Highland Supervisors Approve Meck Conditional Use Permit

Monterey, VA – Pocahontas County business owners Jacob and Malinda Meck are expanding their refuse collection, recycling and septic business to Highland County. During a work session Wednesday evening, the Highland County Board of Supervisors approved a conditional use permit for the Mecks’ business, which will include sewage storage and transfer; refuse transfer; recycling of cardboard, metal and glass; and portable toilet storage and renting.

The Mecks recently purchased a 12.5-acre parcel on Route 84 – the former Hooke Brothers sawmill property – for their business expansion. The Highland planning commission and supervisors approved rezoning of the parcel, but the Mecks needed a special use permit before they started business.

The planning commission sent the Mecks’ permit application to the supervisors with a favorable recommendation and several conditions. Supervisor David Blanchard said the board added additional conditions and that the requirements will allow the business to be compatible with the neighborhood.

“This application, and the conditions, is to help bring a business into the county and yet, protect the neighborhood,” he said. “So, I think the board feels like we’ve done work to find a set of conditions that would do such things as protect the neighborhood and [be] able to allow a business to come in here.”

The conditions include, among others: maximum sewage storage of 10,000 gallons in an enclosed tank; a maximum of 50 portable toilets on-site; a maximum of five junk vehicles waiting to be crushed; storage of waste tires in covered containers; and a prohibition of any hazardous waste, except minimal, incidental automobile waste. County attorney Melissa Ann Dowd reads a condition requiring the business be kept out of sight.

“All operations and outside storage shall be screened from outside view by a vegetative hedge, using a variety of large and small shrubs and/or trees, predominantly evergreens,” she said.
The board approved the conditional use permit by a 3-0 vote.

Local public radio station WVLS, part of the Allegheny Mountain Radio network, requested the supervisors send a letter to Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, requesting continued funding for public radio.

Since 1995, WVLS has broadcast weather emergency information, school closings, government office closings, public service announcements and national, state and local news. Highland County has just one weekly newspaper and WVLS is the only daily news source in many parts of the county. Blanchard says WVLS is a vital link in the community.

“Well, our little radio station is much more than just entertainment in this community,” he said. “I think it’s important and a vital link for our area.”

Virginia provides $3.6 million to public radio stations across the state. Governor McDonnell wants to eliminate funding for public radio completely and cut the contribution this year by 25 percent. Government funding comprises less than six-percent of the Allegheny Mountain Radio network’s budget.

The Supervisors voted 3-0 to send a letter of support for public radio to McDonnell.

In other business, the Supervisors approved a $5,000 contribution to the Extension Service invasive plant program, and approved the Extension Service’s use of leftover funds to hire a Highland County college student as a summer intern.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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