Building permit fees investigation comes up again at Bath Board of Supervisors town hall meeting

The Bath Board of Supervisors held it’s first town hall meeting on Tuesday afternoon, April 1. The meetings provide the opportunity for dialogue between the board and the public.

Lee Fry of the Valley Springs District spoke, saying he wanted to keep the board focused on how the tipping fee for solid waste is calculated. Fry also addressed the recent investigation by the Virginia State Police on the solid waste fees on a building permit that he acquired last year.  He said Supervisor Claire Collins could have asked questions about the permit’s fees instead of initiating that investigation.  He asked for a written apology from Collins for himself, his clients Mr. and Mrs. George Phillips, Bath Community Hospital, Nielsen Construction and Supervisor Kevin Fry’s family. Fry said Collins caused damage and harm to all of them with the investigation.

Supervisor Collins responded that she did not ask for the investigation, had no intent to harm anybody and was asking just for facts based on what constituents had asked her.

Linda Wesley of the Valley Springs District also spoke about the investigation saying people’s reputations have been ruined in the community. She said elected public officials should get facts straight before accusing people.   She said Supervisor Claire Collins did not act in a professional manner and to accuse and slander people in a public forum is not acceptable behavior for an elected public official.

In response to other questions about trash, the transfer station and contractors’ fees for solid waste, County Administrator Ashton Harrison said he is recommending an engineering study to be done on the transfer station to check on needed repairs.  He said the building would be closed while the study was being done, but the county needs to know what the accurate costs are for the repairs.  Harrison also said that with revenue on solid waste going down and tonnage going up, the county needs to find a better way to charge for solid waste associated with construction. Board Chair Bruce McWilliams said the board has not made a decision yet on the new solid waste contract and there’s still work to be done on it.

And there was also discussion about having VDOT representative Susan Hammond attend regular board meetings more frequently in order to address questions about road issues and maintenance.

And Scott Miller from the Williamsville District offered his thanks and support for the board, saying they’ve done an incredible job looking out for the citizens of the county and trying to move ahead and make positive change in the face of constant criticism and challenges.

The Bath Board of Supervisors is planning these town hall meetings four times a year, with some to be held during the day and some in the evenings.


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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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