The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Workshop meeting on Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 6:00 PM in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County Courthouse. The following members were present:
Honorable Dana G. Kilgore – Chair
Honorable Robert R. Adkins – Vice-Chair
Honorable Virginia Meador
Honorable Robert E. Robbins, Jr.
Honorable Steve Bates
Honorable Ronald L. Shortt
Honorable J. H. Rivers
Honorable Fred Luntsford, members of said Board and
Shannon C. Scott – County Administrator
David L. Cox – Financial Administrator
Karen T. Mullins – County Attorney
Annette Underwood – Executive Secretary
Robbie Fultz, Pastor, Freedom of Worship Church, Norton, led in prayer.
All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
ORDER OF CONDUCT
Chair Kilgore read the Order of Conduct for those in attendance at the meeting.
Administrator Scott asked for an addition to the agenda under Presentations to allow Angela Sproles representing the Appalachian Community Action & Development Agency formerly known as RADA to address the Board regarding a grant application.
ROADS AND HIGHWAYS
The following road requests were made for VDOT review & response:
Supervisor Shortt—Children at Play Sign & Speed Sign for 5025 Stonega Road
Supervisor Bates—Ferbie Road on MFBC –Clean ditch line
Supervisor Robbins – Lynncrest Drive, Coeburn – take into system
IN RE: APPALACHIAN COMMUNITY ACTION & DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
Angela Sproles, Executive Director, for the Appalachian Community Action & Development Agency, addressed the Board regarding an Emergency Solutions Grant for ACA&DA. This grant helps individual/family identify their financial needs and learn to better manage the resources they have. Due to the downturn in the economy, there has been a 9% increase in assistance requests. The grant amounts range between $50,000 and $100,000.
Ms. Sproles noted that the deadline for submitting an application for this grant is April 15. She asked the Board to consider this request at its meeting on April 14.
IN RE: FRONTIER HEALTH
Eric Green, representing Frontier Health as a Substance Abuse Director and Suzanne K. Quillen, Deputy for the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, provided the Board with an overview of the 30th Judicial Circuit, Judicial Intervention Program (30th JCJIP). This program seeks to help individuals with a substance addiction and to break free of the addictions and behaviors that have resulted in their involvement in the criminal justice system and in a reduced overall quality of life. There has been an increasing trend of a problem with substance abuse involving prescription medications.
The different phases of the program were reviewed and explained. This program would cut costs for incarceration and help the individual to develop accountability and responsibility for his/her life and overcome the drug abuse addiction that has him/her bound. The intent of this program is to decrease crime in our communities.
There is an increasing cost to incarcerate non-violent offenders. The cost per person is $53.00 per day at the Regional Jail.
The budget for this program is $177,537.00. Ms. Quillen and Mr. Green asked the Board for financial assistance of $15,000.00 to use as “start up” funding until the grants become available.
IN RE: NORTON COMMUNITY HOSPITAL ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY
Mark Leonard, CEO for Norton Community Hospital, and Professor John Smith from East Tennessee State University, made a presentation to the Board on the Norton Community Hospital Economic Impact on Wise County. An economic impact is the effects that occur when the level of economic activity within a specific region changes. These changes are measured in terms of changes in output, employment, labor income and value added. These changes were reviewed and explained.
Mr. Leonard expounded on NCH’s goals as follows:
IN RE: VDOT-------SECONDARY SIX YEAR PLAN
Steven Buston, Bristol District Planning & Land Use Director, explained that each year the Virginia Department of Transportation partners with the County Board of Supervisors to set the Secondary Highway Six Year Plan by prioritizing projects and distributing funding to them.
In recent years and again with upcoming FY 2012-17, State formula distributions for unpaved, primary, secondary, and urban roads/highways have been suspended. Available State funding instead is utilized to leverage Federal funding that is allocated to Virginia. With practically all State funding being utilized for leveraging of the Federal funding, distribution of State funding to localities by formula cannot occur. The only funding available for distribution this update is the TeleFee allocation. Alternative funding sources such as bridge, safety, or revenue sharing has to be used to build projects.
Mr. Buston provided a summary of active or future highway projects that are being developed in Wise County. This summary can be used to prioritize SSYP projects and fund projects that can advance to construction. Although there are no formula funds for distribution this year, approval of the County’s SSYP is necessary for distribution of the TeleFee funding and to keep active projects progressing.
He asked the Board to set a public hearing on the Secondary Six Year Plan at its meeting in May.
Administrator Scott advised the Board that VDOT has established the date of April 29, 2011 as the deadline for submitting the County’s Revenue Sharing Plans. He explained restrictions that have been placed on what is Revenue Sharing eligible. To be eligible, a project must be in the Six Year Plan or a part of the County’s CIP Plan.
