Greenbrier County Commission remembers Blaine Phillips, tables budget approval

By Matthew Young, RealWV

LEWISBURG, W.Va. – The Greenbrier County Commission, on Tuesday, met for the first time since the passing of Commissioner Blaine Phillips, and began with a moment of silence in his honor. 

“As we all know, we have lost our colleague, Blaine Phillips, last week,” Commission President Tammy Tincher said. “We send our prayers of comfort to his family, we appreciate his friendship, and we know that this will be a loss to our county.”

The first item of new business before the commission was consideration and approval of a letter of support for First Energy’s application for participation in the federal Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnership (GRIP) grant program. 

According to Tincher, the GRIP program is facilitated through the U.S. Department of Energy, and the funding must be applied for through an energy provider. The program is intended to target “projects that provide substantial benefits to disadvantaged communities in [the] service area, and enable equitable and diverse participation during the supplier bidding process to promote innovation, open doors, and create partnerships that fuel the economy.”

 Joining the meeting via telephone was John Norman. External affairs manager with First Energy, who said, “In a nutshell, (the GRIP program) is designed to enhance the nation’s grid infrastructure.”

“We decided to seek five federal grants (through the GRID program),” Norman added. “Two of the five, which total $300 million, will directly impact West Virginia.”

According to Norman, $100 million will be directed towards the creation of the West Virginia-Maryland Smart Grid, and $200 million will go toward metering enhancements. 

Before approving the letter of support, Tincher noted that the project would only impact the First Energy service area, specifically the eastern side of Greenbrier County. 

In matters relating to personnel, commissioners approved the hiring of a new employee within the County Tax Office and a part-time dispatcher at the County 911 Center, as well as the recommended lists of poll workers for both Republicans and Democrats. 

Approval of the county’s 2024/2025 fiscal year budget appeared on the day’s agenda, however discussion was tabled as the budget was not ready for presentation. As state code requires that the county budget be passed by March 30, the commission will reconvene on Thursday at 9 a.m. for that purpose. The Greenbrier County Commission now stands in recess until that time. 


Greenbrier County Commission approves Fiscal Year budget


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