GVFM’s lease extended for another year

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By Peggy Mackenzie

Members of the Greenbrier Valley Farmer’s Market presented their annual request to the county commission to extend their lease for the green space at the corner of Rt. 219 and Arbuckle Lane in Lewisburg at the Tuesday morning meeting. Presenter Zach Comeaux, accompanied by Pam West and Jim Wykle, remarked at length at how advantageous the market location has shown to be for hosting new and returning visitors to the area. The market attracted up to 20 vendors over the summer season, including four youths, who gained valuable marketing experience at their vending booth, Comeaux said.

Commission President Mike McClung remarked that he was not sure of the expansion plan timeline for the parking lot, but eventually it will encompass the green space where the Greenbrier Valley Farmer’s Market has offered their produce on Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons for the past two years.

“The only thing holding up our plans is the usual – finances,” McClung said.

Commission member Lowell Rose said the upgrading plans for the parking lot are divided into three phases, with the first phase to address the storm water drainage of the lot. “We need more space in the lot,” he said, “and we’re trying to clean it out all we can.” But for now, the motion to extend the market lease for another year was approved.

• In other business, the commission approved the signing of a resolution of consideration and designation of the lead Economic Development Organization to GVEDC, as well as for the finance agreement and resolution for the 911 Center’s new phone system.

• In the hopes of saving county funds, the commission considered hiring an independent auditor to complete the 2014-2015 annual courthouse audit rather than using the services of the state auditors.

“We know what the state auditors charge,” McClung said.

Commission Clerk Kelly Bantam stated that, either way, the commission must go through the State Auditor’s Chief Inspection Division, which ensures that financial accountability is present at the local level of government, in order to arrange for bidders for the position. McClung remarked that an additional advantage with an outside auditor was that there was an opportunity to customize auditor services to suit the courthouse’s needs. A motion to approve advertising to hire a private auditor was approved.

• The decision whether to hire snow removal services for the courthouse parking lot, or to purchase a three-quarter ton vehicle with a snow plow, was tossed around among the commissioners until they decided to table the topic to look into all options.

• The Sheriff’s Department’s collection of several repossessed vehicles will be auctioned off on Nov. 21.

• McClung announced that Brenda Campbell has recently retired after serving many years as judge with the Greenbrier County Magistrate Court. He said no replacement judge has thus far been appointed by Judge James J. Rowe.