Highland Supervisors Informed of Lawsuits

Dominion Resources has turned to litigation in its efforts to construct the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. During Tuesday nights Highland Board of Supervisors’ meeting, county attorney Melissa Dowd informed the Board that on December 22nd, Dominion had filed lawsuits against four Highland County landowners. The lawsuits ask for a declaratory judgement from the court to find that Dominion has the right under Virginia statute to enter the landowners’ property to survey for the pipeline. The property owners have 21 days to respond to the lawsuit in circuit court, after which the judge will set a briefing schedule to hear arguments for and against the case. Highland resident Pen Goodall is one of the parties being sued, and was in attendance at the meeting, but made no public comment other than to say he was not aware that any court date had been set. Dominion will be holding its second open house meeting on the project on Thursday, January 15th from 5:30 – 7:00 at The Highland Center in Monterey.

During the Board commentary period, Supervisor Lee Blagg announced that he had been informed that coyote control program had been eradicated from this year’s proposed Virginia budget. Blagg reported that 81 calves had been killed by coyotes in the state last year, and that alone, not counting the number of sheep and other animals killed, would easily be a loss of over $100,000, which affects all areas of the economy. The Board agreed to adopt a resolution in support of reinstating the program to be sent to legislators.

The Board carried out its annual organizational needs by votingDavid Blanchard as chair and Lee Blagg as vice chair, and setting the calendar of meetings for the year.

Reports were given from VDOT, the  Highland Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Social Services and the Highland Rescue Squad.

In other business, the Board:

  • adopted a resolution to set the third quarter appropriation for funding the schools for $996, 642
  • approved a contract with Wingate Appraisal Services for new construction assessments for 2014 for building permits and land divisions
  • nominated Sarah Collins to fill an open seat on the Tourism Council
  • and discussed filling vacancies for expired terms on the Planning Commission and the Board of Building Code Appeals.

The meeting ended with a closed session to discuss prospective business. The next meeting will be a work session on January 21st

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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