Highland County Board of Supervisors March Meeting – Part 2

This is part two of our report on the Highland County Board of Supervisors monthly meeting held on March 7.

County Administrator Roberta Lambert reported that it’s time to renew health insurance for county employees.  This year the insurance increase is about 7.85%, which is $19,800.  She said the county is enrolled in a program maintained by the state, called Local Choice.  Lambert said the county has been in the program for 30 years and many years there has been no cost increase.  The Board will decide on the renewal by it’s work session on March 15, which is the deadline.

County Attorney Melissa Dowd reported that easements for a Jack Mountain tower site are being obtained.  One has been completed and the other will be signed soon.  Plans are for an old tower to be replaced with a new taller one, which will be used to improve emergency services communication to better reach the Doe Hill area.  The tower work is expected to be completed by November.

County Administrator Roberta Lambert gave the Board the 2024 budget requests she had received so far.  The Board will review the requests and will go over them at its March 15 meeting, and plan to set up department meetings as needed.

County Administrator Roberta Lambert also discussed a letter received from VDOT that will be send to residents near the New Hampden bridge, near the intersection of Laurel Fork Road.  The bridge is scheduled to be replaced in 2025.   There’s concern that VDOT indicated previously they may not have a way for traffic to pass through during construction.   The bridge replacement will be on the VDOT Six Year Plan.  The VDOT public hearing is coming up in a few months, and the Board plans to address the issue at that public hearing.

During public comment, two speakers expressed concern about the condition of Route 614. It is a gravel road, with areas of chip and tar, and recently residents have been experiencing a lot of flat tires.  There is concern that the large chunks of rock being put on the road are the problem and it was suggested that the road be entirely covered with chip and tar or, at least, be covered with smaller gravel in those areas.   After contacting VDOT, the speakers said they were advised to ask the Board of Supervisors to evaluate the road.  Speakers also had concerns with excessive muddiness and excessive dust, depending on weather conditions.

Board Chairman David Blanchard thanked all those who have been out picking up trash along the roadways in advance of Maple Festival.  He thanked Wes Maupin for cleaning up on the east side of Shenandoah Mountain.  County Attorney Melissa Dowd said Andre Crummett was picking up trash along Blue Grass Valley Road.

To hear part one of this story on the Highland County Board of Supervisors meeting, visit our website at www.alleghenymountainradio.org

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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