Board of Supervisors - December 12, 2013 Regular Meeting

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The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Regular session on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:00 PM in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County Courthouse.  The following members were present:

Honorable Robert R. Adkins – Chairman
Honorable Virginia Meador – Vice-Chair
Honorable Dana Kilgore
Honorable Robert E. Robbins, Jr.
Honorable Fred Luntsford
Honorable Steve Bates
Honorable Ronald L. Shortt
Honorable J. H. Rivers – members of said Board and
Shannon C. Scott – County Administrator
David L. Cox – Finance Administrator
Karen T. Mullins – County Attorney
Annette Underwood – Executive Secretary


Robby Robbins led in prayer.


All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.


A motion was made by Virginia Meador, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the minutes as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.


A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the agenda to include the addition of personnel being added to closed session.  The motion was unanimously approved.


Supervisor Shortt asked for a speed study in the Elmira section of Pound located on US 23.

Supervisor Meador asked for a status report on the road closing in Crackers Neck section of Big Stone Gap.

Supervisor Rivers noted that he had been told that several positive comments were made at the public hearing for the road improvements in the Crackers Neck.


Darrell Stapleton, representing Thompson and Litton, provided a status update on the MECC access Road in Big Stone Gap.  The completion date that was set for December 20, 2013 has changed due to excessive rain that has hampered construction.  The contractor has asked for an extension of 13 days in accordance with the contract, which makes the completion date January 10, 2014. 

The status of the road to date was reviewed.  Mr. Stapleton noted that the base course of asphalt has been laid but not the finished course.  The main concern at this time is the possibility that, due to temperature changes, the surface course may not be completed this year.  At this point, a formal request has not been received from the contractor regarding a possible winter shut down.   Basically, the road is winterized and should not cause a problem through the winter. 

Mr. Stapleton reviewed Change Order #1 that was requested by VDOT for a safety barrier to be placed along the shoulder of the road.  At this time, he asked for approval, after the fact due to weather conditions, of Change Order #2 from Glass Machinery to install 536 linear feet of drainage pipeline for a net increase of $23,579.14.

Due to the abundance of rain in Big Stone Gap this weekend, a slide was created in one of the cut slopes.  This problem has been assessed by T&L’s geotechnical subcontractor but the report on the incident has not been provided at this time.  Once Mr. Glass understood that the diversion ditch had not been constructed properly caused the slide, he agreed to do all the necessary work to fix the problem if the County would pay for the stone.  The estimated cost of the stone would be between four (4) and five (5) thousand dollars.  


Walter Crouse, a resident of Hurricane, spoke on the following items:

  • Left over money for school construction should be given back to the County

  • No need for fancy lights at the school facilities

  • Decrease in coal severance

  • Snow schedule for schools not being followed

  • Need for recycling

  • Need for recycling center

Robert Anderson, Jr., Fire Chief for the Appalachia Fire Department, addressed the Board, on behalf of the Town of Appalachia, to discuss a change in their status regarding EMS.  Currently the Appalachia Fire Department is a non transport service.  At the last Town Council meeting on November 21, 2013, the Town of Appalachia officially gave the Appalachia Fire Department the ability to go to a transport service.  Since that has officially been deemed from the Town of Appalachia, there are certain requirement changes that must be made to make the Fire Department a fully licensed transport agency.  That change is made through the County.  Currently, the County has given them the ability for the non-transport status, which would need to be changed to a transport status.  Once these changes have been made, that will allow the Fire Department to further pursue needed equipment and other items that are needed to fulfill this commitment. 

Supervisor  Luntsford stated that it is the Fire Department’s intent to provide transport service to the current foot print that the rescue squad is currently using, not just the corporate limits of Appalachia.

At this point in time, Mr. Anderson stated that there is an ambulance in place to provide this service.  However, approval is needed from the County for this status change, and once that is done, a meeting will be held with the Office of EMS to further pursue their license to do transport services.  The building next to the fire station has been acquired to house the ambulance as well as additional equipment.
Regarding personnel for this service, the Appalachia Fire Department has been doing EMS since 2000 and there are 10 qualified personnel and one LS provider on staff to meet the needs for these services.    

Jim Cox, resident living on Pole Bridge Road, informed the Board that there is deer spot lighting taking place at the airport at night.  He said this is illegal and puts residents living near the airport at risk for being shot.  He asked for assistance in putting a stop to this problem.

Attorney Mullins said she was not aware of this situation but she would check into the matter.

There being no further comments, the public expression period was closed.


A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to approve the consent agenda as follows:


Approved change order #2 for the MECC Access Road Project in the amount of $23,579.14


Approved a resolution requesting warning lights on US Rt. 23 near the Town of Pound

RESOLUTION # 46-2013

(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator’s Office)


Approved the 3rd quarter appropriations


Adopted the Rural Development Environmental Review Record of the Stephens Sewer Extension Project


Ratified action of the Administration Team in changing the additional Christmas Holiday given by the Governor from 12-23 to 12-26 to accommodate the courts schedule, which would allow all employees of the Courthouse an additional day for Christmas  


Approved setting the following public hearings:

  • Set public hearing Jan. 9. 2014 @ 6:00 PM – conditional rezoning for Howard Gollaway

  • Set public hearing Jan. 9, 2014 @ 6:00 PM – conditional rezoning for Nancy Evans

Supervisor Kilgore said she would rather have appropriations made on an annual basis rather than quarterly, which would allow those annual payments to be made up front.

Finance Administrator Cox noted that he has checked with other counties and some of them do their appropriations annually rather than quarterly.

