May 2020 Town Election Information

On Friday April 24, 2020, the Governor Postponed the May 5, 2020, Municipal Elections until May 19, 2020. Below are important dates regarding the Election:

The Virginia Department of Elections announced that all town voters may cast Absentee Ballots in the May 19th Town Elections. All voters are encouraged to request and vote an absentee ballot by mail. All eligible voters may request a ballot using Reason Code 2A, even if they do not suffer from an illness or disability.

To request an absentee ballot:

1.) Apply online using the Virginia Department of Elections Portal at:

2.) CALL (276) 223-6038 or EMAIL [email protected] to request an absentee application be sent to you.

3.) Important Dates: May 12, 2020 is the last day for the Registrar’s Office to receive an absentee ballot application by mail.

4.) The Registrar’s Office will be open on May 16, 2020 from 8:30 to 4:30 for curbside voting. Please call (276)223-6038 before coming to the office.

Please ensure that your application is complete. Absentee voters are reminded to allow sufficient time to receive and return your voted ballot, allowing for possible postal delays. Do not delay in requesting or submitting your ballot.

Wythe County Electoral Board & General Registrar
245 South Fourth Street, Suite 101
Wytheville, Virginia 24382
Telephone: (276) 223-6038
Fax: (276) 223-6039

Lennon E. Counts
General Registrar

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WYTHE COUNTY, Va. – The Wythe County Administrator’s Office is pleased to announce a partnership with the Fort Chiswell Exxon station that is located off I-81/77 Exit 80. 

Under the terms of the partnership, the gas station will donate five cents for every gallon of gasoline sold between now and May 31, 2020, to the Lead Mines Rescue Squad and the Rural Retreat Volunteer Emergency Services.

The offer comes at a time when volunteer emergency services across the nation are facing unprecedented struggles due to the economic downturn, as the organizations rely heavily upon donations.

Curtis Crawford, Wythe County’s Emergency Coordinator, said, “The offer of the Fort Chiswell Exxon station was extremely generous and will go a long way in helping to supplement what would normally be contributions from private citizens during better economic times.”

Crawford went on to say that the two squads average making roughly 2,500 calls each year, adding, “The costs to running and maintaining a fleet of ambulances and a squad is astronomical — the ambulances themselves are close to a quarter-million dollars each and maintaining them in top working order is a major expense for our community.”

Dharmendra Patel, owner of the Fort Chiswell Exxon said that he is honored to host the fundraiser for the volunteer rescue squads, saying, “The people at the rescue squads do a wonderful job for our community and during these times of financial distress, we feel like this is a great way for us to say thank you.”

Patel said that he will be opening a station in Rural Retreat within the next few weeks and will include this station in the fundraising drive.

Brian Vaught, chairman of the Wythe County Board of Supervisors expressed his gratitude in a statement saying, “Members of the Board of Supervisors join me in expressing our appreciation to the Fort Chiswell Exxon for their generosity in donating to our local volunteer rescue agencies.  We’re proud of our volunteers and the businesses that make Wythe County an exceptional place to live and work.”

Small Business Loan Fund Established for Wythe & Bland Counties

Three local organizations have launched a loan program to support small business sustainability in Wythe and Bland counties during this challenging time.

The Joint IDA of Wythe County, the Wytheville-Wythe-Bland Chamber of Commerce, and Downtown Wytheville Incorporated have jointly funded a $60,000 loan pool to support small business needs during this time of economic uncertainty.

Executive Director of the Joint IDA David Manley commented, “Although we know our community is resilient, we should help each other when we can. We are offering business loans up to $2,000 each that will be repayable over two years at zero interest.” He added, “We know this is not likely to make or break many businesses, but it might help offset expenses while cash flow is down, and zero percent interest is hard to beat.”

Each organization represents different geographic territory, so the loans from 2020 Fund will be distributed proportionately to those areas:

“The application and process are both simple and we will work to have this money out in the community as quickly as possible,” commented Jennifer Atwell, Executive Director of the Wytheville-Wythe-Bland Chamber of Commerce.

Loan applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. Simple financial statements including 2020 first quarter balance sheet and profit and loss are required as are some basic qualifications including articulable impact from COVID-19. Acceptable uses of the financial assistance include operational expenses like rent, payroll, and utilities, as well as purchase of inventory and marketing.

