Board of Supervisors - June 14, 2012 Regular Meeting

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The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Regular meeting on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 6:00 PM in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County Courthouse.  The following members were present:

Honorable Robert R. Adkins – Chairman
Honorable Virginia Meador – Vice-Chair
Honorable Dana Kilgore
Honorable Robert E. Robbins, Jr.
Honorable J. H. Rivers
Honorable Fred Luntsford
Honorable Ronald L. Shortt – members of said Board and
Shannon C. Scott – County Administrator
David L. Cox – Finance Administrator
Karen T. Mullins – County Attorney
Annette Underwood – Executive Secretary

ABSENT

Honorable Steve Bates

PRAYER

Jim Collie, Retired Minister, led in prayer.

PLEDGE

All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

MINUTES

A motion was made by Virginia Meador, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the minutes as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

AGENDA

The following item was added to the agenda for consideration by the Board:

  • Appalachia Fire Dept. request for additional funding

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

ROADS & HIGHWAYS

Supervisor Robbins voiced his appreciation to VDOT for repairing the road leading to the High Knob Tower.

Supervisor Rivers stated that there is a deep drop-off on the Powell Valley Road located near the Presbyterian Church.  He asked that a guardrail be place there if possible.  Also on Rt. 610, visibility continues to be a problem with the heavy fog.

IN RE:  PUBLIC HEARING MINERAL SEVERANCE LICENSE TAX ORDINANCE

A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed amendment to the Mineral Severance License Tax Ordinance #1-2012.

There being no one to speak, the public hearing was closed.

IN RE:  PUBLIC HEARING COUNTY FY 2012/13 BUDGET

A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments regarding the proposed County FY 2012/13 Budget.

There being no one to speak, the public hearing was closed.

PUBLIC EXPRESSION

Ron Stidham, Developer of Bear Creek Subdivision, addressed the Board regarding the $7,500.00 Utility Fee and how this fee affects him as a developer.  Mr. Stidham explained that he had laid a mile of his own 8” water line and almost a mile of sewer line with fire hydrant for a cost of $3M plus and gave to Town of Wise.  He now has fifty lots with water and sewer available but unable to sell because of high utility fee.  He asked the Board to find some reasonable solution to solve this problem, which will allow housing to continue.  This fee has stopped citizens from buying or building.

Bill Skeen, on behalf of Mountain Meadow Subdivision, read a letter from Milas Franks, President of Mountain Meadow Subdivision, asking the Board to reconsider its vote on the $7,500.00 connection fee for water and sewer services, which has stopped residential development.  He further detailed the investments that Mountain Meadow Developers has put into developing the subdivision which was based upon the agreement between the Town of Wise and the County regarding the utility fee.  The advantages of increasing the tax base revenue and providing ready sites for needed housing are evident.

David Gent, a resident of Pound, voiced his concern with the school consolidation and the rumors about Dr. Perry’s comments regarding Norton becoming a part of the consolidation movement.  He stated his concerns for site preparation costs of the Central site at Esserville with a portion of the parking lot being in the City of Norton.

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

  • Recycling

  • Guardrail on Dotson Creek

  • Ask Board not to level fund the schools – less students now

  • Smaller school population

  • Reduce school Administration Staff

  • Water & sewer for Central

Bill Gilliam, a resident of Pound, asked the Board to recognize Mayor Jackie Gilliam for her services to the Town of Pound which ends on June 29.  He asked, if possible, to proclaim that day as a “Mayor Jackie Gilliam Day” in Wise County.

There being no further comments public expression was closed.  

IN RE:  FOOD BANK PRESENTATION

Lann Malesky, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Wise County, Inc., addressed the Board with an update on the Food Bank.

The Food Bank is a 501©3 non-profit organization which has been providing food to the needy of Wise County and Norton for 27 years from food branches located in Big Stone Gap and Esserville.

In the current fiscal year, the Food Bank has provided food for an average of 640 families per month, which is an increase of nearly 24% in two years.

The Food Bank is staffed 100% by willing volunteers some of whom work long hours to keep the branches clean, the shelves stocked, and do the other tasks that keep the Food Bank functioning.

Financial support comes from individual donations, churches, and other organizations which are used to purchase food, and paying overhead costs such as utilities, insurance etc.

Mr. Malesky invited Board members to visit the Esserville facility to see first hand how the County-owned building is being used.

IN RE:  VIRGINIA COALFIELD COALITION – AG WIRELESS

Skip Skinner, Bob Picchi, & Ben Chafin, Attorney, addressed the Board regarding the Virginia Coalfield Coalition (VCC) AG Wireless Project.  This project is sponsored by the Virginia Tobacco Commission and the Virginia Coalfield Coalition.

The VCC is a non-profit Virginia Corporation organized as a regional economic development partnership of the Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission and the LENOWISCO Planning District Commission.

The objective of this project is to improve and expand communication services in Southwest Virginia, which will result in creating jobs, drive economic development, improve wireless coverage in the seven-county region and expand the reach of broadband.

