Bath Board of Supervisors continues conversation on a number of topics


The Bath Board of Supervisors recently held a work session to continue discussion on a number of topics the board wants to focus on.  The board discussed capital improvements, with an amount of $500,000 to spend.   Supervisor Kevin Fry said he wanted to see the high school parking lot improvements done, which includes paving, striping, additional lighting and possible work to address water runoff.  The board discussed doing a preliminary engineering study to get an accurate cost on the improvements and holding back about $175,000 for use on the parking lot until the study is complete.  Also discussed as part of capital improvements was a fire truck for Burnsville, one for Mountain Grove and one for Hot Springs, with it’s cost being spread out over two years.  And Supervisor Fry suggested moving ahead with improvements on the high school auditorium, which includes dehumidification, new carpeting and new stage curtains.  At it’s meeting on July 8, the board plans to vote on funding for these projects.  

There was also discussion about compensation for members of the board of supervisors.  Any changes made would not apply to this board, but to future boards.  Currently members are paid $400 a month and can participate in county health insurance.  But when the value of insurance is factored in, a board member taking advantage of it is receiving more in compensation than other members. Chairman Bruce McWilliams wondered if the monthly pay should be raised to $1,000.   Supervisor Bart Perdue suggested that maybe if members took county insurance, they could take a smaller amount in pay, so everyone would receive the same compensation.  Supervisor Kevin Fry suggested putting the decision out to the voters and it will be reviewed to see if it can be on the ballot.

Supervisor Fry also led discussion on creating staggered terms for board members, including the school board.  Supervisors Bart Perdue and Claire Collins both felt strongly that the board should not make that decision, but should put it out to the voters.   A public hearing is required if the board amends the county code to stagger terms.  It was decided to have the county attorney present options on how the change on terms could be accomplished.

The board also discussed using statistical performance analysis to evaluate county funding on programs.  By keeping data on the use of various programs, funding for the programs could be justified.  

There was also discussion on school funding, including considering changing the funding to a percentage amount of the county’s budget instead of a dollar amount.

And there was also discussion on team development programs for members of the board of supervisors. Supervisor Claire Collins said she was in favor of working on team development by having open communication, but Chairman Bruce McWilliams said it would be a public meeting and he didn’t think the truth would come out.  Supervisor Cliff Gilchrest suggested that County Administrator Ashton Harrison investigate some team building that the board might take advantage of.

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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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