Highland Board of Supervisors December Meeting


At its December meeting, the Highland County Board of Supervisors continued with plans for the remaining CARES Act funding, tabled action on an appointment and heard some more questions about the Emergency Medical Services fee.

County Administrator Roberta Lambert reported there is $82,000 left of CARES Act money.  Lambert said there are still a couple of renovation items to be done at the courthouse.  Quotes are being gathered for the installation of a restroom in the office building beside the courthouse, where the Senior Services office is located.  There was also discussion on updating the county government website.  The Board approved a funding request from Commissioner of Revenue, Yvonne Wimer to use part-time employees for additional hours to screen visitors who come into the courthouse.   It will be on a temporary basis, three days a week for two weeks and then it will be reevaluated.  The courthouse will remain locked, but visitors will be allowed in and the number of people in the building will be managed.

The Board tabled action on appointing Carl Williams as Deputy Coordinator for Emergency Management.   Williams is Deputy Chief of Emergency Medical Services.  Harley Gardner, Emergency Services Coordinator, made the request to appoint Williams saying they should have had a Deputy Coordinator all along, but there was no one qualified or willing to serve in that position.   Board Chairman David Blanchard said the appointment should first be run by Adam Gillispie, Chief of Emergency Medical Services.  During public comment, Paul Trible suggested a Highland County resident should be considered.   Trible said with an emergency like flooding or heavy snowfall, it could be hard for Williams, who lives in West Virginia, to get to Highland.  Chairman Blanchard said they want to utilize someone already in emergency services, since it is not enough of a job to hire someone just for those extra duties.

County Administrator Roberta Lambert also read two questions from Yvonne Wimer, Commissioner of Revenue, regarding the EMS fee.  Wimer asked for clarification on who will qualify for a business exemption from the fee.  First question: A farmer owns his home and pays the EMS fee on it and has a habitable dwelling at his farm, where the first floor is for office use for the farm and the second floor is where they stay about seven nights a year during calving season.  Second question:  A farmer owns his home and pays the EMS fee and also owns a habitable dwelling purchased specifically for a farm manager as part of his salary.  The home is vacant, but the farmer intends to hire another manager and provide the home as part of the salary.  Both farmers are requesting exemption for business use.  The board did not discuss the questions or make any decision on them with Board Chairman David Blanchard saying there would be no answer that night.

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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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