Board of Supervisors - January 13, 2011 Regular Meeting

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The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Regular meeting on Thursday, January 13, 2011 @ 6:00 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County Courthouse.  The following members were present:

Honorable Dana Kilgore – Chair
Honorable Steve Bates
Honorable Robert E. Robbins, Jr.
Honorable Virginia Meador
Honorable Fred Luntsford
Honorable Ronald L. Shortt
Honorable J. H. Rivers – 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 Robert R. Adkins – Vice-Chair

PRAYER

Shannon Scott led in prayer.

PLEDGE

All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

MINUTES

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

AGENDA

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to approve the agenda as presented to include the additions as noted.  The motion was unanimously approved.

Supervisor Rivers asked that Board members be sent an electronic copy of any changes that are made to the agenda prior to the meeting date.

ROAD AND HIGHWAYS

Administrator Scott reported that the section of Hardy Hollow Road in St. Paul that was requested to be repaired was recently paved by VDOT.  A crack has occurred in the pavement and is being monitored by VDOT.

IN RE:  COMCAST PRESENTATION

 Russell Byrd, Service Director, and General Manager of Operations Dave Troxel for Comcast, addressed the Board with an update on Comcast’s services for Wise County citizens.  They explained the advances that have been made through new technology which will enhance Comcast’s ability to provide better services and offer more entertainment to its customers.  A simple basic package, which has been a main concern of the Board, is a part of the proposed changes that are forthcoming.

There was some discussion on the continued rate increases.  Mr. Byrd said these increase are due to increased cost for operations.  Chairperson Kilgore reminded Mr. Byrd that the last time he came before the Board he indicated that there would be a cheaper package for the elderly and that has not happened.  Mr. Troxel assured her that this is part of the changes that are being implemented and hopefully completed by the end of 2011.

Supervisor Rivers noted that he was aware of a monthly rate of $16.95 with approximately 15 channels that is available to citizens as close as Knoxville and wondered why the same rate was not offered to Wise County citizens.  Mr. Byrd noted that at the time the local cable system was purchased it was not set up to offer the lower rate package.

Mr. Byrd also offered their services for other functions/events in the County.

PUBLIC EXPRESSION

Donald Purdie, a resident of Big Stone Gap, presented a power point presentation on the local composite index for Wise County and the impact it has on the taxpayers of Wise County.

Supervisor Rivers asked that any time a power point presentation is made through public expression that it be retained on the County’s computer and a copy provided to all Board members.

Paul Carter, a resident of Big Stone Gap, addressed the Board regarding the following:

  • Raise the amount of tax exemption for senior citizens to $500

  • Board’s support of a study to expand sewer into all areas of Wise County

  • Increased revenue for county and increased value of property

  • Sewer service in the Baum Hollow area

Chair Kilgore explained to Mr. Carter that sewer falls under the function of the PSA.  At the present time, PSA is in the process of expanding its sewer services to other parts of the County.

Ted Tate, a resident of East Stone Gap, spoke on the following:

  • Asked the Board not to approve the Debt Management Policy that is before them

  • Opposed consolidation

  • Every community needs its high school

Harold Greear, a resident of Pound, spoke on the following:

  • Weldon/Cooper Economic Impact Study

  • Debt Management Policy

  • Consolidation

James Lawson, a resident of Wise, spoke on the following:

  • Weldon/Cooper Economic Impact Study

  • The AVRC Study compared with the Weldon/Cooper Study

  • Focus on bringing industry into Wise County for jobs

Billie Brown, a resident of Coeburn, spoke on the following:

  • Committee 100 & its theory on the use of the vacant schools

  • Funds for upgrading vacant schools

  • Consolidation

Millie Tate, a resident of East Stone Gap, spoke on the following:

  • Opposition to the 2-on-1 school consolidation plan

  • Cost of consolidation is not affordable

  • Transportation for children is dangerous

  • Asked the Board to think before they act

Greta Boggs, a resident of Pound, spoke on the following:

  • Debt Management Policy as presented

  • School Funding Resolution as presented

  • District One –Keep promise made when running for office

  • Opposed consolidation

  • Transfer of Principle of Pound High to Central Office

  • Appalachia Elementary Gym combined with Consolidation Plan

  • Deals have been made / promises broken

Walter Crouse, a resident of Hurricane, spoke on the following:

