Bath begins process of Economic Development Strategic Plan
Trust and Respect were themes that ran throughout the Bath Supervisors meeting on Tuesday night. In opening board comments Millboro representative, Cliff Gilchrest, provided a list of this board’s accomplishments over the past three years. Just a few of those are the installation of generators at the high school and Allegheny Mountain Radio WCHG, improvement of solid waste disposal system, and courthouse renovations.
James Kelly of Robertson, Farmer,Cox Associates gave a presentation detailing the audit process of the county’s funds. His opinion was that those records are “fairly stated, and materially correct”. Later in the meeting a board member thanked Treasurer, Pam Webb and her staff for their role in achieving this result. The detailed results of the Bath County audit will be available on line in the near future. The board voted 4-0 to approve the audit. Supervisor Bart Purdue was absent due to illness.
Russell Archembaut of RKG Associates explained the early steps in the economic development plan for Bath County. RKG will be seeking input from citizens to learn what is a“good fit” for the community’s economic future. Archembaut said, the tourism branch of the local economy is well-established. “It has been for 200 years”. This plan will be more about diversifying opportunities, and growing current small businesses.
County Administrator, Ashston Harrison made the recommendation that Draper Aden Engineering Services be approved to oversee repair and improvements at the transfer station. The board approved this 4-O. Discussion of future use of the transfer station will take place after repairs are complete. Harrison also addressed the need to clarify the waste disposal fee for contractors on demolition jobs. Supervisors acknowledged that current codes don’t treat everyone equally. The board unanimously approved the demolition debris disposal fee as 40 dollars per ton until codes can be revised.
Andy Seabolt, Emergency Services coordinator and Harold King, Chairman, Bath County Fire and Rescue Association gave an update on the Radio Needs Assessment. So far, the assessment revealed the current emergency services radio system operates at about 5% reliability. The group is looking into a variety of ways to develop a new system, and is not ready yet to reveal the cost of that improvement. King stated, “We cannot afford the solution we need”. King and Seabolt are working regionally to find funding sources such as grants, and how to possibly share infrastructure with other localities.