DALEVILLE — With nearly 800 cases of the Covid-19 reported in Botetourt County, Board of Supervisors Chairman Billy Martin has stressed the importance of following recommendations to combat the virus that already claimed 13 lives of county citizens.
Martin encouraged citizens to practice social distancing of six feet, weak a cloth mask, wash hands frequently and limit interaction with large groups.
“By working together and making good choices, we can all work to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our community health and safe, especially as many of our activities have moved inside,” he said.
But, Martin said, all the news isn’t doom and gloom. He praised a vaccine against the virus, saying, “With [that] news we can see light at the end of this pandemic tunnel.”
Martin also said there’s “great news” in the county’s efforts to get more homes connected to broadband. In recent months, he said, the county has “pushed hard to maximize” opportunities to make broadband a reality for Botetourt County.
He cited Craig-Botetourt Electric Cooperative for adding “four new connections” daily in the Phase I service area. “These new customers have gone from zero broadband to some of the best internet speed in the region almost overnight,” Martin said, adding this is “a big win” for Botetourt County.
The county is seeing improvement in its efforts to bring broadband to rural areas. He said a $1.5 million in monies from Gov. Ralph Northam’s Office and CARES Act funding will allow fixed-wire broadband to reach 550 citizens.
As for the county’s Parks and Recreation Department, Martin said cancelling fall/winter sports was a tough call, but the decision “wasn’t made lightly.”
The Parks and Recs Department is close to hiring a manager and director and a decision should be made soon, he said. The county has interviewed “outstanding” applicants during the hiring process., he said in a video address to county citizens.
Finally, he said, the county is hopeful the spring will “see some exciting recreational opportunities.”