Lewisburg, W.Va. (WVVA) - The site for the proposed Greenbrier County Sports Complex has candidates for Greenbrier County Commission at odds.
While all three candidates running in primaries for the six year termed seat on the Greenbrier County Commission favor the idea of the sports complex, they differ on the location.
Current Greenbrier County Commission President and incumbent candidate in the Republican primary for Greenbrier County Commission Lowell Rose has been working on the project. He said the sports complex will consist of baseball and soccer fields that will bring travelling sports teams to the area. Rose said the current 130-acre site also leaves room for further development. Rose said the location of the current site on county-owned land off Landfill Road, about a half a mile from the Greenbrier County Landfill is good because it has easy access to the interstate. He also said he does not think the county can afford land closer to downtown Lewisburg, and he is unsure there would be inventory even if they could. "They’ve thrown rocks at the location. You can’t buy 130 acres in downtown. You can’t afford it you can’t find it," said Rose.
Rose also said the county has already spent about $1.5 million dollars on the site off Landfill Road, clearing and leveling the land and adding a gravel road.
Dan Withrow who is the only candidate running the the Democratic primary for Greenbrier County Commissioner said he likes the idea of the sports complex, but he thinks the location is not good. "There’s no utilities. The road out there is horrible. I’ve only talked to one person that’s in favor of that location." Withrow mentioned undeveloped land on the parking lot side of the fairgrounds as an option.
State Fair of West Virginia CEO Kelly Collins said at one point the state fair did entertain the idea of offering 45 acres of land for the project, but the offer was contingent upon the outcome of a study that would determine if the sports complex would be mutually beneficial for both the state fair and the county. The study never went through before the county commission decided to use the county-owned land next to the landfill. "It would be really tough now that we have the Aquatic Center going in very soon, but we never say never," said Collins.
Girlonza "G" Scott is challenging Rose in the Republican primary for the Greenbrier County Commissioner seat. Scott said he likes the idea of the sports complex, but he thinks the county-owned land by the landfill should be used for an industrial park later down the road, and that the sports complex should be put "in an area near the schools- maybe even an area where it could be utilized better by the west side, as well as the east side".