Board of Supervisors - March 2, 2006 Workshop Meeting

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The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Workshop meeting on Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 6:00 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County courthouse.  The following were present:

Honorable Fred A. Luntsford, Chairman

Honorable Ronnie Shortt, Vice-Chairman

Honorable Robert R. Adkins

Honorable Steve Bates

Honorable Virginia Meador

Honorable John W. Peace II

Honorable Leland Branham

Honorable Robert Robbins - members of said Board and

Glen A. Skinner - County Administrator

Shannon C. Scott - Assistant County Administrator

Karen T. Mullins - County Attorney

Annette Underwood - Executive Secretary



T. G. Branson led the Board in prayer.



All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.



PSA Director Danny Buchanan briefed the Board on requirements set forth from different agencies regarding possible funding for sewer projects.  He stated that one thing that is required by all funding agencies is signed "User Agreements".   These "User Agreements" are submitted prior to the submission of a proposal for funding, which guarantees a revenue source of repayment of the loan.  Of the total households in the project area, at least 80% must be actual users, and 51% of those users must be low to moderate income.  If the County adopts a "Mandatory Sewer Connection Ordinance" it would then have a "history" of enforcing a Mandatory Ordinance and agreements would not be necessary for future projects.  However, Mr. Buchanan stated that since the County does not force things on its citizens, if the majority of the people do not want the service, then there would be no need to proceed with the project.



PSA Director Danny Buchanan gave a brief overview of the activities of the Public Service Authority and reviewed a list of ongoing water projects.



A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive public input regarding the proposed Wise County Five (5) Year Capital Improvements Plan FY 2007-2011.

There being no public comments regarding this Plan, the public hearing was closed.



A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive public input regarding the naming of a bridge located on Rt 612, which is over South Fork Powell River, Oscar F. Poole Bridge.

There being no public comments, the public hearing was closed.



A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizen's comments regarding a request from Ella Jane Mullins for a proposed rezoning of approximately 17 acres adjacent to the Wise County Christian School for the purpose of selling for commercial use.

There being no public comments, the public hearing was closed.



A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens' comments regarding a request from Emily Edmondson for a conditional zoning of property located at 9506 Coeburn Mtn. Road from a R-1 District to a R-2 District for the purpose of constructing multi-housing.

Attorney Greg Gilbert representing Emily Edmondson, stated that his client is asking for the conditional zoning for the purpose of building multi-housing units similar to those located in Woodland Court.  These units will be built in phases and in accordance to Building Code requirements.  At the present time, this property exists as a mobile home park with seven trailers.  The construction of the multi-housing units will not only benefit families that are cramped in trailers but will also increase the County's tax base and provide much needed housing to entice future growth in Wise County.  Mr. Gilbert also pointed out to the Board that this section of property is in the Comprehensive Plan for this type of construction.

Bill Skeens, representing Maxim Engineering, informed the Board that water and sewer is available for this project and all the plans have been designed to building and zoning code requirements.

There was some discussion on the distance between the proposed housing and the residential property lines.

There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed.



A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens' comments regarding a request from the Wise County IDA for a proposed boundary adjustment/rezoning of property located in Virginia City from an A-RR District to a M-2 Heavy Industrial District for the purpose of industrial development.

Beth Bingman, a resident of the Virginia City area, voiced her concern regarding industry waste and stressed the fact that the air and water quality could be threatened by zoning this area heavy industry.  She asked the Board to do an extensive study of the environmental impact this boundary adjustment could have on the citizens of Virginia City and Wise County as a whole.

There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed.



A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens' comments regarding a request from Garnard C. Kincer for a Special Use Permit for the purpose of erecting a radio tower and transmitter on Buck Knob below Horn Gap in the Pound area on part of an 809 acre tract owned by the Heartwood Forestland Fund IV, LP.

There being no comments, the public hearing was closed.



Commissioner of Revenue Doug Mullins briefed the Board on the proposed amendment to the Real Estate Tax Exemption for Elderly and Disabled Ordinance.  This ordinance has set the due date of the affidavit for individuals receiving a real estate tax exemption to be May 15 of the taxable year for first time applicants or hardship cases and October 15 for those with manufactured homes classified as personal property.

Commissioner Mullins asked the Board to consider amending the Ordinance and provide and allow for qualifying individuals filing after the May 15 deadline to receive pro-rated tax consideration equal to one-half of the total amount of the exemption.  The filing deadline for the affidavit and certificate of disability required to receive consideration for this pro-rated exemption allowance would be October 15.