  • Need for a recycling center

  • Promote mandatory recycling

  • Other methods for disposing of trash

  • His plan for school consolidation

  • Safety issues with 2-on-1 school consolidation plan

  • Reduce school administrative staff to save money

  • Do away with the SOL’s in school to allow students to prepare for college

Glen Sturgill, a resident of Pound, spoke on the following:

  • Opposed consolidation

  • Involves safety issues in traveling to and from school

  • Some students will be denied youth programs due to lack of transportation

  • Students learn discipline when involved in youth programs

Flisha Hall spoke on the following:

  • Debt Management Policy

  • Opposed closing of six schools

Marlene Bush, a resident of Appalachia, spoke on the following:

  • Debt Management Policy

  • Appalachia Elementary Gym/ Separate from Consolidation

  • All schools should be treated the same

  • Sports

Connor McCoy, a resident of Pound, spoke on the following:

  • Debt Management Policy

  • Committee 100 comments

Elaine Lauvern, a resident of Pound and a former teacher at Pound, voiced her appreciation for the work and effort that Marcia Shortt has put forth in her job to make things better for the children.  Ms. Lauvern and other teachers encouraged Ms. Shortt to go to the Central Office where she could make a difference for all the children.  The job came available at the Central Office and Ms. Shortt applied and on her own merits was chosen for the job. 

Doug Strouth encouraged the Board to vote against consolidation and the Debt Management Policy that is before them.

There being no further comments, the public expression period was closed at 7:30 p.m.

BREAK

The Board took a break at 7:30 p.m.
The meeting reconvened at 7:37 p.m.

IN RE:  CONSENT AGENDA

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Steve Bates, to approve the consent agenda as follows:

IN RE:  SPECIAL USE PERMIT

Set public hearing February 3, 2011 @ 6:00 p.m. on a proposed Special Use Permit for Bucky & Lora Culbertson

IN RE:  APPROPRIATION – THIRD QUARTER

Approved the Third Quarter Appropriations
IN RE:  SIGNING OF CHECKS

Authorize former Chairman J. H. Rivers to sign checks during the month of January 2011

The motion to approve the consent agenda was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION INDEPENDENT REVIEW-EXPENSES & REVENUES OF WISE COUNTY

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to table the resolution on independent review of expenses and revenues of Wise County.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION –RESTRUCTURING OF VA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Virginia Meador, to lay the resolution concerning the restructuring of VA Cooperative Extension on the table.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  E-911 ROAD NAME ADDITION

A public hearing was held on January 6, 2011 to receive public input regarding a proposed E-911 road name addition as follows:

  • Swamp Road – located off N Inman St. in Appalachia that was submitted by residents. 

There was no opposition to the proposed name.

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the E-911 road name addition (Swamp Road) as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  ORDINANCE-- FLOOD PLAIN ZONING ORDINANCE

A public hearing was held on January 6, 2011 to receive public input regarding a proposed Flood Plain Zoning Ordinance.  There was no opposition to the proposed ordinance.

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the Flood Plain Zoning Ordinance as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

ORDINANCE #                     2011

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

IN RE:  RABIES CONTROL PLAN

Attorney Mullins stated that the Board will be asked to set a public hearing to bring the animal control ordinance up to date.  No action is needed at this time.

IN RE:  PINE MOUNTAIN TRAIL

Administrator Scott provided a status report on the Pine Mountain Trail Project at the Workshop. No action needed.

IN RE:  SEWER USE ORDINANCE UPDATE

An update and discussion on the Sewer Use Ordinance was given at the Workshop.  No action is needed.

IN RE:  ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY

Supervisor Robbins stated that he wanted an economic impact study done to show how consolidation would impact the towns, locally owned businesses, and Wise County adversely.  He asked that it be done by an independent group with no interest in Wise County and with factual figures which would provide information for the Board in making its decision.  This study he said would show that the Board is being good stewards of taxpayers’ money.

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to advertise for RFP’s for an Economic Impact Study on how consolidation will impact Wise County.

Supervisor Bates stated that the School Board is having an Economic Impact Study done and it would be redundant and costly to pay for another study.

Supervisor Rivers voiced concern that someone has made a determination that there will be no negative impact on the towns.  Because of this, he feels that another study is needed for more factual information.

Supervisor Meador was concerned that since the Board has more responsibility in this matter than the School Board she felt that the more information that is available will allow the Board to make a better decision.  

Supervisor Luntsford suggested getting an independent review from Virginia Tech.

