The Greenbrier City Council major items were budget, insurance and increased water costs coming soon. The budget was distributed for perusal and will be acted upon at the Jan. 6 meeting. Proposals include new fire equipment, improvements of city park pavilions, paving the parking lots on the baseball and softball lots and the improvements of some drainage issues in the streets fund. Only the General Fund and the Street Fund exceeded their budgeted amounts this year; but revenues were up in other areas.
The Council voted a rate increase in water bills of $2.50 on a minimum 111,000 gallons of water and 50 cents per 1,000 gallons. This means if the average bill was $31.21, it will now go to $36.66. This is based on 3,700 active meters as of August 21. Mayor Cotton pointed out there has been no rate increase since 1996, which was later reduced in 2000. Greenbrier still has the cheapest water rate in the county. He said, "Water has gone up and down, but as long as we were ahead, we left it like it was."
Climbing medical insurance rates for employees is a problem for every business. The City was looking at a proposed 20-30 percent increase in rates across the board in July 2014 unless they made a decision to accept a 6.9% increase in rates effective Dec. 1, in line with the Affordable Care Act. Because larger companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield have done the same and the acceptance date could not be extended to January, 2014, the City opted for the smaller increase effective immediately.
The waste water treatment plant is progressing smoothly but an extension of time was requested because of weather delays. The floor is done and walls are going up. Tim Tyler said, "We know it holds water because we’ve already had to pump it out."
The Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce reported they opted to do "Hometown Holiday Weekend" in November instead of a Christmas tree this year. Seven businesses held open houses during that weekend. Mrs. Doni McInturff won the Greenbrier Gift Basket Giveaway. More than 130 people signed up at various businesses. The Chamber gave away directories, reusable bags and pens.
Audreya Cole Parks was re-elected president, and newly elected were Robin Hackett of First Service Bank and Kim Tyler for two-year terms ending in 2016.
The Greenbrier City Council meets the first Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall on Wilson Farm Road.