Bath BOS meets for May

When the General District Court Room in the Warm Springs Courthouse begins to overflow, the Board of Supervisors meetings get moved upstairs to the Circuit courtroom. You could call it democracy at work. Upstairs on Tuesday evening seven of the nine Bath residents who made public comments about the school budget asked their representatives to be more supportive of the school system, while two agreed with the board’s decision to cut the budget an additional five-hundred thousand dollars.

Most of the comments focused on a need for more vision. In his statements Cliff Gilchrest of Millboro referred to author Thomas Friedman’s book, The World is Flat.

“He goes on to say’ Are you holding tightly to your memories of the past, or are you embracing dreams for the future? When memories exceed dreams, what might be the implications for our future? And our children’s future? As we meet this evening, many of you are aware the two Kid Wind Challenge teams from the high school, and the one from Valley, probably have completed their first day of competition, at the American Wind Energy Association in Chicago. We can only imagine the dreams that they had as they left for Chicago to engage in this competition with students from all over the US.. But they’ve been given a unique opportunity that few other students form a school system our size will ever have. And I suspect that the memories they bring back from this experience will only reinforce and enhance their dreams and hopes for their futures.” When it was time for decision-making, the first two items were: adopting the County’s and the School’s annual budget, and appropriating funds for the fiscal year.

Chairman, Richard Bird chose to temporarily suspend Robert’s Rules of Order to hold a discussion before making any motions. He expressed concern that over the years as the student population has decreased, the requests for funding from the school board have increased. Bird also was pleased to report that the reductions in school funds did not result in any loss of positions.   In the overall county budget a few of the items not provided for are: a second vehicle for the Mountain Grove Volunteer Fire Department, some fifteen-thousand dollars worth of renovations in the Circuit Court Room, and for the time being, two additional deputy positions in order to increase school security.

In the course of discussion Richard Bird, Cedar Creek District, revealed he plans to facilitate the next budget cycle by meeting regularly with School Superintendent, County administrator, and School Board Chair to develop some long-range strategies and a stronger working relationship. “Then after a few months of this we’re going to call in another board member from the school and from the supervisors”.

Board members unanimously approved the county budget at: $17,791,308

And were in favor 4-1 of the School budget of $10,491,207   with Millboro District’s Eddie Hicklin opposed. They also unanimously approved keeping taxes at the current rate, which is fifty cents per hundred dollars on real estate, and thirty-five cents per hundred dollars on personal property.   For some remaining items of interest, from Tuesday night, including a proclamation honoring local EMS personnel, please see this story on . Next month’s board of supervisors meeting is June 12, the same day as Virginia’s primary election.


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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