Greenbrier County Commission Works With State Fair For Possible Exposition Center - West Virginia Daily News
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Greenbrier County Commission Works With State Fair For Possible Exposition Center

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The Greenbrier County Commission considered a new exposition center for The State Fair of West Virginia, a JUUL vaping lawsuit, redistricting maps, and more during the Tuesday, November 24, meeting.

The State Fair of West Virginia is moving forward with a potential Trade Show and Exposition Center construction project.

“We had a meeting with the [State Fair representatives and] they described to me a need for a convention center-type display area, somewhere around 50,000 square foot,” explained Commission President Lowell Rose. “The groups that come there with the big motorhomes, the jeeps, the various groups have also indicated that, for them to keep coming to our area, which they really love to do, they need a display space. They want to bring in the people that market to those groups. We can … use this facility [for] big shows, expositions. We can also have ballgames. That can be a multi use building.”

Unlike the Greenbrier County Sportsplex project, however, the commission currently does not plan to dedicate funds to the project.

“The funding that I’ve checked on, through Region IV, is a grant,” Rose explained. “The county is not going to incur an expense. The county would apply for the grant, … we would maybe apply for other grants with that, … and the fairgrounds would be the entity that would operate the facility in the long run, taking care of the maintenance and any payments … that goes with the grants. It’s not going to be an additional burden [for the county tax payers], but we are trying to facilitate grant funding to get this project up and rolling.”

If the county receives the relevant grants, the construction project would move forward.

“I’ve talked with Region IV Planning and Development and with the fairgrounds and with the fellow commissioners, and it resolved down to what we’re doing today. That would give them a facility which would make the fairgrounds much more viable year round. … [The County Commission] would like to have … this facility just for the economic development in the county. I believe that it’s going to be a very big step for the county, if we can get the grants. The first step is getting architects on board, getting a preliminary design, and doing the application for the grant, which we have to have in pretty quickly, before the end of January.”

“We have not applied for it yet, but we are willing to try to see if this is an opportunity we can move forward with,” said Commissioner Tammy Shifflett-Tincher.

On Tuesday, the commission agreed to move forward with a particular architect. Rose called for a motion to approve “E.T. Boggess’s associates out of the Bluefield and Princeton area” as the architectural firm.

“What needs to be said at the [State Fair of West Virginia Board] and the director were part of this selection process,” said Commissioner Mike McClung in response. “I would make that motion as far as the outcome of that selection process.”

The architect was approved, with Rose noting they could have more specific plans out by January.

In other business:

– The Commission agreed to move forward with a lawsuit against JUUL for the harm their products do to teenagers and young adults. For more, see “JUUL’s Nicotine-Based E-cigarettes Declared A Public Nuisance In Greenbrier” in The West Virginia Daily News.

– District maps for the House of Delegate and State Senate were redrawn after the 2020 Census. For more info on how this affected Greenbrier County’s maps, see “Greenbrier District Map Changes To Be Considered In December” in The West Virginia Daily News.

– The commission approved two new hires for the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department, one deputy and one home confinement officer. Sheriff Bruce Sloan explained the new would continue “to address the staffing vacancies in the sheriff’s department.”

– The Family Court’s building lease was approved for another year. The office is presently located on Court Street, but is planned for relocation after the Greenbrier County Courthouse expansion project is complete. The lease totals $800 per month.

– After asking eight firms for a bid and receiving only one for BHM CPA Group Inc. totaling $25,000, the commission is moving forward with its annual audit. Commission Assistant Kelly Banton noted it was the same contract amount and contract as has been used in previous years. The commission approved BHM CPA Group’s bid.

– No action was necessary to keep the Greenbrier County Courthouse improvement project moving forward.

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