Highland County Board of Supervisors June 2023 Meeting
The Highland County Board of Supervisors held it’s monthly meeting on June 5.
The Board held a public hearing on the county’s Transient Occupancy Tax Ordinance. The ordinance was updated to bring it into compliance with the revised state code. The change in the ordinance is that accommodation intermediaries, which are services such as Airbnb, will now collect the tax and report it on a monthly basis to the county. Accommodation providers, who are property owners who do not use services such as Airbnb, will still submit the taxes to the county every three months, as they have done all along. There were no comments during the public hearing and the Board approved the revision of the ordinance.
The Board discussed a School Board request to transfer a budget surplus of $451,629.46 over to the schools’ Capital Improvement Fund. The money will be used for future projects, including the HVAC, air handling and roof repair project and it will also be used for the purchase of new school buses. The School Board also requested the Board of Supervisors approve the use of funding from other school accounts to help pay for the School Resource Officer position. County Administrator Roberta Lambert said she was not able to get confirmation on which fund the schools wanted the money to come from. She said it would be either the School Reserve Fund or the Capital Improvement Fund. Board Chairman David Blanchard suggested tabling action on the transfer requests until more information was available.
School Resource Officer Beth McGuire spoke at the meeting about her experience in that newly created position, that began last January. She felt everything went well and said she heard good feedback from both parents and teachers. She said she worked on organizing safety procedures, such as fire drills and lock down drills. Board Chairman David Blanchard added that he had also heard good feedback on having a School Resource Officer.
The Board discussed a letter received from two residents who live on Route 616 North, Upper Fork Road, who were concerned about speeding on that road. They said there is no posted speed limit and they asked the Board to contact VDOT about doing a study or determining what is the appropriate speed limit. Upper Fork Road is a curvy, narrow, gravel road and the residents said the speeding was especially dangerous since children often ride their bikes on the road. During discussion, it was stated that the speed limit may be 35 mph, since it is an unposted road, but the Board will contact VDOT regarding the concerns.
For Allegheny Mountain Radio, I’m Bonnie Ralston.