Plans For New Bath County Animal Shelter Once Again Put On Hold
Warm Springs, Va – The Bath Board of Supervisors puts plans for a new animal shelter on hold again. At Tuesday night’s Bath Board of Supervisors meeting the board discussed building a new shelter near the landfill. The current animal shelter does not meet all standards and needs to be enlarged, but it was built on fill and can’t be expanded.
A new shelter is needed to meet all state standards. Several years ago the county received design proposals for a new shelter, but had to put the project on hold to make repairs at the current shelter. On Tuesday night, at the request of County Administrator Bonnie Johnson and Animal Control Officer Robbie Chestnut the board discussed authorizing up to $20,000 for design for a new shelter.
Chestnut is also currently looking for grants to help with the project. Supervisor Carol Hardbarger asked if the county is considering spending $20,000 on the shelter, why hasn’t the issue of employee raises been addressed. Supervisor Stuart Hall said the county can’t spend money on a shelter during this recession. He said the county should wait for a grant to become available. The total cost for a new shelter is about half a million dollars. The board agreed that the search for grant money for the new shelter needs to continue before the county proceeds with any design work.
The discussion on the new animal shelter came up Tuesday night, because the county now owns the land around the landfill, which could be a site for the shelter. The board approved accepting title to the 45 acres around the landfill as a gift from the Virginia Hot Springs Land Company. The county had been leasing the land for a very small fee.
During public comment, concern was expressed about prescribed burns in Bath County being planned for the spring, when turkey and grouse are nesting and hatching. A question was also raised about access to the National Forest at Duncan Knob. A forest service bar restricts access to National Forest land that adjoins private property there. The property owner has a key that allows him access to his property through the National forest.
Speakers asked why the bar can’t be opened or moved back to allow access to the National Forest for everyone. The Board will send a letter asking the forest service to allow all citizens access to national forest up to the private property on Duncan Knob.
Another letter will be sent asking the forest service to not conduct prescribed burns after April 1 in order to protect young birds.
The board appointed Janet Bryan to the Rockbridge Area Community Services Board. There is currently a vacancy on the Board of Zoning Appeals for the Valley Springs District and vacancies on the Industrial Development Authority for the Cedar Creek and Millboro districts. Anyone interested in filling any of those vacancies should contact the Board of Supervisors.