Highland County Board of Supervisors October Meeting

The Highland County Board of Supervisors held it’s monthly meeting on October 4.

County Administrator Roberta Lambert reported that new funding is available under the American Rescue Plan.  It’s the Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund and it’s offered for revenue sharing counties.  From the fund, Highland County qualifies for a little over $88,000 for each of the next two years, with no spending deadline on the funding.  The funding can be spent on a wide range of services including health, education, public safety, utility and sanitation and much more.

Highland County Volunteer Rescue Squad President Paul Trible spoke during public comment.  He said EMS Chief Carl Williams is leaving and he encouraged the Board to start the hiring process soon to find his replacement.  Trible also said, as of the time of the Supervisors meeting, the rescue squad had answered 268 calls so far this year, with most calls having been a joint effort between paid staff and volunteers.  Trible said they haven’t missed a call in several years, but he felt it would happen at some point.  He said recently there were two serious calls back to back that required a total of seven rescue squad members between two ambulances for transport, which left no one to answer any other calls.  Trible said getting three calls close together would be difficult to cover and the rescue squad is looking for new volunteers.

County Attorney Melissa Dowd and County Administrator Roberta Lambert talked with the Board about a proposal from Vision Technology Services.  Dowd is reviewing the contract and said it was a great proposal for a new service for technical support for the county offices at the Courthouse.  The Board voted to authorize Roberta Lambert to enter into the contract, contingent upon the review and approval of it by Melissa Dowd.

County Administrator Roberta Lambert also informed the Board that the County’s Board of Zoning Appeals currently does not have enough members.  She encouraged the Board to come up with suggestions for new members.  There are three vacancies on the board and only two members now.   Members on the Board of Zoning Appeals serve five-year terms and can’t hold any other public offices or serve on any other boards.  The Board of Zoning Appeals does not meet regularly, as it only addresses issues of variances and appeals.

Betty Mitchell, representing the Highland County Economic Development Authority, spoke about Housing Study Focus Groups being held on October 13 in Monterey.  The focus groups will provide information for the Housing Study that is being done by the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission.  The study will evaluate availability or shortages of housing in Highland.   There will be four focus groups: Realtors and Lenders; Employers; Builders & Developers, as well as Housing & Local Service Providers & Advocacy Groups.    The focus group meetings will also be available by Zoom.

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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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