Board of Supervisors - May 5, 2009 Recessed Meeting

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The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Recessed meeting on Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County courthouse.  The following were present:

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

ABSENT

Honorable Fred Luntsford

IN RE:  BUDGET FY 2009-10 PRESENTATION

Finance Administrator David Cox provided a power point presentation on the proposed FY 2009-10 County budget as was presented on 4-30-09 with the addition of the following  four (4) proposals that would increase school funding:

Proposal #1:

  • Increase School Operating Transfer by $500,000
  • Borrow $500,000 to fund Health Dept. HVAC capital outlay
  • Increase Landfill Debt Issuance by $61,000 in order to have funds for debt service on Health Dept. outlay

Proposal #2

  • Increase School Operating transfer by $500,000
  • Postpone the inclusion of the Rails to Trails Project for $150,000
  • Postpone the purchase of the vehicles for the Sheriff’s Dept. for $200,000
  • Increase Debt Issuance by $150,000 in order to complete funding for the Health Dept. HVAC

Proposal #3

  • Federal Stimulus Monies have supported funding for schools & law enforcement
  • The Board could consider setting aside $500,000 in reserved fund balance for future school operating funds
  • Consider setting aside monies to fund future law enforcement needs when stimulus funds may not be available

Proposal #4

  • Use portion of general fund balance to fund schools

Mr. Cox stated that at the end of this fiscal year he anticipates a general fund balance of $13.47 million.  Of that amount, $4.47 million remains as an unreserved fund balance which is a requirement of Board policy as adopted on January 10, 2002, to keep 8.5% of its total budget as an unreserved fund balance.

There was some discussion on the proposals as presented.

IN RE:  BUDGET FY 2009-10 – SET PUBLIC HEARING

A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Virginia Meador, to advertise the proposed FY 2009-10 budget as presented on April 30, 2009.

Steve Bates made a substitute motion to advertise the budget as presented to include proposal #4 which would restore $300,000 to the School Board budget for School Operations.  Ronnie Shortt seconded the motion.

Supervisor Kilgore stated that the reasons she chose the budget as presented on April 30 which excluded giving the School Board $300,000 for Christmas bonuses are as follows:

  • The unemployment rate has increased
  • The State employees have received no raises in the past two years and have had an increase in insurance premiums each year and have not received any bonuses
  • Many lay offs in the State offices and other organizations
  • Employees salaries are being cut as well as work days
  • The estimates on revenues may not come in as estimated due to the economy

Ms. Kilgore asked that the Board be very conservative in spending until the recession turns around and no borrowing of money until the future is more secure.  If revenues come in as estimated, then around November another look could be taken at the finances and more funds released at that time if revenues are stable.

Supervisor Adkins agreed with Supervisor Kilgore in that there are so many uncertainties at this time due to the economy.  He agreed that the teachers should get a raise but now is not the right time and this sends a wrong signal to the County’s grant agencies, the State and other employees not receiving a pay increase.
  
Supervisor Bates stated that the County is paying for the increase in the insurance premium for its employees, which in a sense is a raise, but this increase has been passed on to the teachers.  He noted that the School Board was cut in its 2005 and 2006 budgets.  If the County can keep the School Board level funded, it will be beneficial to the students, and less money the County would have to provide in the future.  The $300,000 will provide a bonus for the teachers and not a step increase. 

Administrator Scott noted that the $1 million cut in the School Board’s 2008 budget was a reduction in debt service not in operations.

Supervisor Meador was concerned that with proposal #4 the County may have a deficit if revenues do not come in as estimated.
 
The vote on the substitute motion is as follows:

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

Motion carried.

IN RE:  PUBLIC HEARING – COUNTY FY 2009-2010 BUDGET

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to set a public hearing on May 28, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. to receive public input on the proposed County FY 2009-2010 budget.

Supervisor Kilgore suggested setting the public hearing at 5:00 p.m. on June 4, 2009 prior to the Workshop meeting at 6:00 p.m.

Supervisor Shortt withdrew his motion to hold the public hearing on May 28, 2009.

Supervisor Rivers withdrew his second.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to set a public hearing on June 4, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. to receive public comments regarding the proposed County FY 2009-2010 budget.  The motion was unanimously approved.

ADJOURN

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to adjourn the meeting.  The motion was unanimously approved.

ATTEST:                                                         WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

 

____________________________________            _______________________________________
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk                                               Robert E. Robbins, Chairman
 

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