The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Workshop meeting on Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County courthouse. The following were present:
Honorable Fred Luntsford
Honorable Dane Kilgore
Honorable Steve Bates
Honorable Ronald L. Shortt
Honorable Virginia Meador – members of said Board and
Shannon C. Scott – Interim County Administrator
Karen T. Mullins – County Attorney
Annette Underwood – Executive Secretary
Honorable Robert E. Robbins - Chairman
Honorable J. H. Rivers – Vice-Chairman
Honorable Robert E. Adkins
Steve Bates led in prayer.
All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
IN RE: SCHOOL BOARD ACTIVITIES
Dr. Perry, Superintendent of Public Schools, addressed the Board with a school construction update. A construction management firm has been hired to help with site analysis and to assist in the school construction phase. The firm has agreed to do this at-risk until such time that sufficient funding is in place. The site analysis will begin next week and as soon as negotiated prices have been secured from land owners, the site information will be released for community input.
Dr. Perry asked the Board to consider allowing the School Board to carry over any unused funds into its next year’s budget. At the present time, it is anticipated that there will be a $3,000,000 shortfall in the upcoming budget. It is possible to take care of this shortfall if the Board allows this carryover into next year’s budget.
At the present time, the School Board is looking at $500,000 that could be taken out of non-instructional things so the class rooms would not suffer. Other means would be to decrease the number of buses to be purchased and to delay some capital improvement projects for one year. Also, there is some hope for some stimulus funds from the federal government.
There was a general discussion on school consolidation and sports facilities for the schools. Regarding space for sports, Dr. Perry stated that as long as the economic picture is as bleak as it is now, they are focused on the instructional programming, but at the same time are making sure that there is adequate space to build the sports facilities. It is the ultimate goal that these new schools have all the sports facilities around them.
IN RE: COURTHOUSE INTERIOR NEEDS ASSESSMENT
Bill Thompson, representing Thompson and Litton, gave an update on the space needs for the courthouse. All departments within the courthouse have been met with to discuss space needs for their specific office with a projection of any future needs that are known at this time. The courthouse does have some functional areas that are not housed within the courthouse which include court services and the investigators. Off site storage has also been identified in several areas. Space for a second Circuit Court Judge has been identified as a need which has been approved but not funded. The security studies on the courthouse and recommendations from those studies have been reviewed and considered within the space needs. With all these needs being considered, it brings the projected square footage to 85,800. The existing courthouse space is 56,000 sq. ft.
One option to meet the space needs would be to consider the removal of the old jail. This property would be sufficient to accommodate the extra space needs for the courthouse if the Board chose to go in that direction.
Next month, the Board will be provided some diagrams of how these space needs can be met.
IN RE: PUBLIC HEARING – WISE VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed ordinance exempting property owned by the Wise Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. from taxation.
There being no one to speak regarding the proposed ordinance, the public hearing was closed.
IN RE: PUBLIC HEARING - FY 2008-2009 COUNTY BUDGET AMENDMENT
A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed amendment to Wise County’s FY 2008-2009 budget. The amendment is due to an increase related to financing capital purchases for an amount greater that 1% of the adopted budget for FY 2008-2009.
There being no one to speak to the proposed amendment, the public hearing was closed.
IN RE: PUBLIC EXPRESSION
Walter Crouse, a resident of District 4, spoke regarding the following:
2009 General reassessment
School Board consolidation
The spreading of salt during winter months and the effect it has on vehicles and the pavement
Block scheduling in schools and SOL testing
There being no further comments, the public expression period was closed.
IN RE: ROADS AND HIGHWAYS
Residency Administrator T. G. Branson gave an update on winter weather and snow removal.
There were few comments from Board members.
IN RE: CIP PLAN FOR WISE COUNTY
Administrator Scott reviewed and discussed the following CIP Plans with the Board:
Recommended Plan for Adoption (2010 – 2014)
Projects in which Wise County Board of Supervisors have some participation (2010-2014)
All Projects – Full Expenditures (2012-2014)
IN RE: VIRGINIA COMMISSION FOR THE ARTS FUNDING
Each year, the Commission for the Arts makes available application materials for a $5,000 Local Government Challenge Grant which is divided among the following organizations:
Appalachian Children’s Theatre
Lonesome Pine Arts and Crafts
Library Art Gallery
Appalachian Cultural Arts Council
The Challenge Grant requires a formal commitment from the Board before the application is filed.