Commissioner Mullins also asked the Board to consider allowing for filing on a three (3) year cycle with an annual certification by the taxpayer that no information contained on the last preceding affidavit or written statement filed has changed to violate the limitations and conditions provided in lieu of the annual affidavit or written statement.  He asked the Board to consider setting this proposed amendment for public hearing at next month's meeting.

Karen Hall, representing the Powell Valley Primary School students, asked the Board to consider the request for constructing a gym and additional classrooms for Powell Valley Primary School.  She noted that PE is held in the cafeteria along with students having lunch.  Some school functions are being held in storage rooms and supply rooms.

Cathy Selvage addressed the Board with concern regarding air pollution, constant noise 24/7 from the strip mining that is taking place in the Stephens area.  These operations are taking place near citizens' homes with no barrier being in place to protect the homes from the blasts that are being ignited.  Ms. Selvage asked for some assistance from the Board in getting relief from these disruptions in her community.



Highway Resident Engineer T. G. Branson gave a brief update on highway construction throughout the County.

The resolution on the proposed abandonment due to construction on Rt. 83 for the Pound High School Turn Lane Project was reviewed.

There were brief comments from Board members regarding needs in their districts.



The following items were reviewed under the consent agenda:

(1)   Set public hearings 6:00 p.m. April 6 @ UVA-Wise Slemp building as follows:

     On two proposed E-911 road name additions

     On a request for conditional zoning for three (3) lots located at 6230 Hurricane Rd for the purpose of building multi-family housing

     On a request for conditional change of use for a 1.50 acre parcel of land located on 1605 Artesian Well Hollow Road, Big Stone Gap

     On a proposed amendment to the Real Estate Tax Exemption for Elderly and Disabled Ordinance

(2)   Budget Amendment No. 72



(1) Resolution - Duffield Development Authority Partial Dissolution Funding

(2) Resolution Applying for Virginia Community Development Block Grant Funds

(3) Change of meeting place for April Workshop

(4) Report on 150th Year Anniversary Celebration



Brian Swinney, member of the Valley Volunteer Fire Department, came before the Board asking its blessing in obtaining Emergency Ground Transport in this area.  Mr. Swinney stated that there has been an increase in the number of emergency calls for transportation to the hospital, which has placed an extra burden on local departments that do transports.  He noted that his department has the necessary equipment and personnel to support a transport service and would appreciate the Board consideration of this request.

A letter was received from the Office of Emergency Medical Services supporting Valley Volunteer Fire Department's request.



Attorney Mullins reported on the litter cases that were won in court.



Administrator Skinner reported that the budget process has begun.  He has had some tentative discussions with his colleagues in Scott County regarding a program that they have been utilizing with their School System for the past several years.  In this program, the Scott County School Board addresses the Scott County Board of Supervisors during the month of April with a specific local budget request and the Board acts on that request by affirmation that those funds would be made available in the upcoming fiscal year.   Mr. Skinner asked the Board to consider having a similar program with the Wise County School Board in that it would give the School Board an opportunity to sign new incoming teacher contracts at an earlier date.  He asked that the Board allow him to pursue this discussion with the School Board.

Administrator Skinner reported that he and Dr. Killough are scheduling a meeting with the architects to start work on the school projects and in the process try to negotiate the projects at a lesser cost.

Regarding the budget, the initial notification has been received from Anthem, Blue Cross and Blue Shield that there will be a $176,000.00 increase in health insurance this year, which represents a 15.1% increase.  Mr. Skinner noted that he and Mr. Scott have had some preliminary discussions with Alan Bayse, an insurance consultant, who is presently working with the School Board on their insurance, to ascertain from him whether or not there can be any reduction in the County's health insurance costs.

Mr. Bayse has offered to review the County's insurance costs and possibly find ways to reduce those costs for a fee of $1,500.00.  If Mr. Bayse finds that he can negotiate on behalf of the County and substantially reduce the County's costs, his fee would be $4,000.00 total.

There was some discussion on the services that Anthem should be providing to help reduce the insurance costs without hiring an outside consultant.



The essence of Board members comments were as follows:

(1) Litter clean up throughout the County, especially along the roadsides

(2) Tax rate needs to be set in March for upcoming budget

(3) Assistance for residents of the Stephens area regarding coal dust and noise



There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.


ATTEST:                                 WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS


___________________                    ___________________________

Glen A. Skinner, Clerk                         Fred A. Luntsford, Chairman

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