Board of Supervisors - October 11, 2012 Regular Meeting

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The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Regular Board Meeting on Thursday, October 11, 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
Honorable Steve Bates – members of said Board and
Shannon C. Scott – County Administrator
David L. Cox – Finance Administrator
Karen T. Mullins – County Attorney
Annette Underwood – Executive Secretary

PRAYER

Randy Carter, Pastor, Pyles Memorial Freewill Baptist Church led in prayer.

PLEDGE

All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

MINUTES

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

AGENDA

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to approve the agenda as presented.

Supervisor Luntsford stated that it has been brought to his attention that the disposition of the Appalachia and Pound High School properties is being transferred from the School Board back to the Board of Supervisors.  He said there was a request to place a proposal on the table, from the Town of Appalachia with regard to the Appalachia High School property, which has been given to Finance Administrator Cox for distribution to the Board.  He noted that it is his understanding that once the School Board transfers the property the electricity will be cut off.  At this point in time, there are functions scheduled at the facility and the electricity needs to stay on for those functions.  He asked, on behalf of the Town, that if the property is transferred, that the electricity either be moved to the name of the Wise County Board of Supervisors or the Town of Appalachia.
 
Supervisor Rivers stated that the School Board has already approved a motion to transfer that property to the County.  He spoke to Attorney Mullins regarding this and she advised that the School Board has not yet deeded the property to the County.  Since that time, the School Superintendent has sent out memos saying that the deeds would be transferred by October 1.

Attorney Mullins stated that they have delayed recording those deeds until the Board was able to address the issue with the two (2) schools regarding, utilities, insurance, use etc.  She noted that she spoke with the Town of Appalachia knowing that they are currently using the building for different events that have been planned ahead.  Those issues need to be addressed even if it’s done on an immediate or temporary basis.  Once those deeds are recorded, unless there is some type of agreement with the School Board regarding these different issues, they will be terminated.

Supervisor Luntsford asked that the occupancy of the Appalachia High School property be placed on the agenda for discussion.

Supervisor Rivers stated that he had asked last month that funding for the Esserville school property be placed on the October agenda for discussion because he feels that the Board has written a blank check since there was no dollar amount stated in the motion as to how much the Board would fund for the purchase of the Esserville site and the construction of the road nor how it would be financed.  He asked that school funding for the Esserville site be added to the November agenda for discussion and information be provided to the Board regarding same.  He understood the Superintendent to ask for $2.5M.    

Attorney Mullins stated that the motion that was made did not have a specific amount.  The request was for a certain amount and the request was approved without the amount being listed.  The Board may want to go back to clarify and confirm that amount if there is any misunderstanding.  She said she understood the amount to be $2.5M even though that amount was not set forth in the motion that committed the dollars.  One reason for that was because negotiations were still ongoing for work to be done, road construction, and other things.

There being no further comments or additions the agenda was unanimously approved as amended.

IN RE:  ROADS AND HIGHWAYS

Jackie Christian, Maintenance Operations Manager for VDOT, addressed the Board with an update on new projects that are ongoing.  He informed the Board that there is a Rt. 613 project located in East Stone Gap that has been let for bid in December.  There is a $1.6M estimate at this time.  To close this section of road for four (4) months, would save approximately $400,000 to $500,000 and would expedite the construction of the project by two (2) months.  He explained the section of road that is being suggested for closure.  Before this proposed closure can be submitted to VDOT engineers, they need any concerns that the Board may have in regard to closing this section of road for approximately four (4) months.  This project would not begin until early spring or sometime in the summer provided all R-O-W has been secured before December.

Supervisor Rivers voiced his concern that all residents be made aware of the closure.  He suggested placing the closure on the County website.

Mr. Christian said this would also be placed in the newspaper, and given by word of mouth, which will give residents ample time to prepare for the closure.  This type closure does not require a public hearing.

There is also a safety project ongoing on Rt. 23 and the Rt. 757 Project is moving forward.

IN RE:  PUBLIC HEARING – E-911 ROAD NAME ADDITION

A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments on the following proposed E911 road name addition: Sanoak Lane located off of Guest River Road in Norton.

There being no public comments, the public hearing was closed.

PUBLIC EXPRESSION

There was no one to speak during public expression.

IN RE:  DAVENPORT & COMPANY / NOTE REFINANCING

David Rose, representing Davenport & Company, addressed the Board regarding note refinancing.

