Bath Supervisors meet for October


Now that the Bath Board, as most local governments do, has only two months left until there is a changing of the guard, members seem eager to conclude what they began, and to set aside what they are passing on to others.

There has been discussion of revising the county’s solid waste code for about eleven years, and last Tuesday the current board voted to amend Chapter 16 of the current code to be more equitable. Currently the code charges contractors of new construction more than for renovations, and renovations frequently generate more waste. It was also noted that some businesses pay their waste disposal fees and others do not. Apparently compliance with this fee is difficult to enforce.  So, the exact details of how to make the county’s solid waste policy more equitable, and appropriate to today’s needs is being left to the members coming in in January. But the directive is there, and everyone recognized there is a long way to go in reducing the county’s waste. Claire Collins, Cedar Creek representative and board chair, almost sidetracked the discussion by stating that if this code were revised, other ones she described as “also inequitable” might get more scrutiny. But the members committed to progress stayed on task, and the final vote was three in favor, one abstaining, and one opposed.

Also of note at October’s meeting was Mary Susan Blankenship’s update on the Senior Center. She described some of the great activities that have taken place there, and how hard the director works. The monthly average for Seniors taking place in Center activities on Wednesday and Thursdays is 14-16. Fewer attend on Mondays, but there are still activities available. Above all the Senior Center would like to find a driver for their van. This is a part time position, and does not require a commercial driver’s license. Those interested in learning more about the driving job can contact the Senior Center, or Valley Program for Aging Services.

A little further into the meeting Harold King represented the Local Emergency Preparedness Council and Andy Seabolt who had developed the emergency plan for Bath County. Virginia Department of Emergency Services had reviewed the plan, and complimented the Council on their thoroughness and hard work. The board voted unanimously to approve, and Warm Springs Representative Bart Purdue expressed appreciation to King and Seabolt, and others who collaborated to complete the work. Of special note on the Emergency Services topic was that Burnsville Rescue Squad placed first in Advanced Life Support in the state competition. A more formal recognition of this success, and the rescue squad’s whole participation in the competition will take place at November’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting.

In both comments from the public, and those from the board, Bath residents acknowledged the high school band’s need for new uniforms. It looks like one of the charges of the new board will be to decide if and how much the county will be able to assist with that effort.

In closing comments Williamsville representative, Bruce McWilliams noted that frequently local talk is about how it’s “always been done”, and that there are times when it is helpful, and productive, to look at doing things in a new way. He used the solid waste issue as an example of one that will require careful rethinking in order to make a positive difference. Kevin Fry, Valley Springs representative, emphasized how important it is for regular citizens to increase recycling, to divert waste from the landfill, and to get closer to meeting state mandates in 2017. All agreed this is an important goal for the next board to address, and that there must be more recycling education for the whole county to increase its efforts.

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.

Current Weather