The long-standing civil action between the Greenbrier County Commission and the New River College “is not about a pool anymore,” said Commissioner Mike McClung, “It’s about a million dollars.”
At the commission meeting held last Wednesday evening, McClung said the commission had asked the court to return the bed tax funds to the county, and “there’s no reason that that should not happen.” At the hearing held earlier that day Judge H.L Kirkpatrick of the Raleigh County Circuit Court had stated she would soon issue a ruling on the contentious issue. “We wanted the ruling today,” McClung said, adding that the arguments presented at the hearing gave him “a pretty good” sense that Greenbrier County would soon be in receipt of the funds. “Hopefully this will be resolved soon,” he said.
In other business:
• American Electric Power (AEP) representative James Blankenship received permission from the commission to conduct a survey and appraisal of county-owned property where AEP will be rebuilding and upgrading aged transmission lines from 69 kV to 138 kV. The purpose of the survey, he said, is to determine how much land will be affected by the upgrade of the power line which runs from Brackens Creek in Fayette County to the McClung substation in Leslie, just southwest of Quinwood.
Blankenship said AEP came to realize, following the power-outages from two 2012 weather events — the super derecho and Hurricane Sandy — the entire state needs more power coverage and protection. He said environmental regulations are becoming more stringent and as a result, the electric power needs upgrading in order to travel further distances.
• Attorney Richard Ford, representing 15 of 19 property owners along the unpaved Bailey Road, asked the commission to approve their request to establish a Maintenance Association which would give them authority to make an agreement with the developer to deed the road to the Association. As owners of their roadway, he said, the Association would then be responsible for the upkeep of the gravel road. Residents gave testimony stating the roadway was hazardous making travel for fire and emergency services risky. Even realtors have trouble selling homes there owing to the rough road conditions. “This is not a homeowners association,” said one of the property owners, Matt Ewing, but “it will increase the value of the homes.”
• Day Report Center director Laura Legg was awarded $243,995 from the WV Community Corrections Grant to fund another year’s operation.
• The commission signed contracts on four Community Participation Grants: Ronceverte Community & Recreation Center – $5,000; Greenbrier County energy Express – $3,000; Greenbrier County 4-H Leader’s Association – $7,000; and Greenbrier County 4-H Program – $5,000.
• A grant contract and resolution for $25,000 was approved for the JAG grant, the multi-jurisdictional drug and violent crime task force.
• A public hearing for the Greenbrier County’s new comprehensive plan is scheduled for Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. at the county courthouse. It will be followed by the next commission meeting at 7 p.m.