There was some discussion on the time frame of getting the RFP advertised and the time frame for a response.

Attorney Mullins explained that there is no advertisement period requirement; only reasonable time.  She reviewed all the steps that must be taken to complete this process which her guess would be a three (3) to six (6) months turn-a-round. 

There was discussion on the possible cost of this study, and the most economical avenue.

Supervisor Robbins stated that he would be in favor of sending an RFP to Virginia Tech but also to the private sector.

The votes to advertise for RFP’s for an Economic Impact Study are as follows:

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

Motion carried.
IN RE:  FISCAL AGENT FOR REGIONAL GIS GRANT

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Steve Bates, that Wise County be fiscal agent for the Regional GIS Grant if awarded.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPALACHIA GYM FUNDING

Supervisor Luntsford explained that in the past few days he has done some research to find out exactly where the status of the Appalachia Elementary School is in regard to a couple of items that were promised to occur. 

One promise was to meet with the community for input as to the actual construction of the gym, its location, and its contents. 

The other item was to allow T&L to begin the actual design of the gym.  To date, neither of those two items has occurred.  He spoke with the School Administration at which time an explanation was given as to why neither of these two items has been addressed.  Mr. Lunsford explained to the Superintendent that he felt these two items should be addressed before he makes any commitment on the gym funding or any item attached to the funding for the gym.  Due to the fact that these two items have not been addressed, he said that at this point in time he is not ready to vote on any funding with regard to the Appalachia Elementary Gym or any attachment to the gym.

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford to table or delay any action that would affect the funding and/or the construction of the Appalachia Elementary School Gym until the next voting meeting.  Ronnie Shortt seconded the motion.

Supervisor Rivers asked about the document that was given to the Board at the Workshop meeting regarding funding for the 2-on-1 school combined with the Appalachia Elementary Gym for a total of $69M.  He thought this would be an agenda item for this meeting.

Chair Kilgore explained that the resolution was given to Board members for information only,   which would be available for Mr. Luntsford if he were to make a motion for funding on the Appalachia Elementary Gym.

The votes for tabling this item until next month were unanimously approved.

IN RE:  BUDGET AMENDMENTS

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to approve the following budget amendments:

#19      USCA-NRCS EWP (Emergency Watershed Protection)                       $44,736.00

            Grant Expenses                                                                                    $44,736.00
`           EWP Federal Funds previously approved by BOS-Grant Funds
            This amendment records the budget for the revenue

#20      State Reimbursement Clerk of Court                                       $37,393.00
            Technology Trust Funds                                                          $37,393.00
            Technology Funds to be received from Comp Bd
            Letter from Melanie Salyer, Deputy Clerk

#21      Sheriff Grant Funds – COPVU Video Recorders                                 $  2,921.00
            Grant Expenses                                                                                    $  2,921.00
            Per email Gene Vanover Request

#22      DMV STOP Administrative Charges-Fees collected from DMV          $  1,180.00
            (Funds not included in FY 11 Revenue budget)
            Office Supplies                                                                                    $  1,180.00
            Letter request from Treasurer

#23      Sheriff Grant Funds – DMV Grant                                          $17,400.00
            Grant Expenses                                                                                    $17,400.00
            Per Email Gene Vanover request – Grant awarded
            Funds spent, will be reimbursed through grant

#24      Debt Service Courthouse Maintenance – Budget Adj.             $15,000.00
           
            Capital Outlay – Building & Zoning Budget Adj.                     $16,000.00

            Capital Outlay – Maintenance                                                  $31,000.00

            Transfer of budgeted dollars – No total budget affect

The motion to approve the budget amendments was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  CNW EXPANSION

Administrator Scott stated that there has been some discussion between participants of CNW and the CNW Director regarding the proposed expansion.  The City of Norton has formally asked for about 865,000 gallons of the new 2,000,000 gallons should the plant expand.  It has been assumed that there will be similar requests for additional capacity by the other two current participants in the CNW being the Town of Wise and the Town of Coeburn.  Mr. Scott asked for authority from the Board to write a letter to the CNW asking that Wise County be granted an additional 700,000 gallons in addition to the 400,000 gallons the County currently has for a total of 1.1 million gallons of treatment capacity, plus any other that the other participants do not take.

