Highland Board of Supervisors’ January Meeting

The Highland County Board of Supervisors made quick work of their organizational needs at the opening of their first meeting of 2016, electing Kevin Wagner Chair and David Blanchard Vice-Chair, and adopting proper rules of order and procedures, as well as setting the schedule of meetings and work sessions, with no changes from the previous years.

Following these necessary items, the Board heard from Mike Henry and Raymond Lightner from the Virginia Department of Transportation on county projects and activities, which included repair of an embankment slide on Route 678, dead tree removal, patching and grading on dirt roads, and snow removal. Mr. Wagner expressed a hope that cooperation would continue with Augusta County in clearing snow from the east side of Shenandoah Mountain.

Resident Iris Hooke inquired about the steps it would take to have signs place at certain spots on Dug Bank Road, indicating tractor trailers should not pass beyond the signs. GPS often mistakenly routes drivers this way, and the southern end of the road is too narrow and twisty, and damage has recently been caused by trucks to Ms. Hooke’s and other property owners fences because of this. Mr. Henry said VDOT was already aware of the issue, and the signage engineering crew was working on it.

The Board also heard a request from Sarah Collins-Simmons for a letter of support on a grant application to the Citizens Institute for Rural Design by The Highland Center and Highland EDA. If approved, the grant would provide means for convening a workshop and receiving technical assistance in creating outdoor recreational opportunity planning for the county. The request was approved.

In action items, the Board:

  • Appointed Tim Duff to the Tourism Council;
  • Adopted a resolution to set third quarter appropriation for school funding;
  • Reviewed requests and recommendations from the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission regarding the Charter Agreement and Bylaws and updates to the Comprehensive Plan to conform with the requirements of House Bill 2, which will designate transportation funding in the future;
  • And adopted a resolution in support of Wythe County’s proposed amendment to the Virginia Code which would allow counties to levy tax on the purchase or use of cigarettes. This does not mean the Supervisors are in favor of such a levy for Highland, and they felt it would bring in little revenue here, but they want to show support for other localities.

County Administrator Roberta Lambert reminded the Board of dates for upcoming events, including the Rural Caucus Meeting, County Government Day, and the General Assembly Session. She also provided monthly revenue and expenditure reports, as well as the report from the Department of Social Services, and informed the Board that she had received word that U.S. Forest Service District Ranger Pat Sheridan would be retiring at the end of January.

The Supervisors next meeting will be with the School Board on Monday, January 18th.

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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