Highland County Board of Supervisors May 2023 Meeting – Part 2

This is part two of our story on the Highland County Board of Supervisors May meeting, held on May 2.

County Attorney Melissa Dowd discussed with the Board information from the Department of Environmental Quality on an Environmental Impact Statement regarding a proposed acquisition of Hayfields Farm.  She said the Environmental Impact Statement is in favor of the Department of Conservation and Recreation taking over Hayfields Farm from the Virginia Outdoors Foundation.  She added that there is also positive discussion about making Hayfields a state park.  Dowd said that before any building can begin, another Environmental Impact Statement will be completed for a master plan and more public comments will be accepted.  Dowd said the only issue she sees with the project is the road.  If Hayfields becomes a state park, visitors will be driving down Bullpasture River Road and she said there are problems on the southern end with curves and the narrow road.  Despite that, Dowd said she agreed with the plan for the Department of Conservation and Recreation to take Hayfields.    During public comment, Nancy Witschey said she had also read the Environmental Impact Statement recommending acquisition of Hayfields and she said she agreed it was a good idea.   She also said the Department of Conservation and Recreation is aware of the road situation and it is planning for a small state park, best suited for that property.  The board voted to send a letter of support for the project.  Comments are due by May 12, 2023.

County Attorney Melissa Dowd also reported on the county’s Ordinance on the Transient Occupancy Tax.  The state legislature made changes effective October 2022.  If there is an accommodation intermediary, such as Airbnb, the intermediary must now send the tax on rentals directly to the local Commissioner of the Revenue.  Dowd is revising the county’s ordinance and asked the Board to review it at it’s work session on May 17.

County Administrator Roberta Lambert reported on information the county received from the Bolar Volunteer Rescue Squad.  The Rescue Squad is now offering training to the community for American Heart Association CPR and First Aid Certification.   To schedule training, contact the Bolar Volunteer Rescue Squad.

To hear part one of this story on the Highland County Board of Supervisors May 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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