Mr. Chafin explained that a fiber optic line will be placed along existing AEP power poles for which easements are being acquired from the landowners.  These lines will go to the existing towers located in the seven-county area.  There are 27 existing towers and an additional 11 towers will be built to improve the coverage.  The Board is being asked that Wise County lend its assistance to the VCC in getting the lines on the AEP poles.  He further noted that this same presentation will be taken to the other counties asking for their assistance also.

Mr. Picchi explained the scope of the project that is in three (3) phases, which will occur now through 2014.  There are approximately 210 easements across private land over AEP and Verizon poles.  In the seven-county region, approximately 168 easements have been secured.  Acquiring the balance of those easements is a must to complete the implementation of the project.  He asked that the Board pass a motion empowering the County Attorney to work with Attorney Ben Chafin on an individual case basis to find a way to deploy lines over those existing poles on private property.

There was some discussion on possible cost to citizens for this service.

Mr. Chafin explained the mechanics of the financial portion of the project stating that the consumer will have no financial relationship with VCC.  The business relationship is strictly between the carriers and VCC.  This keeps the VCC exempt from being regulated by the Utilities Commission.
 
After further discussion a motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, that the Board of Supervisors render all assistance necessary to assist the Virginia Coalfield Coalition in the timely acquisition of the easements necessary to deploy fiber optic lines to create the 4G wireless network and further that all easements will be solely located along existing AEP poles.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  NASA DEVELOP INTRODUCTIONS

Jack Kennedy, Circuit Court Clerk, addressed the Board with an update on the Math and Science Initiative and to demonstrate to the Board the results from its investment.  He introduced students participating in the Math and Science Initiative with an overview of their mission and accomplishments.

RECESS

A recess was taken at 7:18 PM
The meeting reconvened at 7:35 PM

Attorney Mullins noted that the previous motion made by Supervisor Kilgore regarding the 4G wireless network should be amended to read “to include all existing telecommunications and electrical poles.”

A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to amend her motion regarding the 4G wireless network to include all existing telecommunications and electrical poles.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  CONSENT AGENDA

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

IN RE:  SPECIAL REVENUE BALANCE SHEET

Approval to write-off balance on the Special Revenue Balance Sheet

IN RE:  REFUND REQUEST

Approved the refund request from the Commissioner of the Revenue in the amount of $4,939.77 for Cleatus C. Mullins (No business assets for 2009 & 2010)

IN RE:  RESOLUTION SOUTHWEST REGIONAL RECREATION AUTHORITY

Adopted the resolution supporting Southwest Regional Recreation Authority funding request

RESOLUTION #             2012

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

IN RE:  E-911 ROAD NAME ADDITION
Set public hearing (July 12, 2012 @ 6:00 PM) on a proposed E-911 road name addition

The motion to approve the consent agenda was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION COAL & GAS ROAD ANNUAL PLAN

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to adopt the resolution approving the Coal & Gas Road Annual Plan for Roads & Bridges.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION #                 2012

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

IN RE:  CNW SECOND SERVICE AGREEMENT  

Attorney Mullins stated that she and other representatives and participants of CNW have been working to modify the CNW Second Service Agreement.  After several meetings, all participants have now agreed it is ready to send out for public hearing to receive public comments on said changes.  A deadline of July 1, 2012 has been set by funding agencies to receive this agreement.  All participants are setting a public hearing for this month to meet that timeline.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Robby Robbins, to set a public hearing on June 22, 2012 At 4:00 PM to receive public comments on proposed amendments to the CNW Second Service Agreement.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  TACOMA COMMUNITY CENTER

Attorney Mullins stated that County personnel met with representatives of the Tacoma Community Center and they are in the process of preparing a proposal for the County to take the property and facility to operate as a community center in Tacoma.  They have asked that this be done with a reversionary clause that states….that if for any reason the County determines not to operate the facility as a community center it would revert back to Tacoma Community Center, Inc., and would remain in good standing as a 501©3.  A financial report was provided for Finance Administrator Cox’s review.  Operation of the Community Center is being looked at as a revenue neutral situation for the County.  Arrangements have been made with the maintenance staff to meet with a representative of the Community Center to do a walk thru of the facility to ascertain any needed repairs etc.   Ms. Mullins said the County will be asked to approve a MOU regarding operations of the center, which will set out the responsibilities of the County and Tacoma Community Center, Inc.  Since the County is acquiring the property, there will be no need for a public hearing.
  
Supervisor Robbins stated that the reason for asking the County to take over the Center is because the average age of members serving on the Board of Directors is elderly and they are unable to care for the building and its operations.  There seems to be no interest from others to keep the Center in operation.

There was some discussion on the condition and use of the building.

A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to direct the County Attorney to proceed with the acquisition of the Tacoma Community Center subject to an MOU.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  AGREEMENT FOR COEBURN MOUNTAIN WATER IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

Attorney Mullins advised the Board that the Board must review and approve a Support Agreement for this project, which is standard procedure all water projects.  The agreement should be forthcoming soon.

