Highland Board of Supervisors March Meeting

The Highland County Board of Supervisors will have a different make-up after this year’s elections. Vice chair Lee Blagg, who was acting as chair in the absence of David Blanchard during last week’s regularly scheduled meeting, announced during Board comments that he would not be seeking re-election next year. Mr. Blagg has served for eight years, with a four year gap between terms. County attorney Melissa Dowd spoke on behalf of those in attendance and county residents when she thanked him for his service, and said his presence would be missed.

In other business during the evening, the Board received reports from the Department of Social Services and from Highland Sheriff Tim Duff on the past month’s activities. Sheriff Duff also reported that all members of his road unit staff are Crisis Intervention Trained. He also underscored that the role of the National Guard during the recent snow emergency was to be on call to get first responders on site if needed, not for plowing or snow removal. The Board passed a resolution officially ratifying the declaration of that local emergency, as required by process.

The Board received information from Betty Mitchell, executive director for The Highland Center, on a meeting scheduled for the next day where Board members would serve on a panel convened by VDOT in regards to the Center’s upcoming renovation.

County administrator Roberta Lambert reported that the county’s health employment coverage for employee’s was due for renewal. The county has been using a state program called the Local Choice since 1980, and Lambert reported employees were satisfied with the coverage, and there were no premium increases. The Board voted to re-new based on her recommendation. They also approved a request from Virginia Cooperative Extension agent Rodney Leech to use funds to hire a summer intern for his office.

In other budget related matters, the Board received a revised school budget from Superintendent Dr. Thomas Schott, which has been approved by the school board. Dr. Schott will be invited to speak with the supervisors regarding the budget at the next scheduled meeting, which will be March 18th ‘s monthly work session.

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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