The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a regular meeting on Thursday, June 9, 2016 @ 6:00 PM in the School Board Education Center located at 628 Lake Street in Wise. 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 Ronald L. Shortt
Honorable J. H. Rivers
Honorable Steve Bates, 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 Fred Luntsford, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the minutes as presented. The motion was unanimously approved.
A motion was made by Virginia Meador, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to approve the agenda as presented. The motion was unanimously approved.
ROADS AND HIGHWAYS
IN RE: PUBLIC HEARING – MEDICAL CLINIC - APPALACHIA
A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments on allowing a long-term or conveyance of approximately five (5) acres for construction of a medical clinic on the old football practice field of the former Appalachia High School.
Malcolm Perdue, President and CEO for Stone Mountain Health Services, spoke regarding the need to relocate the Appalachia Clinic that is currently located on Main Street in the Town of Appalachia. The Clinic has grown and needs room for expansion. To meet this need, a federal grant in the amount of $1M has been received to build a new facility on this proposed site.
Appalachia Town Mayor Ted Collins spoke in support of the proposed long-term lease or conveyance of property, He said this facility is much needed for the Town of Appalachia.
There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed.
IN RE: PLANNING DISTRICT 1 BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES (PD1BHS)
Donna Stanley, Financial Officer for Planning District 1 Behavioral Health Services, provided the Board with an update on the many services offered by PD1. This year has brought opportunities for re-affirming partnerships, finding new resources, and working with multiple providers to focus on the overall health and well-being of individuals with Behavioral Health needs, Substance Use Disorders, and individuals with Developmental Disabilities. PD1, in partnership with Frontier Health, continues to focus on services that support the recovery efforts of individuals.
IN RE: PUBLIC EXPRESSION
Daniel Rollins and Justin Tolbert, representing the Wise County Haz-Mat Team, told the Board that the winter storm in February of 2015 destroyed the building that was used by Haz-Mat, and some of their equipment. Insurance proceeds of $190,000 will help to rebuild a structure to house the equipment; however, there is not enough money to install water, sewer or electricity to the building. The team now relies mostly on state and grant funds to operate.
Mr. Tolbert gave a brief review of response calls in Wise County as well as other counties. He explained that the County benefits with the team being stationed locally and are able to respond to both state and non-state calls. They cannot do that in other counties because of insurance issues. When the team responds to Wise County, there is no charge. He noted that the Haz-Mat Team is reimbursed by the State only when the State directs them to go somewhere. Otherwise, they tend not to go into neighboring counties, but in Wise County they respond to all incidents.
Supervisor Kilgore noted this request was not received during the County’s budget process that begins in January of each year, at which time requests are considered during that period for consideration in that budget cycle. This request was not received during that time frame.
Supervisor Rivers stated that he had submitted a request a couple of months ago for $15,000. Since that was a late request, he asked if the Board could possibly find a smaller amount of funds at this time to assist with this immediate need.
Supervisor Shortt asked if Haz-Mat could be added to the County’s insurance. Finance Administrator Cox said he could check to see if this is possible. He also suggested that other counties be contacted for financial assistance also.
Mr. Tolbert stated that PSA has offered to help with installation of water. However, the sewer is the most expensive. The City of Norton has indicated that they will consider waiving the sewer tap fee, which will be a savings.
Bret Hall, representing hunters, farmers and several other individuals that were present, provided the Board with approximately 160 signatures in opposition to the Wise County Animal Shelter joining the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies or any other anti-hunting organization. It is known that the Humane Societies, both federal and state, have a well- established history of pushing an anti-hunting agenda. Welcoming such groups into Wise County would be to the detriment of traditional hunting values and wildlife conservation. Approval of such membership would allow Wise County to become subservient to the Humane Society and the regulations they have created. Also, it would subject animal owners to further scrutiny by the agency.
H.S. Caldwell, a hound hunter from Tazewell, voiced opposition to the County becoming a member of the Humane Societies. He said there are animal issues that need to be addressed, but hound hunters are being targeted by humane society programs. Once you become a member, they dictate what you can and can’t do. It sounds good on paper, but becoming a member is not what it’s made out to be. He asked once again that the Board vote no on this request.
Larry Miller, General Manager for Mercy Ambulance Services, stated that the City of Norton has granted Mercy’s request to operate in Norton, which gives them the opportunity to place an office there. At this time, Mercy provides assistance in our area as needed. With an office in Norton, that will allow them to provide emergency and non-emergency transport services. To operate in Wise County, the Board of Supervisors will need to adopt a resolution allowing Mercy to operate in the County. Mr. Miller noted that if the County grants Mercy the opportunity to expand its services into County, and the need is there, an office would probably be located in the County also.
