Highland Board of Supervisors March Meeting

At the Highland County Board of Supervisors March meeting, the Board was asked to provide a letter of support for a grant that the volunteer rescue squad wants to apply for.  Paul Trible, with the volunteer rescue squad, spoke during public comment at the start of the meeting, saying he didn’t see the request as an agenda item.  He said time was running out, as the grant deadline was coming up, and he asked the Board to consider the letter at the meeting.  Later in the meeting, when the letter came up in discussion, County Administrator Roberta Lambert said she had previously sent the information on the request to the Board.  County Attorney Melissa Dowd then told the Board there should be a closed session to consider legal action before the Board takes a vote on issuing the letter.    During public comment at the end of the meeting, Paul Trible spoke again saying they had previously asked for the letter and questioned the need now for closed session for legal advice.   At the conclusion of the meeting, the Board went into the closed session.  According to County Administrator Roberta Lambert, the Board’s motion after the closed meeting was “Concerning the letter of support for the Rescue Squad, there are legal questions that need to be answered.  If these questions are answered, we authorize Roberta Lambert to issue a letter of support before March 15, 2021.  Carried unanimously.”

In other business, a date was set for the public hearing on the county’s proposed solar ordinance.   It will be held on Thursday, March 25, at 7:30 pm during the Planning Commission’s monthly meeting.  Another public hearing with the Planning Commission will also be held that night on a conditional use permit application for a campground in Headwaters.   Both the proposed solar ordinance and the campground application are on the Highland County Building and Zoning website at www.highlandcovabz.org

Supervisor David Blanchard thanked county emergency services for their response to the recent accident involving a tanker truck that crashed into the Jackson River.  Board Chair Harry Sponaugle also said EMS did a great job and when the state response arrived, it didn’t change anything the local responders had done.

During public comment at the end of the meeting, Vicki King had questions regarding the Emergency Medical Services fee.  She asked if the board had reviewed it yet.   Board Chair Harry Sponaugle said the Board had been looking at it some more and will address it at a work session on March 17.   She also asked who authorized the purchase of the car wash in Monterey for emergency services, since it wasn’t budgeted.  Supervisor David Blanchard said the Board has the authority to purchase real property for the county’s advantage.  King questioned if the county was raising too much money, since the fee is only supposed to cover the cost of EMS services.  She also questioned how the EMS cost is calculated and questioned the salaries of the EMS staff.  She had concerns about people being charged the fee twice and the Board responded that if there are questions about that, individuals should contact the Commissioner of the Revenue.

The next meeting of the Highland County Board of Supervisors is Wednesday, March 17 with a work session on the EMS fee at 6pm, followed by their regular monthly work session at 7:30.

Story By

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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