Highland Supervisors get update on local projects

Monterey, Va. – At their meeting earlier this month, the Highland County Board of Supervisors had some good news to report on two projects that they have been working on for a long time. County Administrator Roberta Lambert talks about the developments regarding the McDowell Solid Waste facility and the access road for the pool in Monterey.

“We did award that contract to Donnie Botkin, General Contractor on October the 17,” said Ms. Lambert. “He has ordered supplies and he is initiating work this week. We did receive the recreational access funding for the road from 220 into the pool. We are waiting for the required agreements that will come from VDOT to be executed to move forward with that project. I’m hoping we can get everything together so we can move forward with construction in the spring,” she said.

In addition, progress has been made in dealing with some of the problems with the McDowell water system.

“The county advertised for an engineer for the McDowell Water System well project, which is in regard to the $50,000 grant that the health department has awarded to the county for the development of a new well because well number three has been declared to be under the influence of surface water,” said Ms. Lambert. “The grant requirements are that we advertise in several different publications and that we contact several different engineers. Out of all that we received one proposal from one engineer, Mattern and Craig. So my recommendation is that you accept their proposal and move forward with negotiating a contract,” she said.

The Board approved a motion to proceed with contract negotiations with Mattern and Craig. During the Board Comments period, Supervisor Lee Blagg brought up an issue that has been on his mind lately.

“I talked to different people and the consensus of many people is that zoning is a gross waste of time,” said Mr. Blagg. “A lot of people won’t agree with that. As far as I know it’s not a state requirement. I think it’s something we need to think about as a Board, is it really moving the county forward or are we just spinning our wheels settling disputes across fences. Zoning per se over the years in the history of most places, if you look at it – (I) don’t see where it’s ever done a whole lot. It’s something we ought to think about as a Board, if we want to continue to have zoning and spend a lot of money on stuff that, in the end, really doesn’t amount to anything,” he said.

Supervisor David Blanchard responded that he has talked to county administrators in Pocahontas County who have told him that they wish they had county zoning regulations to deal with a variety of issues there. In other business, McDowell Resident Wes Maupin brought a request to the Board regarding the new bridge in McDowell.

“I’m back again to solicit support from the Board for what has already gotten broad support from groups in the county, for naming the bridge in McDdowell – Highland Veterans Memorial Bridge,” said Mr. Maupin.

County Administrator Lambert added some details about the process required to get the bridge named.

“The Board has to adopt a resolution that goes to the residency office in Lexington,” said Ms. Lambert. “They review it and if they are in agreement, they send it on to the district office in Staunton. If the district office is in agreement, they send it on to the Commonwealth Transportation Board,” she said.

The Board approved a resolution to name the bridge the Highland Veterans Memorial Bridge and to send the resolution to the Virginia Department of Transportation for their approval.
The next regular meeting of the Highland County Board of Supervisors will be Tuesday, December 4, 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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