The Lewisburg City Council met on Tuesday evening, and was greeted with a rather large crowd of citizens in attendance.
Turns out they were students of realtor/instructor Martha Hilton’s real estate class sitting in the meeting to familiarize them with city procedures. Mayor John Manchester welcomed them with promises of an entertaining evening.
Manchester also welcomed Arron Seams to the council chambers. Seams will fill the unexpired term of ex-council member Kim Morgan Dean. The mayor announced that Eddy Johns was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Tony Hinkle on the Planning Commission.
City Recorder Shannon Beatty read a resolution which stated that the city of Lewisburg had applied for, and was awarded, a Recreation Trails Program project grant in the amount of $200,000 from the West Virginia Division of Highways, Planning and Programming (DOH) for the Civil War Cemetery and Elementary School project. This project will link up the school with the Greenbrier County Library and complement and complete the Safe Routes to Schools project. The city must provide a match toward this project in the amount of $34,282 as required by the DOH.
A second resolution was read requesting funding from the office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Hazard Mitigation in support of the city’s emergency generator project for the police department and the fire department. The mayor said the request for funding had been renewed with no assurances it will come through at this time.
The mayor provided an annual report for the city of Lewisburg in which he cited numerous multi-department actions and projects completed in 2017. Manchester said he was thankful for the city council and city employees commitment to keeping the city safe and healthy.
Reports from the planning commission, the parks commission, finance committee, public works department as well as the police and fire department followed with their reports:
- Planning – Zoning Officer Chuck Smith cited approvals for seven site plans for the year, and the ongoing updates to the zoning ordinance. He said the city’s vacant structures are now down from nine to three.
- Parks – Council member Beverly White reported on the phase one Dorie Miller Park upgrades.
- Public works – Director Roger Pence said the speed abatement project for Court and Church streets has installed two speed humps on each street, with at least two more planned for Maple Street. Pence said a survey letter will be drafted to residents of Maple Street to get their input on the project. He said that several sidewalk projects around the city are undergoing DOH engineering, storm water abatement and other preliminary work, but he expects that at least two would have a good chance of being finished this year. Manchester said in a meeting with the DOH, the city has made them aware of the city’s sidewalk needs.
- Police Department – Chief Tim Stover said the department had 3,828 calls for assistance for the year, 150 more than the year before. He said the new K-9 drug dog, Rocky, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, is doing well in his job.
- Fire Department – Chief Joey Thomas cited 111 emergency calls for the month, with 59 percent within the city limits. Fifty-three of those calls were medical alert calls, he said.
- Finance – Council member Mark Etten stated that the arts and humanities funding program approved $15,000 to the Greenbrier Historical Society for upgrading lighting at the barracks building. He also said the final installment was paid to complete Lewisburg’s City Hall foundation rehabilitation project where a sinkhole opened up after the floods of 2016.