The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Recessed meeting on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County Courthouse. The following were present:
Honorable J. H. Rivers – Chairman
Honorable Dana Kilgore – Vice-Chair
Honorable Virginia Meador
Honorable Robert R. Adkins
Honorable Ronald L. Shortt
Honorable Steve Bates
Honorable Robert E. Robbins, Jr.
Honorable Fred Luntsford – members of said Board and
Shannon C. Scott – County Administrator
David L. Cox – Financial Administrator
Karen T. Mullins – Legal Administrator
Annette Underwood – Executive Secretary
IN RE: COUNTY BUDGET FY 2010/11
A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Bob Adkins, to set a public hearing on June 3, 2010 @ 6:00 p.m. on the proposed County Budget FY 2010/11.
Chairman Rivers questioned the information in the School Board categorical funding which totaled $70,551,100 verses the School Board budget presented last Thursday which was for $67,220,800. This is a discrepancy of $3.3M.
Financial Administrator Cox explained that the operations budget plus the debt service in capital outlay totals the $70,551,100. This is the procedure that has been followed in the past for the categorical funding resolution.
Chairman Rivers questioned the line item, school transfers, in this year’s budget, in the amount of $1,666,800 which was the amount in the general fund budget for last year.
Mr. Cox stated that was the amount allocated in the general fund budget for last year. That same amount was put in this year’s budget but later changed to match the School Board amount of $1,183,000 as the local allocation. That is a difference of $486,500. Mr. Cox said he proposed to use these funds to reduce the loan proceeds required to fund the CIP for this year.
Supervisor Kilgore stated that she would accept Mr. Cox’s recommendation as a friendly amendment to make that adjustment in her original motion. Supervisor Adkins seconded that amendment.
Supervisor Robbins said he would like to see that $486,500 applied to the school system for the possibility of using it as funds to keep the six high schools open.
A substitute motion was made by Robby Robbins that the $486,500 surplus be placed in a revenue fund balance, same as the $9M, to be earmarked for curriculum development and improvement to be held by the County. J. H. Rivers seconded the motion.
Supervisor Kilgore explained that you can reserve fund balance but you cannot do that as part of the budget. That must be done separately. You cannot reserve a fund balance that is estimated.
Attorney Mullins agreed that this should be done in two motions.
After discussing the concept of the two motions needed at this point in time, it was suggested that all motions on the floor be withdrawn. Ms. Kilgore withdrew her motion to set the public hearing, Mr. Adkins withdrew his second. Mr. Robbins withdrew his substitute motion and Mr. Rivers withdrew his second.
A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, to set a public hearing on June 3, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. on the County Budget FY 2010/11 as presented except to move the $486,500 out of expenditures into budgeted fund balance. Bob Adkins seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: SCHOOL FUNDING
Supervisor Robbins said he believed Wise County can keep all six schools open and he has been challenged by Dr. Perry to find a way to do that. Mr. Robbins suggested using some of the fund balance that has been discussed and carry those funds over for that purpose. He noted several revenue sources that could be applied which included the overfunding of the school system beyond the SOQ’s, and Dominion revenue.
Supervisor Robbins read a resolution that he was asking the Board to adopt regarding funding to keep the six high schools open.
IN RE: RESOLUTION SUPPORTING SIX SCHOOLS_
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to approve the resolution supporting the six high schools and renovation.
Supervisor Bates questioned whether or not this resolution could be voted on since it was not an agenda item nor was it an addition to the agenda.
Attorney Mullins explained that the Board routinely list resolutions on the agenda but she understands that this was in discussion last week under school funding, but not as a resolution.
Supervisor Bates stated that he felt this would fall under Code Section 22.1-79. One paragraph in this resolution is dictating to the School Board what they can do.
Attorney Mullins noted that each Board member received a memo regarding the authority of the School Board and the authority of the Board of Supervisors. After review the resolution, she said it indicates that the County is only willing to participate in the funding portion of a plan that would suit this Board. The concern is whether or not a resolution of this nature would trigger the School Board’s position that if there is not funding for their plan as proposed that they would proceed with the forced consolidation.
