Highland County Board of Supervisors Discuss Roads, Bolar Fire Department and Future State Park


The Highland County Board of Supervisors met on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 to discuss roads, the Bolar Fire Department, a future state park and more.

Mike Henry with the Virginia Department of Transportation presented the VDOT Secondary Road Construction Program and Budget, also known as the Six-Year Plan.  Roads scheduled for maintenance are Seldom Seen Road, Dug Bank Road, Botkin Hollow Road, Davis Run Road, and Cowpasture River Road.  During a public hearing, five people spoke and two letters were read, requesting that other areas be looked at for improvements.  The comments mainly involved safety concerns, and there were requests for guard rails along two areas on Rt. 84 and Upper Back Creek Road, for a more permanent solution to potholes on Upper Fork Road, for surface work on Mill Lane, for an extra sign on Dug Bank Road to warn trucks to not enter, for a sign warning about a sharp curve on Bullpasture River Road, for surface treatment to Pullen Road, and for surface treatment to a 1.6 mile unpaved area of Botkin Hollow Road.  There was a question about extending a yellow line the entire length of Bullpasture River Road in Highland County, with a resulting discussion that the road was too narrow in some areas, or less than the requirement of eighteen feet in width, for the line.  After the hearing, The Six-Year Plan was unanimously approved by the Board as presented.  It was also noted that Mr. Henry has met with a group of citizens along Bullpasture River Road regarding concerns over future construction traffic involved with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Moving on, resident Gideon Hiner also cited safety and timing concerns over the lack of passing lanes on Rt. 250 between McDowell and Deerfield.  Mr. Hiner and Supervisor David Blanchard plan to ride the road along with VDOT’s Mike Henry to view problem areas.

During public comments, three citizens spoke in favor of the Bolar Fire Department’s request for First Responder Agency status.  After discussion, the Board unanimously approved to adopt a resolution granting this status, limited to non-transport, first responder, basic life support as requested.  The area of service will include 20.35 miles in Highland County and 20.57 miles in Bath County.  The resolution is planned to be adopted at the Board’s next Work Session on Wednesday, June 20th.

Members of a group called Friends of Highland State Park requested that the Board make them an unofficial advisory group to report to the Board on a future park’s status.  They also requested that having a state park be a strategic goal in the county’s comprehensive plan.  The Board asked Friends of Highland State Park to draft comments to be submitted to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation regarding the 2018 Draft of the Virginia Outdoors Plan.

In final comments, two in attendance addressed Highland County’s EMS, both recommending not moving forward with paid personnel on the squad, and one suggesting that if one person is paid, that person should be on-call 24 hours a day.

The Board plans to have their Fiscal Year 2018 Close-Out and Budget Amendment Meeting on Tuesday, June 26th, and a joint public hearing with the Planning Commission on Thursday, June 28th to address a change in zoning language for applications within a 12-month period, as well as a change in language for building a water and sewer system for a campground from a requirement to a contingency.

Story By

Chris Swecker

is the Assistant Station Coordinator and a News Reporter for WVLS. He has roots in Highland County going back several generations, and he grew up in Monterey. Since graduating from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Design, he has pursued his career at a news station and advertising agency in Virginia, on Microsoft’s campus in the state of Washington, and in both states as sole owner and employee of a video production company. He enjoys exploring life with his wife, Jessa Fowler, traveling, hiking, hunting, gardening, and trying new foods, all while discovering more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He feels blessed to be a small part of this talented AMR team to help give back to the community that has provided him with so much.

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