Mr. Rose stated that Davenport & Company served as Financial Advisor to the County on the issuance of approximately $60M for the County’s School Construction Program in 2011.

The 2011 Literary Loan Anticipation Notes were issued with an approximate 5 year maturity for the following reasons:

  • To provide interim financing that funded construction dollars for the construction program
  • To provide sufficient time and flexibility for the County to receive the permanent 2% subsidized Literary Loan financing from the Commonwealth with the understanding that it would take in excess of two to three years to receive the permanent 2% funding

Since the issuance of the Notes in 2011:

  • The Commonwealth has contacted all local governments with Literary Loan rates of 3% or greater and indicated that these local governments may want to consider permanently financing now through he regular VPSA Pool.
  • The Commonwealth has also announced that no permanent Literary Loan funding will be forthcoming over the next several years due to budgetary pressures.
  • Wise County’s original 2011 Plan of Finance incorporated the above assumption and as a result structured its Notes with a 5-year maturity in anticipation of receiving 2% Literary Loans.
  • Moreover, interest rates in the public municipal markets have continued to decrease which presents the County with an opportunity to refinance its 2011 Notes and save well over $100,000 in avoided interest cost during this 5-year period.

In the current market environment, the recommended Refinancing as presented herein has the potential of producing roughly $200,000 to $300,000 in interest savings (after cost of issuance) over the next 5 years.

  • The County has the potential to immediately reduce its interim financing costs from 3% to approximately 2% or lower beginning with this current Fiscal Year (i.e. 2012)
  • Conversely, if the 2% Literary Loans are provided by the Commonwealth a couple of years earlier than expected, the Refinancing would effectively be “breakeven” to the County.

Potential Refunding Opportunities – Series 2011 Notes

Public Facilities Lease Revenue Bond Anticipation Notes Series 2011.

  • As noted previously, in October 2011, the County originally issued the $14,000,000 Series 2011 Notes in anticipation of receiving 2% permanent financing via the Commonwealth’s Literary Fund loan program
  • To the extent interest rates remain favorable over the next 60 to 90 days, the County may take advantage of potential refunding opportunities without jeopardizing the long term 2% Literary Loans from the Commonwealth.

The potential refinancing of the Series 2011 Notes based on market conditions as of September 11, 2012 were reviewed.

Recommendation and Next Steps

Davenport recommends that the refinancing only occur if a minimum net savings could be demonstrated over a 5-year period.

  • The refinancing would not move forward unless the interest rate differential results in a minimum six figure savings over the 5-year period after Cost of Issuance is factored in.
  • The out-of-pocket risk of pursuing the refinancing is approximately $20-$25,000 related to formal rating reports for the County.

The schedule for contemplating a refinancing by calendar year end if rates stay in the same range as current markets was reviewed with the closing date being December 19.

Mr. Rose asked the Board’s permission to move forward with staff, and he would return to the Board on November 1, 2012 to get approval of the financing documents which would be put together with Davenport, Sands Anderson and staff.  These documents would be delivered to the rating agencies with an answer somewhere around the 27th of November.  Between November 27 & December 3rd time frame, the market place would be revisited and if favorable Davenport would recommend moving forward and if it doesn’t they will not go into the market place.

There was some discussion the state of the economy at the present time and possible changes within the next three (3) to four (4) years.

Mr. Rose noted in his remarks that the County Staff has done a good job managing the County’s finances and that in itself is going to be a critical decision maker when it comes to having a solid rating.

After further comments, a motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Steve Bates to authorize Davenport to move forward with the next step in this process.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  CONSENT AGENDA

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

IN RE:  RESOLUTION - AMENDMENT TO RESOLUTION FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE REVENUE SHARING PROGRAM FOR FY 2012/13

Adopted the resolution approving amendment to resolution from the Coal & Gas Road Committee for participation in the Revenue Sharing Program for FY 2012/13

IN RE:  PROCLAMATION NAPOLEON HILL DAY

Adopted the Proclamation proclaiming October 26, 2012 as Napoleon Hill Day in the Wise County

IN RE:  PUBLIC HEARINGS - SET FOR NOVEMBER 1

Approved setting the following public hearings November 1, 2012:

  • Set public hearing (Nov. 1, 2012 @ 6:00 PM) proposed E911 road name additions
  • Set public hearing (Nov. 1, 2012 @ 6:00 PM) proposed amendment to Building Code Ord #12-1975
  • Set public hearing (Nov. 1, 2012 @ 6:00 PM) proposed ord. on a tax exempt status for Advocate Ctr

IN RE:  APPROPRIATIONS SECOND QUARTER

Approved the second quarter appropriations as presented

IN RE:  REFUND – COMMISSIONER OF THE REVENUE

Approved a refund to Morgan McClure Ford, Inc in the amount of $4,555.23 as requested by the Commissioner of the Revenue (Morgan McClure had not filed since 2003 for personal property/MI/Mc).

