Bath Supervisors finalize the budget

The Bath Board of Supervisors met Tuesday evening. All members were present, and they approved the budget for the next fiscal year. Other action related to this was to appropriate funds beginning July 1st, and this motion passed with four supervisors in favor and one abstaining. A notable change in the agenda was when the board voted to remove the public hearing considering a fee for county businesses.
Two different presentations required a lot of attention, and will require more consideration in the next several months. Charlie Barksdale of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy explained what Energy Performance Contracts are, and how they benefit localities. His department offers guidance and a very high level of support through a process where public buildings, schools, parks etc. can be assessed for ways to improve energy efficiency, or even upgrade security systems. A Virginia code now requires localities to demonstrate energy savings. Taking part in a process like this one can only benefit communities whose power, water, and fuel needs and costs increase regularly.
The presentation by Susan Hammond, regional administrator from Virginia Department of Transportation covered the six-year plan for maintenance and improvements to local roads. As always, the drainage situation in Hot Springs, where the creek is near the road caused concern. Hammond explained state or federal money is much more likely to be forthcoming for improvement in that area prone to flooding IF the two private landowners whose property also affects the area would enter into discussion and possible collaboration with VDOT. Funding for improving that section of road has been reassigned for work on the bridge near Cascades until such a cooperative approach can be reached about the Hot Springs site.
Other actions on Tuesday night included, but were not limited to adjusting a contract with Republic Services, approving a revised procurement policy, transfer one county vehicle to the schools, approval to trade in two outdated sheriff’s vehicles and a third which is not suited for its use, in exchange for a newer, more appropriate one. Janet Brown was appointed to serve on the board of the Rockbridge Regional Library, and Philip Martin to serve on the Building Code Board of Appeals. Of serious concern to the Board of Supervisors are cuts in Rockbridge Area Community Services resulting in closing of the Rudy Via Center in Millboro, and elimination one staff position of an in-home services provider who works with local youth. The board approved a letter to Rockbridge Area Community Services expressing this concern, and frustration that so little notice was given for such an “egregious” decision.
Some good news is that The Bookmobile from the Rockbridge Regional Library is back in service after some inactive time. The new schedule is on the library website, and in print at the library.
The meeting was adjourned just before 9:00, and the Bath board will meet again the second Tuesday of July at the same time in Room 115 of the County Courthouse.

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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