WARM SPRINGS — The Bath County Board of Supervisors has resurrected the position of tourism director.

A little over four years after the position was eliminated, supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday night to reinstate the position.

Supervisors conducted their regular October meeting at the Bath County Courthouse.

“I’m very excited for this to be happening,” said Supervisor Roy Burns, who introduced a motion to revive the position and begin advertising for applications as soon as possible.

Since the previous board of supervisors eliminated the position, it took a motion by the current board to reinstate the post. Supervisors voted to eliminate the position in September 2016.

County officials recently conducted interviews for the tourism coordinator position. After conducting interviews and subsequent follow-up, it became very apparent that a tourism director is needed to meet the needs and expectations of Bath County and local tourism partners, County Administrator Ashton Harrison explained.

“We’re fully in support of reinstating the tourism director position for Bath County,” said John Loeffler, a member of the county’s lodging committee.

“We all believe that it is a tremendous investment for our industry.”

Loeffler said projections indicate that over 60 percent of hotels and lodging establishments could close by the end of 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“So obviously having someone to shout on behalf of our industry and help support all of the livelihoods that are contained within that industry through our county is, without a doubt, a no-brainer,” he added. “Finding the right person for Bath County is going to be a tremendous investment in an entirely competitive environment.”

John Cowden, another tourism stakeholder in Bath County, said four years ago the county was “knocking on the door of a sustainable program.”

“We lost momentum, but it is not too late,” Cowden said.

“I, along with others involved in tourism and hospitality, am really pretty excited about the prospect of getting a director of tourism instilled again," he added. “A dedicated tourism director will bring leadership and brighten the light that will burn for years to come.”

The job description for the position will remain virtually the same, minus some economic development responsibilities.

“I think this is something the county needs,” Supervisor Shelton Burns said.

Also Tuesday evening, Harrison updated supervisors on a project to repair the HVAC system at the Bath County Sheriff’s Office.

County officials and sheriff’s office personnel originally thought the project would exceed $50,000, which would require approval from supervisors.

Five bids were received on the work, and Johnson Controls was the low bidder at $36,925. The Roanoke company met all terms and conditions of the bid, and an agreement was executed so work could begin. The new system could be operational in November.

Since the HVAC bid came in lower than expected, remaining funds may be used to insulate the building.

“That’s even better news,” Harrison said.

During public comment Tuesday evening, supervisors were asked by resident Carl Chestnut about what became of a petition containing over 470 signatures in opposition to tax increases approved by the board for fiscal year 2020-21.

Roy Burns addressed Chestnut’s question.

“The increase in taxes affects the entire community,” Burns said. “Unfortunately if it was 500-800 names on the petition, that still represents a minority for the entire county,” he said. “Unfortunately in the position we’re in, that’s the stance we’ve got to take.”

Burns said he was still in possession of his copy of the petition.

In other business Tuesday evening, supervisors:

— scheduled an Oct. 21 work session, beginning at 6:30 p.m., to discuss the proposed noise ordinance and personal property tax exemptions;

— received an update from Harrison that a rezoning application on property located on Virginia Hill had been withdrawn by the applicant;

— scheduled an Oct. 26  joint work session, beginning at 6 p.m., with the planning commission to discuss haphazard zoning;

— scheduled a Nov. 6 site tour of the Blue Ridge Resource Authority’s landfill and other solid waste facilities in Rockbridge County;

— approved an amendment to Chapter 15 of the Bath County Code waiving the annual short-term rental registry fee for businesses in possession of a current Bath County business license;

— selected Roy Burns as voting delegate and Harrison as alternate delegate at the Virginia Association of Counties annual meeting;

— approved a public hearing on a request for a right-of-way easement on county-owned property in Mitchelltown and discussed future options for use of the property;

— announced that county offices will be closed on Tuesday, Nov. 3, in conjunction with the Election Day holiday;

— approved an ordinance increasing courthouse security fees;

— adopted the fiscal year 2021-22 budget calendar;

— approved an appropriation of $100,000 in Coronavirus Relief funds for pandemic-related expenses to Bath County Public Schools.