Greenbrier County Commissioner Woody Hanna reported on the success of a stream-clearing project conducted on Rainelle’s Boggs and Sewel creeks at Wednesday’s county commission meeting. The nine-and-a-half day efforts to remove overgrown brush and willow trees clogging the streams will help alleviate flooding in Rainelle’s downtown area. The trees were power-sawn and left to be chippered since no one wanted the willows as firewood. The stumps were painted with a non-toxic pesticide to prevent regrowth and kill the roots.
Mayor Andrea Pendleton had petitioned the commission recently for $25,000 to get the creeks cleared before the winter snows blanket the streams. At one time, Commission President Karen Lobban said, the job was done annually. Funding for the project was provided by the county and amounted to $9,000, Hanna said.
In other business:
• Executive Director of the Greenbrier County Visitors Bureau Kara Dense gave the CVB’s annual report for the commission. She was accompanied by two new CVB employees, together with Chamber of Commerce President Mike Kidd and Secretary Marlene Pierson-Jolliffe.
“Greenbrier County has become known as a weekend getaway destination,” Dense said. The latest numbers from the WV Division of Tourism’s economic impact study show over $243 million in direct spending by tourists in 2012, was a 26 percent increase over 2010, proving the industry is rebounding.
• Stating he would not “sit silently by,” Commissioner Mike McClung, who has reported at the end of each county commission meeting on the progress (or non-progress) of the court case between New River Community and Technical College Foundation and the county, proclaimed with satisfaction that the ruling recently handed down by Raleigh County Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick “was a victory for the county.”
Although the $1 million held by the court has been returned to the county, McClung described New River CTC President L. Marshall Washington’s “use of the newspapers” to hold a press conference, stating that the county was still liable for costs incurred for the pool as a breech in contract was “not true!” Reading from the lease agreement, he said cancellation of the lease was phrased as “without obligation.” The college, he said, had the obligation to have the building’s refurbishment funding in hand before beginning construction.
McClung said he found the college’s position hard to justify. The courts, having ruled the funds from the hotel tax account could not be used for the pool, put the college in the position of being like “a dog in a manger,” meaning, “The college didn’t want us to have the money even though they couldn’t use it themselves.”