Board of Supervisors - October 9, 2014 Regular Meeting

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 The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Regular meeting on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 6:00 PM in the School Board Education Center located in Wise, VA.  The following members were present:

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

Robby Robbins led in prayer.

PLEDGE

All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

MINUTES

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

AGENDA

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

ROADS AND HIGHWAYS

Supervisor Rivers asked the status of the work being done on Strawberry Patch Road.

Administrator Scott stated that VDOT has submitted a permit to EPA to do the work but with the proximity of the road with the Powell River, the process has become slower.  It could be late in the spring or later before the permit is approved.  At that time, VDOT will begin its work on the road.
 
Supervisor Rivers voiced his concern that EPA is holding up construction on this road, which has caused citizens problems navigating on this road.  He said if there is anything the County or VDOT can do to temporarily improve this road until the permit has been approved, would benefit the citizens greatly. 

Supervisor Robbins asked that VDOT be contacted to review the possibility of reducing the speed limit in the Tacoma Community on Stone Mountain Road from 35 MPH to 25 MPH.  He also mentioned the need for lines to be painted on the Sandy Ridge Road.

IN RE: PUBLIC HEARING  SOLID WASTE ORDINANCE (RECYCLING) AMENDMENT

A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed amendment to solid Waste Ordinance #3-1975 – Section 3: Use of solid waste containers (Recyclables) Section.

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

IN RE:  PUBLIC HEARING  COUNTY FY 2014/15 BUDGET AMENDMENT (SCHOOLS)

A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed amendment to the County’s FY 2014/15 budget for an amount of $2M, which is an amount greater than 1%  of the adopted Wise County FY 2014/15 budget. 

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

Chairman Adkins noted that this is a gift from the Gilliam Foundation for the athletic facilities at Central High School.

IN RE:  COURT SECURITY UPDATE

Attorney Mullins gave the Board a brief update on the courthouse security project that is anticipated to be completed and implemented about the middle of November.

IN RE:  OPTAFUEL UPDATE

Anthony Scime, representing OptaFuel, provided a power point presentation on the mission and goals for OptaFuel. 

OptaFuel is pioneering the development and commercialization of new technologies for the transformation of renewable non-food feedstock to cellulosic biofuels, chemical building-blocks, and biomaterials.  Optafuel successfully integrates two crucial steps – chemical pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis.  The result is a patented process that offers significant improvements in processing conditions and operating cost compared to other available technologies.

Mr. Scime reviewed ongoing infrastructure for the research facility located in the old Buster Brown building, which employs 44 individuals at this time.

IN RE:  SPEARHEAD TRAILS UPDATE

Chuck Riedhammer, Executive Director for Spearhead Trails, provided a power point presentation on the accomplishments of Spearhead Trails, and reviewed projects that are ongoing to enhance the trails. He noted that the outdoor recreational trails have become an attraction for tourists and a good revenue stream for this region.

Andria Hix Administrative Assistance explained that she is working with the towns to get recreation established for the children and wives that may not be using the trails.  Her goal is to wake people up in our area as to what is available in our region in the form of recreation.

Chris Sturgill, Field Operations Supervisor, explained that some people are concerned about safety on the trails.  All towns have ordinances and rules that must be followed.  If the rules are broken, citations will be written.  The trails are family oriented for outdoor recreation for everyone to enjoy and safety is a priority.

Michael Wampler, Director of Economic Development, addressed the Board noting the reaction of tourists when they visit this area with the ATV Trails, the county music and other outdoor recreation that is family oriented.  The ATV trails have grown over the last few years and has become an economic engine for the County.  Outdoor recreation in the mountains has become a tourist attraction in this area.

IN RE:  COMCAST UPDATE

Russell Byrd, Senior Director of Internal Affairs for Comcast, informed the Board that he is still working on getting the WYMT station back on the County cable system.  Supervisor Bates said that the citizens want the full channel restored not just sports and news.  Mr. Byrd said this creates a problem, since there are several CBS affiliates.  There are two CBS channels in the Norton area.  One, is the WBDJ channel in Roanoke and the other is WJHL.  By law, the cable systems must carry the affiliate assigned to their designated market area, which is the Tennessee area.  WJHL, the Tennessee channel can request that all programming it shares with affiliates outside the market area be blocked.  Mr. Byrd said this is possibly the reason for the removal of WYMT but he could not say that for sure.  There was concern among Board members that Midwest Cable may not pursue putting the WYMT station back on the County’s cable system.

There was some discussion on the lack of helpful customer service when problems arise with cable or with payments.
 
 Mr. Byrd reviewed additional benefits that Comcast has added to better serve  the citizens of Wise County.

