Bath BOS holds July meeting

07-15-16 Bath’s July Board meeting covers wide range of topics

When the Bath Board of Supervisors got together on Tuesday evening, a notable amount of time was spent deciding which words mean “mandatory” and which mean “voluntary”.   A draft plan for preferred, (key word “preferred”) design practices was presented to the supervisors for their input. Immediately, Richard Byrd, Valley Springs district, questioned language he felt implied design decisions for businesses were mandatory. After discussing whether or not the suggestions sounded like demands, because of the word “shall” in several of the recommendations, the board asked for clarification on “may” vs. “shall” in legal documents. Then they agreed, if a disclaimer is included in the final draft stating “these are only suggestions”, they would approve the guidelines. When fine-tuned, the preferred design practices will be offered to new businesses to guide them in developing storefront entrances and signage.

During Board Member comments Eddie Hicklin, Millboro noted all three county schools have achieved full accreditation, and commended teachers, administrators, and students for this success. Also, Valley Elementary School has hired a new principal. Richard Byrd, Valley Springs, shared a long list of expenditures added to the county budget since 2012, and insisted this path is not sustainable.

The Board was very appreciative of the planning commission’s work to prioritize items requested as part of the Capital Improvement Plan for 2017. The commission recommended that a new pumper truck be purchased for the Millboro Volunteer Fire Department. This 350thousand dollar purchase takes a big chunk out of the 500thousand dollars allocated for Capital Improvements. The board unanimously agreed, however, the fire truck protects life and property, and thus is a top priority. They also agreed the remaining 150 thousand dollars should be put into reserve, until the Supervisors and School Board have had a chance to look into additional, alternative funding for paving the high school parking lot. This was a second place high priority item according to the planning commission. While this item has been long discussed, both boards will be working together at least a little while longer to identify exactly how much money will be coming from which sources to fund this particular capital improvement.

Another funding discussion was about generators for various community centers. This year’s budget accounted for 25thousand dollars to purchase generators for anywhere that serves as a shelter during an emergency. Andy Seabolt, County Emergency Services Coordinator, and Ashton Harrison, County Administrator have found a grant opportunity with a one-for-one match, meaning the county could possibly be awarded an additional 25thousand dollars for this effort. The board agreed that Mr. Seabolt and Mr. Harrison should pursue this grant opportunity.

Finally, two social and enjoyable events to which the public is invited were announced. The first is an Open House at Mountain Crest Retirement Home on Sunday June 24th from 3:00 until 5:00 pm. The second is an event to receive community input about the county-owned property in Mitchelltown for a Visitors Center and other uses. This event will be held Saturday, August 13th, and more information will be available on the county website, and on Allegheny Mountain Radio. The Board of Supervisors next monthly meeting will be August 9th at 7:00. The public is always welcome to attend.

Story By

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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