Outgoing Bath Supervisors Offer Advice To Incoming Board
Warm Springs, VA – The outgoing Bath Board of Supervisors held its final monthly meeting on Tuesday night. Two board members, Carol Hardbarger and Stuart Hall, were unable to attend Tuesday night’s meeting.
During board comments, board members reflected on their time on the board and discussed topics they felt the incoming board should be aware of.
Supervisor Percy Nowlin said the Governor is asking state agencies to prepare budgets with 2, 4 and 6% cuts, so he feels the upcoming budget year will be difficult, based on those types of indicators from the state. Nowlin also said he has enjoyed his last twelve years on the board and he won’t miss the work, but will miss the people.
Supervisor Jon Trees said it was an honor to serve on the Board of Supervisors. He said Supervisors Percy Nowlin and Richard Byrd deserve a tremendous amount of credit for their work. He said this board is leaving a healthy fund balance and funds available for self insurance, if the next board chooses to do it. Trees also said this board was able to give employees a raise and was able to lower taxes.
He said that former County Administrator Bonnie Johnson put in a lot of hard work and that a lot of the board’s success was due to her. Trees added that he’s confident in County Administrator Matt Walker’s ability and he praised Tourism Director Maggie Anderson’s work on the tourism initiative.
Trees addressed the two members of the incoming board that were present, saying there are two issues he hopes the new board will consider. The first is staggered terms for both the Board of Supervisors and the School Board, which will require legislative approval. The second is a revision to the land use tax ordinance. Trees said Bath County is losing more than a quarter million dollars a year in revenue through the ordinance. He suggested the new board possibly revisit that ordinance and consider requiring that a large percentage of gross adjusted income come from a farming operation in order for it to qualify for the tax reduction.
Supervisor Richard Byrd read an article about devolution, which is the practice of the state putting the provision of more services on to local government. Byrd said the state wants to shift to counties the maintenance of secondary roads and bridges. He said the incoming board will have to fight this system. And he told new board members that the retirement home needs support, along with the children and the educational system in the county.
A completely new Board of Supervisors in Bath County will take over on January 1st. New Board members are Claire Collins, Henry Fry, Cliff Gilchrest, Bruce McWilliams and Bart Perdue.