Highland County EDA’s May Meeting

The Highland County Economic Development Authority held its monthly meeting on May 16.

Economic Development Officer Betty Mitchell reported that the EDA’s budget was approved by the Board of Supervisors.  The EDA had requested operating funds of $2,500 and business Incentive Grant funds of $20,000.   The county approved the $2,500 for operating funds and $15,000 for Incentive Grants, with the additional $5,000 requested for Incentive Grants to be paid from state and local Coronavirus Recovery Funds.

Chairman George Hogshead reported that the EDA has received four applications for its two open seats.  He suggested waiting to vote until all current EDA members are present at a meeting.  EDA members agreed to wait until next month’s meeting to vote on the names to recommend to the Board of Supervisors for appointment.

Betty Mitchell also reported on a GO Virginia grant for small business help.  The grant has been approved and she will be getting more information out to businesses.

The National Main Street Program is hosting a meeting on remote work Wednesday, May 25, in Monterey.  The EDA received a $10,000 grant to work with the Program, to focus on making Highland an attractive location for remote workers.  A follow up to the May 25th meeting will be held in July.

Betty Mitchell also gave an update on Highland Inn renovations.  She said the architect has been on site doing structural investigation.   A Planning Grant has been received from the Industrial Revitalization Fund and there are plans to apply for an IRF Infrastructure Grant.  Mitchell said IRF staff has encouraged them to wait to apply for that grant until the spring, instead of in August, since the IRF got behind with their Planning Grants.  There are also grants being considered from the Rural Community Development Initiative and the DEQ.

And the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission has received a grant to conduct a regional housing study.  Both Bath and Highland Counties will be looked at together for a housing analysis.  Betty Mitchell and County Administrator Roberta Lambert plan to attend the kick off meeting to learn more about participation in the study.

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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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