Highland County EDA’s November 2023 Meeting

The Highland County Economic Development Authority held it’s monthly meeting on November 20.

It was reported that six Incentive Grant Applications had been received and the grant requests on those  applications totaled $28,998.  The Review Committee will meet to evaluate the applications in a closed meeting on Tuesday, November 28, at 6pm at the Stonewall Ruritan Building in McDowell.

The EDA’s Economic Development Officer, Betty Mitchell, reported that the Industrial Revitalization Fund Planning Grant application had been submitted for The Highland Inn renovation.  She also said The Highland Inn project will receive a grant from the Department of Environmental Quality for phase two of the renovation.  The grant application has been scored and the grant agreement has been signed by EDA Chairman George Hogshead.

Betty Mitchell also reported that work on the Resident Attraction Project is still underway and the Project Manager will meet soon with local partners and will begin background research work.   Mitchell also attended a Shenandoah Valley Partnership program on Wetlands and new Stormwater Management Guidelines that will come out in 2024.  She said she gave that information to the Building and Zoning Office, the County Administrator and the County Attorney.

EDA members discussed a question received from a Doe Hill landowner about a dispute with MGW and it’s fiber installation on their property.  The landowner said the fiber cable was not buried deep enough, at only two to four inches, and it was damaged by farm equipment.  MGW is asking the landowner for reimbursement for repairs.  The landowner also said the original fiber trunk line was installed on private property, without being requested or authorized.  The landowner has filed a complaint with the FCC.  The landowner also asked if the EDA could help with the dispute in any way.  EDA Chairman George Hogshead said the EDA acted on behalf of MGW in 2021 to get Virginia Telecommunication Initiative funding for some of MGW’s fiber installation.  EDA members agreed to have Chairman Hogshead talk with MGW, not on behalf of the EDA, but as an individual who also serves on the Bath-Highland Network Authority.

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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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