GREENBRIER COUNTY W.Va. (WVDN) – September’s second meeting of the Greenbrier County Commission was held again in the commission chambers in the new addition. A large number of attendees were present for the Proclamation of September as National Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month.
Family and friends of Charles “Smitty” Smith were in the audience and Chairwoman Tammy Tincher tearfully read through the proclamation. An employee of the county government for 18 years, Smith passed away this past February.
In regular business, there were four estates that were approved for settlement by the County Commission. Also, the first outlay of funds from the 23-24 Arts and Recreation Grant program transferred $10,000 for payment of invoices for the Renick Community Center Walking Trail.
The Greenbrier County Convention and Visitor Bureau gave an annual report to the commissioners.
CEO Kara Dense also introduced Brian Belcher as the director of Destination Development. He previously was on the Greenbrier Valley Airport board following 30 years as Director of Marketing, Communications, Governmental Affairs and Air Service Development at various airports including Yeager in Charleston.
Dense also thanked Matt Ford who was present at the meeting for his good job managing the development of The Meadow River Trail. This is an important feature for tourism and will add to both the Greenbrier and Fayette County industries.
Greenbrier County CVB plans a cooperative effort with Fayette County during the SAT Travel Writers conference, hosted by Adventures on the Gorge and Visit Southern WV CVB located in Beckley. This will draw about 80 professional travel writers representing their separate publications in central and eastern states’ chapters.
Matt Ford, the project manager representing the county commission on the Meadow River Rail Trail spoke about details concerning the deed recorded in both Greenbrier and Fayette County courthouses. The deed contains a covenant that prohibits motorized use of the rail trail.
The fact that the rails and ties remain in place is part of the reason for this prohibition. The prohibition of motorized ATVs etc. was required by the grant of 1.8 million dollars from the Abandoned Mine Lands (AMLER) Program that purchased the rail trail from CSX.
The commission approved a contract with Willis Weed Whackers for mowing and trimming on the trail. Ford stated that Laurel Creek Bridge needs debris removal and will be paid for through a state grant program.
The ribbon cutting and opening of the trail are being planned. Adjacent landowners are being notified by mail and given an opportunity for additional information. Phase One will be eight miles of trail from Nalen Post Office to Burdett’s Creek and will open on October 13, 2023.
A time extension request to June 2024 was approved for Quinwood Broadband to cover pole agreements and operation/maintenance agreements.
Greenbrier Project Management Ltd. Company was approved for consulting services for Phases 2 and 3 of the Courthouse Construction Project. Commissioner Rose said that these phases would be very complicated because they are remodeling and not new construction. Things can get discovered during construction, and change orders will be many, and for that reason, a project management company would be critical.
Donald Havens, the new Director of Homeland Security and 911 Center, presented a request, to be decided on later. His experience in health industries leads him to believe a shift differential in pay rates would be helpful for the 911 and Homeland Security employees. “This boosts wages for shifts on weekends, evenings and on-call status.” The pay differential is different for each category.
Havens also announced a planned disaster drill will be held at Greenbrier Valley Airport on October 19 at 10 a.m.
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