Highland Board of Supervisors February Meeting

The Highland County Board of Supervisors moved through their agenda with lightning speed during their regular February meeting Tuesday evening.

The only presentation scheduled was from Sarah Rexrode, Director of Social Services, who gave the Board a report on the past month’s activities. She also supplied them with an overview of the department’s case load totals for 2015, which included 530 recipients of SNAP, TANF and Medicaid benefits, as opposed to 464 in 2014, with most of the increase being new Medicaid cases. Child protective services had 29 referrals, and adult protective services had 21 referrals.

In action items, the Board:

  • Ratified the declaration of a local emergency from January 22-25, due to the winter storm which occurred
  • Approved a contract with Wingate Appraisal Services for new construction assessments for building permits and land divisions in 2015. County Administrator Roberta Lambert noted the, historically, the amount of revenue created for the county from this assessment exceeds the cost of the contract. The Board also authorized Ms. Lambert to negotiate with VACorp for the county’s insurance needs – she praised the past relationship with the company
  • Several appointments were approved, including Brian Moyers to the Highland Recreation Commission, and Sheriff David Neil and Scott Smith of WVLS to the Local Emergency Planning Committee
  • Budget planning will begin with an initial review during the February 17th work session, and meetings with county departments will begin the week of February 22nd.

During her Administrator’s report, Ms. Lambert informed the Board of the latest projections from the Weldon Cooper Center Population, which estimated Highland’s population on July 1st of this year at 2,277, a decrease of 44 individuals, or 1.9% from the 2010 census.  It was noted that most of Virginia was experiencing decline, except for the so-called “Golden Crescent”, which includes the Northern Virginia down through Richmond/Tidewater area and the Roanoke area. She also informed the Board that the Chamber of Commerce had sent them a letter informing them of their annual request to close North Water Street between Main Street and Mill Alley during the Maple Festival. And she was happy to inform the Board that Building and Zoning Official Josh Simmons had passed the necessary training and testing, and would be a certified building official as of February 1st.

During the Board comment period, supervisors praised the preparation and work by all residents and organizations during the recent winter storm, with special recognition given to the VDOT crews for the dangerous task of keeping the roadways plowed.

The Board’s next meeting will be their regular work session on Wednesday, February 17th

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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