Highland Board of Supervisors January Meeting

The first order of business during the Highland Board of Supervisors January meeting was organization for the upcoming year. David Blanchard was installed as Chairman and Harry Sponaugle as Vice-chair. They also adopted Rules of Procedure, which is unchanged from last year, and set the meeting time, date and places for the year, also unchanged, with regular meetings on the first Tuesday and work sessions the third Wednesday at 7:30 pm at the county modular building. One last item of procedure was adopting a rule allowing the Chairman to make motions, pursuant to Robert’s Rule of Order for conducting business for small boards.

The newly re-organized Board will face a huge void in the future on the agricultural front, as they learned that long time Virginia Cooperative Extension agent Rodney Leech will be retiring effective February 1st. Mr. Leech has served in that capacity for Highland and Bath for 31 and ½ years.

In action items, the Board:

  • Moved to allow County Attorney Melissa Dowd draft a letter to the Virginia Association of Counties expressing her concerns with pending legislation proposed by the Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association, which in her estimation, would limit local authorities abilities to provide broadband services;
  • And re-appointed Bill Rich to the Planning Commission.

Ms. Dowd also made the Board aware that, in advance of the public hearing for the revised zoning ordinance, landowners who’s zoning may change must be notified, according to the Code of Virginia. In the interest of time and labor, these will be sent to all landowners, with information where they can go online to reference specific tracts of land, as well as where hard copies of the revised ordnance are posted throughout the county.

County administrator Roberta Lambert reminded the Board that the Virginia General Assembly will open their 2017 session on January 11th, and that budget season is approaching, with requests from constitutional offices and county organizations and agencies are due February 1st.  The school will provide potential dates for a pre-budget work session following their January 9th meeting. She also noted . Wingate Appraisal Service of Roanoke, VA is has begun the county’s general re-assessment of all real property, due to be completed by December 31st.

During public commentary, Gilbert and Lynn Pullin spoke to the Board about a 4/10 mile stretch of Seldom Seen Rd, which connects to Jack Mountain Road. Both gentlemen live along this stretch of road, which is unpaved, and noted dusty conditions during the summer. The Board explained that any improvements such as paving would have to be made by adding it to VDOT’s six year plan, and even if it was added, there are no guarantees it would be done within that time frame. Projects on this list accrue money from the state towards completion, and this accrual could take a number of years before a project is undertaken. Currently, Dug Bank Road is at the top of the list. The Board suggested they return in the spring to speak with VDOT representatives address the Board regarding the six year plan.

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

Current Weather