IN RE: REAL ESTATE TAX INCREASE - NOTICE
Administrator Scott asked for authorization to advertise the Notice of a Proposed Real Estate Tax Increase and to set a public hearing on said increase at the March Workshop. He explained that the total assessed value of real property, excluding additional assessments due to new construction or improvements to property, exceeds last year’s total assessed value of real property by 114.98%. The proposed tax rate for FY 2009-2010 is 0.57 per $100 of assessed value.
IN RE: COURTHOUSE EXTERIOR CONTRACT (BALL CONSTRUCTION)
Mike Ball, representing Ball Construction, explained the courthouse exterior renovations project agreement which would begin on April 1, 2009 if approved by the Board. The cost breakdown of the project is as follows:
Base Contract $ 1,100,000.00
Add Option #1 $ 43,875.00
Replace cornices with reproduction
Metal work. Est. 125 LF @ $351/LF
Replace deteriorated cornice support framing
Est. 125 LF @ $40/LF
The contractor acknowledges that time is of the essence and agrees that the Wise County Courthouse Exterior Renovation Project shall be complete no later that 270 days after work is able to commence.
Attorney Mullins explained that she has been working with Mr. Ball regarding the insurance requirements, the liabilities and the indemnification language which will be added to the contract agreement. There will be some modifications to the agreement on the legal requirements and protections for both Mr. Ball and the County.
Regarding the funds for this project, Mr. Scott noted that a budget amendment has been approved in this year’s budget for $475,000 which will be sufficient funding for Mr. Ball thru June 30 and the difference could be incorporated into next year’s budget.
IN RE: BLACKWOOD ENGINEERING CONTRACT
Bill King, representing Thompson and Litton, stated that T&L has been working on an agreement for engineering services on the expansion of the Blackwood landfill. After several teleconference calls and meetings with County staff, several revisions have been made to the agreement. Mr. King reviewed several of the key assumptions associated with the project include continuing with the operation of the transfer station, the landfill will function primarily as a debris landfill, and will be designed to accept municipal solid waste. A major permit modification will be pursued for the entire phase 4 area, but only portions of that area will receive a liner at this time. At the direction of the County, T&L will design phase 4A for a life expectancy of ten years. They will also pursue the development of soil and clay borrow areas for use during construction of the landfill as well as operation.
Mr. King noted that the scope of work has been developed that is within the agreement which is for the preliminary design phase only. Nothing has been quoted beyond that for the reason being that there is not enough information available at this point to develop a scope of work for the final design or the bidding or the construction phases.
In this agreement, some support field and some aerial surveys will be made of the landfill area (some sixty acres) from which the configuration of the footprint of the liner system will be established. A compaction study will be done to assist with the estimating of the life of the landfill.
A series of borings in the proposed landfill area itself will be done to hopefully lower the sub-base to increase the air space. Recommendations will be provided on the earthwork construction as well as modification to the ground water monitoring system. Also, efforts will be made to identify some clay borrow areas. Plans are to conduct some extensive soil tests on two (2) selected sites and then make a determination as to the best kind of liner system whether it be the conventional liner as used before or an alternative liner. The objective is to find borrow sites that are closer to the landfill to reduce the haul distance, the risk on the contractor, and the price to the County. The liner itself cannot be built until 2010 because of the permitting time frame. However, it is hoped to assemble an early site package that will facilitate some grading and earthwork and possibly some utility construction in the summer/fall of 2009.
Meetings will be conducted with DEQ, Virginia Resources and CNW for the leachate. The Board will be provided an updated cost estimate and recommendations on funding.
This additional scope of work will take seventy days to complete for an estimated lump sum fee of $127,600.00. Of that, $57,500 is for soil testing and surveying work. These funds would be paid for out of the bond issue that the County would be pursuing in conjunction with this project. Upon the completion of preliminary design, it is hoped that if the early site package proves to be feasible, the design could be completed in June and bid so the County would be ready to construct in the middle of July.
Attorney Mullins noted that the contract the Board has been provided is complete and is being submitted to the Board for its approval next week.
Administrator Scott reviewed the payment schedule and funding sources.
IN RE: OTHER ITEMS REVIEWED
There were brief comments regarding questions being asked by Board constituents.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
ATTEST: WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk Robert E. Robbins, Jr., Chairman