Highland Board of Supervisors September Meeting

Comment periods proved to be the most engaging portion of last week’s meeting of the Highland County Board of Supervisors.

During the Board comment period towards the latter part of the meeting, chair David Blanchard addressed those in attendance regarding a topic which had been the focus of discussion in two previous meetings, the patching procedures recently done on Highland County roadways. Mr. Blanchard reported it had been brought to his attention that some felt the Board had been too critical of VDOT during these discussions. He  underscored that he and the rest of the Board appreciated the often unsung hard work and effort done to maintain the county roadways, and his commentary had not been aimed at the local offices and workers, but rather at the directions they are given, and to gain a better understanding of roadway procedures.

The last item on every Supervisor’s meeting agenda is the opportunity for public comment, and McDowell resident Bryan Obaugh took advantage of this to open a dialogue with the board about the future of broadband and cellular development in the county. Mr. Obaugh stressed that expansion of these services were vital from an economic development standpoint, as well as for,safety concerns. The Board agreed with this assessment, and pointed out that the work done in cooperation with Bath County and the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission were preparatory steps to place the county in good standing should funding become available to make improvements. Mr. Obaugh took it a step further, asking if a county public works project might be the answer. The Board replied  that options for the next steps were certainly  being studied and considered.

Also during public comment period, county attorney Melissa Dowd reported that she has ended her tenure as interim zoning official for the county, and those duties are now being performed by building official Josh Simmons.

In other items on the agenda, the Board heard reports from the Department of Social Services and the Highland Sheriff’s office on their respective workloads and activities. In action items, they:

  • Adopted a resolution to concur with VDOT’s abandonment of a .05 segment of the old Route 250 near the intersection of Route 214
  • Adopted a resolution to establish the Personal Property Relief Tax percentage for 2015
  • Approved 3rd and 4th quarter appropriations in the amount of $67,000 for SOL equipment and technology for the schools
  • Appointed and re-appointed members to the Community Policy and Management Team, Family Assessment and Planning Team, and Local Emergency Planning Committee
  • And approved the consent agenda

The meeting ended with closed session for personnel.

For Allegheny Mountain Radio, this is Scott Smith.

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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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