Bath Board of Supervisors and School Board meet together

The Bath Board of Supervisors has been busy the last two Tuesdays. At their regular monthly meeting they resolved a couple of issues related to zoning, and one specifically personal consideration. The board gave county administrator, Ashton Harrison, and planning and zoning official, Sherry Ryder, and the Hansford family permission to move the School Speed Limit Sign directly in front of their house to a different position. This will be resolved with all three parties discussing it, while still keeping the VDOT requirements in mind.

The second was a planning question addressing whether or not a conservation easement on a property owned by the Burwell family would be in violation or not of the county’s comprehensive plan.   The majority of the property is considered undevelopable, even though it is in a “growth corridor” of Bath County. The resulting discussion mostly made clear that both some careful looks at the comprehensive plan and some community education on conservation easements, could be beneficial. Since it is never the Board’s role to approve or disapprove of easements they eventually agreed 4-0 that the easement did not conflict with the comprehensive plan, Kevin Fry abstained.

Two other actions were approval of a 5-year agreement with Lingo Networks, and transferring the administration of two Behavior Specialist positions from the County to the School System. The board also approved making a used sheriff’s car part of the October 17th surplus auction at the school bus garage at Valley Elementary School.

In the joint work session of the School Board and the Board of Supervisors the group heard from a representative of This non-profit organization’s purpose is to help Virginia residents navigate new health care regulations, and find coverage they can afford. A representative of will be available locally on certain days in November through January to talk to residents during the open enrollment period.

At the beginning of the meeting five different speakers, including the band director, and the athletic director spoke with concern and dedication about the need for the all-purpose athletic field to be resurfaced. It has clearly been a subject needing attention for a long time, and the current group is organizing to spark well-reasoned action.  One high school parent, with experience in large project management sees the need to pave the parking lot, and improve the multi-use field as two efforts that should be integrated. Bonnie Lee encouraged both boards to be more forward-thinking.

“It’s not a school field, it’s a county field; it’s a community field. And I think if we combine the budgets between the two, and do one comprehensive solution, we’ll be better off.”

The challenge now will be getting all the time frames, and evolving opinions to coordinate. A helpful place to start may be at one of the next meetings of the as yet unnamed community group. Along with many specifics about site planning and field surfacing, they will be trying to learn how to fund such a huge project with minimal help from government.   And this group really will need help, and expertise from the WHOLE community. Please contact Mark Nelsoo, Will Fields, Kathy Lowry or Melinda Hooker if you would like to know more about participating.



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Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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