The Greenbrier County Commission began their meeting on January 9 by electing a new county commission president. Woody Hanna was nominated and then reelected to the seat by the rest of the commissioners.
“It is an honor to serve the citizens of Greenbrier County as a county commissioner,” said Hanna, “and it is a pleasure to serve with these two gentlemen sitting on either side of me,” acknowledging commissioners Mike McClung and Lowell Rose.
After the election, courthouse hours were discussed for the new year. In 2018, hours will remain the same for the courthouse, and the county commission will continue to meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. On the second Tuesdays, the meetings are at 10 a.m., and on fourth Tuesdays at 7 p.m. All meetings are open to the public, and are held at the Greenbrier County Courthouse in the lower courtroom.
In regular business, commissioners moved to approve an Arts and Recreation transfer of funds to Greenbrier Valley Theater in the amount of $50,000. These funds are for 2017 and 2018 programming.
- Margaret Hamrick approached the commission to discuss restoration efforts for the Blue Sulphur Springs Pavilion, and voiced her support of sending a grant proposal to the Department of Transportation (DOT) to acquire the needed funds to complete the project. “It will be a tourism asset in the county when it’s done, when people can actually go on-site to see the structure,” said Hamrick. “This is a request for a total of $310,000, $240,000 of which are from the state grant, $60,000 of which are matching funds that we already have at hand, and an additional $10,000 which we also have at hand and will add to this particular grant,” Hamrick explained. The project is around two-thirds complete at this time. The commission made a motion to submit the grant application to the DOT.
- At the beginning of December, the Greenbrier County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) sent a letter to the commission requesting them to forgive the remaining balance owed on a loan. The county commission originally loaned the CVB a total of $450,000, to be paid back in five yearly installments of $90,000. The CVB requested forgiveness on the remaining four payments of $90,000 to the commission, for a total of $360,000. The commission emphasized in their return letter to the CVB that work is underway on the expansive Sportsplex complex, and since the plan is to “pay as we go,” the project will be completed at the money becomes available. Therefore, the loan cannot be forgiven, as the funds are needed for such ongoing projects. The letter states, “The Greenbrier County Commission respectfully requests that the Greenbrier County Convention and Visitors Bureau continues to honor their commitment to repay this loan.” The letter was approved and signed by all commissioners.
- Helen Harless and Nancy Paris, both board members of the Greenbrier River Trail Association, approached the commission to request a letter of support for a grant application to the Recreational Trails Program, which is through the Department of Highways. The grant would provide funds to restore and enhance support facilities on the Greenbrier River Trail that were lost during the flood of 2016, such as a toilet, hand pump, water well, and a camping shelter. The facilities would be located approximately between mile markers 9 and 13, close to Anthony. Mile marker 13 was the site of a catastrophic landslide during the 2016 floods, and required major repairs to become traversable to the general public. However, even though the trail is fixed, a water well and toilet are buried in debris caused by the landslide. The new facilities will replace the ones lost during the flood. The project will cost roughly $50,000 to $53,000 in total. Commissioners agreed to sign a letter of support for the grant.
- Roy Grimes, director of the Arts and Recreation fund, announced the 2018 grant application dates. Applications will be available starting February 12 for the Greenbrier County Arts and Recreation grant allocations. Applications are due back on or before Friday, March 23, 2018, by 4:30 p.m. Applications can be picked up at the courthouse or downloaded at www.greenbriercounty.net. For more information, call the county commission office at 304-647-6689.
At the conclusion of the meeting, bids were reviewed for snow removal for the Greenbrier County Courthouse, with Barrett Level ultimately being selected after all bids were considered.
The next commission meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 23, at 7 p.m.