Board of Supervisors - February 10, 2011 Regular Meeting

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The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Regular Meeting on Thursday, February 10, 2011 @ 6:00 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County Courthouse.  The following were present:

Honorable Dana G. Kilgore – Chair
Honorable Robert R. Adkins – Vice-Chair
Honorable Virginia Meador
Honorable Fred Luntsford
Honorable Robert E. Robbins, Jr.
Honorable Steve Bates
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

PRAYER

Kirt Dale, Pastor First Church of God, Norton led in prayer.

PLEDGE

All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

MINUTES

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

IN RE:  AGENDA

Supervisor Shortt asked that a change in the date for the March regular Board meeting be placed on the agenda for consideration.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Bob Adkins, to approve the agenda as presented with the additions as noted.  The motion was unanimously approved

ROADS AND HIGHWAYS

No comments.

IN RE:  DOMINION RESOURCES UPDATE

Mark Mitchell, Project Manager for Dominion, gave an update on safety procedures at the Dominion construction site and a status report on employment.  He reviewed the construction stages and the estimated target date for completion of the project to be in the fall of 2012.  Mr. Mitchell noted that working with the communities has been a rewarding experience for him.

PUBLIC EXPRESSION

Public expression consisted of comments on the following topics:

  • Consolidation, redistricting, renovation of all six high schools, unity among the towns & County, economic development, QSCAB Bonds, referendum to hear voice of the people, Committee of 100, increase in taxes, Economic Impact Study, funding from Dominion, safety issues with 2-on-1 site, must be good stewards of tax payers money, local composite index, decline in population, insufficient funds to operate six high schools, loss of jobs, smaller schools are better than larger schools, more use of Vocational Tech School, boundary adjustment, and loss of sports for some students if 2-on 1 plan is adopted.

The following individuals spoke during public expression on the topics as listed above:

Those individuals opposing consolidation are as follows:

  • Benjamin Baldwin, Appalachia                       Amanda Goods, Appalachia

  • Harold Greear, Pound                          Ron Flanary, Big Stone Gap

  • Elizabeth Jones, Big Stone Gap                       Glenn Sturgill, Pound

  • Charles Miller, Big Stone Gap              Mary Brown, Coeburn

  • Denver (Sug) Hall, BSG                       Susan Ray, Big Stone Gap

  • Marlene Bush, Appalachia                   Blaine Hall, Coeburn

  • David Gent, Pound                              Stacy Carson, Pound

  • Mark Hutchinson, Appalachia             Angela Honeycutt, Appalachia

  • Jim Scalf, Appalachia                          Terry Wells, Big Stone Gap

  • Jennifer Mullins, Pound                                   Sherrie Meade, Coeburn

  • Robin Sturgill, Big Stone Gap              Autumn Wells, Big Stone Gap

  • John Schoolcraft, Big Stone Gap         Connar McCoy, Pound

  • Jess Powers, Coeburn                          Berlin Porter, Coeburn

  • Eddie Kiser, Coeburn

The following individuals supported consolidation:

  • Mr. & Mrs. William Richard Green, Coeburn  Madison Lawson, Wise

  • James Lawson, Wise                                        David Bulk, Big Stone Gap

  • Bill Bevins, Wise                                             Dr. Means, Wise

  • Dr. Kilgore, Coeburn                                       Danny Stallard, Hurricane

  • Dr. Wheatley, Wise                                          Daniel Dotten, Wise

  • Wes Arney, Coeburn                                        Donald Purdie, Big Stone Gap

  • Dan Fast, Pound                                             

Drew Mullins, resident of St. Paul, asked to table & revisit for another plan.

Walter Crouse, resident of Hurricane, voiced his support for a regional school.
The public expression period ended at 9:25 p.m.

BREAK

The Board took a break at 9:25 p.m.
The meeting continued at 9:30 p.m.

