Highland Board Of Supervisors September Meeting

The voters of the Wilson’s Mill precinct in Highland County will still be voting in their regular polling place this year, after the Highland County Electoral Board rescinded their request to the Board of Supervisors to close this location.

During the Supervisors regular September meeting, County Administrator Roberta Lambert read a letter from the Electoral Board which explained that the request to close the polling place given at the August 2nd meeting was primarily based on incorrect information available to the registrar at that time, that being the number of registered voters had fallen below 100. It was subsequently found that there were adequate voters to keep the polling place open, so the request was withdrawn. Electoral Board member Clay Hamilton, who was on hand to answer any questions, did note that the number was in a constant state of flux, especially in a presidential election year, and that other issues such as lack of phone line and difficulty finding poll workers remained.         Recreation Commission Chair Laura Honaker came before the Board with a request for modifying the salary of the Recreation Director. She provided the Supervisors with the current job description, which calls for educational degrees, and said the Commission would be hard pressed to fill the position, which was made vacant by the resignation of the previous director, at the current salary of $22,000. She noted the many programs and recent successes of the Commission, and that there was potential for this position to be combined with school positions, such as athletic director and coaching. She raised the possibility of using the $10,000 the Commission currently pays for reimbursement of the swimming pool construction be added to the salary for the purposes of hiring, but assured that amount would continue to be paid in the future.

Supervisor Harry Sponaugle expressed issue with this, pointing out that with benefits, the position currently costs the county $32,000. The Board tabled any action, but did agree to advertise for the current position as an interim director, so the Commission’s business could still be conducted until a permanent hire is made.

School superintendent Dr. Thomas Schott updated the Board on the status of the clean-up of the fuel oil spill. He reported 15 sites along the waterway were tested – all spots came back human drinking water capable. Two spots showed traces of toluene – in order to further clean those areas, they are being aerated and treated with micro-bacterial agents. The pipeline replacements for the fuel tanks have been completed, with upgraded double walled pipes in a carrier pipe, to reduce the risks of future spillage. He reported a successful start to the school year, and enrollment currently stands at 233.

In other business, the Board:

  • Adopted a resolution to establish the Personal Property Tax Relief percentage for 2016
  • Approved the transfer of $31,953 in additional state revenue to the school‘s capital improvement fund
  • Tabled a request from the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission for GIS mapping
  • Set the date of the regularly scheduled monthly work session for September 22nd at 6:30pm, directly before a joint meeting with the Highland County Planning Commission at 7:30pm
  • And approved the consent agenda.

During Board comments, congratulations for the success of yet another Highland County Fair was noted, as well as the awarding of an Industrial Revitalization Grant to the Highland EDA for improvements to The Highland Inn. Stay tuned to Allegheny Mountain radio for an in depth story on this award.

The meeting ended with a closed session for legal as needed.


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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