The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

March 3, 2013

Greenbrier fire levy goes up in smoke

Light turnout at polls

LEWISBURG — A proposed Greenbrier County fire levy flamed out Saturday, as voters rejected the measure by more than a two-to-one margin.

According to unofficial ballot totals, only two out of the county’s 29 precincts went for the levy — Charmco, where the tally was 19 to 16, and Quinwood, 72 to 34.

At the other end of the spectrum, voters in Organ Cave voted against the levy by an eight-to-one margin, 207 to 26.

With only about 14 percent of registered voters showing up at the polls, the overall ballot total was 2,427 against and 1,148 for the levy.

A grim group of some 20 firefighters, representing 10 of the county’s 15 volunteer fire departments, sat in the first floor courtroom of the Greenbrier County Courthouse as the precinct-by-precinct totals were tallied and read aloud.

Indicative of the overall mood, when the small victory in Charmco was announced, a mocking cheer went up from the audience.

The 15 VFDs had hoped to raise operating funds through the levy, which was described as similar to those already in place in Raleigh and Fayette counties. The Greenbrier levy was expected to bring in an estimated $1,886,000 in its first year, with funds allocated to each department according to property values in their respective fire districts.

Listening to the election returns rolling in Saturday night, the assembled firefighters shook their heads and spoke to each other in muted tones.

Shawn Wolford reluctantly took on the role of spokesman for the group once again, ruefully noting he’d served in that capacity arguing the case for the now-failed levy. The chief of the Rainelle VFD, Wolford is also chairman of the Greenbrier County Fire Levy Committee.

Wolford said while there were probably many reasons for the levy’s failure, one stood out.

“There was a lot of misinformation out there,” he stressed.

Asked how the firefighters could have countered the misinformation, Wolford responded, “We told the truth. I don’t know what more we could have done.”

He said the firefighters association has a meeting set for Monday evening, and he assumes the election will be the major topic, with funding alternatives and adjustments a close second.

“Town councils are going to have to make some tough decisions,” Wolford predicted. “The county commission is going to have to make some tough decisions.”

The Greenbrier County Commission will canvass the ballots Thursday beginning at 10 a.m.

— E-mail: talvey@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • tunnel Fire closes I-77 for hours

    East River Mountain Tunnel was engulfed in a cloud of black smoke Friday as a result of a tractor-trailer fire inside the tunnel that ignited just after 3 p.m.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • PSD board will absorb initial rate increase

    The Greenbrier Public Service District No. 1 board will absorb the first phase of tiered rate increases granted to Ronceverte by the West Virginia Public Service Commission, rather than immediately passing them along to PSD customers.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sen. Manchin, brother sued by another brother for $1.7 million

    A $1.7 million civil lawsuit has been filed by John Manchin II against his brothers, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III and Roch (Rock) Manchin.

     

    July 26, 2014

  • couple Local couple featured in Parade Magazine

    A Beckley couple is getting their 15 minutes of fame — for the second time.

    Frank and Megan Constantino are featured in Sunday’s Parade Magazine as an example of healthy habits of happy couples.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tractor-trailer fire engulfs East River Tunnel in cloud of black smoke

    East River Mountain Tunnel near Bluefield was engulfed in a cloud of black smoke Friday as a result of a tractor-trailer fire inside the tunnel.

    July 25, 2014

  • Sen.Manchin, brother sued by another brother for $1.7 million

    A $1.7 million civil lawsuit has been filed by John Manchin II against his brothers, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III and Roch (Rock) Manchin.

    The suit involves funds that John Manchin claims he gave to his brothers in the late 1980s so that their carpet business could avoid bankruptcy. 

    July 25, 2014

  • twv twins One Hatfield, two actors

    If you shake hands with the cast and crew at Theatre West Virginia after the show, don’t worry if you think you’re seeing double.
    Jacob and James Cline, 12-year-old twins, are a part of the team this year, assisting  with props and portraying Little Troy Hatfield.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Construction begins on Meadow River Rail Trail

    Construction has finally begun on the Meadow River Rail Trail, a recreation project undertaken in a unique partnership between Greenbrier and Fayette counties.

    July 25, 2014

  • AARP reps talk future of Social Security

    The future of Social Security was on the menu at a listening session staged Thursday by AARP West Virginia at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.

    July 25, 2014

  • Juvenile petitions sought against teens in Mount Hope B&Es

    The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department is filing juvenile petitions against two Page-area teens after two businesses in the Mount Hope area were broken into early Thursday.

    July 25, 2014