Highland County Board of Supervisors July Meeting

The July 2 meeting of the Highland County Board of Supervisors was handled expeditiously, with all votes being unanimous and very little discussion. The budget hearing to amend the Highland County Fiscal Year 2024 budget was approved leading to a unanimous vote to adopt a resolution to set appropriations for independent funds that have had expenditures during the fiscal year and authorize the county administrator to transfer funds within the general operating fund to close-out fiscal year 2023-2024. 


The PCI Cares contract was renewed and an equipment request for a new backhoe was granted – up to a $45,000 expenditure for a piece of equipment that meets Richard Waybright’s requirements to be used at the Highland County solid waste and recycling center.


Moving to new business, a fireworks request for the Blue Grass Ruritans was unanimously approved as well as a request from the Highland County Chamber for VDOT to close traffic at Spruce Street for a street dance and call during the Hands and Harvest Festival.


The Highland County Community Policy and Management Team and Family Assessment and Planning Team appointments and reappointments were unanimously approved for a two-year term beginning July 1, 2024 and ending June 30, 2026. 


Sheriff Bob Kelly gave an overview of communication issues that come with only having one dispatcher on call at a time, especially with multiple calls coming in. He also used a recent emergency involving multiple squads and a tractor trailer fire to illustrate how difficult it is to get a clear call and signal for organization. Eight radios were ordered to be received mid-July, as current models are 30 years old. Money for this project was received through a Highland/Bath joint communications grant. Kelly also asked residents to recognize the quiet zone and the effects of both the Greenbank and Sugar Grove satellites.


The Highland County School Board’s closeout letter was read and tabled. During board comments, Supervisor Paul Trible thanked Highland County Volunteer Rescue Squad members for handling and assisting on five of seven calls made in a 24-hour period on June 24. Supervisor Henry Budzinski thanked the Highland County Arts Council for coordination of both a drama camp and artist’s weekend that brought many to the county and provided both enrichment and entertainment for residents.


Ronald Wimer spoke during public comment adding to Sheriff Kelly’s report and request for better communications. Budzinski asked Wimer for a quote to get unused equipment that has been sitting for four years up and running.


Iris Hooke requested information on numbers of PHI Cares flights used by Highland County families. County attorney Melissa Dowd said that information was available through PHI. 

Matt Ratcliffe of Bolar Volunteer Rescue Squad also spoke on communication issues for volunteer services expressing concerns at moving to a truly digital system, saying sometimes analog had better coverage.


The board went into closed session to discuss assignment of duties and to meet with legal council to discuss specific legal matters. No action was taken during the closed session. The Highland County Board of Supervisors will hold a work session on July 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Story By


Brit Chambers

Brit Chambers is a resident of Highland County, Virginia and a news reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio. She loves living in a small town and relishes the outdoor adventures and community feeling that Highland has to offer. Brit has a background in journalism, marketing, and public relations and spends her free time reading good books, baking sourdough bread, and hiking with her family.

Current Weather