Greenbrier County Commission approves Health Department fee increase, looks to replace license plate reader on I-64

By Matthew Young, RealWV

LEWISBURG, W.Va. – The Greenbrier County Commission, on Tuesday, reviewed a proposal from the County’s Health Department to increase certain permit costs and fees. The increases had previously been approved by the Health Department’s Board of Directors during their March meeting. 

At the March 14 meeting of the County Commission, the Health Department’s Nikki Dolan advised commissioners that only the fees not already at the maximum allowable rate would be increased by 20%. Dolan further advised, at that time, a public comment period would be open through the month of April. On Tuesday, Dolan noted that no public comments had been made during the comment period. 

With no further questions or discussion, the proposal was approved by the commission. The increased fees will take effect as of July 1, 2024. 

Next, commissioners approved the submission of a grant application, which seeks funding for the replacement of a license plate reader (LPR) at the White Sulphur Springs exit on Interstate 64. On hand to explain the application was Don Haven, director of Greenbrier County Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

“[The LPR] was permanently mounted on the gantry at the beginning of the White Sulphur Springs westbound exit ramp several years ago,” Haven said. “It’s been very vital in catching some bad individuals from North Carolina. Their license plates registered on our reader, and long story short we captured them here in Lewisburg.”

After capturing the out-of-state fugitives, Havens explained, the LPR was damaged and removed. The LPR has not been replaced. 

“It’s a system that reads every license plate that goes by,” Havens added. “It’s connected to the 911 Center, as well as the National Crime Institute across the United States. If you commit a crime in California  and you drive past this thing, it sends a message to the 911 Center. It’s a very vital tool.”

According to Havens, the grant would cover the cost for replacing the LPR, “Except for about two hours of the electrician’s work.” Havens further noted that the West Virginia State Police has indicated that they intend to install a second LPR eastbound on Interstate 64 on the Greenbrier County side near the Summers County line. That LPR will be installed at no cost to either county. 

Commissioners then considered the awarding of bids for the removal of Group 1 and 2 structures included in the DEP Abandoned and Dilapidated Structure program. The bids had previously been opened during the April 16 meeting of the County Commission. 

At the recommendation of County building Inspector Stephen Simmons, the bid was awarded to LD Hanna & Son Excavating, for the total amount of $27,905.50. LD Hanna & Son will remove six structures, three of which contain asbestos.

The final item before the commission was the adoption of a resolution recognizing May as “Community Action Month.”

The resolution reads, in part, “Whereas Community Action has made a central contribution across this nation for 60 years, inspiring a spirit of hope, creating opportunities for millions of people to be a part of the American Dream, and being a part of communities. […] We […] do proclaim May, 2024, as Community Action month in recognition of the hard work and dedication of the Community Action Agencies.”

The next Regular Meeting of the Greenbrier County Commission is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, at 10 a.m. 

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