Recognition in AIB awards program
By Peggy Mackenzie
The Lewisburg City Council was presented with a slide review of America in Bloom (AIB) judges’ visit last summer by Recording Officer Shannon Beatty at the Tuesday night meeting. Lewisburg was a first time participant in AIB’s National Awards Program. The judges evaluated the city using six criteria: floral displays, landscaped areas, urban forestry, community involvement, environmental efforts, and heritage preservation, plus overall impression. The city received a Special Recognition Award for landscaped areas, with a four out of five Bloom Rating.
Beatty said AIB has had the residual effect of bringing out local civic pride, particularly among the downtown district civic leaders and business owners, resulting in more cooperation as a collective group concerned with working together to enhance the town as a whole.
Beatty said she hopes the city can embark on and complete three projects in the next year, which she cited as: the Dick Pointer Cemetery, the Andrew Lewis Park, and establishing a Yard of the Month contest. She made clear she would first need to contact those connected with the cemetery, and the county prior to generating any project plans.
In other business:
• Zoning Officer Chuck Smith, reporting on the Planning Commission meeting held earlier this month, said owing to a shortage of funds, the site formerly known as Fort Savannah and now called The Spring has no further plans for development in the immediate future. Smith said ownership of the log building has been transferred from the Appalachian Mountain Advocates to Greenbrier Valley Restoration Project, Inc., the entity overseeing the remainder of the acreage, and now the sole proprietor of the site. They will re-approach the commission when new developments occur, he said.
Council member Joseph Lutz questioned whether the farmers market would still be situated at The Spring. Smith could only reiterate that no plans have been submitted.
• John Tuggle, executive director of Region IV Planning and Development Council, together with project assistant Cassandra Hughart, advised council they will be overseeing the Region IV water plant project. Their oversight will include: handling administration, funding, insuring compliance with the state, working with contractors, handling change orders, etc. The project, Mayor John Manchester said, is significantly large and requires a Letter of Understanding to be issued. Council approved same with the condition the city attorney Jesse Guills review the letter.
• Council member Josh Baldwin reported that Merrick Tracy, parks commission member and owner of Hill & Holler Bike Shop, is working on developing a bike route through town, which he will present next month at city council. Baldwin clarified this is not to be a bike trail, but rather a route to get from A to B across town.
• Five proclamations were read by title only: Municipal Government Week 2014, Workplace Bullies Week, General Aviation Appreciation Month, Medical Assistants Recognition Week, and Women On Wellness.
• Public Works Director Mark Carver said the West Virginia Land Trust Interest Group, a state-wide 5010 nonprofit corporation, has received a grant to evaluate and protect the water supplies in the Greenbrier River watershed through land protection activities, such as property acquisitions, conservation easements, and other conservation tools. They will be looking especially for large land tracts; tracts which adjoin others already under easement; those with important environmental features; and properties offering public use options and/or historic significance. The project, which will incur no costs to the city, is expected to take three years to complete. Carver said the group is seeking an endorsement from the city. A motion to approve the Letter of Endorsement carried unanimously.