The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Workshop meeting on Thursday, July 5, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County courthouse. The following were present:
Honorable Ronald L. Shortt – Chairman
Honorable Steve Bates – Vice-Chairman
Honorable Virginia Meador
Honorable Robert R. Adkins
Honorable John W. Peace II
Honorable Robert E. Robbins
Honorable Leland Branham
Honorable Fred Luntsford – members of said Board and
Glen A. Skinner – County Administrator
Karen T. Mullins – County Attorney
Annette Underwood – Executive Secretary
Shannon C. Scott – Assistant County Administrator
T. G. Branson led the Board in prayer.
All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
IN RE: VCEDA LOAN APPROVAL UPDATE
Carl Snodgrass addressed the Board with an explanation on the action taken by VCEDA regarding project activity in Wise County. At VCEDA’s last meeting, Wise County received approval for funding of five (5) projects.
Funding up to $5,000,000 was approved for further development of the Lonesome Pine Regional Business and Technology Park. Specifically for the Technology shell building in which Verizon is now located. That building is now called an Information Assurance Technical Center rather than a Data Center. The purpose of the loan is to build out the interior of that facility to house an Information Assurance Center for an unnamed tenant that deals primarily in federal contracts but can do commercial contracts too.
Approval was given for a loan of $1,200,000 for the purchase of wood working equipment for a project to be located in the Buster Brown building at Esserville.
A grant for $300,000 was received to relocate surcharge material located at the Lonesome Pine Tech Park.
A $39,000 grant was awarded for payment for the Economic Impact Study regarding the economic impact the power station may have on the economy of Wise County and the composite index as it relates to the school funding.
There was a $30,000 increase in the loan previously approved for Buchanan Pump Project located on Indian Creek. The $30,000 is for a Master meter which will provide sufficient water flow to the site. This deficiency was discovered after the previously loan was approved.
IN RE: SCHOOLHOUSE HILL TRAFFIC STUDY
Highway Residency Administrator T. G. Branson provided a power point presentation on the dangerous traffic conditions at Coeburn Primary and Coeburn High Schools.
IN RE: WISE COUNTY TOURISM COMMITTEE SUMMIT SUMMARY
Jeff Rolen, representing the Wise County Tourism Committee, provided a power point presentation regarding the Wise County Tourism Summit.
As a key component of the planning process, the planning team conducted a Situational Analysis to help determine the current situation of the tourism industry in Wise County. This required the Planning Team to determine tourism assets, target customers, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
During the second meeting of the Tourism Committee, the group focused on methods and techniques to improve the readiness of the community to improve tourism through communications, product development, and education.
The committee also developed a new mission statement, and goals to improve the tourism capacity for Wise County.
In summary, the Tourism Summit and Strategic Analysis revealed a disconnect between the tourism industry leaders, and managers (hotels, restaurants, attractions) and the tourism leadership (Tourism Board members, government officials) who make decisions on the tourism program, marketing and development.
The recommendations brought forth in this summary serve as a stepping stone to begin improving tourism readiness for the community and to increase quality service to visitors. There should also be frequent revisions and updates to meet the needs of the community as services are improved.
Mr. Rolen noted that a Tourism Director is needed to pull the tourism resources together and work with the different organizations to meet the goals and mission put in place by the Tourism Strategic Planning Committee. To promote tourism and to reap its benefits, a Tourism Director is a must.
IN RE: NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVE
Barry Firebaugh addressed the Board with a presentation on “Building Relationships Between Employers and Today’s Military.” The primary objective is to encourage employers to support the National Guard and Reserve.
Mr. Firebaugh spoke on the services of the Virginia ESGR which include consulting and support services, Ombudsman services and mediation, and provides for employer outreach.
The Guard and Reserve make up nearly half of the nation’s military force. Currently there are approximately 140,000 Guardsmen and Reservist on active duty with approximately one half of the fighting force in the Global war on terrorism.
The Five Star Employer Recognition program was reviewed which explained the many benefits the employer can provide for the Guard and Reserve member employees.
Mr. Firebaugh asked the Board to consider adopting a Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve at its meeting on July 12.
IN RE: PUBLIC HEARING – DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY/ SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens comments regarding a proposed Ordinance for the Disposition of Unclaimed Property in Possession of the Wise County Sheriff.
There was no one to speak for or against the proposed ordinance.
There being no public comments, the public hearing was closed.
IN RE: PUBLIC HEARING – CONDITIONAL CHANGE OF ZONING & SPECIAL USE PERMIT
A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments regarding a request from Tommy Muncy for a Conditional Change of Zoning and Special Use for property located off Orby Cantrell Hwy / Riner School Road in the Pound area for the purpose of constructing a tract for a commercial motocross / dirt bike racing track.
James Kinser, and Rufus Nichols, spoke in favor of the motocross / dirt bike racking track. This sport is being enjoyed by the community and surrounding area with no alcohol or drugs being allowed. Being a growing sport, this could increase tourism and revenue in our region.
Tommy Muncy, applicant, stated that he built the race track for his two sons but others quickly brought their children to use the track and its popularity has grown among the communities. Mr. Muncy is leasing 21 acres from Gregory Stanley to construct a tract for a commercial motocross / dirt bike racing track. The land is secluded from any homes and the rescue squad is available on race days. He asked the Board to consider his request for approval.
There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed.
IN RE: PUBLIC EXPRESSION
Jim Scalf, a resident of the Appalachia area, invited the Board to the Railroad Days that will take place the first week of August. He also asked for any funding that has been budgeted for that event.
Chairman Shortt advised Mr. Scalf that he needs to send a letter to the County Administrator’s Office requesting any funds available for Railroad Days.
There being no further comments, the public expression period ended.
IN RE: ROADS AND HIGHWAYS
Highway Residency Administrator T. G. Branson gave an update on bridge work throughout the County.
The resolutions “Watch for Children” signs on Rt. 637 on Right Hand Fork of Bold Camp and on Rt. 1403 Pendleton Road were reviewed.
The resolution Supporting VDOT’s proposal on traffic on Schoolhouse Hill was reviewed.
Board members provided needs in their district for VDOT review.
IN RE: OTHER ITEMS REVIEWED
First Quarter Appropriations
Statement of Support for the National Guard & Reserve
Resolution Adopting Emergency Operations Plan
National Incident Management System (NIMS)
Set public hearing (August 2 @ 6:00 p.m.) on a request for Conditional Change of Zoning and Alleyway abandonment
Authorize Treasurer to destroy paid personal property tax tickets – January 2000 thru December 2001 and Real Estate tax tickets – January 2000 thru December 2001
County Attorney’s Report
County Administrator’s Report
Brief comments were made concerning the 4th of July celebration and the upcoming festivities for this area.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 6:40 p.m.
ATTEST: WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Glen A. Skinner, Clerk Ronald L. Shortt, Chairman