IN RE:  CONSENT AGENDA

A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to approve the consent agenda as follows:

IN RE:  REFUND - COMMISSIONER OF REVENUE

Approved the refund to EQT Production Company in the amount of $9,843.39 for payment on vehicles that should have been paid to Dickenson County per request from the Commissioner of Revenue

IN RE:  ANIMAL CONTROL ORDINANCE PUBLIC HEARING

Set a public hearing for March 3, 2011 @ 6:00 p.m. on a proposed amendment to the Animal Control Ordinance

IN RE:  AUTOMOBILE GRAVEYARD/JUNKYARD ORDINANCE –PUBLIC HEARING

Set a public hearing for March 3, 2011 @ 6:00 p.m. on a proposed amendment to the Automobile Graveyard/Junkyard Ordinance

IN RE:  RFP FOR HAULING GARBAGE

Authorized advertisement for RFP for hauling garbage

IN RE:  RFP FOR LANDFILL FUEL AND TANKS

Authorized advertisement for RFP for landfill fuel & tanks

The motion to approve the consent agenda was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY RFP

Attorney Mullins reported that the RFP for the Economic Impact Study has been completed, advertised and posted on the website.  The deadline for responses is March 2, 2011.

IN RE:  DEBT MANAGEMENT POLICY

Supervisor Rivers stated that at the January meeting he discussed the Debt Management Policy at which time he felt the Board needed to revert back to the Debt Management Policy that the County had previously.  He asked Financial Administrator Cox if they did revert back what the limit will be for schools.

Mr. Cox said that it would probably be in the $55 to $60M range which is based upon the new Dominion tax base.

Supervisors Rivers stated that he still supports that but with the decision before the Board as to whether or not to fund and support the 2-on-1 that determines how much the debt management policy needs to be established.  Therefore, he made a motion to table any action on this item until next month.  Virginia Meador seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved

IN RE:  SPECIAL USE PERMIT – BUCKY & LORA CULBERTSON

A public hearing was held on February 3, 2011 to receive citizens’ comments regarding a request from Bucky and Lora Culbertson to establish a commercial animal boarding kennel on approximately six acres of land located at 5990 Powell River Road in Norton. 

There were no public comments regarding this request.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the Special Use Permit for a commercial animal boarding kennel as requested by Bucky and Lora Culbertson.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  RABIES CONTROL PLAN

Attorney Mullins explained that this is a Rabies Control Plan that is being proposed through the Health Department which brings the County into compliance and updates the County’s policy.

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Bob Adkins, to approve the Rabies Control Plan as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  REDISTRICTING

Chairperson Kilgore read a portion of the Freedom of Information Act which stated that a committee or subcommittee meet privately to make recommendations to the public body they created are subject to the freedom of information act and the public body must post a notice of at least three days before every meeting in a common & public location.  She said that proper notification was not given by the Redistricting Committee for recent meetings they held.  She, therefore, resolved the Redistricting Committee and appointed the whole Board of Supervisors as the Committee.  She suggested meeting on March 3rd at 5:00 pm prior to the Workshop meeting to review the redistricting maps.

Supervisor Robbins asked Attorney Mullins if notification had been posted.

Attorney Mullins stated that she was not aware of any posting that were done through her office or the County Administrator’s Office.

Chairperson Kilgore said she wanted to be notified of any subcommittee meetings so she can attend if her schedule will allow.

Supervisor Rivers stated that he has spoken to some of the Board’s leadership team in December to set up a meeting to schedule the conference room and to move forward with the redistricting.  At the first meeting, the four (4) members that were appointed to that committee were in attendance but the Press was not.  Regarding a notice, he did not know if a notice was posted in the Courthouse.  The second meeting the committee set up, he personally had a question in his mind whether or not the Press had been notified of the meeting.  He called and spoke with Steve Igo with Times News and the Coalfield Progress.  The Coalfield Progress did attend the second meeting.  However, he did not know if a notice was posted for the second meeting.  Mr. Rivers stated that the committee was not trying to avoid any requirements in the meetings that were held.

Chairperson Kilgore stated that she felt it best that the whole Board review the drawings prior to the March 3rd Workshop meeting at 5:00 pm.

Supervisor Rivers made a motion that the Board recess this meeting until Thursday, February 17 at 4:30 pm for the specific purpose of redistricting.  Robby Robbins seconded the motion.

With some Board members not being available on the 17th @ 4:30 pm, Supervisor Robbins asked for a friendly amendment to the motion to change the meeting date to Wednesday, February 16 at 5:00 pm.

Supervisor Rivers accepted the friendly amendment.

The motion was unanimously approved by roll call vote.

