Board of Supervisors - January 15, 2009 Regular Meeting

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The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Regular meeting on Thursday, January 15, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County courthouse.  The following were present:

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

ABSENT

Honorable Fred Luntsford

PRAYER

T. G. Branson led in prayer.

PLEDGE

All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

MINUTES

A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Steve Bates,  to approve the minutes as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  AGENDA

Chairman Robbins read the following items to be added to the agenda:

  • Resolution Authorizing signatures for check signing

  • Ratify appointment of Bob Adkins and Dana Kilgore/School Board Committee

Ronnie Shortt made a motion to approve the agenda as presented with the additions as noted.  J. H. Rivers seconded the motion.

Supervisor Rivers stated that he had received a letter from Jeff Salyers resigning as a member of the Wise County PSA.  The letter of resignation was read by Chairman Robbins.

Supervisor Rivers asked Supervisor Shortt if he would amend his motion to include this appointment as an addition to the agenda for consideration by the Board.

Mr. Shortt amended his motion accordingly.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION – BUDGET SHORTFALL/VACO TELECONFERENCING

The Board, by teleconference, talked with Mike Edwards and Dean Lynch, representatives of VACo, on the proposed budget cuts by the Commonwealth.  Some of the cuts would include public education, public safety and health and human resources.  VACo is focused on finding any way possible to free up money in the state budget without cutting to deeply into those key functions.  The five following budgetary recommendations were recommended to be sent to Governor Kaine and state legislators for consideration to alleviate these proposed cuts:

  • Rainy Day fund transfer

  • Ending Tax Exemptions

  • No new unfunded mandates

  • Taxing authority

  • Sales tax hike

Mr. Edwards noted that some counties have adopted the resolution omitting the last bullet.

IN RE:  REASSESSMENT/BOARD OF EQUALIZATION UPDATE

Commissioner of the Revenue Doug Mullins addressed the Board regarding the 2009 General Reassessment.  The Assessors have been fielding calls and conducting hearings for two weeks with some of the questions being answered by phone.  There were many increases and some decreases with some property changing very little.  Unless changes have been made to the property, the notice that was received by every real property owner reflected a value difference from six (6) years ago; not just from last year.  Any errors that have been made will be corrected.  Since the reassessment is now done in-house, staff will be available to make any corrections necessary.  They are bound by state law to make assessments at fair market value.

Five years ago the Board of Supervisors agreed to conduct this County’s first ever in-house reassessment.   The Commissioner’s Office has trained and employed a staff of local Assessors who have completed a National Training Program for appraisal: a USPAP certified Program.  USPAP regulations are followed by the Virginia Real Estate Appraisal Board and the Appraisal Regulatory Board.  The Assessors have developed over three years, a very detailed understanding of mass appraisal, which differs somewhat from a specific appraisal on a given property.

The decision to adopt in-house reassessment is projected to save the taxpayers of Wise County nearly $300,000 over the next reassessment cycle.  With the past two reassessment cycles, 1997 and 2003, the County saw an increase of approximately 60% each time a company was hired.  This reassessment had an increase between 14%-15%. 

Mr. Mullins provided a brief power point summary of general information about reassessment, particularly highlighting how the Code of Virginia requires and directs this process.

Mr. Mullins further noted that the Department of Taxation has been contacted to schedule training for the Board of Equalization members who will be recommended for appointment by the Board.

The Board of Equalization and its duties were discussed
IN RE:  PUBLIC EXPRESSION

Bob Harrison, a resident of St. Paul, spoke briefly on the reassessment that was done on his property and that of his neighborhood and the increases in the property value.  He commented on the many home foreclosures and the impact this has on the economy.  In his closing comments, he asked the Board to consider the condition of the economy when making a decision on the tax rate in March.

Harold Greear, a resident of the Pound area, addressed the Board regarding the reassessment and the difficulty in selling property in the Pound area.  He asked the Board to give some relief with a break in the tax rate.  He also cautioned the Board about being conservative in spending the funds that are forthcoming from Dominion.

Doug Strouth, a resident of Pound, addressed the Board regarding the recent reassessment on his property.  He has a house that has neither water nor electricity and is not fit to live in.  The house is to be torn down as soon as he can save enough money to do so.  It was assessed at $20,000.00 and labeled as a storage building.  He thought this to be unfair since the house was falling down.  Mr. Strouth said he would like some clarification on the method that is being used to appraise the property.

