Highland Supervisors Discuss Courthouse Renovations And Upgrades

Monterey, VA – The Highland County Board of Supervisors is dealing with renovations, repairs and an electrical upgrade at the courthouse.

County Administrator Roberta Lambert could not attend the work session, meeting so County Attorney Melissa Dowd read her reports and recommendations to the Board. The Board revisited the bids on repairs to the county courthouse.

Dennis Kincaid bid $4,675, Bridgestone Construction bid $9,201, and Metzler Brothers Construction bid $14, 485. Ms. Lambert’s recommendation is to not accept the low bid because it proposes to use a method of repair on the columns that has not worked well in the past. She suggested accepting the bid from Bridgestone. A motion to accept the Bridgestone bid was approved by the Board.

Only one bid was received on the courthouse roof gutter project. Ms. Lambert recommended rejecting that bid and re-advertising for bids on this project. A motion to that effect was approved by the Board.

County Attorney Melissa Dowd says back in August, Richard Waybright, Lambert, and representatives from Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative and Lightners Electrical met to discuss moving the electrical meters from the basement of the courthouse to the outside of the building. They had also discussed an electrical upgrade of the courthouse. In September the Board of Supervisors reviewed an official request from SVEC to move the meters.

“SVEC representatives advised that a pole would need to be installed in the courthouse yard with the cable to the new meter or meters to be buried underground and the cost to the county for the cable would be approximately $250.00” says Dowd. “The necessary ditch for the cable could be installed by county staff. Lightners Electrical provided a cost estimate of $5000.00 to relocate the meters and upgrade the electric service.”

Mr. Rexrode suggested that a backup generator be made part of this upgrade. He will discuss this with Mr. Lightner. The Board voted to pursue this electrical upgrade with the stipulation that the Board have the opportunity to review the placement of the pole.

The deadline for action on the Monterey sidewalk project is coming up and the board is looking to get the final easements in hand so that construction can begin. County Attorney Dowd summarizes the current situation.

“I feel that the two outstanding ones are Ms. Berman and Ms. Sullenbarger and I feel that they had an adequate opportunity in our last meeting to air all of their concerns” says Dowd. “It was a great assistance to have Brad Price at that meeting who was able to explain to them what VDOT could and could not do under this program. I feel like all of the issues are in the open – it’s [a matter of] getting a documents that’s acceptable.”

Ms. Dowd will contact Ms. Berman and Ms. Sullenberger soon to see if the proposed easements are acceptable and will let the Board know the results of those discussions.

In new business, the Board received a letter from Monterey resident Marianne Harman regarding uses of property near her residence on John Deere Lane. She has asked the zoning office to investigate activities on properties occupied by David Botkin and Gideon Hiner for possible violations of zoning ordinances. These properties are zoned residential and there is a question regarding commercial activities and operation of a contractor storage yard on those properties. County Attorney Dowd makes her recommendation.

“Mr. Whitelaw works at your pleasure and I think that maybe the appropriate thing to do is a motion directing him to complete his investigation, put the results down in writing and send that along with a copy of Ms. Harmon’s letter to the Planning Commission asking them to call a meeting this month” says Dowd.

The Board approved a motion to have zoning administrator Jim Whitelaw complete his investigation of these properties and then ask the planning commission to meet with the land owners and discuss the findings.

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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