Highland County Board of Supervisors July Meeting

The Highland County Board of Supervisors held it’s monthly meeting on July


The Board approved a request from Highland County Public Schools to transfer funds.   The School Board requested a transfer of $352,951.55.  That amount remained in the fiscal year 2022 budget and will be transferred to the School Capital Improvement account for future projects.

County Attorney Melissa Dowd discussed a letter she had prepared to express the Board’s objection to the proposed Shenandoah Mountain National Scenic Area.  In the letter, she wrote that the Board felt that other stakeholders had already negotiated a done deal when the information was presented to the Board, since Highland was the last county contacted.  The letter also says that the Board is opposed to the designation of the 3,500 acres of Lynn Hollow as a new wilderness area, since the Board doesn’t understand the need to change from the current designation, which has the same recreational uses.  Dowd also included that with the lack of employment in Highland, there needs to be access through broadband technology, so making land permanently unavailable for future development does not benefit Highland.  The Board will review the letter and plans to vote on it at it’s work session on July 20.

The Board approved the renewal of the PHI air ambulance services contract.  County Attorney Melissa Dowd reviewed the contract and there is no cost increase.

Dowd also announced that BARC is asking the State Corporation Commission for a rate increase, to take effect in 2023.  She said there has not been an increase since approximately 2001.   With the increase, the typical customer using 1000 kw of electricity each month would see a monthly phase one bill increase of $8.22 and a phase two bill increase of $5.77, for a total of almost $14 per month.  Comments will be accepted by telephone on November 15 and the deadline for written comments to the State Corporation Commission is November 9.  Visit www.scc.virginia.gov for more information.

During public comment, Nancy Witschey urged the Board to consider creating an Information Technician position to be included in next year’s budget.   She said the Commissioner of the Revenue had suggested it for this year’s budget, but the position was not created.  Witschey said that as technology usage increases, having support is important to help with problems as they arise.


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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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