He asked the Board to consider recessing its regular meeting on the 14th to April 26 in order to allow time for the Coal & Gas Road Committee to meet and adopt the Resolution regarding the County’s Participation in the Revenue Sharing Program for FY 2011/2012. The Committee will then forward the resolution to the Board recommending its approval of said resolution.
IN RE: PUBLIC HEARING –REDISTRICTING
A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive comments from citizens regarding two (2) proposed redistricting proposals for Wise County.
The following individuals spoke regarding the two plans:
Those in favor of Supervisor Rivers Plan are:
Those in favor of Supervisor Shortt’s Plan are:
Several of these individuals voiced their opposition to having a Supervisor at-large.
There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed at 7:45 PM.
Matt Skeen, a resident of Coeburn, discussed come of his concerns with a particular Board member regarding his comments after having a change of heart on the 2 on 1 consolidation plan. He read quotes from a meeting in Pound on February 6, 2011. Mr. Skeen was troubled in that no compromise could be made on a school plan.
Juanita Quillen, Susan Ray, Harold Greear, Ted Tate, Jim Scalf, Greg Bailey, and Stacy Carson thanked Supervisor Luntsford for standing with his constituents on the consolidation issue.
Mike Ruterford, a resident of Pound, voiced his concern with the loss of property value once a school is removed from its town.
The public expression period ended at 8:25 PM.
IN RE: CONSENT AGENDA
The following items were reviewed & discussed:
Resolution Recognizing E-911 Dispatch Telecommunicators
Appropriations (4th Quarter)
Resolution dissolving the Duffield Development Authority
Resolution – Wise Inn Redevelopment Project
IN RE: REDISTRICTING PLAN
Supervisor Bates asked if an existing redistricting ordinance would need to be adopted if the two plans that have been presented fail to be approved.
Attorney Mullins explained that it has been recommended from Division of Legislative Services that the Board would have to reaffirm the current plan if an alternate is not approved.
He asked what would be the next step if the existing plan is not approved.
Attorney Mullins stated that this would open up a challenge for elections under the magisterial districts or obtain a mandamus from the court to require this Board to take action. She said that she has been advised that the existing plan is still there but the lines become unofficial. The Department of Justice can be contacted if the Board cannot agree on a plan. However, they will not give an opinion unless there is an actual situation of needing to know how to proceed. She further noticed that it would not be required to have a public hearing on the existing plan since it is in place but a public notice would be required on any ordinance to be adopted.
There was a lengthy discussion on the redistricting plans and how each plan would affect the communities, towns, and the governing body.
IN RE: WISE COUNTY PUBLIC BUILDING SAFETY ORDINANCE
Supervisor Rivers stated that he does not support the cram plan and he will address his concerns of the public safety and health issues in the current three (3) larger school buildings. He said he would be prepared at the next meeting to make a motion that deals with the public health and safety of the buildings in which these additional students are being placed.
IN RE: SEWER USE ORDINANCE
This Sewer Use Ordinance was handed out for Board members to review prior to the next meeting. Questions should be directed to Administrator Scott.
IN RE: REDISTRICTING ORDINANCE
Attorney Mullins advised the Board that on either of the Redistricting plans that is being considered for adoption by the Board, if approved, must be done by ordinance, which will require a public hearing.
IN RE: GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE – NON-DISCRIMINATION
Attorney Mullins explained that the purpose of having a separate Grievance Procedure-Non-Discrimination Policy is to address the ADA Compliance issues with disability requirements.
IN RE: FUNDING FOR CONSTRUCTION OF NEW SCHOOLS
Chairperson Kilgore explained that she had asked that this item be placed on the agenda. She had hoped that since there has been so much talk about the County’s schools that the Board could come to a true compromise since the School Board has voted to place the smaller schools into the three (3) larger schools. Another fact is that Norton is willing to come to the table and talk about school consolidation that could obtain a five (5) or (15) fifteen year freeze of the local composite index. This would be good for the County and City since there is a chance of a $20-$30M savings. The County can financially build new schools and the School Board would be the one to make the plan not the Board of Supervisors, and this determination was supported by an AG ruling. If the Board does nothing then she felt that would be an injustice to the students of Wise County.
Supervisor Rivers felt that funding new schools is telling the School Board what to do and if this motion is made he will make a substitute motion to renovate the schools. He went on to say that the School Board has been requested to do some upgrades such as air conditioning, electrical, and windows because of the health hazards that have been in some of the facilities as a result of the heat. He said this Board has recommended to the School Board renovation
IN RE: OTHER ITEMS REVIEWED
The following items were reviewed:
Pump and Haul Permit
Appointment of proxy for Shannon Scott on Regional Jail Authority
Appointment of member & alternate to the Crooked Road Board of Directors
Closed session—Investing of public funds & personnel
There were few comments from Board members.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 9:43 PM.
ATTEST: WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk Dana G. Kilgore, Chair