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Robby Robbins, to set this item over to the recess meeting on June 22.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  HAZ-MAT TEAM RESPONSE AGREEMENT

This is a Haz-Mat Team Response Agreement that is set on a four year renewal basis.  The agreement is now up for renewal with a minor change.  Attorney Mullins asked that this item be tabled until the June 22nd meeting to allow her time to review the minutes of the Haz-Mat Team and to confirm the vehicle insurance coverage.
 
A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Robby Robbins, to set the Haz-Mat Team Response Agreement over to the recess meeting on June 22.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION VRS EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTION  RATES

A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to approve the resolution verifying the VRS Employer Contribution Rates.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION #                 2012

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

IN RE:  RESOLUTION VRS MEMBER CONTRIBUTION

A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to approve the resolution verifying the VRS Member contributions.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION #                2012

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

IN RE:  APPALACHIA FIRE DEPARMENT

Supervisor Luntsford explained that the Appalachia Fire Department is in need of funds to repair the entrance to the fire department to make it safe and more accessible.  The Town of Appalachia has temporarily fixed the problem, which will not suffice on a long term basis.  Since the Appalachia Fire Department serves both the town and the outlying communities, the County is being asked for financial assistance to correct this problem.

Finance Administrator Cox stated that the request was for approximately $4,000.  These funds are not currently budgeted in this budget but the Board has the option of considering this request in this year’s budget or 2013 budget.  He could look at fund balance or do a transfer.  He noted that a possible source would be funding left in the Regional Jail budget.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to approve up to $4,000.00 for the Appalachia Fire Department and give Administrator Cox authorization to transfer funds as noted from either this year’s budget or 2013 budget.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  BUDGET AMENDMENTS

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve budget amendments # 47 through # 49 and add # 50 (transfer of funds from the Regional Jail Budget in the amount of $4,000.00) for the Appalachia Fire Department.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – TOURISM COMMITTEE

A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to appoint Bonnie Aker to the Tourism Committee for a term of four (4) years.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – IDA

A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to set this appointment over to the June 22 recess meeting.  The motion was unanimously approved.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to re-appoint Jim Short to the IDA for a term of four (4) years.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – RADA

Robby Robbins nominated Sister Beth Jaspers for re-appointment to the RADA Board.

Virginia Meador made a motion that nominations cease.  Fred Luntsford seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved.

Sister Beth Jaspers was re-appointed by acclamation.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – SOCIAL SERVICES BOARD

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to appoint Bobby Cassell to the Social Services Board for a term of four (4) years.  The motion was unanimously approved.

A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Robby Robbins, to re-appoint Charles Bennett to the Social Services Board for a term of four (4) years.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – VIRGINIA COAL COUNCIL

Virginia Meador nominated Donnie Ratliff for re-appointment to the Virginia Coal Council.

Ronnie Shortt made a motion that nominations cease.  Fred Luntsford seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved.

Donnie Ratliff was re-appointed to the Virginia Coal Council by acclamation.

IN RE:  SCHOOL SYSTEM PROPERTY PAYMENT

Finance Administrator Cox advised the Board that he has received a request from the School Board Superintendent Jeff Perry for the $700,000 for the purchase of the school property for Central, which has already been approved by the Board.  Dr. Perry has also stated that he would like to have a joint meeting with the two (2) boards on Monday, July 9 to review the final projections on Union and Central High Schools. 

After discussion, it was the consensus of the Board to discuss this request at the June 22nd recess meeting.

IN RE:  CLOSED SESSION

A motion was made by Virginia Meador, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to go into close session as permitted by the Code of Virginias per the following:

  • Section 2.2-3711(A)(6)  Investing of public funds and

      •  (A)(7)  Consultation with legal counsel and

      •  (A)(1)  Personnel

The motion was unanimously approved.

After a lengthy closed session, a motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to reconvene the regular meeting.  The motion was unanimously approved.

Secretary Underwood read the certification for closed meeting.

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to approve the resolution verifying matters discussed while in closed session.  The motion was unanimously approved by roll call vote.

RESOLUTION #              2012 ( Closed session )

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

IN RE:  COURTHOUSE GARAGE SECURITY PROJECT

A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the agreement to engage the services of Thompson & Litton as a Consultant and Advisor for the Courthouse Garage Security Project.  The motion was unanimously approved.

BOARD COMMENTS

There were brief comments from Board members. 

The Administrative Staff were asked to do the following:

  • Prepare a resolution honoring Jackie Gilliam

  • Set up email address for all Board of Supervisors:  wisecounty.org & notify the different organizations to use this address as a means of communications with the Board

  • Contact Comcast regarding lack of cable, cell service and internet service in the Red Wine Section of the County.

  • Set a date for the Board to visit the Food Bank @ Big Stone Gap & Esserville

  • Provide Board members with cost savings on consolidation by email

RECESS

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to recess the meeting until Friday, June 22, 2012 @ 4:00 PM.  The motion was unanimously approved.

ATTEST:                                                         WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

 

___________________________________  _________________________________________
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk                                             Robert R. Adkins, Chairman

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