Part 2 Bath Board’s October Meeting

A full month and a long meeting have passed and Bath County residents still have questions about elected officials’ September decisions. At the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting Valley Springs representative, Richard Bird promised a “media blitz” in the next couple of weeks.

During public comment Jonah Wydam of the Vine Cottage Inn brought up the issue of Tourism funds used to purchase the Mitchelltown property, and how or if they will be reimbursed. Cliff Gilcrest mentioned the “elephant in the room” for county employees wondering “who’s next?”, and if it had not been for Millboro district, Eddie Hicklin’s request to amend a motion to reinstate Maggie Anderson as Tourism Director, then no mention would have been made. Richard Bird declined to amend his motion on the floor, and the meeting went on.

Residents did get to hear from Chamber Director Emily Plecker. She described how the Chamber had been asked to ask for their funding back and then explained.

“Madame Chair, the Board of Directors would like to request the 12 thousand back from the General Fund. However we respectfully decline the request to request back the 53 thousand dollars from Tourism. This in no way means that the Chamber does not support Tourism. In fact we fully support Tourism, and still very much consider them a partner, and will continue to work closely with this office to satisfy the needs of our businesses, and put on community events.”

Board members had moved through agenda items previous to this one as smoothly as possible. They approved a fireworks permit for the Homestead, waived a permit fee for Millboro Volunteer Fire Department’s building addition, approved twenty-five thousand dollars for a permanent generator at the Millboro station, and accepted a grant of fifty thousand for other generators on a trailer. They also approved a tower lease agreement with Lingo Networks for the Duncan’s Knob tower.

Then the supervisors set the stage for their next monumental task as a group, an effective and professional welcome to Speyside, the stave mill coming to Millboro. On October 24th there will be a public hearing and special meeting to establish tax maps and zoning for the small industry. Sherry Ryder, planning and zoning administrator, suggested consider designating the property with permitted use instead of conditional use.

After at least forty-five minutes in closed session, the Board returned to the Courtroom and voted to accept the resignation of County Attorney, Miike Collins. They also approved a request for proposal to find another attorney to fill the position. Mr. Collins will finish his duties on November 30th, and the position will remain open until filled. In his closing board comments, Warm Springs district supervisor, Matt Ratcliffe made a reference to having the proposed Visitors Center discussion on the agenda in November.

During closing Public Comments Sherriff Robert Plecker commended local and state police, and all of the area Fire and Rescue groups who participated in the search and rescue after a plane crashed on Little Mountain last Friday. The passenger and the pilot survived, and received medical treatment in Roanoke. The plane had been travelling from Louisville, Kentucky to Annapolis, Maryland.

The next meeting of the Bath Board of Supervisors will be November 8th at 7:00 at the courthouse.







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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