Chairperson Kilgore noted that this committee meeting would be held in the conference room of the County Administrator’s Office.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION – SCHOOL FUND/APPALACHIA GYM FUNDING

The resolution was read by Supervisor Adkins.

A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to approve the resolution as read.

Supervisor Robbins stated that for the County to move forward with this resolution without knowing the full impact consolidation is going to have on Wise County would be reckless on the part of the Board

Supervisor Luntsford read an article that stated --an overwhelming consensus among educational researchers is that the advantages of consolidation on academic performance and achievement are greatly outweighed by the disadvantages.  Results have pointed to a negative relationship between the size and the academic achievement.  All else held equal small schools have evident advantages for achievement.  To close a county school, is to destroy an institution that holds a community together.  It is to wipe out the one building the people in the community hold in common and in fact destroy the community…….

By this, Mr. Luntsford said that all the impact studies can be done but the information is already there.

Supervisor Bates asked Financial Administrator Cox if the County can maintain and operate six high schools.

Mr. Cox reminded the Board that when the budget was finalized last year it was with Dominion money and the cuts with the landfill costs that he was able to balance the budget.  The school system asked for $1/2M more than the County was able to provide.  He said regardless of what others say, the County cannot afford to fix the schools and operate them based upon his professional CPA opinion.  If anyone doubts that, they can get a professional to come into the County to check his figures.  Based upon the numbers he has run, the County cannot continue on this path.  There must be a compromise on some financial scenario that the County can afford and six schools is not one of those.  Right now, the County is funding twice what the SOQ requires, which is a little over $7M.  The County is funding almost $14M.  Surrounding counties are not doing that.  The County cannot sustain this through the years without a tax increase even with Dominion money.  He further noted other projects that are listed in the CIP Plan that are needed to be implemented also.

Supervisor Bates asked if that would be a double digit increase in taxes.

Mr. Cox said he would estimate between 10 to 20 cents increase, which would not be immediate. He noted that reassessment may take care of a part of that increase but cannot be assumed at this point.

Supervisor Rivers voiced his concerns on the wording of the resolution which related to the funding of the schools, therefore, he could not support the resolution as presented.

Supervisor Adkins stressed the fact that there are other projects that are needed in the County as well as funding for the schools.  However, the County should be good stewards of the new wealth from Dominion and use it wisely.

There was some discussion on the use of Dominion money and other funding sources to renovate/remodel the six high schools as well as other County projects in the CIP Plan.

Supervisor Bates made a substitution motion that the Wise County Board of Supervisors, recommended as an alternative to the current consolidation plan, commits the sum of $69M for a plan of consolidation that includes two new high schools on one site in the Wise area and a third new high school behind the current Powell Valley High School that would utilize the current gymnasium and auditorium after they are remodeled.  Bob Adkins seconded the motion.

After discussing the pros and cons of Mr. Bates motion, Mr. Robbins made a substitute motion recommending to the School Board to build a new school in Wise, remodel Coeburn, Pound, St. Paul, Powell Valley, Appalachia and a gym at the Appalachia Elementary School.  Virginia Meador seconded the motion.

Chairperson Kilgore made a substitute motion that the Wise County Board of Supervisors, as an alternative to the current consolidation plan, commit the sum of $69M for a  plan of consolidation for high schools to be established at the discretion of the Wise County School Board.  Steve Bates seconded the motion.

Supervisor Rivers voiced his concern that this is not the best for the County and he felt that everyone should go back to the table for more discussion to come up with a plan that would satisfy all the needs of the children.

The votes on Chairperson Kilgore’s motion are as follows:

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

Motion failed.

The votes on Supervisor Robbins motion are as follows:

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

Motion failed.
The votes on Supervisors Bates motion are as follows:

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

The votes on the main motion to approve the resolution are as follows:

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

Motion failed.

IN RE:  CREDIT RATING FOR WISE COUNTY

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to authorize the Financial Administrator to obtain a credit rating for Wise County.

Financial Administrator Cox stated that when he first came with the County and one of things mentioned was financial principles.  He mentioned at that time to get a credit rating for the County.  The timing is based upon the school bonds but he recommended that the County obtain a credit rating for financial benefits for borrowing money.  This could save the County money based upon the rating agencies looking at the County’s financials. 