“It is important that we support our small businesses not just with words but with resources,” added Todd Wolford, Executive Director of Downtown Wytheville Incorporated. “This is one way we can do that.”

Please visit or any of the partner websites for the loan guidelines and application.

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Public Notice

Wythe County Administration Office Operations

The Wythe County Administration Office will be closed to the public from April 6 through April 17, 2020. Please note the offices will be closed on April 10, 2020 for Good Friday.

County staff will be at the office and available by telephone or email.

The main number is 276-223-4500.

Utility payments can be made with a credit card via phone (276-223-4501), by U.S. Mail, or by using the drop box located to the right of the entrance.

Building Permit forms can be obtained online at  and may be completed and returned via email, U.S. Mail, or via the drop box. Upon receipt of the permit, staff will contact you for payment information.

We value your cooperation and understanding. We appreciate your vigilance in practicing social distancing during this time.

We encourage you to call the main number with any questions or concerns and follow our website and social media sites for information.


WYTHEVILLE, Va. – Wythe County would like to remind residents that dog tags are due to be purchased by January 31. Officials encourage residents to come to the Treasurer’s Office and buy them if you have not done so already.

Code Enforcement Officer A.B. Dunford said officials will be doing compliance checks in Wythe County which includes the town of Wytheville and the town of Rural Retreat. Compliance checks will start in February.

Dunford also encouraged residents to make sure rabies vaccinations are up to date. Please be aware that rabies inoculations are required prior to purchasing a dog license.

“We want to make sure all pets have their rabies inoculations, we have had rabies in the county,” Dunford said. “Please get out now and purchase your dog tags and rabies shots for your animals. If you don’t have them, you could be imposed a fine in court.”

The price of the dog tags are as follows: 1 year $5, 2 years $10, and 3 years $15.

If your dog has been neutered or spayed the costs are as follows: 1 year $4, 2 years $8 and 3 years $10. Dog tags can be purchased at the Treasurer’s Office inside the Wythe County Courthouse.

According to Dunford, rabies cases have been confirmed in Wythe County, so dog owners need to make sure that all rabies vaccinations are current.

For more information about rabies, please check out the following link:

Dunford said that keeping your animals vaccinated is the best form of protection from this deadly disease for both residents and their pets.


WYTHEVILLE, Va. – During a Special Called Meeting of the Wythe County Board of Supervisors, Black Lick District Supervisor Brian Vaught was elected by his fellow supervisors as Wythe County Board Chairman.

“It was an honor to be voted into the Chairman’s seat,” Vaught said. “I appreciate the other Board members having the confidence in me as we move forward as a new board. I am optimistic that we will move the county forward in a positive way in the coming months. I look forward to continuing to be a voice of the people for not only the Black Lick District but Wythe County as a whole. Wythe County continues to be a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”

East Wytheville District Supervisor Ryan Lawson was elected Vice Chairwoman. She is excited to take on the role of Vice Chairwoman.

“I am excited to be voted in as the new Vice Chairwoman,” Lawson said.  “I would like to thank my constituents for the unanimous vote and the trust in me for this new position. I was made aware last night that I am one of only a few female representatives in Wythe County to ever hold a chair position on the Board of Supervisors, therefore I am honored and humbled. I look forward to the success of our new board, and I am excited to see what this year brings!”

The team of supervisors includes Lead Mines District Supervisor Coy McRoberts, and Speedwell District Supervisor B.G. “Gene” Horney. Stacy Terry is the new Wythe County Supervisor At-Large board member. Rolland Cook, is serving District 2 which is the West Wytheville District. James D. “Jamie” Smith is serving District 4 which is the Fort Chiswell District.

The next Board of Supervisors meeting is January 14 at 7 p.m.


WYTHEVILLE, Va. – The Wythe County Treasurer’s Office would like to remind residents that taxes are due on December 5, 2019.

Officials would also like to remind citizens that there is not a tax deadline extension in place this year.

The Treasurer’s office will have extended hours Monday Dec. 2, thru Thursday Dec. 5. Extended office hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Regular office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Wythe County Treasurer Lori Guynn said the tax deadline includes real estate, personal property, mobile home, machine and tools, merchant’s capital, and public service corporation taxes.  

The Treasurer’s office is located in the old courthouse building.

Tax payers that have questions about items being taxed, the assessment or need adjustments should contact the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office at 276-223-6015.

