The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Recessed meeting on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 5:30 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County courthouse. The following were present:
Honorable Robert E. Robbins, Jr., Chairman
Honorable J. H. Rivers – Vice-Chairman
Honorable Virginia Meador
Honorable Dana Kilgore
Honorable Ronald L. Shortt
Honorable Robert R. Adkins – members of said Board and
Shannon C. Scott – County Administrator
David Cox – Finance Administrator
Karen T. Mullins – County Attorney
Annette Underwood – Executive Secretary
Honorable Steve Bates
Honorable Fred Luntsford
Chairman Robbins noted that the Board meeting was scheduled for 5:00 p.m. but due to court being in session the meeting is late in getting started.
IN RE: PUBLIC HEARING-CDBG GRANT APPLICATION – WISE INN
A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) proposal to be submitted to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development for the Wise Inn Restoration and Development Project.
Frank Kibler, representing LENOWISCO, explained that this project is designed to restore the historic Wise Inn property, situated adjacent to the Wise County courthouse in the Town of Wise’s central business district.
The Wise County IDA has purchased the long-vacant structure, which is listed on both state and national historic registers, and proposes to utilize a combination of local, state and federal grant and loan funds, historic tax credits and first mortgage debt to restore, renovate and redevelop the property into a moderate-to-upscale lodging, restaurant and meeting facility designed to support regional tourism, education and economic development efforts.
To meet the anticipated $8.1 million project cost, the IDA has:
Applied its property acquisition costs
Pursued funding through VCEDA, the Virginia Tobacco Commission and most recently, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and
With the assistance of the Wise County Board of Supervisors and approval, proposes to seek 2009 CDBG funding (note: only localities are eligible applicants for CDBG funds; the IDA is not an eligible applicant)
Mr. Kibler stated that the IDA therefore requests that the Board of Supervisors serve as the Applicant for $700,000 in CDBG funds, the maximum available under the CDBG program for this type project.
To meet CDBG public participation requirements, two public hearings have been duly advertised and conducted, on March 5, 2009 and March 31, 2009.
The deadline for submission of the County’s CDBG proposal is April 8, 2009.
Harold Greear, a resident of the Pound area, voiced his opposition to the proposed funding stating that this project will turn into a money pit. These funds could be used for more worthwhile projects that would be of more beneficial to the county and its citizens. In his opinion, this project would be a liability to the County.
There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed.
IN RE: AGENDA ADDITIONS
Chairman Robbins reviewed the following items to be added to the agenda:
Recess March 31st meeting until Tuesday, April 7, 2009 @ 5:00 p.m.
Resolution on the Wise Inn Restoration and Redevelopment Project
Update on school construction (Dr. Perry & Ron Vicars)(April 7, 2009 meeting)
Closed session 2.2-3711(A)(6) Investing of Public funds (April 7, 2009 meeting)
A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the additions to the agenda as stated. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: RESOLUTION – WISE INN RESTORATION & REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT
Chairman Robbins read the proposed resolution on the Wise Inn Restoration and Redevelopment Project.
A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Robby Robbins, to adopt the resolution applying for $700,000 in VCDBG funds for the Wise Inn Restoration & Redevelopment Project and further authorize the County Administrator to sign and submit any and all appropriate documents relevant to this grant proposal.
Supervisor Shortt said he would ask that the word “local” be changed to “regional” since he has had several of his constituents to voice their opposition to any local funds being put toward restoration of the Inn.
There was much discussion on the word “local” funds and whether or not that means local tax payers dollars.
Mr. Kibler stated that local in this resolution means VCEDA funds. He further reviewed other funding sources and the process that is involved in receiving these funds. The IDA has been working for months securing these grants for this project.
After a lengthy discussion on the sources of funding, optional uses of the Inn, and whether or not this is a viable project, Mr. Adkins said he would change his motion to approve the resolution with changing the word “local” to “regional” funds. Robby Robbins seconded the change.
The motion to approve the resolution with the change was unanimously approved.
RESOLUTION # 2009
(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator’s Office)
IN RE: APPOINTMENT-SOCIAL SERVICES BOARD
A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Virginia Meador, to appoint Diane R. Abbott to fill the unexpired term of Marilyn Bumgarner on the Social Services Board to expire 04/30/09. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: OTHER ITEMS REVIEWED
Chairman Robbins reviewed the following items to be addressed at the April 7, 2009 meeting:
Approval of the Five (5) Year CIP Plan for Wise County
Proposed amendment to ordinance providing for the exemption of real estate taxes for qualified elderly and disabled
Set public hearing (May 7, 2009 @ 6:00 p.m.) on a proposed amendment to the Real Estate Tax Exemption ordinance for the qualified elderly & disabled
Courthouse front entrance modification
Resolution establishing the property tax rate for FY 2009-2010
A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to recess this meeting until Tuesday, April 7, 2009 @ 5:00 p.m. The motion was unanimously approved.
ATTEST: WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk Robert E. Robbins, Jr. Chairman