Bath County Board of Supervisors April Meeting
Citizens concerned about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline – a school superintendent urging more funding for education – and elected officials trying to make budget numbers match with a huge discrepancy between income and expenses. If you think that sounds like I attended another meeting of the Highland Board of Supervisors, you would be half right. With regular Bath County reporter Amanda McGuire on vacation, I made the trip south to attend this week’s Bath Board of Supervisors’ meeting, held at a packed room in the court house .
The meeting began with an hour long public comment period, and there were several topics discussed. A number of citizens voiced their concerns about the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and in a later action item, the Board unanimously supported Supervisor Richard Byrd’s motion to have County Administrator Ashton Harrison draft a resolution in opposition to the pipeline to be voted on at the May meeting.
Audience members also spoke in favor of extending Wayne Anderson’s term on the Economic Development Authority when the Board considered filling an at large position. When that agenda item arrived Mr. Byrd made a motion to appoint John Fisher. Supervisor Eddie Hicklin then made a substitute motion for Wayne Anderson for the position. Chair Claire Collins made a second substitute motion to allow Mr. Anderson to serve one more year, and Mr. Fisher take the position after that time. Both substitute motions were defeated, and Mr. Fisher was appointed.
Before the public hearing began on the county and school budget, which is available on the county website, Administrator Harrison reminded the Board of the $1.6 million deficit, which without a corresponding source of revenue, would be drawn from reserves. He had recommended in earlier work sessions for level funding for the schools, and further reductions in general fund expenditures. As commentary opened, passionate pleas were made by school superintendent Sue Hirsch, faculty and residents to increase funding for the schools. The Board also heard separate presentations from the Chamber of Commerce and Bath County Hospital for continued and increased funding. The Board took no action on the budget.
Other action items from the meeting included:
- Allowing county employees (including supervisors) to accept a $200 monthly stipend in lieu of health insurance coverage
- Approval of a Probate Tax Fee of $25 to be charged on Recordation of list of heirs
- Authorized advertisement of a meeting to review a request for tax exempt status for the Millboro Preservation & Cultural Association
- Setting public hearings as recommended by the Planning Commission
- And approval of the consent agenda.