According to Guynn, there are several payment options available for residents to take advantage of when paying their taxes.

  • 24-Hour Drop Box: Using the envelope enclosed with the tax bill, a check or money order may be placed in the 24 hour Treasurer’s Office drop box located beside the Circuit Court Building on South Sixth Street. *Do not put cash in the drop box. Payments are considered on time if deposited in the payment box by midnight on the due date.
  • In Person: Residents may pay by cash, check, money order, credit/debit card (only MasterCard and Visa are accepted). Make payments payable to: Treasurer of Wythe County.
  • By Mail: Using the envelope with the tax bill, mail check or money order to the Treasurer’s Office. Please make payments payable to: Treasurer of Wythe County. Please do not mail cash or credit card information. All mail postmarked on or before December 5 are considered timely payments by the Treasurer’s Office.
  • By Phone: Call the Treasurer’s Office at 276-223-6070 Monday through Friday during business hours to pay by credit/debit card (Master and Visa only).
  • Online: Credit/debit card and e-check payments may be made online at A convenience fee of 2.75 percent of the transaction amount will be charged by the card provider. Your account number is required. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted. Payments made by e-check will incur a $3 fee.

Penalties on late taxes are a one-time 5 percent penalty based on the amount due and interest begins to accrue at an annual rate of 10 percent. If taxpayers are unable to pay full amount by the due date payments may be made until the bill is paid in full.  

Officials ask your patience when calling or coming into the office closer to the tax deadline as the office will be very busy.

Additionally, Wythe County offices will be closed for Thanksgiving from noon on November 27 through November 29, 2019.


WYTHE COUNTY, Va. – The Joint Public Service Authority of Wythe and Bland Counties will be hosting its annual Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Day on Saturday, September 28, 2019.

The event is open to all Wythe and Bland residents. The day will be held at the Transfer Station located at 169 Kents Lane in Wytheville, Va. from 8 a.m. to noon.

According to officials, acceptable items for the disposal day include: computers and monitors, copiers, TV’s, ballasts, fluorescent lights, batteries, paints, poisons and corrosives.

Acceptable items also include: all kitchen cleaners, bathroom cleaners, gardening supplies, pool chemicals, poisons, all automotive fluids, floor care products, glues, wood preservatives, varnishes, paints, solvents, stains, creosote products, mercury products, rust removers, drain openers, coal tar products, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, driveway sealers, mothballs, inks, dyes and paint thinners.

Officials have indicated that in the previous years they have received a large quantity of empty/dry paint cans that could be disposed with regular trash. According to officials, once the paint becomes a solid, it is no longer hazardous waste.

This event provides residents with an excellent opportunity to clean up around their homes for fall. Officials with the Joint Public Service Authority of Wythe and Bland Counties stated that the contractor will have sole discretion over the acceptance or denial of any substance brought to the collection event. Appointments and scheduling are not necessary for the event.

Prohibited items will include all waste from small businesses (commercial or industrial entities, including home-based businesses), as well as explosive, radiological, asbestos or biomedical waste. Items including dynamite, nitro glycerin, blasting caps, ammunition, grenades, and fireworks are also prohibited.

Residents who have questions concerning the event are encouraged to contact the Joint Public Service Authority at 276-228-4907. As part of an initiative to keep Southwest Virginia clean, the hazardous waste collection day will provide local residents with an opportunity to dispose of unwanted items that typically are not accepted at local convenience centers. There is no cost to the resident for this event.

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Wythe County officials, please call Blake Stowers at 276-223-4522 or email Blake at [email protected]


WYTHEVILLE, Va. – The Wythe County Board of Supervisors recently recognized the Open Door Café and encouraged citizens to support National Everybody Eats Week.

Hope Inc. Executive Director Andy Kegley said officials across the nation are striving to raise awareness this week for those dealing with food insecurities during National Everybody Eats Week.   

Kegley said pay-what-you-can restaurants are trying to draw attention to the pay-what-you-can model and the food insecurities in our communities.

 “Almost 12 percent of our population in Wythe County meets the definition of food insecure which means they may not know where their next meal is coming from,” Kegley said.

The Open Door Café will participate in National Everybody Eats Week, a week long campaign hosted by One World Everybody Eats, which aims to build community and dignity around food.