Chairman Rivers offered a friendly amendment to the proposed resolution as follows: “Resolved that the Wise County Board of Supervisors does not support the closing of any of Wise County’s six high schools and will not support the current proposed plan of consolidation nor the Crisis Management Plan as recently described by the School Board.”
Supervisors Robbins accepted that verbage as a friendly amendment to his resolution.
Supervisor Luntsford asked if this verbage was legal.
Attorney Mullins stated that it is legal to take the position that the Board is not going to fund the plan that has been given by the School Board or the Board would not fund specific plans. That does not restrict the School Board from proceeding with the plan if they can financially proceed with the closure of the three smaller schools.
Supervisor Bates asked what this would cost the County financially.
Financial Administrator Cox replied that based upon his financial analysis he has concerns about being able to finance the operation of six schools along with renovating. Based on analysis he has seen that could eventually, sooner than later, cause a tax increase for Wise County. That amount of increase would depend upon the amount of renovation, and the amount of operational costs, which could bring a double digit increase.
There was a lengthy discussion on the pros and cons of having six schools verses three new schools on one site.
Supervisor Kilgore provided a power point presentation on the following four scenarios on the proposed school funding:
# Schools Loan Cash flow over 20 years
6 $42M $84,666,340
3 $54M $73,358,560
3 in 1 w/o Norton $72.5M $70,956,900
3 in 1 w/ Norton $72.5M $48,456,900
Supervisor Kilgore agreed with Mr. Cox that there would possibly be a 33% tax increase if scenario #1 is chosen. She further noted that if coal severance should decrease, then the Dominion money will have to be used to balance the budget. All the Dominion money cannot be used for school payments and operations. She noted that she was very conservative in her figures.
There was some discussion on the possibility of a tax increase if the six schools are kept open. Also discussed, was the concept of placing students in three old schools or placing them in three new schools and the short comings/ advantages of each.
Supervisor Shortt was concerned about the language in the resolution that states the Board of Supervisors will allocate funds for six schools. However, Dr. Perry has already told the Board that if this plan before the Board fails, the three smaller schools will be moved into the three larger schools. If this happens, it will eliminate the gym for the Appalachia school and it will create conflict between the students coming into the larger schools. Mr. Shortt stated that his constituents tell him that they would rather go to a new school on one site rather than going into an old school.
Chairman Rivers stated that in his opinion if the two Boards work together they could keep the six schools open.
There were concerns about the site being located in Norton, which could cause the towns to lose revenue and eventually have to close their businesses.
The vote on approving the resolution as presented by Supervisor Robbins with the added verbage as read by Chairman Rivers is as follows:
Aye- Fred Luntsford Nay- Ronnie Shortt
J. H. Rivers Steve Bates
Virginia Meador Bob Adkins
Robby Robbins Dana Kilgore
IN RE: COUNTY BUDGET FY 2010/11 – RECONSIDER VOTE
Attorney Mullins noted that the Board needs to reconsider the vote on setting the public hearing on the County Budget from June 3 to June 10 since the public hearing was set at this meeting instead of the regular meeting. The 10th date will give sufficient time to make the required advertisement for the budget.
A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Bob Adkins, to reconsider the vote taken on setting the public hearing on the County Budget and change the public hearing date from June 3, 2010 to June 10, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.. The motion was unanimously approved.
A recess was taken at 6:35 p.m.
The meeting reconvened at 6:55 p.m.
IN RE: CLOSED SESSION
A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to go into closed session to discuss the following items as permitted by the Code of Virginia:
The motion was unanimously approved.
After a lengthy closed session, a motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Virginia Meador, to reconvene the regular meeting. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: RESOLUTION – CLOSED SESSION
Secretary Underwood read the certification for closed meeting.
A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the resolution verifying matters discussed while in closed session. The motion was unanimously approved by roll call vote.
RESOLUTION # 2010
(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator’s Office)
IN RE: JUSTICE CENTER BUILD-OUT
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to release the balance of funding up to $1,110,000 to upfit the Justice Center. The motion was unanimously approved.
A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Robby Robbins, to adjourn the meeting. The motion was unanimously approved.
ATTEST: WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk J. H. Rivers, Chairman