Board of Supervisors - September 3, 2009 Workshop Meeting

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The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Workshop meeting on Thursday, September 3, 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, Jr., Chairman
Honorable J. H. Rivers, Vice-Chairman
Honorable Virginia Meador
Honorable Dana Kilgore
Honorable Ronald Shortt
Honorable Steve Bates
Honorable Robert E. Adkins, members of said Board and
Shannon C. Scott – County Administrator
David L. Cox – Financial 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.

IN RE:  AGENDA

The following item was added to the agenda for consideration at the next meeting.

  • Under New Business Add:  Powell River, Big Stone Gap, Appalachia Trail Project

                  ( Norfolk/Southern)

IN RE:  ROADS AND HIGHWAYS

Residency Administrator T. G. Branson provided a progress report on the J.W. Adams Elementary School Crossover Project.

Board members provided needs in their districts for VDOT review and response.

IN RE:  PUBLIC HEARING – ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT – WIND MILLS

A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens comments regarding an amendment to Zoning Ordinance #2-1991 to allow wind energy systems in the A-RR District.

Bob Spera and Walter Crouse spoke in favor of the proposed amendment.

There being no further public comments, the public hearing was closed.

PUBLIC EXPRESSION

Marlene Bush, a resident of the Appalachia area, asked if the County has a policy of transferring Wise County property to citizens.  There is an alley in Exeter that has been closed with two concrete barriers at the entrance, that were placed there by the County, which has blocked one individual’s means of exiting his property.  This closure has occurred because five families have signed a petition to have the alley closed.  That alley has been opened and use by the public for years.  The majority of the residents of Exeter do not want that alley closed.  There have also been other attempts to close the alley in times past.  Elderly people as well as individuals with health problems would need to use this alley if their means of access to their homes became blocked.  She asked for something in writing from the Board that property being transferred must first have a public hearing. 

Ms. Bush asked that a “Children at Play” sign be placed on Willow Street because there is an autistic child that lives on that street.

She also mentioned that it has been brought to her attention that elk is being brought into Southwest Virginia.  She was concerned that there may not be enough food to feed them.  At the present time, there are bears and deer coming out of the woods looking for food and elk would only add to this problem. 

The following individuals voiced opposition on bringing elk into Wise County because of disease, damage to farm property, damage to grave stones, highway safety problem, lack of food and their enormous size to name a few:

David Lawson
Gwen Fleming
Starling Fleming
Walter Crouse

Harold Greear addressed the Board regarding the following:

  • School consolidation

  • School sites

  • Safety issues for children being too close to the 4-lane

  • Wise Inn Project

Walter Crouse addressed the Board regarding the following:

  • Recycling facility

  • Wind mills

  • Coal energy

  • Green opportunities

  • Regional schools

  • Bear problem

  • Look outside box on consolidation

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

The Board took a brief recess at 7:15 p.m.

The meeting reconvened at 7:25 p.m.

IN RE:  PRESENTATIONS

The four (4) individuals that were scheduled for presentations at this meeting were unable to attend.  Therefore, their presentations will be made at the regular meeting on the 10th.

IN RE:  HEALTH DEPARTMENT HVAC UPDATE

Regarding the Health Department HVAC update, Attorney Mullins informed the Board that she has spoken to John Ponish regarding the update.  All documents have been completed and will appear in the newspapers for advertisement for the construction and bidding phase on the HVAC system.  All bond requirements have been met and all the specifics with ATS design have been completed.

Chairman Robbins stated that with this update from Attorney Mullins, it will not be necessary for Mr. Ponish to make a presentation at the next meeting unless he has additional information for the Board.

IN RE:  ALLEYWAY ABANDONMENT REQUIREMENTS

Attorney Mullins informed the Board that the County does not convey any property without a public hearing and all property owners are properly notified.  The County has met all its requirements for abandonment of open alleyways thus far.  The Building and Zoning Department do further checks as to whether or not there are any utilities, needs for access from the alley by the public or whether or not such an abandonment would land lock any property.   However, she will look into Ms. Bush’s concerns regarding the proposed alley abandonment in Exeter.  Attorney Mullins also explained the process for a “quickclaim” deed that states the County does not have any interest in the property and if they did there was no desire to retain that property.

IN RE:  OTHER ITEMS REVIEWED

  • Alleyway abandonment for Shane Tucker and Stella Collins

  • Proposed ordinance to clarify Section 1-5 of the Code of Wise County, Virginia

  • Agreement – Still Production (Wise TV)

  • Resolution of Support for the Establishment of National Recreation Trails & Rivers

  • Wise County Fraud Policy

  • Budget Amendment #4

IN RE:  MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING – RECLAIMED RESOURCES, INC.

Attorney Mullins stated that she did not have any new changes or modifications at this time to the Memorandum of Understanding with RRI.  She asked that it be continued and placed back on the agenda when appropriate if there are any amendments or changes to be considered.

IN RE:  ELK POPULATION

Supervisor Shortt asked that the County Administrator investigates the concerns of the Cattle Association and others regarding the elk.  He asked that the Extension Agent be contacted for information and a recommendation and also contact Virginia Tech as to their involvement with the elk.

Administrator Scott recommended a resolution of support or opposition to placing the elk in Southwest Virginia.

IN RE:  FACILITY FEE POLICY

Attorney Mullins noted that the Facility Fee Policy was addressed at the previous Recessed meeting and should be removed from the agenda.
 
IN RE:  POWELL RIVER, BIG STONE GAP, APPALACHIA TRAIL PROJECT

Administrator Scott noted that after months of negotiations with Norfolk/Southern, the price for the property has been reached.  The property is located between Appalachia and Big Stone Gap, which will make up the Powell River, Big Stone Gap, and Appalachia hike and bike trail. The purchase price of the property is $75,000 and will be deeded to the Wise County Board of Supervisors.  The assessed value of the property is $228,000.   The Board allocated $150,000 in this year’s budget toward this project.  Regarding the rails, the agreement states that the County will remove the rails and the railroad will take possession of them once removed. 

Supervisor Rivers asked that the Board be provided with documentation on this project prior to next week’s meeting.   

IN RE:  TRAILHEAD FOR HORSE RIDERS

Supervisor Shortt asked for a status report on the Trailhead for horse riders.

Attorney Mullins stated that the County is in the stage of having the Environmental Impact Study that was required.  To date, she has not heard anything regarding that study but will follow up.

BOARD COMMENTS

There were few comments from Board members.

Supervisor Shortt asked the County Administrator to check on the status of the cell phone towers in Appalachia as to when the service will be provided.  He and Supervisor Luntsford are constantly asked when this service will be completed. 

Supervisor Rivers asked that the debt service presentation and the School presentation on consolidation be combined into one meeting to allow more time for questions and answers.  He asked to entertain a motion to do this sooner than October, perhaps recess the regular meeting and dedicate that complete session to nothing but debt service and school consolidation with Dr. Perry and Ron Vicars being present.

ADJOURN

There being no further business to come before the Board the meeting was adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

ATTEST:                                             WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

 

________________________________        __________________________________________
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk                                   Robert E. Robbins, Jr., Chairman

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