Greenbrier County Commission appoints Paula Brown interim director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

By Matthew Young, RealWV

LEWISBURG, W.Va. – The Greenbrier County Commission, during their Wednesday regular meeting, appointed Deputy Director Paula Brown as Interim Director of county Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM). The position had been vacant since July 14, when the resignation of former director Mike Honaker became effective. 

“We are in the process of advertising for that position, but the state does require us to have a point of contact for the agency in case of disaster or major emergency that occurs,” Commission President Tammy Tincher said. “We would like to appoint Paula Brown as that point of contact and interim director for that reason – to be the point of contact for the state.”

On Tuesday, a post appeared on social media announcing that the commission is now accepting applications for the position. “Must be available 24/7/365 in case of emergency, and be available for daytime, evening, overnight, and/or weekend assignments,” the post reads.

“Everybody on the team (HSEM) is doing a fantastic job keeping things running,” Tincher said. “We are going to move forward with considering applications, and determining who will be our next director.”

After the commission voted unanimously to approve Brown’s appointment, Commissioner Lowell Rose added, “We do need some telecommunicators for the 911 Center. If anyone is interested, contact the (non-emergency) 911 Center and they’ll get you in for an interview.”

Tincher then took a brief moment to address personal property tax payments for residents, which are due on Sept. 1. 

“When you get your tax information, make sure you only pay the first half of your taxes for this year, do not pay the full amount,” Tincher said. “This has to do with the reimbursement of your taxes from the state.”

“We want to make sure that all of our residents take advantage of the tax refund that was passed in the legislature this past session,” Tincher added. “This is for your personal property tax – your vehicles.”

Residents who have questions regarding their personal property tax payments are advised to call the Greenbrier County Assessor’s Office, at 304-647-6615.

Read Jeff Jenkins’ report regarding personal property tax here.

Additional business before the commission included approval of the hiring of a new victim advocate for the Greenbrier County Prosecutor’s Office, and a new deputy for the Sheriff’s Department. The hiring of the new deputy leaves the Sheriff’s Department with one remaining vacancy. 

The commission then approved the Meadow River Valley Association’s “request to serve as the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) responsible entity for the former Rupert Elementary School.”

“This has to do with conversion of the elementary school,” County Attorney Britt Ludwig advised the commission. “As part of that, HUD requires that certain areas be assessed for adverse environmental impacts. The consultant on the project, Greenbrier Environmental Group, has identified only three study-areas that are required to be assessed.”

“For the purposes of this study, they (HUD) need a responsible entity to assess the study results and provide any mitigation measures that are required,” Ludwig added. “The study has already been performed and identified no mitigation that needs to be provided. So really, we’re just providing support for the project for the environmental process.”

As explained by Tincher, once the conversion of the former Rupert Elementary School is completed, the first floor will be utilized as a medical clinic, while the second and third floors will serve as senior and low income housing. As eligible future residents of the building will make use of housing vouchers, the project must adhere to all HUD requirements. 

Next, the commission appointed Ed Robinson as their representative to the board of directors for Public Service District (PSD) No. 1. 

After making a motion for the commission’s approval of the appointment, Rose said, “Ed is a retired former engineer, and I think he’ll make a great addition to that board.”

Robinson’s appointment was unanimous.

“Dan Withrow has previously served in that position on the board for over 30 years, and we appreciate his service greatly,” Tincher noted.

The next regular meeting of the Greenbrier County Commission is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 8.

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