During the Tuesday morning Greenbrier County Commission meeting, grant consultant Doug Hylton asked for a letter of support from the commission to lend power for an EPA Brownfield Cleanup Grant application for the Ronceverte Bendix building.
The three-story high structure overlooks the railroad tracks in “lower Ronceverte.” Hylton said, in 2008, the River City received an assessment of the 45,000 square foot building, confirming it was solid structure. The grant will address roof repair and removal of any asbestos tiles. With the work done, it will allow the building to be available for lease or sale, Hylton said. While the structure is in the flood plain, it does not get much water. “It’s worth saving,” he said.
In another issue, Hylton requested the commission sign a right of way contract allowing the DEP to install a culvert across the Meadow River Trail to help alleviate future water draining issues. He also said that CSX has asked the county for an environmental review of 6.4 mile section, the last remaining portion of the Meadow River Trail, recently purchased by the county, giving Rainelle a trail head to the trail. The cost to the county for the review, Hylton said, will come to $30,000.
“That’s ridiculous!” exploded Commissioner Woody Hanna. The total cost to purchase the 6.4 mile section from CSX was $52,000. The railroad firm will not release the deed until the review is completed, Hylton said, and will involve a core sampling at every mile along the track to determine whether it is “hot with any arsenic or other dangerous materials. The commissioners are determined to seek lower quotes for the review work.
The Meadow River Trail is currently closed and will not be open by this summer, Hylton said. The June flood took out a bridge on the trail, and Chapman Engineering will be submitting a bid to repair or replace the bridge, now lying in the river.
In other business:
- Day Report Center Executive Director Laura Lee received approval to hire Betty Brooks as a full-time administrative assistant at Day Report, and Luther Crouthamel as a part-time drug screen observer and lab assistant.
- Kay Davis, with the WVU extension office, requested a change in personnel from full to part-time for Emily Cross, who recently had a baby, for a six month period.
- The bid for snow removal during the winter months for the courthouse parking lot was awarded to Morgans Roofing and Building, the firm who handled the snow removal last year.
- Commission President Mike McClung stated that all three commissioners were traveling to Charleston after the meeting to apply for state approval to install a 1.3 mile section at Sam Black Church as part of the ongoing water project in the western end of the county.
- 911 Executive Director Al Whitaker, in offering thanks to the commissioners for their support, he revealed that his home had been completely destroyed in a fire last month. McClung commended Whitaker for his handling of all kinds of emergency issues over the years in his own resolute and unassuming way, including last June’s flood disaster. He said Greenbrier County is a better place because of his service.