Bath Supervisors hear updates from various county departments

Hot Springs, Va. –

At the Bath Board of Supervisors January work session, the Board heard several department reports from county staff. As part of those reports, the Board heard an update from Tourism Director Maggie Anderson. Anderson introduced Celine Finel who is assisting her as the new Tourism Coordinator. Finel began work in September after completing a five month internship in the tourism office.

As part of her report, Anderson explained the source of tourism funding. It does not come from local tax dollars, but from a lodging tax approved by the General Assembly. Bath County has a 4 percent lodging tax, where 2 percent goes into the county’s general fund and 2 percent goes to tourism as required by the state.

The tourism department was created in August of 2010, using money from the lodging tax. Anderson also reported on markers of success of Bath’s tourism campaign. She cited numbers from the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s annual report. That report for 2011 ranks Bath’s efforts on tourism as ninth in state. Also in 2011 Bath County had 1,600 tourism based jobs and tourism brought in $236 million to the county. Anderson said that Bath’s increase in tourism in 2011 was 9 percent, where the state average was 6 percent. Anderson also outlined the two most significant developments for tourism that she’d like to see. The first being the development of a visitor’s center and the second being the development of a central location in the county to hold festivals and events.

The Board also heard a written update submitted by Parks and Recreation Director Mark Nelson, who was unable to attend the work session. Nelson is currently getting quotes on resurfacing the swimming pools and installing ADA compliant lift chairs at the pools at Millboro and Valley. Nelson identified in his report some long term issues that he’d like to address and those include some paving, resurfacing of the tennis courts and moving and repairing the playground at Valley Elementary. Nelson also mentioned an obstacle his department faces, which is not having a place to plan activities. He said he has to compete for the use of the gyms at the schools and it can be difficult to schedule around school activities.

The Board also heard reports on water and sewer infrastructure from employees and representatives of the Public Service Authority, the Warm Springs Sanitation Commission, the Homestead Water Company and the Millboro Water Company. Board Chairman Bruce McWilliams said the Board needed a better understanding of the infrastructure and where the needs lie to enable future growth.

Interim County Administrator Bill O’Brien reported that work is underway to get a quote for installation of a generator at Bath County High School. With a generator to power a portion of the school during emergencies, the school can serve as a certified Red Cross shelter.

And Board Chair Bruce McWilliams reported that four candidates have been selected to interview for the County Administrator position. Interviews are scheduled for February 8th and 9th.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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