<h1>Two public hearings were heard at the Greenbrier County Commission meeting last Tuesday.<\/h1>\r\nThe first was for a proposed fire ordinance that will affect the first-due areas of the county by replacing and updating a 2004 ordinance, bringing the county\u2019s policy in line with those of the state. According to Lewisburg Fire Chief Joseph Thomas, the ordinance will allow the department to set the maximum rate at $1,500 per call-out, with the exception of those calls for HAZMAT and rescues. The previous maximum was set at $500. Although this is the maximum rate, the final bill is set by individual departments and can vary, Thomas said.\r\n\r\nThe second public hearing dealt with the county commission\u2019s approval of a new project plan called Project Plan #2, adopted on Mar. 12, 2019 in a resolution for the Greenbrier County TIF District #1 (White Sulphur Springs), and the financing of the project improvements with the issuance of tax increment revenue bonds.\r\n\r\nBond consultant John Stump, with Steptoe & Johnson of Charleston, said, \u201cBasically, this is the second of three steps taken for the project.\u201d The first step was the commission\u2019s approval of the project plans, the second is to extend the life of the TIF for an additional 10 years, and the third step will reduce some of the projects from the plan, primarily those on Kate\u2019s Mountain, including a ski resort project. Stump said, with the commission\u2019s approval, the plans will go for submission to the West Virginia Development Office and then back to the commission to be enacted.\r\n\r\nCommissioner Lowell Rose said the funds accrued from the TIF dating back to 2004, if still active, will be included in the current project plans, which include: WSS water line replacement; WSS water treatment improvements and line extensions; Lewisburg water back up sources; Caldwell sanitary\/storm water issues, including a drainage project to Howard\u2019s Creek and waste water processing; enhancement to sewer lines and a water line to a laundry facility at the Sporting Club; water line enhancement to the industrial development area at Harts Run; storm water concerns at Church Street in WSS; and a study of an old railroad bridge. The total cost of the White Sulphur Springs\u2019 six primary projects is estimated to run at around $12.25 million. To accomplish everything on its wish list, the city would issue $15 million in bonds, which would be repaid with TIF revenue.\r\n\r\nThe TIF is a method of subsidizing infrastructure, economic, and community improvement projects within the TIF district. The funds for TIF are collected by the selling of bonds, which are repaid by the state and county governments giving up a portion of increases to their collected taxes from an expanding tax base. Originally enacted in 2004, the original time line for a TIF lasts for 20 years, or until the bonds are paid off.\r\n\r\nThe White Sulphur TIF District encompasses The Greenbrier Sporting Club, a second-home residential community with a private equity, members-only club developed on the grounds of The Greenbrier. This unique development, in conjunction with The Greenbrier, has benefited the county through direct increases in employment opportunities, in both construction and permanent jobs, and encouraging new business ventures. While the Sporting Club will not be a direct beneficiary of the anticipated tax increment financings, it serves as the primary economic engine within the District.\r\n\r\n\u201cI think this is a great plan for the future of White Sulphur Springs,\u201d said Mayor Bruce Bowling. \u201cIt\u2019s another little push in the right direction. Everybody in the area will benefit.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn other business:\r\n<ul>\r\n \t<li>The commissioners agreed to allocate $350,000 to the Arts & Rec Committee as the total funding available to grant applicants in the 2019\/2020 grant cycle. The date for applicants to state their project requests to the county commission will be on May 9 at 5 p.m. at the courthouse.<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n\u2022 The Humane Society\u2019s agreement with the commission for the upkeep and maintenance of the Animal Shelter was approved in a 2-1 split vote at $200,000, the same sum the Society presents each year; with Commissioner Mike McClung opposing.