Highland County Economic Development Authority’s October Meeting


The Highland County Economic Development Authority held it’s monthly meeting October 18.

New officers were elected at the meeting.  George Hogshead as Chair, Kirk Billingsley as Vice-Chair and Valerie Lowry as Secretary.

There was an update on the RCDI Grant.  Through the grant, work is ongoing to develop the EDA’s strategic plan. There was also discussion about overlap, and maybe some gaps, in the goals of the EDA, the Chamber, the Highland Center and the Tourism Council.

There was discussion about the community job listings project that’s underway.   Job openings will be placed on the EDA section of the new Highland County website.  EDA members Henry Budzinski and Bryan Obaugh developed an application for employers to complete to have jobs posted on the site.  Budzinski handed out copies of the application and said details on the process are still being worked out.  Allegheny Mountain Radio, the Chamber of Commerce and The Recorder newspaper plan to publicize the job openings that are on the website.  The application for employers will also be posted on the site.

Incentive Grant Applications are now available. The deadline for submission is December 6.  Applications are available on the Highland County website, on the EDA page, and also on the Chamber’s website.

It was reported that the Tourism Council approved raising the award amounts of it’s Marketing Assistance Grants to $3,000.

George Hogshead reported that he met with T-Mobile representatives who are showing interest in establishing cell service in the county.   He also reported that AT&T is going to co-locate equipment on the existing Verizon cell tower on Monterey Mountain, instead of installing a separate tower.  Henry Budzinski requested that the Board of Supervisors be asked again to provide a resolution indicating support of cell service coverage throughout the county.

Henry Budzinski also said the Maple Festival was voted as a number one activity in the “Best in the Valley” readers’ poll by the Harrisonburg Daily News Record.  He said that was a big achievement because the 2021 festival was put on by businesses on their own, since the festival was not officially sanctioned.

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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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