Highland Supervisors Fund Sheriff’s Request For Body Armor

Monterey, VA – Sheriff Tim Duff came before the Highland County Board of supervisors last Tuesday with an important request.

“Currently no officer in my department has in-service, up to date, body armor,” says Sheriff Duff, “as do their counterparts in every other county in Virginia. This creates a severe officer safety issue for me and the county. I’m currently pursuing a grant with Allegheny County for 50-50 monies match. If I get the money I’m requesting I will gladly return 50% of it, but I need the monies up front to cut the contract.”

Sheriff Duff needs $4,800 from the county to place the body armor order. If the grant with Allegheny County comes through, the Sheriff would be able to return half that money to the county. As it turns out, just this week, the county received a $10,000 donation from Highland County resident William Rule.

So the Supervisors approved a motion to appropriate money from that donation to the Sheriff for the body armor purchase. At the suggestion of the Supervisors, the Sheriff went further down his request list and told them that he needs some funds to start renovating some of the rooms upstairs in the Sheriff’s building. The Supervisors then suggested that, if the grant funds come through, that he use money that would have been returned to the county to start the renovations.

In other business, the deadline for closing the McDowell Solid Waste Disposal facility is looming in March and the Supervisors have not been able to secure a new site. Colin Thomas requested permission to address the Supervisors on this matter.

“My name is Cal Thomas and I’m from Staunton; I’m a lawyer and I’m here to help you,” says Thomas humorously. “What I really want to do is not to make a presentation, but to ask you permission to seek to do what I think I can do; I make no promises, but maybe there is a solution to the waste management problem.”

Several years ago, Mr. Thomas was involved in the process of selecting a site for the current McDowell Solid Waste Disposal facility.

“I recall about 15 years ago, addressing an entirely different group than sits here tonight when this thing came up once before,” he says. “It’s where it is because I helped to get it there; I’m here really on behalf of several families. I’m not coming here in an adversarial thing, but I need to ask your permission to go out and say that if I am able to contact Dr. Eggleston for instance, that I can say to him I’m here with the knowledge and the blessing of the Board of Supervisors.”

The Supervisors agreed to let Mr. Thomas contact any of the interested parties in McDowell, to see if some agreement can be reached. Finally, Chris Fuller, manager of the Alleghany Highlands Agricultural Center, made a report to the Board on the Center’s opening in March.

“I just wanted to let you guys know about the Ag center getting very close to opening, probably 4 or 5 weeks depending on making sure everything gets through on schedule, the different paperwork that’s in Washington, D.C.,” says Fuller. “Got staffing underway, hiring some folks; got the equipment starting to arriving this week, so we’re starting to fill the building up. The construction if virtually finished; it’s pretty exciting for me.”

Mr. Fuller has scheduled an open house for the Center for Tuesday, April 10 from 11am-3 pm, which will include lunch. Congressman Bob Goodlatte is scheduled to speak during the open house.

The next meeting of the Highland County Board of Supervisors is scheduled for Wednesday, February 15, at 7:30 pm in the Modular Conference Center in Monterey.

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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