Highland County EDA Releases Incentive Grant Applications


Applications for the 2021 Incentive Grant Program through the Highland County Economic Development Authority are now available.  At its November meeting, members reviewed the application, made a few changes to it and voted to release it.   There is $15,000 available for the grants, but there were questions about the availability of about $5,000 that was not used in the last cycle of grants and if it is available for this cycle.  The deadline for applying for the Incentive Grants is February 1, 2021.

In the technology update, it was reported that AT&T is still planning to build a cell tower in Monterey, with construction probably starting in fiscal year 2021.    And for the broadband update, it was reported that Highland Telephone Cooperative installed 37 miles of fiber from the Mustoe office to the Bath County line and from there to the Big Valley area.  By mid-December, Highland Telephone should be able to start home installation.  Plans are to install fiber towards Mill Gap next year.

The EDA voted for member Henry Budzinski to serve as the EDA’s representative and liaison with the Blue Grass Resource Center on a grant received by the Blue Grass Resource Center for renovation of the Highland Inn.  It is a matching grant in the amount of $600,000 and Budzinski will review contracts and disbursements.

New EDA members Valerie Lowry and Kirk Billingsley were welcomed and Billingsley volunteered to serve as secretary.

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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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