Comments were made by Board members noting that the Coeburn area is in need of ambulance services. Mr. Miller stated that if there is a need, and Mercy has the opportunity to grow, he felt they could expand into the Coeburn area. The Board also questioned whether or not there is a need for an additional ambulance service in Wise County. Chairman Adkins felt that more information is needed as to whether or not additional services are necessary before the Board takes any action on this request.
Attorney Mullins said she would provide the Board with the County’s current need including the Coeburn area. She further noted that the County’s Rescue Association has sent an email opposing Mercy’s request until a Needs Assessment is completed.
After further discussion, it was the consensus of the Board that a Need Assessment should be provided before any action is taken on this request.
There being no further comments, the public expression period was closed.
IN RE: CONSENT AGENDA
A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the consent agenda as follows:
IN RE: RESOLUTION PPTRA BUDGET
Adopted the resolution approving the PPTRA budget as presented
RESOLUTION # 2016
(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator’s Office)
IN RE: TREASURER – CLOSE ACCOUNTS
Approved the Treasurer’s request to close the following project accounts:
The Stephens Sewer Extension Escrow Account
Lower Birchfield Water Project
Stephens/Guest River Interceptor Project
Bold Camp Sewer Project
Wells-Boone Sewer Project
IN RE: DISPATCH POSITION ADVERTISEMENT
Ratified advertisement for 911 Dispatch Position
The motion to approve the Consent agenda was unanimously approved.
IN RE: AIR MED CARE NETWORK MEMBERSHIP
Finance Administrator Cox recommended that the Board not approve membership to AirMedCare Network unless they agree to give a discount to employees. At this point, they have not given any discount.
A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to take no action on this request. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: VIRGINIA FEDERATION OF HUMANE SOCIETIES MEMBERSHIP
A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Steve Bates, to take no action on this request and have Attorney Mullins gather further information regarding this organization and its functions. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: RESOLUTION WISE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS FY 2016/17 BUDGET
A public hearing was held on May 26, 2016 for public input on the proposed Wise County Public Schools FY 2016/17 Budget.
There was no one to speak regarding the proposed budget.
A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to adopt the resolution approving the Wise County Public School FY 2016/17 budget by expenditure classification/category as presented. The motion was unanimously approved.
RESOLUTION # 2016
(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator’s Office)
IN RE: RESOLUTION WISE COUNTY FY 2016/17 BUDGET
A public hearing was held on May 26, 2016 for public input on the proposed Wise County FY 2016/17 budget. There was no one to speak regarding the proposed budget.
A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Robby Robbins, to adopt the resolution approving the Wise County budget for FY 2016/17 as presented.
Mr. Cox stated that he had not received any input from Board members for any changes to the proposed budget, for which the public hearing was held. However, he noted that the budget could be amended up to 1% without another public hearing if there was a need for changes.
Supervisor Luntsford stated that he would not vote for this budget since he had unsuccessfully pushed for restructuring the County leadership, the Triad, which includes the County Administrator, County Finance Administrator, and the County Attorney. The problem that has been discussed in and out of close session still exists, and the problem is being funded in this budget. He said he has been the most vocal about this problem, and voting for the budget means I’m perpetuating it. There still exists a problem with the Triad, and it must be fixed.
Supervisor Rivers stated that he was not happy with the handling of the budget. All departments did not come before the Board as requested to justify their budget. He opposed the opening of the convenience centers an hour later each day because it is very inconvenient for citizens dropping their trash off before work. That money could have been taken from another source.
Supervisor Shortt asked if the convenience center hours, a $40,000 cut, could be reinstated by using the $20,000 savings returned to the County by the Commonwealth Attorney to offset the $40,000 cut.
Mr. Cox noted that the $20,000 that was returned is in the County’s fund balance, and not slated to be spent in FY 2016/17. He also noted that there is nowhere in the budget to take the remaining $20,000 that is needed to make up the $40,000.
Supervisor Rivers felt the money could be used instead to offset cuts made within the County Administration.
Supervisor Bates commented that the Triad situation needs to be fixed. There needs to be a restructuring. The Triad is not working. The County needs one individual to oversee all county departments. He continued to say that we, the Board, have created a monster and we, the Board, need to fix it. Citizens already know the problem that exists. The Board needs to be out front with the citizens. In any organization, there has to be an administrator, a top guy, that’s over everybody or else you’ve got chaos.
