Greenbrier County Commission signs resolution supporting ‘Operation Green Light,’ approves continuation of Sam Black waterline extension

By Matthew Young, RealWV

LEWISBURG, W.Va. – The Greenbrier County Commission, during their regular meeting Tuesday, adopted a resolution in support of “Operation Green Light,” a program designed to honor military veterans.

As explained by Commission President Tammy Tincher, “We have, over the last couple of years, begun participating in Operation Green Light, which is a recognition for our veterans where county offices across the country light up their buildings green in honor of Veterans Week (Oct. 24 through Nov. 11).”

The resolution reads in part: “Whereas, the residents of Greenbrier County have great respect, admiration, and the utmost gratitude for all the men and women that have selflessly served our country and this community in the Armed Forces, and whereas the contributions and sacrifices of those who’ve served in the Armed Forces have been vital in maintaining the freedoms and way of life enjoyed by our citizens, Greenbrier County seeks to honor individuals who have made countless sacrifices for freedom by placing themselves in harm’s way for the good of all.”

“Veterans continue to serve our community in the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, religious groups, civil service, and by functioning as County Veterans Service Officers in 29 states to help fellow former service members access more than $52 billion in federal health, disability, and compensation benefits each year,” the resolution continues. “Whereas approximately 200,000 service members transition into civilian communities annually, and an estimated 20% increase will transition to civilian life in the near future.”

The resolution further states that as many as 72% of service members “experience high levels of stress” during this transitional period, and former service members experience a high rate of suicide during their first year of civilian life. The National Association of Counties (NACo) encourages all counties nationwide to adopt similar resolutions in support of Operation Green Light, and Greenbrier County encourages all of its residents to honor veterans by displaying green lights as well. 

The resolution was unanimously approved by the Commission. On-hand for its signing were representatives of both the Lewisburg and Ronceverte posts of the American Legion. 

Next before the commission was the authorization of $184,600 for the continuation of the Sam Black water extension project. The invoice includes payments of $9,600 to the Western Greenbrier Business Development Corporation, and $175,000 to the Thrasher Group. Thrasher’s Ryan Boustany was on-hand to explain the project.

“We have been working with the region, and Greenbrier Public Service District (PSD) number 2 on a waterline extension from Sam Black Church, through Clintonville, all the way to Asbury, and then a second part from the Charmco-area to make an interconnection with the Town of Rainelle,” Boustany said. “The project is about 80% complete with the design. We’re looking to submit for final funding here early in the spring.”

Boustany noted that several public meetings have been held to “get the word out” regarding the project, adding that, “The sign-ups have been fairly slow at first, but hopefully they’ll pick up a little bit more.”

At the conclusion of Boustany’s remarks, Commissioner Lowell Rose said, “Everybody knows the cost of materials has skyrocketed over the last few years, especially PVC pipe which is 99% of the project.”

“If you live on one of these side roads out through that area, you need to come to (the next public meeting) if you’re interested in water,” Rose added. “We will try to get out those side roads as far as we can, and as many as we can. We need the sign-ups because that makes the world of difference in our funding, and whether we go out those side roads in this phase or another phase.”

The next public meeting is scheduled for Nov. 13 at 6 p.m., at the James Chapel United Methodist Church on Shoestring Trail.

In other business, commissioners authorized the submission of an invoice to the West Virginia Office of Emergency Services for the award of the “Salary Enhancement and Crisis Response” grant funding allocated by the State Legislature. Greenbrier County is scheduled to receive $143,763.21 – $125,581.40 of which will be used for the salary enhancements. 

For the final two pieces of new business before the commission, Dr. Harry N. Boone, Jr. was approved to replace the departing John Walkup as a member of the Greenbrier County Farmland Protection Board, and and the county’s Sheriff’s Department and Prosecutor’s Office were each assigned 2024 VOCA (Victims Of Crimes Act) grant contracts for the purposes of funding their Victim Advocate positions. The Sheriff’s Department will receive $47,037, while the Prosecutor’s Office will receive $43,172.

The Greenbrier County Commission’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m., on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

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