Highland Supervisors Clear The Way For Final Draft Of County Comprehensive Plan

Monterey, Va – Last week’s meeting of the Highland County Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission appears to have cleared the way for County Administrator Roberta Lambert to produce a final draft of the county’s comprehensive plan. After an hour of discussion on final changes to the current draft, the Board asked that Ms. Lambert incorporate the latest changes into a final draft for review before the plan is distributed prior to a joint public hearing on the plan.

The Board went on to discuss the request from the Highland Center for $2,000 to fund an economic impact analysis for the Center to use in some upcoming grant proposals. The Board members determined that the Appalachian Regional Commission funds were already committed to other county projects. In light of that situation, the Board voted not to fund the analysis from those funds. In further discussions, Board members decided that finding available funds at this point in the budget year would require more research, so they tabled the matter until a future meeting.

The Board next considered a request from the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission. County Administrator Roberta Lambert says the Commission held discussions about applying for a $40,000.00 grant to be used for an initiative called Fields of Gold.

“The Planning District Commission is asking to receive from each locality by April 1st, a letter of support that will accompany the grant application, and they are asking for $1000.00 from Highland County” she says. “They are also asking for the appointment of a representative to serve on the Fields of Gold Steering Committee.”

The Fields of Gold initiative deals with promotion of agritourism in the Shenandoah Valley and Alleghany Highlands. Supervisor Robin Sullenberger has been involved in discussions of this project and he emphasized that the plan is for this promotional work to become self-sustaining, so it will not require future county funds. The Board voted in favor of a motion to commit part of the county’s Appalachian Regional Commission funds from next year’s budget for this initiative.

In other business, the County Administrator reported that the district Goodwill Industries office in Staunton is interested in placing a donation collection building at the Highland Solid Waste and Recycling Center. Administrator Lambert and Richard Waybright met with Goodwill Staunton administrator Randy Rexrode last week. The Supervisors approved a motion authorizing the County Administrator to proceed with finalizing an agreement with Goodwill. Ms. Lambert had other good news for the Board.

“The sidewalk project has received approval from VDOT[Virginia Dept of Transportation] to go to bid for construction” says Lambert. “Looks like the advertisement will go out somewhere around the end of March with a 30 day window for bids and be back in somewhere around the end of April.”

Supervisor Rexrode commented that the project could break ground in June if the process proceeds as planned.

The next meeting of the Highland County Board of Supervisors will be a joint budget meeting with the School Board on Wednesday, March 23 at 7 PM in the High School Library.

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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