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

IN RE:  ROADS AND HIGHWAYS

Resident Administrator T. G. Branson provided Board members with responses on their districts needs from last month.

There were brief comments from Board members.

RECESS

The Board took a recess at 7:35 p.m.

The meeting reconvened at 7:45 p.m.

IN RE:  CONSENT AGENDA

A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Virginia Meador, to approve the consent agenda as follows:

IN RE:  PUBLIC HEARINGS

  • Set public hearing on February 5, 2009 @ 6:00 p.m. on a Tax Exempt Status for Fire Training Center Ordinance

  • Set public hearing on February 5, 2009 @ 6:00 p.m. on an amendment to FY 2008-2009 County budget

 

IN RE:  APPROPRIATIONS

Approved third quarter appropriations

IN RE:  REFUND REQUESTS – COMMISSIONER OF THE REVENUE

The following refunds were approved for payment:

  • Terry McKinney Trucking Co., Inc.                 $2,598.19

  • Verizon                                                                        $58,671.88

  • Alpha Natural Resources                                 $9,833.00

The motion to approve the consent agenda was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  VPI EXTENSION AGENT POSITION

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Bob Adkins, to authorize the Chairman to send a letter of support to the Virginia Cooperative Extension for the Wise County Extension Agent/Powell River Project Cooperative Effort and to advertise for the VPI Extension Agent position.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  CIP PLAN FOR WISE COUNTY

Administrator Scott stated that he has received some input from Board members which will be used in preparing a revised CIP Plan.  The Plan will include an estimate cost of the high school consolidation efforts should they be constructed, completed cost of the exterior courthouse should it be finished, and estimate for sewer, and interior upgrades associated with the Needs Assessment of the courthouse.  An additional Plan will be provided containing only those items for which the Board has dominion.  This will be made available for Board review prior to next month’s meeting.  This will be placed on the February agenda for consideration by the Board.

IN RE:  ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE PAYMENT OF COUNTY EMPLOYEE BONUS

A public hearing was held on January 8, 2009 for public input on the proposed ordinance authorizing the payment of county employee bonus as required by the State auditors.  There were no public comments regarding the proposed ordinance.

Administrator Scott explained the method used in determining whether or not an employee would be eligible for a bonus.

After discussion, a motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Steve Bates, to approve the ordinance as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

ORDINANCE #                     2009

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

IN RE:  ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES CONTRACT

A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to approve the Administrative Services Contract with the County’s current auditor, Larry D. Sturgill, CPA to review the County’s Internal Control structure and provide suggestions for improvement.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION REGARDING THE COMMONWEALTH’S BUDGET SHORTFALL

A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to approve the VACo resolution regarding the Commonwealth’s FY 2009-2010 budget shortfall as presented.

Several Board members were concerned about some of the language in the resolution in that the localities are expected to absorb the state reductions.  For the localities to meet these increases, it would require increased tax rates and cuts in services to its citizens.

A list of budget and revenue recommendations within the resolution for the 2009 legislative session was reviewed with concern for “bullet #4 and bullet #5”.

Supervisor Meador did not support “bullet #4”.

Supervisor Meador and Supervisor Rivers did not support “bullet #5”.
 
Chairman Robbins asked for a vote on the resolution as presented.

A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Steve Bates, to approve the VACo resolution regarding the Commonwealth’s FY 2009-2010 budget shortfall as presented.

Aye-    Bob Adkins                 Nay-    Virginia Meador
            Steve Bates                              J. H. Rivers
            Ronnie Shortt
            Dana Kilgore
            Robby Robbins
           

RESOLUTION #                         2009

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

IN RE:  RESOLUTION – ENERGY INDEPENDENCE PLAN

The Board was provided a five (5) minute DVD presentation on the T. Boone Pickens Energy Independence Plan Pledge which provided the Board with detailed information on Mr. Picken’s plan to encourage major changes toward cleaner, cheaper and domestic energy resources.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Bob Adkins, to adopt the resolution as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION #                         2009

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

IN RE:  ACTUARIAL SERVICES

A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Steve Bates, to authorize the County Administrator to advertise for RFP’s for Actuarial Services for the Wise County Board of Supervisors/Wise County School Board.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE: SIGNING OF CHECKS – AUTHORIZATION

A motion was made by Virginia Meador, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to authorize Bob Adkins to sign check until the signature plates for the new chairman arrives.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  BUDGET AMENDMENTS #26 THRU #29

