The city of Covington held a historic joint meeting with the Alleghany County Board of Supervisors and the Alleghany Highlands School Board in Council Chambers in Covington, Tuesday evening.
After each governing body conducted a roll call, Rev. Steve Noel, pastor of Good News Church on Main, gave the invocation and asked for a moment of silence in honor of fallen Police Officer Caleb Daniel Ogilvie on the 1st anniversary of his death. The Covington Council would later unanimously approve a Resolution of Respect in his honor. Ogilvie was killed in the line of duty.
The first order of business for the joint meeting was to hold a Public Hearing to hear comments, for or against, an ordinance entitled “Uncodified Ordinance to Effectuate the Transition from an Appointed to Elected Consolidated School Board.” Hearing no comments, all three governments voted, unanimously, to adopt the ordinance. Danielle Morgan, AHSB, was the only member of the three governments not present and did not cast a vote.
Alleghany Highlands Public Schools’ superintendent, Kim Halterman, gave an overview of the proposed School Board Budget in the amount of $47,545,227. “This a historic time for our community. We are so grateful for the long-standing support we have from both of our municipalities,” said Halterman before introducing AHPS’ Finance Director Rebecca Irvine to provide details in the budget proposal.
Irvine provided some highlights of the budget to include: No increase in local tax appropriations; significant personnel savings due to attrition, combined administrations, and the creation of a single middle and a single high school; and average salary increases of 8.15% due to the minimum wage increase from $12.00 to $13.50 per hour.
After Irvine’s presentation, Vice Mayor David Croiser called for a 10-minute recess so the ACBOS and AHSB could adjourn.
Upon returning to open session, City Manager, Allen Dressler reported to Council on several projects including park updates, street paving and coordination with Columbia Gas on same. He closed by advising Council that the budget was being worked on and thanked them for their support and city workers for their hard work.
Council tabled a discussion on two appointments for the Economic Development Corporation; approved the Feb. 7 Work Session and the Feb. 14 Regular; Approved Resolutions on American Rescue Plan-Act-Virginia Tourism Corporation-Second Half and Byrne Justice Grants; and approved proclamations declaring the month of April as clean-up month in the Alleghany Highlands and Mar. 19-23 as Emergency Management Professionals Week.