By Bobby Bordelon
The potential expansion of the town through a revitalized Planning Commission, a spring clean up, the Midland Trail, and more were the main topics for the Rainelle Town Council meeting on Monday, March 8.
Similar to the last meeting, a video was published to Ron Fleshman’s personal Facebook page rather than on the Town of Rainelle’s page.
The resignation of the Planning Commission’s previous president sparked discussion around starting the committee anew.
“There’s a lot of things that the Planning Commission needs to be working on,” explained Councilmember Danny Milam during the Planning Commission report. “To be honest with you, the things that [Town Council] needs to be working on … our planning commission has to be involved and taking care of a lot of those things. We [basically] don’t have a planning commission right now.”
Councilmember John Wyatt noted the mayor might have the power to appoint new board members, with both Wyatt and Acting Mayor Bill Bell encouraging people to get involved. Currently, Milam said, many of the people coming to the meetings are primarily interested in progress on ATV trails.
“There are a lot of things the town needs to do to grow and prosper,” Milam said. “There’s a lot we could do now if we make things happen. … One of the many things we’ve got to deal with is that the town’s not big enough. I’m talking about size wise and population wise. … We don’t even have enough people now to elect our next council that’s willing to run.”
Milam hinted at one possible project for the new Planning Commission – expansion.
“We need to expand quite a bit,” Milam said. “That will help us do a lot of things, as far as government, financing, several different things that will help us grow and bring in more business.”
In other business:
– Discussions continued around the town’s upcoming drainage project with Thrasher Engineering, reviewing how the current design could have handled last week’s flooding. Milam also noted, “We were pretty close to having water in some of the houses. It did get in some of the basements and driveways and things like that. One of the things that people in town need to think about is [us getting] these river banks cleaned off. That had a lot to do with [water] not being in these houses. I think we should give ourselves a pat on the back.”
– Greg Ingram, the mayor of Montgomery, VA, and executive director of the Midland Trail Association, spoke to the Town Council, highlighting the current efforts to revitalize the Midland Trail. Currently, the trail is not operational, in part due to lack of federal funding. Ingram looks to work with towns along the trail to improve lodging and expand motorcycle accessibility. Ingram also provided council with information about a potential website for Rainelle.
– The ongoing contract between Rainelle and the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department was continued by council in the absence of the town’s police department. No progress in hiring for the town department was announced.
– Bell is seeking volunteers in order to do a spring clean up around town. He explained “not just for our town but outside of town. Some of the properties between here and [Lewisburg] are terrible looking and, quite honestly, some of them are in our own community. We need to take a good, hard look at our town ordinances and what they say about some of that. It’s not fair to your neighbors.”