Millboro Preservation and Cultural Association votes to ask for a meeting with BARC Electric’s Board of Directors regarding construction of a BARC parking lot on the MPCA’s old Millboro school property

04-25-14 Bath MPCA meeting

By Bonnie Ralston

Negotiations may continue between the Millboro Preservation and Cultural Association and BARC Electric Cooperative.  At its April meeting, the MPCA Board voted to offer to hold a meeting with BARC Electric’s Board of Directors to discuss the future of the property at the old Millboro school.  The MPCA wants to have the proposed meeting attended by all board members from both organizations.

BARC Electric, which is located across the street, wants some of the land at the old Millboro school for a parking lot. BARC is planning to create a solar facility, so it needs more space for expansion and wants to move its employee parking.   There have been concerns that BARC might move out of Millboro, if not given an opportunity to acquire more space.

At the meeting there was a lot of discussion, confusion and division among the MPCA’s board and its membership. The MPCA finally was able to vote in favor of requesting the board meeting with BARC.

The MPCA also considered a proposal, created by its board, to present to BARC for further negotiation.  This proposal was drawn up after a joint meeting in early April attended by two MPCA board members, BARC representatives and Bath County representatives.  It was reported that during that meeting BARC representatives said they hoped to build a parking lot for BARC employee parking and for MPCA use, with no plans for any solar panels to be constructed on the property.  It was also reported that during that meeting, BARC representatives said that BARC’s  main office  is staying in Millboro and only part of BARC’s operation is moving to Rockbridge County. 

As a result of that meeting, the MPCA Board recommended a proposal to revisit the discussion of the parking lot.  That proposal recommended six stipulations to be included in discussions. Some of those included giving the land to BARC, asking for a deed of gift of return for the property in the event BARC leaves, asking that the parking lot not be not dirt or gravel and asking that BARC cover all legal costs.   

The MPCA Board presented that proposal to it’s membership and the board and members could not agree on presenting the proposal to BARC. There was concern about knowing exactly where on the property BARC might want to build the lot and if BARC would agree to return the property in the future, if it were to leave the area. A motion was made to table action on the proposal until next month so members could think it over, but that motion died on a tie vote. 

Also at the April meeting, the MPCA considered ten new applications for membership that had been tabled at last month’s meeting.  MPCA member Jackie Plecker made a motion to accept the applications for the MPCA membership to vote on, but to not allow any new members to vote on MPCA business until the BARC issue is resolved.   After Plecker’s motion was passed, then the membership voted by secret ballot on the acceptance of the ten new applicants.  None of the applicants were accepted for membership into the MPCA. 

The next regular meeting of the MPCA is scheduled for Tuesday May 27, with the location to be announced. 

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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