LEWISBURG — Faced with what promises to be a multimillion-dollar project to upgrade the entire HVAC system at the courthouse plus bring in reliable broadband service, Greenbrier County commissioners are taking steps to re-establish a building commission.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the first step was taken with the appointment of four building commission members — Gayle Mason McCroskey, Clifford Gillilan, Jerry Cook and Luther Hollingsworth. A fifth member will be appointed later, according to county commission assistant Kelly Banton.

County commission President Lowell Rose noted that the county must have a building commission ready to act should it be necessary to borrow money for the upcoming capital improvement project or any other purpose, such as acquiring real estate.

Elected officials are prohibited by state law from obligating a county or municipality to repay debt that extends beyond their current term in office. As an appointed body, a building commission is not subject to that restriction.

Remaining on the topic of building upgrades, county commissioners also voted unanimously in favor of accepting a $91,600 grant from the West Virginia Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority for roof repairs and other work on the courthouse. That is an 80/20 grant, meaning that the county will need to contribute 20 percent of the cost of any repairs undertaken with the money awarded.

Rose explained that the roof on the “old part” of the courthouse — the portion constructed in 1837 — had been replaced using the county’s hotel/motel occupancy tax revenue. Historic restoration is an allowable use of those funds.

Since the newer wing of the courthouse does not qualify for an expenditure from that fund, the county turned to the CFIA for funding.

Commissioners also unanimously approved the appointment of Ray Steele as the county’s electrical inspector.

— Email: talvey@register-herald.com

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