Highland EDA January Meeting – Part 2

This is part two of coverage of the Highland County Economic Development Authority’s January meeting.

During discussion about the EDA’s proposed budget for next fiscal year, EDA member Henry Budzinski suggested including a paid part-time Economic Development Officer position for the EDA.  He said the EDA is the only county agency that doesn’t have paid staff support.  He suggested including the position as a first step, even though it may not be approved until next year.  There was discussion about what the job responsibilities would be and the short time to prepare, since the budget is due February 1.  There was also discussion on how the work with the Rural Community Development Initiative will help identify gaps in work being done by the EDA, The Highland Center, the Tourism Council and the Chamber, which could help define job responsibilities for a new position.  It was agreed to wait to see if the RCDI staff agrees that a part-time position is needed.  Betty Mitchell is currently serving as the volunteer Economic Development Officer for the EDA.

Chairman George Hogshead reported that he had followed up with T-Mobile regarding the construction of a cell tower in Highland.  He said T-Mobile is involved with integrating with the Shentel network, so all engineering resources are tied up with that.  He also said T-Mobile’s funding has dried up and he was told that T-Mobile can’t build a new tower.  Even if the county paid for the tower, discussion with T-Mobile about cell coverage would have to wait, since it’s engineers are busy.    The estimated cost of a new cell tower is $200,00 to $250,000.

To hear part one of this story on the Highland Economic Development Authority’s January meeting, visit our Facebook page or our website, www.alleghenymountainradio.org

Story By

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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