Highland County Board of Supervisors February Meeting

At it’s February meeting, the Highland County Board of Supervisors heard an update on the collection of the county’s new Emergency Medical Services fee from Commissioner of the Revenue, Yvonne Wimer.  Wimer said she is still getting calls from taxpayers with questions about the fee and about what qualifies for exemptions, although the number of calls has decreased.  Wimer explained to the Board questions from taxpayers and some of the work she has done researching property records.  County Attorney Melissa Dowd stressed that it’s the taxpayer’s obligation to provide proof of ownership on property and the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office should not be doing that research.  Wimer reported that the EMS fee should generate about $343,050 per year.  County Attorney Melissa Dowd said the Board was estimating the fee would generate $340,700.  She said the cost of EMS salaries, benefits and operating expenses is around $345,000.

The Board reviewed a proposal to adjust vacation and sick leave for county employees on alternate working schedules, such as the paid EMS staff who work 24 hours on and 48 hours off.  County Attorney Melissa Dowd said the current county policy is based on a work day of 8 hours and suggested the adjustment be made so the policy for employees who have a 24 hour work day will be consistent with the current policy for 8 hour employees.  The Board approved adjusting the county policy to give full time county employees who work rotating shifts 120 hours of vacation a year and 24 hours of sick leave per month.

George Hogshead was appointed to the Bath Highland Network Authority to fill the seat held by Nancy Witschey, who declined reappointment.

The Board agreed to move ahead and hold the public hearings on the pending Solar Ordinance for the county.  A joint public hearing will be held with both the Board of Supervisors and the Monterey Town Council and the county will coordinate with the Town Council to set up the date.

And the Board voted to transfer a loan of $75,000 to the McDowell Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of a used tanker truck.

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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