Bath Supervisors Issue County Disaster Declaration After Heavy April Rains
Warm Springs, VA – The Bath Board of Supervisors has designated Bath County a disaster area. At its public hearing on the county budget Thursday night, the board added the disaster designation to the agenda.
Supervisor Stuart Hall reported that the Burnsville and Williamsville areas received significant damage from heavy rain on Tuesday April 12. Hall said the damage was especially bad north and east of Burnsville, with some areas suffering more damage from this rain than from the 1985 flood. He said one farm alone has twenty to twenty five thousand dollars damage. With the disaster declaration, the county can apply for assistance, but Hall said it will be tough to get significant assistance for this flooding.
Also on Thursday night the board took action from a closed meeting held prior to the public hearing. The board voted to move forward with an advertisement seeking a new county administrator. Current county administrator Bonnie Johnson is retiring at the end of August.
A motion was made to place the ad, but Supervisor Stuart Hall made a substitute motion to wait on the hiring process. Hall suggested hiring a temporary employee to fill in until after the first of the year. He said the majority or maybe all of the board may not be serving next year and he felt that the new board should hire who they want.
Halls’ substitute motion failed on a vote of 1 to 4. Supervisor Jon Trees said new board members won’t know what they need in an administrator. Trees said it was the responsibility of this board to put someone in the job with experience to lead the county and to help the new board. He said ideally the new administrator should be in place before Johnson leaves.
Board Chairman Richard Byrd agreed, saying it would be a mistake not to hire someone for the position now. Byrd added that the board of supervisors as a group will conduct the interviews and will hire the new administrator. He said the board will work through the hiring process together and that individual board members will not do interviews.