The motion to approve the consent agenda was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION MUTUAL AID EMERGENCY SERVICES

Attorney Mullins asked that this resolution be tabled until the November meeting.  A copy of the Mutual Aid Resolution/Agreement has been provided to the Town of St. Paul and Russell County with some modifications from when it was initially presented.  There has not been an opportune time to meet and discussion those modifications.  This is an effort to increase communication and services in that area since it actually straddles both Wise and Russell County.  Some of these concerns have been addressed in previous meetings.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to table the resolution/agreement on the Mutual Aid Emergency Services with Russell County and the Town of St. Paul until the November meeting.  The motion was unanimously approved.

Supervisor Rivers stated that once this resolution is finalized by all parties involved, that an additional meeting with the fire chiefs, the captain of the rescue quads and those type personnel,  be held so they will have an understanding among themselves on  how this will work.

Attorney Mullins noted that those individuals were present at the recent meeting as well as 911 personnel from Wise County and Russell County, representatives from Sheriff’s Dept of Wise and Russell County, and council members from Town of St. Paul.  This is an effort to improve the communication and response in that area and hoping this will maximize and enhance 911 in Wise County.  It has been agreed to have monthly meetings to address different concerns.
 
IN RE:  TIMBER PURCHASE AND REMOVAL CONTRACT

Administrator Scott explained that the removal of this timber could save the County between $700 and $2,000, which is based on the type of timber that is encountered.  Otherwise, the timber will be pushed over into cell VB.  It is the recommendation of the Leadership Team that the contract be executed with Gibson Logging to remove the timber.
 
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to authorize the County Administrator to execute a contract with Gibson Logging for Timber Purchase at the Blackwood Landfill and removal of same.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  BUDGET AMENDMENTS

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Virginia Meador, to approve the following budget amendment:

#6        Unreserved Fund Balance                                            $225,000.00

Funds for Landfill to purchase clay required for Phase IVB expansion.  These funds will be reimbursed to County through loan proceeds from Phase IVB VRA loan.

#7        Sheriff’s Grant                                                             $6,750.00

Sheriff’s Office applied for grant to fund 50% of updated bullet proof vests.  The grant application was accepted and the sheriff’s office is requesting consideration from the Board to fund 50%.
 
The motion to approve the budget amendments was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  TOWN OF APPALACHIA ---LEASE AGREEMENT FOR SCHOOL

Supervisor Luntsford stated that the proposal being presented to the Board affects only the Appalachia School property and is being presented on behalf of the Town of Appalachia.  It is understood that the School Board will be deeding that property back to the County.  In this proposal the Town of Appalachia is requesting that the Board of Supervisors maintains ownership of the property and allow the Town of Appalachia to lease the entire property for a nominal fee for a year.  That would mean that the Board of Supervisors would insure the property on their schedule since it would be cheaper for the County to insure the property rather than the Town.  In return, the Town of Appalachia would be responsible for all the utilities and the normal maintenance of the property.  The Town would be responsible for the use of the property with assurance that all the users will conform to the Town and County Codes to include any sub-leases entertained by the Town.  The Town of Appalachia will provide security and will report any and all security breeches. The Town of Appalachia will be responsible for regular inspections of any and all unoccupied portions of the property as preventive maintenance (specifically the class room building, which is not being used at this time).  This is only a proposal and there may be other issues that may need to be included in any final agreements between the Town and the County.  Mr. Luntsford explained that with the transfer of the property comes the transfer of the utilities.  The Town has already stopped billing the School Board for water.  The electricity at this time is in the name of the School Board and would need to be changed to either the Board of Supervisors or the Town of Appalachia, which is at the Board’s discretion.  The Town fully intends to pay the utility bill.  However, there cannot be a lapse of electric service because of the ongoing functions that have been scheduled.  Since September 2011, the Town has:

  • Maintained the property with its own employees and equipment
  • Absorbed the cost of cleaning the building after use by Union High School
  • Repaired or replaced damaged property as a result of vandalism as long as the cost was below the insurance deductable

The Town has been responsible for repairing the heating system for the past two years.

