Highland County Board of Supervisors January 2023 Regular Meeting

The Highland County Board of Supervisors held it’s first meeting of the new year on Tuesday night.  The Board took care of annual organizational items for 2023.  Supervisor David Blanchard was elected Chairman and Supervisor Harry Sponaugle was elected Vice-Chairman.    The Board adopted Rules and Procedures for 2023, with no changes from 2022.  The Board also adopted again the rule to authorize the Chairman to make motions, in addition to his authority to vote.   The meeting schedule was approved for 2023.  Regular meetings will continue to be held the first Tuesday of each month and work sessions will be held the third Wednesday of each month.  The first Tuesday in July is July 4, so that regular meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 5.

County Administrator Roberta Lambert reported that the county hired a new EMT last week.  She also said that one EMT has gone to part time and might be leaving and, if that happens, the county will then have three EMT’s.   Lambert also reported that there are four applicants for the EMS Chief position.  She is scheduling virtual interviews with the applicants and with the Committee that will do the interviews.  Lambert said Committee member Debbie Tribble, from the Highland County Volunteer Rescue Squad, asked if the Board would add John Montgomery to the Interview Committee, because of his experience.  Board Chair David Blanchard said maybe it would be a better time to include him when the Committee was down to making a final selection.  He said he was not against the idea, but didn’t want to bring in a big group while they are still getting down to final discussions on hiring.  Chairman Blanchard asked about the EMS Advisory Committee and County Administrator Roberta Lambert said it still needed to be established, per the EMS ordinance.  The various agencies all need to appoint someone to the Committee in order to be a part of the EMS system.  Chairman Blanchard said that appointing members to the Committee needs to be a goal for the Board’s next work session.

Highland County Public Schools requested $15,029.75 to pay for an insurance claim for damage to a school bus.  This is an additional item that is not included in the school budget.  The Board approved amending the school budget and appropriating that amount to the School Board to make the payment.

County Administrator Roberta Lambert reported on information received from the National Park Service for an American Battlefield Protection Program Battlefield Interpretation Grant.  The project will enhance battlefield interpretation, to tell a broader and more inclusive story of Civil War African American history in the Shenandoah Valley.  The Board can submit comments, that are due in late January.  The project will probably install two signs in Highland, one outside at the battlefield and one inside at the museum.  Following County Attorney Melissa Dowd’s suggestion, the Board voted to forward the information to the Highland Historical Society and to ask them to monitor the grant on behalf of the Board.

And the Board also voted to reappoint George Hogshead to the Bath-Highland Network Authority.

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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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