Mr. Scott explained that Wise County is asking for 35% of the additional capacity.  The upgrade cost for the project is estimated to cost approximately $11.5 million, and the County’s 35% of that cost would be approximately $4.25 million over a period of 20 years for a cost of $196,000 per year.  These are estimated figures only on the part of Mr. Scott, Financial Administrator David Cox, and Bill Skeen the engineer.

Mr. Scott noted that this is not a part of the CIP Plan approved by the Board.  This matter had not yet been born at the time the CIP was approved last year.  This will be placed on the upcoming CIP Plan for Board consideration.  The other three (3) participants Coeburn, Norton and Wise are currently disbursing money as a part of their cash flow for the 20 year debt that started in 1988 at which time the County did not participate. This $196,000 per year will be new money for Wise County.  The cost for increased expansion on part of the other participants will not be new cash flow money.  They will be using money that was previously committed on their debt service for the past 20 years. 

Supervisor Rivers spoke on the need for infrastructure within Wise County which will allow economic increase in Wise County.  The motion that has been requested by Mr. Scott will increase the County’s involvement in sewer for Coeburn, Norton, and Wise but leaves out other areas in the County.  He asked that the Board include an appropriate amount of money for the rest of the County in the CIP Plan. 

Financial Administrator Cox stated that in last year’s CIP Plan, $9M was included for water & sewer expansion, which was designated for any special sewer or water project.

Supervisor Rivers asked how much money was left for other projects after St. Paul

Bill Skeen, representing Maxim Engineering, explained that he spoke to Mark Holyfield today and asked if the formula for distributing that cost would be based on if the County is at 1.1M of a total of six (6)  which is 18% would be ½ of the 35%.  However, that decision has not been made.  That will probably be on the CNW’s February agenda for discussion.  There is a possibility that instead of buying in at 400,000 it will be closer to 200,000 if they distribute those costs based on the 1.1M as a percentage of .6 rather than .7 at 200,000.
     
Regarding sewer taps, Mr. Scott stated that it is hopeful that once the County becomes a full pledged participant in CNW the County will not have any tap limitations.

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to authorize the County Administrator to write a letter to the CNW Director stating that Wise County would desire an expansion of their current sewer capacity of 400,000 gallons to be increased to 1.1 million gallons and should there be any additional capacity available that the County be allowed to consider receiving additional capacity.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – COMMUNITY POLICY AND MANAGEMENT BOARD

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to appoint Cynthia Jessee to the Community Policy Management Board for a term of four (4) years.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – LONESOME PINE LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to appoint Mary Lou Prior to fill the unexpired term of Iloe Read Stallard on the  Lonesome Pine Library Board of Turstees.

With this being a District 4 appointment, Mr. Shortt withdrew his motion.  Dana Kilgore withdrew her second.

Supervisor Robbins made a motion to appoint Hugh O’Donnel to fill the unexpired term of Iloe Read Stallard on the Lonesome Pine Library Board of Trustees. J. H. Rivers seconded the motion.

Supervisor Kilgore made a substitute motion to appoint Mary Lou Prior to fill the unexpired term of Iloe Read Stallard on the Lonesome Pine Library Board of Trustees.  Ronnie Shortt seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  AGENDA – AMENDMENT

Supervisor Luntsford noted that Elaine Swinney, a member on the Wise County Tourism Committee, (District 1 appointment) has resigned due to health reasons.  He asked the Board to consider placing this appointment on the agenda for consideration.

Attorney Mullins stated that a motion would be needed to make an amendment to the agenda before this item could be addressed.

Supervisor Rivers made a motion to set aside the rules to amend the agenda to allow an appointment to the Wise County Tourism Committee.  Ronnie Shortt  seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – WISE COUNTY TOURISM COMMITTEE

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to appoint April Burke to fill the unexpired term of Elaine Swinney on the Wise County Tourism Committee.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  DEBT  MANAGEMENT POLICY AMENDMENT

Chair Kilgore stated that it is not necessary to vote on this item because it has already been adopted by the Board at a previous meeting.

Attorney Mullins explained that the Board approved a resolution in May 2002 adopting the Debt Management Policy.  For clarification and for indexing purposes, the Debt Management Policy has been placed on the agenda for approval as a separate item for future reference even though it was referenced in the resolution.  The policy was amended on November 12, 2009.

Supervisor Rivers said he would like to re-visit the Debt Management Policy because the current limit is too much and too high.  He is not satisfied with the current amount and the way it was determined.