Supervisor Rivers stated that the majority of the other surrounding localities do not have this bond rating but all have similar responsibilities.  If the County gets into a high school construction project that cannot be financed any other way than with bonds, then he would reconsider at that point in time.  At this time, he feels this motion is premature.

Chairperson Kilgore stated that the County can always go through the state but it is her understanding that the County can get a cheaper rate by going through this process.
 
Mr. Cox noted that it opens more options for better rates potentially but that’s not a guarantee.  However, this is the advice of his financial advisors.

Supervisor Rivers made a substitute motion to lay this on the table.  Virginia Meador seconded the motion.

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

The votes on the main motion are as follows:

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

Motion carried.

IN RE:  BUDGET ADMENDMENTS

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

#25      Unreserved Fund Balance                                            $75,000.00
            Professional Services – Anticipated expenses
            Required to complete the FY 2011 budget year                       $75,000.00

#26      Grant – Virginia Art Fund                                            $  5,000.00
            Discretionary Funds-Art Organizations-Wise County  $  5,000.00

#27      Miscellaneous Revenues – General Fund                    $  1,556.63
            Reimbursement from Virginia Tourism Corp
            Advertising                                                                  $  1,556.63

The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – BUILDING CODE AND APPEALS BOARD

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to re-appoint Terry Mullins to the Building Code and Appeals Board for a term of five (5) years.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – COMMUNITY POLICY AND MANAGEMENT BOARD

Ronnie Shortt nominated Brenda Lee for re-appointment to the Community Policy and Management Board for a term of four (4) years.

Bob Adkins made a motion that nominations cease.  J. H. Rivers seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved.

Brenda Lee was appointed by acclamation.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – LONESOME PINE YOUTH SERVICES BOARD

Virginia Meador nominated Nathan Owens to the Lonesome Pine Youth Services Board for a term of one year.

Ronnie Shortt nominated Candace Shortt for re-appointment to the Lonesome Pine Youth Services Board for a term of one (1) year.

Ronnie Shortt made a motion that nominations cease.  Steve Bates seconded the motion. 

After reviewing the definition of “student” as being a high school student, a motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to table this appointment.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – REDEVELOPMENT & HOUSING AUTHORITY

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to re-appoint Randy Carter to the Redevelopment and Housing Authority for a term of four (4) years.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA EMERGENCY MEDICAL COUNCIL

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Virginia Meador, to table this appointment until the March meeting.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  COMMITTEE OF 100 REQUEST

Attorney Mullins explained that there has been a request from the Committee of 100 that the Board allow a request be made for an AG opinion with regard to the composite index as to how it relates to the Appropriation Act, and to ascertain if the City of Norton were involved in consolidation would there be a requirement that the City status be modified.   She informed the Board that any requests for her to get an Attorney General’s opinion must come from the Board.
                                               
Supervisors Rivers stated that he did not feel that any action was needed on this item due to the action taken by the Board earlier in the meeting.  Since the vote failed to provide funding for high school consolidation, he felt that this was of no longer an issue.

Some Board members felt that it would be good to have the AG opinion that may be useful in the future.

Supervisors Rivers felt that this request was useless at this point in time and asked that the Board be provided a draft copy of the proposed letter that Attorney Mullins would be sending to the Attorney General to see how she references the request.

Supervisor Robbins made a motion to place this item in next month’s packet with a draft of the letter to be sent to the Attorney General.  Virginia Meador seconded the motion.

Supervisor Rivers said he felt that this request was premature and asked that the Board wait until discussions become serious between the City of Norton and the County on consolidation.

Attorney Mullins explained the procedure and the amount of time it takes to prepare a request to the Attorney General.

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

Motion failed.

The vote on the request is as follows:

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

Motion failed.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION – INCREASE IN SPEED LIMIT

After discussing the proposed speed limit increase, a motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to approve the resolution requesting an increase in the speed limit on US Routes 58,58A & 23 from 55 MPH to 60 MPH.

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

Motion carried

RESOLUTION #                        2011

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

IN RE:  MARCH (REGULAR) MEETING DATE CHANGE

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to change the Regular Board meeting date in March to Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.  The motion was unanimously approved.

BOARD COMMENTS

There were brief comments from Board members.

ADJOURN

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

ATTEST:                                             WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

 

_______________________________          ________________________________________
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk                                   Dana Kilgore, Chair

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