Supervisor Kilgore stated that she agreed that the Triad needs fixing but did not believe it could be fixed. She advised the Board that she understood Virginia may not be able to provide the state compensation employees the 2% raise as previously planned. This, however, is contingent upon revenue projections for the current year, which will not be available until July. She noted if that were to happen, she felt the County should withdraw the 2% raise for County employees also. She asked if the motion to approve the budget as presented could be amended to include this verbage.
Supervisor Robbins was in agreement with the amendment to approve the budget as presented with the 2% raise for County employees being contingent upon the state employees receiving their 2% raise.
Aye- Dana Kilgore Nay- J. H. Rivers
Virginia Meador Fred Luntsford
IN RE: APPROPRIATIONS
There was some discussion on the appropriation set aside for the IDA that amounts to $128,500 annually, which Finance Administrator said is all taxpayer money. He noted that a portion of this was for salary.
Supervisor Rivers said he did not want to hold back salaries or anything to do with development. That’s important, especially at this point. He, however, has heartburn about doing anything with the IDA’s portion of the appropriations, but with the big deal that has been made about not getting a budget from the IDA; he felt that invoices should be provided for the amount allotted to the IDA to satisfy questions that have been asked.
Administrator Scott asked whether or not the IDA had been asked for a budget or invoices to justify request for funding. He felt the IDA was being raked over the coals or suggestions being made that the money being spent is in question.
Finance Administrator Cox said he had never asked for a budget but did ask for information as to how funds are being spent.
After further discussion, a motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to approve the 1st quarter appropriations as presented with invoices being provided by the IDA to justify its $128,500 appropriation. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: BUDGET AMENDMENTS
A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the following budget amendments:
#17 … $13,420.41
The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: APPOINTMENT – LONESOME PINE LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to re-appoint Jack Lewis to the Lonesome Pine Library Board of Trustees for a term of four (4) years. The motion was unanimously approved.
A motion was made by Virginia Meador, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to appoint Grace Bradshaw to the Lonesome Pine Library Board of Trustees for a term of four (4) years). The motion was unanimously approved.
A motion was made by Steve Bates, seconded by Bob Adkins, to re-appoint Lucius Ellsworth to the Lonesome Pine Library Board of Trustees for a term of four (4) years. The motion was unanimously approved.
A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Robby Robbins, to re-appoint Mary Lou Prior to the Lonesome Pine Library Board of Trustees for a term of four (4) years. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: APPOINTMENT – APPALACHIAN COMMUNITY ACTION & DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (APPCAA)
Fred Luntsford nominated Roger Ramey for re-appointment to the Appalachian Community Action & Development Agency.
J. H. Rivers made a motion that nominations cease and Roger Ramey be elected by acclamation. Dana Kilgore seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: APPOINTMENT – INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to re-appoint Deborah Baca to the Industrial Development Authority for a term of four (4) years. The motion was unanimously approved.
A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Virginia Meador, to table the IDA District 3 appointment until the July meeting. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: APPOINTMENT – SOCIAL SERVICES BOARD
A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to re-appoint Bobby Cassell to the Social Services Board for a term of four (4) years. The motion was unanimously approved.
A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Robby Robbins, to re-appoint Charles Bennett to the Social Services Board for a term of four (4) years. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: PINE CREST ROAD – TEMPORARY CLOSURE
A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Steve Bates, to approve the temporary closure of lower section (west end) of Pine Crest Drive in order to expedite the construction for the State Rte. 757 VDOT Project. The motion was unanimously approved.
It was noted that the local residents will still have access to their homes via the upper section (east end) of Pine Crest Drive as this is a loop road connecting to State Rte. 757 (Wise-Norton Road).
IN RE: MERCY AMBULANCE SERVICES
A motion was made by Steve Bates, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to table the request from Mercy Ambulance Services to operate in Wise County until a Need Assessment has been completed. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: CLOSE SESSION
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to go into close session as permitted by the Code of Virginia per the following Code Sections:
After close session, a motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Robby Robbins, to reconvene the regular meeting. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: RESOLUTION CERTIFICATION FOR CLOSE SESSION
A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to approve the resolution certifying that only public business matters lawfully exempted from open meeting requirements as were identified in the motion convening the close meeting were discussed or heard by the Board of Supervisors. The motion was unanimously approved by roll call vote.
RESOLUTION # 2016
(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator’s Office)
There were few comments from Board members.
Supervisor Robbins said he had a call regarding the visibility of the Danville Road Sign. He asked that the sign be checked for possible relocation.
Supervisor Meador asked if the County was aware of the changes in the FOI law.
Attorney Mullins acknowledged that she was aware of those changes.
A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to adjourn the meeting at 9:22 PM. The motion was unanimously approved.
ATTEST: WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk Robert R. Adkins, Chairman