Highland County Board of Supervisors April Meeting – Part 1

The Highland County Board of Supervisors held it’s monthly meeting on April 5.

The Board reviewed an amended agreement with the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest for maintenance at the Confederate Breastworks site.   There was already an agreement in place, but the Forest Service asked the county to adopt an amended agreement.   The original agreement included having the county responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of toilets and in the revised agreement the county is also being asked to maintain the building exteriors.  The amended agreement includes having the county maintain walkways and paths, keep the stone wall free of graffiti and keep the building roofs free of leaves and branches and the eaves free of wasp nests, bird nests and spider webs.   In addition, the county is to provide upkeep for a new sign that the Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Council have designed that will be installed soon.  The Forest Service also requested that rocks be replaced that have been removed from the wall and the walkway.  County Administrator Roberta Lambert said the Chamber has agreed to maintain the sign, the wall and the walkway.  County Attorney Melissa Dowd suggested an agreement between the county and the Chamber be drawn up outlining responsibilities on maintenance for the sign, the wall and the walkway.  The Board approved the amended agreement with the Forest Service and approved the creation of the maintenance agreement between the Chamber and the county.

County Attorney Melissa Dowd also explained proposed changes to Virginia’s DEQ Solid Waste Management Regulations.  The proposed changes involve regulations on open burning of trash.  She said the change will impact private citizens, since residents will no longer be allowed to burn household trash in burn barrels at their homes.  She said in private settings, citizens can burn vegetative waste, clean paper products and clean wood.  That is wood that is untreated and it cannot contain paint, laminate, bonding agents or chemical preservatives.  There will be no change to the use of the Highland County burn pit at the landfill, since it already is only used for clean wood and vegetative waste.

Supervisor John Moyers spoke about the recent bill that was introduced by Senator Tim Kaine, for the creation of the Shenandoah Mountain National Scenic Area.  Land in Highland is a part of that proposed scenic area, and the land would be designated as a wilderness area.  The Board previously heard a presentation on the proposal by Lynn Cameron from the organization Friends of Shenandoah Mountain.  Cameron was seeking the county’s support of the proposal.  Supervisor Moyers said the Board never took action on the proposal and he thought something more was going to come back to the Board before the bill was introduced in Congress.  Supervisor Moyers said he was against the designation of wilderness area and said he never had a chance to vote against it.  He said adjoining landowners were against the proposal and he felt making it a wilderness area would tie the hands of the next generation, where they couldn’t do anything with the land due to restrictions.  County Attorney Melissa Dowd will review the bill to see what changes would result and will draft a letter in opposition to the bill for the Board to send to legislators.

Stay tuned for more from the April 5th meeting of the Highland County Board of Supervisors.

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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