A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to approve budget amendments #26 thru #29 as follows:

#26:  Source of Revenue – Unrestricted Fund Balance:  $7,000.00
         Expenditures: (3501) Animal Control (507010) Capital Outlay:  $7,000.00
#27:  Source of Revenue – Library of Virginia Grant:  $9,629.00
         Expenditures: (2106) Clerk of Circuit Court (505810) Grant Expenses: $9,629.00
#28:  Source of Revenue – State Technology Trust Fund:  $41,228.00
         Expenditures: (2106) Clerk of Cir. Court (505859) Technology Trust Fund Expenditures:
                                 $41,228.00
#29:  Source of Revenue – Unrestricted Fund Balance: $3,500.00
         Expenditures: (3501) Animal Control (503002) Prof. Serv. Other: $3,500.00

The motion to approve the budget amendments was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT PROCEDURES

Ronnie Shortt made a motion to approve the procedure for making appointments that are not set by statue.

Supervisor Rivers asked that this be placed on the February Agenda since the Board has not had ample time to digest the content of the proposed procedure.

Supervisor Shortt withdrew his motion for approval.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – LONESOME PINE YOUTH SERVICES BOARD

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to reappoint Joyce Diane McReynolds Caudill to the Lonesome Pine Youth Services Board for a term of four years.  The motion was unanimously approved.

Ronnie Shortt nominated Candace Shortt to the Lonesome Pine Youth Services Board.

Bob Adkins made a motion that nominations cease.  J. H. Rivers seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved.

Candace Shortt was appointed by acclamation.

IN RE: APPOINTMENT - PLANNING COMMISSION

Bob Adkins made a motion to table the appointment on the Planning Commission to replace Randy Rigg until next month’s meeting.  Virginia Meador seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Steve Bates, to appoint Jeff Cantrell to the Planning Commission for a term of four (4) years.  The motion was unanimously approved.

Supervisor Adkins voiced his praise and appreciation to Faye Barker for her commitment and dedication as a member of the Planning Commission in her efforts to serve Wise County.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – PSA

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to appoint Danny G. Mullins to the Wise County Public Service Authority for a term of four (4) years.  The motion was unanimously approved.

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Steve Bates, to appoint Bob Adkins to replace Jeff Salyers on the Public Service Authority for the term of his office.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – SOCIAL SERVICES BOARD

A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to appoint Danny Stallard to the Social Services Board for a term of four (4) years.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – TOURISM COMMITTEE

Chairman Robbins noted that Suzanne Lawson has resigned her position on the Tourism Committee and a replacement will be to fill her unexpired term.

Supervisor Rivers asked Attorney Mullins if this committee’s bylaws or if state statue allows for an exofficio member on this committee. 

Attorney Mullins said she would have this information to the Board at its next meeting.

IN RE:  CLOSED SESSION

A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to go into closed session to discuss the following:

  • Personnel – Section 2.2-3711(A)(1)

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

  • Legal Matters – Section 2.2-3711(A)(7)  as permitted by the Code of Virginia.

The motion was unanimously approved.

After a lengthy closed session, a motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by J. H. Rivers, 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 Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Bob Adkins, approve the resolution verifying matters discussed while in closed session.  The motion was unanimously approved by roll call vote.

RESOLUTION #                         2009

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

IN RE:  SEWER SERVICE AGREEMENT – TOWN OF WISE            

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to continue the negotiation of a contract with the Town of Wise as a result of the report from the Committee that was sent to the Town of Wise to negotiate the sewer service agreement.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  SCHOOL BOARD / BOARD OF SUPERVISORS COMMITTEE

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to ratify the appointment of Bob Adkins and Dana Kilgore to the School Board Committee.  The motion was unanimously

IN RE:  RESOLUTION – AUTHORIZING SIGNING OF CHECKS

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to approve the resolution authorizing the Chairman, the Treasurer, and the County Administrator to sign checks.   The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION #                      2009

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

COUNTY ATTORNEY’S REPORT

Attorney Mullins reported on:

  • The duties of the Equalization Board

  • HB 1637

  • The Special Called meeting of the PSA on Tuesday, January 20, 2009

RECESS

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to recess the meeting until Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 6:45 p.m.  The motion was unanimously approved.

ATTEST:                                             WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

 

____________________________    ______________________________________
Shannon S. Scott, Clerk                                     Robert E. Robbins, Chairman

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