He explained the school uses of the facility as well as other organizations noting that the Town has already moved its Parks and Recreational Department to the high school on a permanent basis.  The Town is in the process of winterizing the Civic Center.  The Town has paid for a security system in the gym, and the classroom building.  The Town’s future plan is to continue to use the facility for all the events and to expand to include the classroom building.  Some of the events do not provide revenue.  However, the Town will pursue revenue producing events to help fray the expense for keeping the facility open.  The Town asks that the Board of Supervisors partner with the Town of Appalachia in its endeavor by approving the lease agreement as proposed with any warranted changes.

Finance Administrator Cox noted that he would prefer that the utilities be place in the name of the Town of Appalachia rather than the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Kilgore said she would like to see a five (5) year projections and also see the Town of Appalachia’s financials to see that the Town can pay these costs. 

Supervisor Rivers made a motion to authorize the County Attorney to prepare the legal documents and the Leadership Team, in cooperation with Supervisor Luntsford and the Town of Appalachia, prepare a complete package, including the transfer of utilities language, for the Board to review and act upon at   next month’s meeting.

Supervisor Kilgore questioned whether or not events that have not been authorized school function would be covered under the school system’s insurance.

Attorney Mullins stated that from talking with the Town of Appalachia’s attorney this question had been asked and the Town was covered.  However, there may have been requirements for additional coverage for different events that would have their own coverage that would name the School Board as an additional insurer.   

Supervisor Luntsford stated that every event that the Town has scheduled other than the ones with the school activities, the Town has required a Certificate of Insurance from whoever is putting on the event naming the Town of Appalachia and the Wise County School Board as additional insurers.  This same procedure would be continued with the Board of Supervisors.  The Town of Appalachia has its own insurance that would cover any of the liability exposures that the Town would be responsible for.

There was some discussion on the other schools that have been vacated and the future of those schools.

Attorney Mullins stated that the School Board has already declared surplus the two municipal properties (Town of Pound and the Town of Appalachia) that are being discussed.  The building in the Town of Appalachia is currently in use and has plans to be in use and is the County polling place.  Once those deeds are recorded, the situation with the utilities must be addressed.  Even if it is done on a short term basis, the Board needs to make a decision on whether or not the Board is going to take over the utilities and pass along those costs to the Town of Appalachia.

There being no further comments Virginia Meador seconded the motion.

Aye-    J. H. Rivers                  Nay-    None                Abstain            -   Fred Luntsford
            Virginia Meador
            Robby Robbins
            Steve Bates
            Bob Adkins
            Dana Kilgore
            Ronnie Shortt

Motion carried.  

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT LONESOME PINE YOUTH SERVICES BOARD

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to re-appoint Lester Bowman to the Lonesome Pine Youth Services Board for a term of four (4) years.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT RECREATIONAL AUTHORITY

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to re-appoint Allen Couch to the Recreational Authority for a term of four (4) years.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT REDEVELOPMENT & HOUSING AUTHORITY

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to re-appoint John Markham to the Redevelopment & Housing Authority for a term of four (4) years.  The motion was unanimously approved.

A motion was made by Virginia Meador, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to re-appoint James R. Johnson, Sr. to the Redevelopment & Housing Authority for a term of four (4) years.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  MEETING DATE CHANGE

A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to move the November Board meeting from Thursday, November 8, 2012 to Thursday, November 1, 2012.  The motion was unanimously approved.

BREAK

A break was taken at 8:00 PM
The meeting reconvened at 8:10 PM

IN RE:  CLOSED SESSION

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Robby Robbins, to go into closed session as permitted by the Code of Virginia per the following Code Sections:

  • 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 Dana Kilgore, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to return to regular session.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION  CLOSED SESSION

Secretary Underwood read the certification for closed meeting.

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, 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

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

IN RE:  JUSTICE CENTER – RFP FOR FINANCING

A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to authorize the County Finance Administrator to issue a RFP for financing to retire the lease purchase agreement for the Wise County Justice Center for 10 years.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  CIP PLAN FINANCING

A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Robby Robbins, to authorize the County Finance Administrator to go forward with negotiations with Responder ranked #1 for 2013 Capital Plan financing for seven (7) years.  The motion was unanimously approved

IN RE:  RECESS

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to recess the meeting until 5:00 PM on Monday, October 22, 2012 to go into closed session for investing of public funds.  The motion was unanimously approved.

ATTEST:                                                         WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

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

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