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Hostesses for the February meeting were, from left to right, Linda Williams, Linda Rice, Janie Barnette, Wanda Woodyard, Karen Buzzard, Phyllis Owens and Adell Pettrey.

County Administrator, Jon Lanford, Speaks to Clifton Forge Woman’s Club

Clifton Forge, VA (Feb. 3, 2020) - Jon Lanford, Alleghany County Administrator, spoke at the February 3 Clifton Forge Woman’s Club meeting. Mr. Lanford has been employed by Alleghany County since 2003 and was appointed as County Administrator by the Alleghany County Board of Supervisors in 2016.

Mr. Lanford told members of the Clifton Forge Woman’s Club about the many opportunities in the Highlands and said, “This is the best place to work. I’m lucky to live here and see the opportunities every day.

“The eight percent loss of population is not unusual – many rural communities all over America are facing the same challenges. Working well together with Clifton Forge Town Manager Darlene Burcham, and Covington City Council is unprecedented in the Highlands.

“Covington and Alleghany County have developed a joint revenue-sharing agreement that is being copied by Southwest Virginia.

“We are finding tons of ways we can work together and we must embrace change in order to do so.”

Mr. Lanford said he is most proud of the level of municipal services that the County offers. “Curbside trash removal is one service you don’t see in most urban communities.”

Jackson River Scenic Trail, just under fifteen miles, is an example that Mr. Lanford offered as one of the unique assets to the community.

A recent housing study was commissioned to try to better understand why white-collar employees are locating in areas outside the Highlands.

Mr. Lanford mentioned several new initiatives: The Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation has been restructured to better serve the area, the Heart & Soul initiative is striving to include all voices in the decision-making process of determining when the community is going, Covington and Clifton Forge Main Street Organizations are meeting together and Alleghany County and Clifton Forge will soon share a Public Works Director.

Mr. Lanford commented that Clifton Forge has done a wonderful job of revitalizing its downtown.

A Valentine-themed luncheon was provided by the February hostesses; Linda Williams, Linda Rice, Janie Barnette, Wanda Woodyard, Karen Buzzard, Phyllis Owens and Adell Pettrey.
Alleghany County administrator, Jon Lanford.


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