The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Workshop meeting on Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County Courthouse. The following were present:
Honorable Dana Kilgore – Vice-Chair
Honorable Virginia Meador
Honorable Robert E. Robbins, Jr.
Honorable Ronald L. Shortt
Honorable Fred Luntsford
Honorable Steve Bates
Honorable Robert R. Adkins – members of said Board and
David L. Cox – Financial Administrator
Karen T. Mullins – County Attorney
Annette Underwood – Executive Secretary
Honorable J. H. Rivers, Chairman
Shannon C. Scott – County Administrator
T. G. Branson led in prayer.
All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
The following item was listed for addition to the agenda:
IN RE: ROADS AND HIGHWAYS
Residency Administrator T. G. Branson gave an update on brush/tree removal and disposal. This will be done only on highway R-O-W.
Several needs were presented to Mr. Branson for VDOT review and response.
IN RE: PUBLIC HEARING –SPECIAL USE PERMIT – WILLIAM KELLY STIDHAM
A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments regarding a request from William Kelly Stidham for a Special Use Permit for a private/family cemetery to be located on the ridge off Orby Cantrell Highway in Big Stone Gap.
There being no public comment regarding the proposed Special Use Permit, the public hearing was closed.
There was no one to speak during public expression.
IN RE: DOMINION ENERGY – VIRGINIA CITY CONSTRUCTION UPDATE
Mark Mitchell, representing Dominion Energy, introduced Preston Sloan who will be Station Director of Dominion Energy once in operation.
Mr. Mitchell said that the primary focus of Dominion is safety. After approximately 4,000,000 man hours and 1350 employees on site, there have been no accidents. Employees are provided with the correct tools needed for their specific job and there is training on the usage of these tools as well as continuous Safety Workshops to insure safety for everyone.
There are 1350 people on site at this time with that number to be increased to 1,600 later this year. The construction project is expected to go through mid 2012.
Another focus is local hires. At this point in time, there are approximately 456 people from the surrounding counties on site which is approximately 36% of the workforce. There have been several hundred people that have gone through training at MECC for specific jobs. The workforce and work ethic has been a plus for this area and a great resource for Dominion.
This past year, the permit for Curley Hollow was received which is the place where the on site ash will be disposed.
The overall progress of the project to date is about 58% complete.
Mr. Mitchell spoke briefly on donations that are made to specific needs within the County by Dominion and the support that has been given to this project.
IN RE: REGIONAL JAIL BUDGET UPDATE
Steve Clear, (title) for the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority, introduced Major George Emory, General Administrator for the Duffield Regional Jail.
He reviewed the average cost for housing an inmate per day at the Regional Jail, which at the end of June 2008 was $45.93. This number is driven by the number of inmates. The locality’s cost for operating was $11.18 and an additional cost of $10.00 for debt service. The Jail Authority borrowed almost $100,000,000 to construct the jail facility of which the State has repaid about $45,000,000 and the remaining cost is debt service that will be repaid over the next 20 years.
The average inmate days at the ending of June 30, 2009 for Wise County were 161 and 1,138 for Regional Jail. Wise County does have an increased cost this year to the Authority which is due to the increase of 31 inmates. The second reason is the state funding reduction. Up to this date, the State has been giving the Regional Jail $8.00 per day for inmates and once they are convicted that amount will be increased to $14.00 per day. The proposal from the House side is to cut the $8.00 per day to $4.00 and the $14.00 per day to $12.00. That is approximately $2,000,000 reduction in state revenue for the Regional Jail. The proposal from the Senate side is completely changing the funding formula. In addition to the House cuts, the Senate’s proposal is changing the amount of time in the jail from one (1) year to two (2) years. This will fill the facility much faster.
Mr. Clear explained that the different localities have sent resolutions to the legislators asking them to vote against this reduction in funding since this would increase the burden on the localities that are already struggling with the downturn in the economy.
He voiced his concern that since the state is not supportive of the jails that this will hurt the Authority’s bond rating which will affect the interest rate when borrowing money.
IN RE: SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK UPDATE
Edward Roberts, representing the Second Harvest Food Bank, provided an overview of the Food Bank and its purpose. Their goal is to eliminate hunger in Southwestern Virginia.
The Food Bank has many programs including Kids Café Program, the Backpack Program, and the Harvest Home Soup Kitchen that is staffed by volunteers inside the Food Bank’s Appalachian Distribution Center.
The statistics show that 1 in 5 children in Southwest Virginia lives in poverty and nearly half (44%) of all children in Southwest Virginia depend upon free and reduced-price lunches as their main source of nutrition.
More than 100,000 individuals are served every month by the Food Bank’s network of 340 partner agencies. For every $1.00 that is donated, the Food Bank can distribute 4 pounds of food worth $6.00. Last year the Food Bank distributed more than 13 million pounds of food and related products. The Food Bank serves more than 340 partner agency feeding programs in 26 counties and 10 cities in Southwest Virginia with distribution centers in Abingdon and Salem.
IN RE: CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS
The following items under the Consent agenda were reviewed:
Set public hearing (April 1, 2010 @ 6:00 p.m.) on a proposed ordinance authorizing the off-duty employment of the Wise County Sheriff’s Deputies
Set public hearing (April 1, 2010 @ 6:00 p.m.) on a proposed ordinance imposing financial liability for persons convicted of certain motor vehicle offenses
Budget amendments #16 - #20
Resolution setting the Property Tax Rates
Authorize Treasurer to open bank accounts for Stephens/Guest River Interceptor Project and Stephens/Guest River Interceptor Project – Retainage Account
IN RE: OTHER ITEMS REVIEWED
Five (5) Year CIP
Riverview Sewer Transfer
Landfill Engineering Update (Bill King Letter – T&L, Inc)
Resolution Supporting the Appalachia America Energy Center
MOU – Powell River Trail Project
Closed Session –Personnel and Investing of public funds
There were few comments from Board members.
Supervisor Shortt noted that he would not be present at next week’s meeting; however, he voiced his support for Nathan Owens to fill the vacancy on the Lonesome Pine Youth Services Board.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 7:20 p.m.
ATTEST: WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk J. H. Rivers, Chairman