After Shannon Cox, Boiling Springs, led the invocation, Matt Garten, Chairman, called the Alleghany County Board of Supervisors meeting to order, last Tuesday evening.
A Public Hearing was held to consider an amendment to the County’s Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2023-24 in the amount of $5,180,014.82. Hearing no comments from Board members or the Public, Garten closed the Public Hearing. The amendment was approved by a unanimous vote.
During Public Comments, David Chambers complained of smoke coming from a neighbor’s outdoor woodstove into his summer home. “When the stove is running the smoke runs right into my home,” said Chambers. “I’m just asking for some help,” added Chambers, as talking to the neighbor has not worked. “We’ll definitely take a look at that,” said Garten.
Naomi Quantz, a homeschooler, and mother of three, and Becky Maupin complained of a lack of cell service, spotty land-line service, and unreliable Internet service in the western end of the County. Quantz believes the problem has been reported for the last four years. All Board members were sympathetic to their plight and expressed their concerns during their comments. Cox said it was happening before her time on the Board in 2010. “We’re very familiar with it and have been actively pursuing this for over two years,” added Garten.
Reid Walters, County Administrator, believes he has made the right connection to work with them on the Broadband issues. “I think that we have a pretty good game plan it’s going to take some time, but we are going to be able to get some things done out there,” Walters assured Quantz and Maupin.
Susan Hammond, Virginia Department of Transportation’s Resident Engineer, provided the Board with an update on VDOT Maintenance. She also gave them “a couple of things to have on their radar,” bridge repairs on 696 and Route 42.
Sheriff Kevin Hall, Alleghany County and Covington provided updates on animal and litter control. He also took the opportunity update the Board on the Pathway to Achieve (tablet program) for inmates. Hall believes this program reduces recidivism and equips inmates to become productive members of society when released. He’s also looking at implementing an IGNITE Program, Inmates Growing Naturally Intentionally Through Education now that they have the tablet program in place. “You are showing them that you care, and that’s got to be worth something,” said Stephen Bennett, Jackson River.
During the County Administrator’s Report, Walters updated the Board on various projects and recognized Employees of the Month: Donna Kimberlin and James Craft, Communications Director, for their outstanding service. Kimberlin for a smooth transition and keeping the payroll straight and Craft for passing his EMT exam.
He also announced the Halloween Community Event, Trick or Treat with Public Works, from 3:00 pm-6:00 pm on Oct. 31st; that Alleghany County would be reevaluating property values from Oct. 10th – Oct. 24th; and that Lake Moomaw was 20 feet below normal pool level. “We have water use restrictions happening now because of that,” said Walters.
The Board unanimously approved a posthumous Resolution of Respect for Leonard J. Rose, Jr., former chairman and member of the ACBOS from the Boiling Springs District from Jan. 1992 – Oct. 1995. Rose passed away on Aug. 30, 2023. “He gave unselfishly of his time to the community and the Alleghany Highlands,” Garten read in part. “He served in numerous capacities to better the Alleghany Highlands.”
In other action, the Board unanimously approved awards for Term Architectural and Engineering Services; supplemental American Rescue Plan Act funds and ambulance cost appropriations into the FY 24 Budget; and acceptance of the Alleghany Foundation’s grant for the Alleghany County Public Safety Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus Program and a supplemental appropriation of funds awarded.
They also, unanimously, reappointed Jack Harlow (Jackson River) and Diana Smith (Clifton Forge West) to the Board of Zoning Appeals and approved Personal Property Tax Relief before adjourning to a closed meeting to discuss legal matters.
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