Bath Supervisors to discuss compensation provided for county committees, boards and commissions


Should members of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee be paid for their work?  At Tuesday night’s Bath Board of Supervisors meeting, the board decided to hold a work session to discuss compensation for members of that committee as well as other boards and commissions. The discussion on compensation got started when the board was considering approving the bylaws for the new Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.  Supervisor Bart Perdue said it will be a lot of work for committee members and he said he thinks they should get something.  Supervisor Cliff Gilchrest agreed, saying that unless it’s a threat to the budget, members should be paid something at least comparable to other boards.  Supervisor Claire Collins said members should get at least an appreciation stipend.  But Board Chairman Bruce McWilliams said it was originally to be a volunteer committee, giving an opportunity for the community to be a part of something. The board did approve the bylaws for the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, with the deletion of the section stating that members are volunteers. 

Also on Tuesday night, the board approved an additional $500,000 in funding for the Capital Improvement Plan.  That includes $100,000 for a truck for the Mountain Grove Fire Department, $100,000 for a truck for the Burnsville Fire Department and $92,500 for a truck for the Hot Springs Fire Department.  The remaining amount of about $207,000 will be set aside for possible improvements to the high school parking lot, once a better cost estimate is obtained.

The board also heard a concern during public comment about the Bacova Junction water line extension not being funded this year.  It was said that a survey costing about $60,000 had already been completed and if the project is delayed that survey might have to be redone.  The board voted to hold a work session with the public service authority to discuss the project.

Also during public comment, Bolar Fire Department Chief Matt Ratcliff asked the board to consider funding for an addition to the department’s building.  He said the department would like to borrow $125,000 and asked if the board would sign a contract, guaranteeing that amount in the budget for next year.  The Bolar Fire Department is located in Highland County, about one mile from Bath, but responds to calls in Bath County.  Board Chair Bruce McWilliams said the board would consider the request, but would not have an answer for at least a month. 

And the board voted to support a resolution asking the General Assembly to enact legislation to allow jurisdictions to choose to run a pilot program to study the use of vote centers.  The pilot program would run for a three year trial period and, for primary elections only, would allow jurisdictions to set up a smaller number of vote centers instead of opening all the regular voting precinct locations.  With low voter turnout that’s seen during primaries, the use of vote centers would offer cost savings.

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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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