Long overdue county tow policy gets unanimous approval

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The county tow policy has, at last, been revised and updated, and got a unanimous vote from the Greenbrier County Commission at the Tuesday night, Aug. 8 meeting.

The policy includes a new boundaries map, under the recommendation made by Emergency Medical Service (EMS) representatives, to cover the territories of several EMS units lost over the past few years. Ron Cook, of R & D Towing, said he appreciated the positive, workable changes that were made to the policy.

“The policy will still require additional work,” said Commissioner Mike McClung, prior to the vote. The commission discussed reviewing the policy for any needed changes. The new boundaries will be integrated with the 911 center’s telephone and address bank, which automatically identifies which fire department, law enforcement and EMS unit should be dispatched to the site. Greenbrier County 911 director Al Whitaker said they would be wise to establish a review period by the first of May next year to be fully processed by the start of the 2018-2019 fiscal year in July. Commissioner Woody Hanna said a monthly review will be a part of each 911 Advisory Committee meeting as well.

In other business:

  • Whitaker asked for approval of 17 properties on the list for hazard mitigation grant funding as a result of the flooding last summer. Many of the 48 applications for acquisition to buy out the properties will be torn down and will never be developed again, due to their flood-zone location. Others, Whitaker said, can be reconstructed, but elevated. An appraiser will also assess the properties at pre-flood value as reparations for the affected property owners. Hanna thanked Whitaker for his continued attention to these unexpected duties that expanded beyond the perameters of his job.
  • John Tuggle, representing the Region 4 Planning and Development Council, reported that a sufficient number of residents have signed up to be included in the water line extension planned for the Greenbrier PSD #2 Sam Black Church Extension Project. Having met the criteria, Tuggle said, “We can now move forward on the project.” Acquisition of right-of-way permits will now begin. Tuggle asked the commission to sign the Small City Block Grant to release the funds for the project.
  • The commission approved transferring the dog warden department from the county commission’s oversight to the sheriff’s office. Because it’s a law enforcement department, Hanna said he thought the sheriff’s office would be a good fit. The recent retirement of Animal Control Officer Robert McClung after more than 10 years on the job, opened the door for a new warden. Greenbrier County Sheriff Bruce Sloan has agreed to take the dog warden on, with the provision that he choose the new warden. James Shortridge, who serves as a security officer at the courthouse, was Sloan’s recommendation. Shortridge has previously performed as a dog warden. He is trained and experienced, and as a county employee, he already has security clearance.
  • Two bids were opened in response to the drainage issue project in the front of the courthouse. The bidders were Lynch Construction and All Construction. Commission Clerk Kelly Banton said Terradon designed the plan for redirecting the storm water. The commission voted to approve the lowest bid that meets the specs.
  • Terradon has outlined a three-part master design for the Greenbrier County Sports Complex preliminary plan, which consists of the projected layout of the fields, the clearing limits of the forested areas, and the water line extension. The estimated costs total $16,650. The contract with Terradon was approved unanimously.
  • Commissioner Lowell Rose stated the state legislature has approved an increase of 1.25 percent on excise tax on privilege of transferring real property. A public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the courthouse, prior to the Tuesday, Sept. 26, commission meeting.