The Open Door Café is improving lives at the local level by minimizing the number of hungry children, adults, and seniors in our community. With over 15,000 lunches served since opening in November, it is sustained by 57 percent of donors supporting the 43 percent of customers unable to pay the full price.

Over $83,000 was donated for meals in this period, with another $95,000 raised from other sources.

National Everybody Eats Week aims to unify the efforts of over 50 affiliate pay-what-you-can community cafés working to decrease hunger across the nation.

“In January, during the federal government shut down, food stamps were issued ten days early on January 20,” Kegley said. “Various people said that’s going to be a problem for families that receive food stamps because they don’t last a month. It’s hard to budget food stamps to get you through the month. In the middle of February we noticed the ratio of people paying us more than $8 a meal (which is the suggested price) versus those paying less than $8, which is a subsidized meal, had changed. Normally, it’s running 60/40 or 55/45 where 60 percent of the customers are supporting 40 percent of the customers. In the middle of February it went to 40/60 for the last two weeks.”

Kegley said it took a few moments to figure out that people had run out of food stamps during that time period.

“It took us a couple of minutes to connect the dots, and realize that people ran out of their food stamps in the middle of February,” Kegley said. “It’s the dead of winter, we were serving a free hot meal, so we were meeting our mission right there. That’s our mission, feeding those who are hungry.”

Kegley said the restaurant averages around 90 meals a day.

“What makes us different is our business model which converts customers into donors,” Kegley said. “You can eat lunch there and you can pay eight cents or eight dollars or you can buy a 100 dollars’ worth of meal tokens to support paying it forward for other people. That’s what sets us apart and makes us a really creative way to address food insecurity.”

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Wythe County officials, please call Blake Stowers at 276-223-4522 or email Blake at [email protected]

Presbyterian Children’s Home of the Highlands to Celebrate 100 Years Sept. 21

WYTHEVILLE, Va. – The Presbyterian Children’s Home of the Highlands started at Foster Falls in Wythe County in 1919. It has been home to thousands of children from throughout Southwest Virginia during its 100 year history.

According to Executive Director Billy Rice, PCHH started in a two story cinder block building.
“It started as an industrial home for girls,” Rice said. “A year later it started taking boys and we’ve been co-ed ever since.”

Rice said the children stay in cottages with house parents at PCHH. He said a great majority of the children come from the 19 counties west of Roanoke.

“The kid’s get up, do chores, go to school,” Rice said. “They have free time and study time. They are involved in counseling to deal with issues that they brought with them. We try to show them what a normal day would be like. Some come from homes where they would go home and worry about who’s going to hit you or worry about who’s going to be on drugs. Academics are an afterthought in homes like that. We work with them here and make sure they have academic opportunities.”

Rice said seeing children grow into trusting individuals is the best part of his job.
“One of the truest joys of what we do is to watch a child go from unable to trust anyone or feel that they should be loved and watch them blossom into a person that can do that,” Rice said. “To react to a different kind of life, a life where you don’t have to live the way you were treated. It’s the ultimate reward to have a family come back and to see them raising their family and not us.”

PCHH Administrative Director Wynette Yontz said she is excited to celebrate 100 years of helping children from across the region.

“I’m excited,” Wynette Yontz said. “I’ve been here 43 of those 100 years. When I first came we had 30 children, pretty much all the time. When you see a child come back and say I don’t know what would have happened to me if it wasn’t for the children’s home. When people ask me our success rate, I say 100 percent because they get to learn there is a different way of life. There are so many that don’t realize what their experiencing is not normal.”

Rice wanted to thank all the faithful donors that make the children’s home possible.

“We couldn’t have done any of this without the faithful donors over the past 100 years,” Rice said. “Thousands of people have lived here. This is where they live while they are here. There are lots of success stories. We have a long term resident that’s getting ready to graduate from UVA-Wise as a Darden Scholar.”

PCHH Development Director Dale Yontz said unconditional love and a family atmosphere are two of the concepts that help influence the children’s lives in a positive matter.

“The children’s home is something that provides to children of all walks of life,” Yontz said. “We’re able to impact children through showing them unconditional love. We’re able to influence children from different backgrounds and expose children to a true family atmosphere.”

The 100th Anniversary event will be held on September 21st, 2019. Officials encourage everyone to come and help celebrate 100 years of service to children.

“Places like ours become even more important as a resource as time goes on,” Rice said. “We are committed to be a children’s home into the next century of our service.”