By Angela McGill
On Wednesday, July 28, Paula Brown with the Greenbrier County Emergency Management Agency came before the Greenbrier County Commission with concerns about a lack of assistance in elevating a White Sulphur Springs home out of the floodplain. There was a bid placed by Melton Construction for $197,000 to complete the project. Brown expressed she has reached out to several contractors and advertised the project twice, but received no response. Greenbrier commission assistant Kelly Banton added, “I have heard the same story – people are having a difficult time finding contractors to build projects.” The Commissioners will review Melton’s bid package, and discuss whether to proceed.
The commission also discussed how Quinwood is moving forward with broadband expansion. Plans are underway thanks to consultants Thomson and Litton, who discussed the completed fieldwork and said they have collected the pole data they need to press on. A pole attachment agreement needs to be executed before they can conduct their macro engineering review.
“We appreciate you guys coming today; it’ll be nice to get this project up and going. We’ve been working on it for quite some time,” said Commission President Lowell Rose. “Quinwood, and that large area of the county out there, needs the broadband expansion.” Information acquired will be used to update and establish their findings, which will be presented to the DOH and have the expectancy of a bid near Oct. 1.
New projects are starting to come to a head for the Meadow River Trail, and quickly became the main focal point of the meeting. Matt Ford, Meadow River Rail Trail coordinator, optimistically reported to the commissioners, “We are making progress on the FEMA repairs. The plans you have in front of you are about 90 percent complete. We met and went on the sites to make sure quantities were in order. I have a copy of the timeline that was included in the FEMA extension request that was submitted by Bill Hines to West Virginia Home Land Security. It is going through the process of getting approved, as you can see in that timeline, the projected completion date is May 22, 2023 for the FEMA repairs.”
Kelly Estep with Chapman Technical Group explained that advertising for the trail project will be open for three weeks with an opening bid scheduled on Sept. 14. The project already received a $1.8 million grant, of which $191,314 was allotted for construction on the 6.4 mile stretch of trail. Ford explained, “That’s the trail that could run into Rainelle, they could benefit from that.”
Ford noted, “I feel better about this than I have the entire time I’ve been involved in it, we got a plan, we’re getting ready to put gravel on the ground. It’s good stuff.”
Commissioner Lowell Rose said, “We appreciate all your work; it will be nice to get this project completed.”
Tincher thanked all of the consultants in the meeting, saying she appreciates their work and dedication to the community.
In other news:
- Two new dispatchers were hired for the Greenbrier County 911 center.
- A 2-1 vote for $40,059.70 in Arts and Recreation expenses was approved, with Commissioner Tincher voting nay. These funds included $12,800 for the Greenbrier Valley Aquatic Center, $259.70 for regional libraries, $20,000 for Meadow River Trail Team Leader, and $7,000 for Greenbrier County Sportsplex inspections.