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to table this item and place it on the February agenda.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – REGIONAL 911 COMMITTEE

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Steve Bates, to appoint Bob Adkins as a representative for Wise County on the Regional 911 Committee since he is the Director of EOC.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION SUPPORTING FOOD SUPPLY ANIMAL VETERINARIAN

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to approve the resolution supporting food supply animal veterinarian.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION #                              2011

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

IN RE:  RESOLUTION FOUNDING THE SISTER COUNTIES IN STEM ROCKET SCIENCE

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to approve the Resolution Founding the Sister Counties in STEM Rocket Science.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION #                              2011

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

IN RE:  RESOLUTION – DANGER OF SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Virginia Meador, to approve the resolution acknowledging the danger of synthetic marijuana.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION #                       2011

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

IN RE:  LENOWISCO RURAL TRANSPORTATION LONG RANGE PLAN

Administrator Scott noted that this item was discussed at the Workshop and does not require any action by the Board.

IN RE:  TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN

Chairperson Kilgore stated that she and Vice-Chairman Bob Adkins will be out of town for the February Workshop.  She asked for a motion to appoint a temporary chairman for the February Workshop meeting.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to appoint Fred Luntsford as temporary chairman for the February 3, 2011 Board of Supervisors Workshop meeting.  The motion was unanimously approved.

FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATOR REPORT

Financial Administrator David Cox spoke on the following:

  • Audit presentation

  • CIP input

  • Debt Management Policy

COUNTY ATTORNEY REPORT

Attorney Mullins asked for clarification on the wording for the RFP on the Economic Impact Study as it relates to consolidation.

Supervisor Robbins asked that it mention the effects consolidation will have on different communities, the towns and Wise County as a whole.

COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT

Administrator Shannon Scott spoke on the following:

  • Itinerary for Richmond Trip

  • Need for a Strategic Plan for Wise County

  • Plans for updating the Comprehensive Plan

BOARD COMMENTS

Supervisor Rivers spoke on consolidation of schools, and the Debt Management Policy.

He alluded to the Davenport report that was presented to the Board on November 5, 2009 referencing the County’s debt management review.   Mr. Rose noted in his presentation that based on conservative estimates, it seems that the County could reasonably borrow $4.5M. to $52M for the schools with no revenue from the power plant until 2013 and no tax increase for 10 years with an additional $24M for CIP projects.  In this presentation, Mr. Rose noted that the County should establish a capital reserve fund up to $10M. 

He referenced the November 12, 2009 minutes of the Board referencing funds that could be allocated to the schools in the amount of $50M with no tax increase and funds remaining for other CIP projects.

Mr. Rivers informed the Board that when the Debt Management Policy comes back before the Board he will make a motion to limit the percentage of debt on the assessed value not to exceed 2 ½%.  This will allow approximately $54 - $57M for schools.

He reviewed the School Board minutes of January 14, 2008 in which Director of School Transportation & Maintenance Greg Mullins, informed the school board that annual transportation cost is currently at $1.4M per year and would increase.  Three high schools would increase transportation to approximately $500 per day.  For two high schools it would increase to $1,200 per day.  For one high school it would be increased to $1,700 per day.

He reviewed the School Board minutes of April 30, 2007 regarding the maximum literary loan debt per division was $20M.  Ron Vicars, Director of Finance, in those minutes stated that in the next few years Wise County would only have three loans on the books.

Mr. Rivers stated that the County already has some literary loan indebtness.  He asked what is the County’s limit  --what is the maximum amount the County can receive.

He further spoke on the status of the literary loan applications that was submitted noting that Wise County is not on the list at this time.   

The next topic was economic development.  Mr. Rivers stated that he, as one Supervisor, was not willing to close five high schools and hope that they can be converted to some other use for economic development.  He said to convert them to usable high schools and keep them in each community.

 Supervisor Shortt spoke out against the negative remarks that were made about his wife receiving a job at the Central Office. 

Supervisor Bates voiced his disappointment with some of those individuals in the audience that were rude and disrespectful to Board members that were making their comments or giving their thoughts on a topic being discussed.  He said that public expression is being abused.  It is not on the agenda for name calling, belittling individuals or making light of someone.  Public expression is for the people to bring their needs before the Board and to give insight on ideas they may have to improve our County.

ADJOURN

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Steve Bates, to adjourn the meeting.  The motion was unanimously approved.

ATTEST:                                                         WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

 

____________________________________            ______________________________________
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk                                               Dana G. Kilgore, Chair

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