claim forms are available at the above website. Forms may also be obtained by calling the law office of Robert J. Frank at 304-520-4925.

The class action lawsuit was filed in response to the diesel spill into Anthony Creek that occurred on Route 92, near Neola in January of 2015. The diesel leak caused the city of Lewisburg to close their water treatment plant on Jan. 24, leaving many residents and businesses without water until the spill was cleaned up and the plant reopened. The suit reached a settlement agreement in the amount of $4,000,000.

• Manchester announced that Halloween will be observed on Oct. 31, between the hours of 6-8 p.m., with Trick or Treaters approaching only those houses with porch lights lit. Police Chief Tim Stover said safety measures for children out on the streets and sidewalks are in place around the city.

• The first reading of an ordinance to change city code 1375-14 will permit the Board of Zoning Appeals to allow a simple majority of three members to reverse a decision instead of the current code requirement of four members for a super majority. According to Zoning Officer Chuck Smith, this ordinance will assist the board in quickly resolving situations and thereby facilitate zoning appeal issues that arise.

• City Clerk Shannon Beatty stated that as Lewisburg was a recipient of the Circle of Champions award at a recent America in Bloom symposium, she wanted to offer thanks to the public works crews, the Lewisburg in Bloom Committee, downtown merchants and the Lewisburg community for their hard work and supportive efforts. Lewisburg received eight out of 10 stars as “the coolest downtown” city, beating out all 44 participating cities in all categories across the country, and, for the first time, the city was recognized for its floral displays.

• Council member Beverly White, as Chair of the Parks Commission, reported on the progress of renovations ongoing at Dorie Miller Park. So far, a parking area and a restroom have been installed near the shelter on the hill above the ball field. A new shelter will soon begin construction near the playground with restrooms nearby, as well as the installation of an enlarged main parking lot. Chapman Technical Group is finishing up the layout design work for this phase of the project, White said. Public Works Director Roger Pence, together with City Manager in training Jacey Faulkner, are researching updated playground components to replace outdated equipment at the park. Dorie Miller Park improvements are slowly but steadily developing, White said.

• Construction has begun on the Safe Routes to Schools Trail behind the Greenbrier County Library, as a walking path passing the Confederate Cemetery and on to the Lewisburg Elementary School, Pence said.

• Fire Chief Joseph Thomas named two new member at the Lewisburg Fire Department: Mike Campbell and Dr. Carolyn Comer. On another topic, he said people have reported receiving phone calls from an entity called National Firefighter Volunteers Alliance asking for donations, and are questioning its legitimacy. He said it appears to be legitimate, but that no local fire departments request over-the-phone donations nor do the local departments receive funding from solicitors.

• The Finance Committee report included approval of $5,000 to Chapman Technical Group to survey and design a solution for damage done by storm waters on Blackbird Way in the Crowfields subdivision. Pence said the original storm water design is no longer useful due to changing weather patterns and longer rain events.

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