The Highland EDA’s May 2023 Meeting

The Highland Economic Development Authority held it’s monthly meeting on May 15.

The EDA is seeking a new member.  The EDA will have an open seat, for a four-year term, beginning July 1.   The application for EDA membership can be found on the county’s website

The EDA received a request to write a letter of support for the Highland Medical Center.  EDA Economic Development Officer Betty Mitchell explained that the Highland Medical Center is a federally qualified health center that has to reapply for funding every three years and the letter of support is part of that application.  The EDA approved sending the letter of support.   The EDA also approved a procedure for providing letters of support when both the request and the deadline for the letters fall in between EDA meetings.  In those cases, EDA members will review the request and a draft of a letter via email and then vote at the next EDA meeting.

It was reported that work is wrapping up on the Industrial Revitalization Fund Planning Grant.  The Implementation Grant for the IRF is due on June 23.  EDA members Dail Fields and Jaime Collins and EDA Economic Development Officer Betty Mitchell are working on the grant.  This grant is being pursued to provide funding for renovation of The Highland Inn.

It was also reported that the Rural Community Development Initiative work is continuing.  As part of this project, the EDA’s strategies were adopted at last month’s meeting.  The EDA is working on this along with The Highland Center, the Tourism Council and the Chamber of Commerce.  The RCDI work has included developing a Strategic Plan with those groups for community and business development.  Work is now focusing on the best use of RCDI grant funding and the groups are seeking ideas from other county entities.  A presentation on the RCDI Project is planned for the Board of Supervisors meeting in June.

There was discussion on having partner organizations in the community visit EDA meetings.  The EDA plans to invite various groups to attend its meetings in order to strengthen partnerships.  It was suggested that the school be represented at an EDA meeting this summer to possibly plan some partnerships or internships for the fall.  Various organizations will be invited to attend meetings, beginning in July.

Skip Jones spoke during public comment.  He said he is happy to see that Main Street storefronts are mostly full now, after noticing a few years ago that there were a lot of vacant Main Street storefronts in Monterey.   He said he felt the EDA deserved a lot of credit for the change.  EDA Chairman George Hogshead replied that he didn’t know how much the EDA had to do with it, but he was encouraged to see new businesses and was encouraged to hear the positive comments.

Skip Jones also spoke about the Jones-McCoy House on Main Street, saying the restoration is close to completion and a grand opening and dedication will be held in a couple of months.

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.

Current Weather