Supervisor Rivers voiced his approval of the proposed traffic light for Pound due to the number of accidents in that area.  He further noted that it would be to the County’s advantage to set a meeting with VDOT representatives at the January meeting in Richmond in support of the resolution for the traffic light.

Supervisor Shortt asked that the resolution for the South Fork Intersection be sent to VDOT Board members.  Since there has been another accident in that area since the resolution was adopted, he asked Administrator Scott to follow up on the status of the study.

There being no further comments, the motion to approve the consent agenda was unanimously approved.


A letter has been received from Melanie B. Salyer, Chief Deputy Clerk/PI, stating that Wise County and City of Norton Circuit Court has requested and is in the final approval stages to be the recipient of NASA Cooperative Agreement, specifically grant number NNX14AB60A.

This is a five-year agreement with total funding of $5.0M in increments of up to $1.0M annually.  It is requested that a new department be created under fund 800, DEVELOP to facilitate the expenditure of the funds.  The new department should be called Develop National Program.

Finance Administrator Cox advised that this is all federal grant pass thru monies. 

After discussion, a motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to create a new department called DEVELOP National Program under fund 800, DEVELOP as requested.  The motion was unanimously approved.


Finance Administrator Cox advised the Board that he has been informed by Dr. Perry that there is $700,000 that has not been spent from the $2.5M that was allocated to the school system for construction of the road to Central High School, site preparation, and purchase of land.  At the time the funds were allocated, the Board of Supervisors was told that any unspent funds would be returned to the Board.  With $700,000 left unspent, there is now a request from the school system that these left over funds be considered for the schools support facilities or placed in capital outlay.

Supervisor Rivers noted that the motion regarding the $2.5M was specific.  The money could be spent on three things;  site preparation, purchase of land, and construction of road.  The $2.5M was budgeted because it was anticipated that these items would be needed for completion of these three items.  However, he interpreted the motion to be a drawn down of those funds for those three items and not a blank check for the $2.5M.   He also questioned the school system’s 5 year CIP plan.  His concern was if the money was placed in capital outlay it could be spent at the school’s discretion.
Attorney Mullins explained that there are certain restrictions for use of reserved funds.  Since the $2.5M came from the $9M reserved for the schools, there must be a specific request regarding the use of the $700,000.  The Board, at that time, can allow those funds to be dedicated for that purpose.
Dr. Jeff Perry explained that if the Board of Supervisors were to allocate the $700,000 back to the school system, his Board made the indication that the funds would be placed in capital outlay or for support facilities.  It is also his understanding that those funds would be used equally between Central and Union because a great deal more money has been spent than was budgeted at Eastside.  He further noted that enough money has been held back for some additional exterior lighting and few minor additions for both schools, and if there are any funds left from that piece, it will also be turned back to the Board of Supervisors.

There was some discussion on the County’s bond rating that was based on the $9M reserve.  

Supervisor Shortt said he would like to see $100,000 go to each school, keep an additional $200,000 to be split between the two high schools with a challenge to the communities to raise an additional $100,000 and the Board match that amount, and put the remaining $300,000 back into the $9M reserve fund.  The matching funds would give citizens more incentive to give.

Supervisor Bates suggested giving each school $200,000 each with no matching and put $300,000 back into the reserve fund.

Supervisor Rivers noted that Union uses Bullet Park as their football field  and don’t play at their school location.  He asked if Central could use the existing football field at Central or UVA-Wise facility.  This would be an option to consider, which would save money for the County and its tax payers.  The concern he has is that the $200,000 is not enough to complete this project and the Board will be asked for more money in the future to finish the project.

Dr. Perry said UVA-Wise has increased the fee for using their facility and it is no longer feasible to use that as an option.
Supervisor Bates expressed the need for the School Board to work with the County by providing a 5 year CIP plan each year as to schools needs for each year.  This would help the Board in providing funds for the schools future projects in a planned manner.

Dr. Perry noted that they do have a 5 Year CIP plan, but the past three years there has been no money because the construction fund money from the state no longer exists.  All the construction and lottery money went back into operations.

After further discussion, a motion was made by Steve Bates, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to give Union and Central high schools $200,000 each for support facilities and put the remaining $300,000 back in the reserve fund.  The motion was unanimously approved.


A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to set the Organizational meeting for Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 5:50 PM in the Board of Supervisors meeting room.  The motion was unanimously approved.


The Board took a brief break at 7:25 PM
The meeting reconvened at 7:30 PM


A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to go into closed session as permitted by the Code of Virginia per the following Code Sections:

  • Section 2.2-3711(A)(6)   Investing of public funds

      •   (A)(7)  Consultation with legal counsel

      •   (A)(1)   Personnel

The motion was unanimously approved.

After closed session, a motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Robby Robbins, to reconvene the regular meeting.  The motion was unanimously approved.


Secretary Underwood read the certification for closed meeting.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to adopt the resolution verifying matters discussed while in closed session.  The motion was unanimously approved by roll call vote.


(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator’s Office)


A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to adopt the resolution approving a settlement of pending litigation with EQT.  The motion was unanimously approved.


(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator’s Office)


A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Virginia Meador, to authorize the Finance Administrator to proceed with negotiations and execution of a County Audit Contract with Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates for year ending June 30, 2013.  The motion was unanimously approved.


There were few comments from Board members.


A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Robby Robbins, to adjourn the meeting.  The motion was unanimously approved. 

ATTEST:                                                                      WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS


________________________________________     ____________________________________
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk                                                                 Robert R. Adkins, Chairman

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