There was some discussion on the proposed cable transfer to Midwest Cable and how this change would affect service to the Wise County area.  Mr. Byrd felt that the transition would be without interruption in service.  However, he could not give the Board any answers as to how Midwest will handle its customer service nor how its rates will be structured.

IN RE:  WISE COUNTY SCHOOL UPDATE

Superintendent of Public Schools Jeff Perry provided the Board with a power point presentation on Academic review and update on State Rankings on 132 school divisions.  The summary of the review follows:

  • All schools fully accredited (only 16%)

Wise County Schools:

  • Met all AMOs

  • Top 15 in 4 disciplines (5 total)

  • Top 10 in 15 test (33 total)

  • Top 6 in 8 tests (33 total)

Ranked 1st in Math 8

  • Advanced scores increase 3.6%

  • Consistent increases in SPED

  • Increases in graduation rates

  • Sub-Group increases

  • One of two division (all schools/all AMOs)

IN RE:  PUBLIC EXPRESSION

Chris Sturgill spoke in support of the Math/Science Fund request that is before the Board for consideration.  This request, he said, is from the Christian School for a rocket project.  He asked for the Board’s favorable response to this request.

Walter Crouse spoke on the following items:

  • Guardrails are needed at Dotson Creek Intersection

  • School construction

  • Decline in coal jobs

  • Courthouse security

  • Lines need painting on highway

  • Recycling of plastics

  • Cable

Administrator Scott read the resolution honoring Jorge Hersel for his service as Forest Ranger

There being no further comments, the public expression period was closed.

IN RE: CONSENT AGENDA

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

IN RE:  TRANSFER OF SURPLUS VEHICLE

Approved the transferred of a surplus 2005 Chev. Impala to the Town of Coeburn

IN RE:  RESOLUTION HONORING JORGE HERSEL

Approved the resolution honoring Jorge Hersel for his service as Forest Ranger, Clinch Ranger District, for Wise County

RESOLUTION #           -2014

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

IN RE:  RE-APPROPRIATION OF SURPLUS FUNDS

Re-appropriated school surplus funds in the amount of $36,433.69 from their operating fund to the capital outlay fund

The motion to approve the consent agenda was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  SOLID WASTE ORDINANCE #3-1975 AMENDMENT (RECYCLING CONTAINERS)

A public hearing was held on October 9, 2014 to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed amendment to the Solid Waste Ordinance #3-1975 ( recyclables).  There was no opposition to the proposed amendment.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Steve Bates, to approve the amendment as presented.

Supervisor Kilgore said she was not in favor of this amendment because she felt it may cause people to discontinue recycling plastic if they were to throw the wrong plastic bottles into the recycling container by mistake and get a citation.

Greg Cross, Litter Coordinator, advised the Board that the purpose of the amendment is to stop trash & other debris from being thrown in the plastic recycling container.   He explained that the vendor for recycling plastic has said that household trash and any other debris will have to be taken from the plastic container before being brought to his recycling facility or he could no longer assist the County with his services.  Many times hypodermic needles have been among the plastic bottles, which is very dangerous for his employees.  Mr. Cross voiced his concern since there are only two vendors for plastic and if this one drops the County, the next vendor may not contract with the County for the same reason.
The landfill crew also has these same concerns and has asked if something could be done to make it safer for those working with collection of plastics.

With questions on the proposed amendment, Supervisor Shortt withdrew his motion and Supervisor Bates withdrew his second.

After discussing possible options that may be available without giving a citation, Robby Robbins made a motion to table this item for further study.  J. H. Rivers seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  COUNTY FY 2014/15 BUDGET INCREASE

A public hearing was held on October 9, 2014 to receive citizens’ comments on a proposed increase in the County’s FY 2014/15 budget  for an amount greater than 1% of the adopted budget for FY 2014/15.
This amount is $2M dedicated for athletic facilities at Central High School, which was a gift from the Gilliam Foundation.  There was no one to oppose the proposed increase.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Steve Bates, to approve the increase in the County’s FY 2014/15 budget as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  MATH/SCIENCE FUND REQUEST

A motion was made by Steve Bates, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to authorize the Finance Administrator to provide $750.00 to the Wise County Christian School for its Rocket Project as requested.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION -  TRANSFER OF MAP-21 PROJECT FUNDS

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the transfer of unspent MAP-21 Project funds in the amount of $358,738.00 to be divided equally between the Town of Big Stone Gap and the Town of Wise for ongoing MAP-21 projects.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION #       -2014

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

IN RE:  COMCAST CABLE FRANCHISE – RESCIND PREVIOUS MOTION

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Virginia Meador, to rescind the motion taken by the Board of Supervisors at its recessed meeting held on September 23, 2014 regarding the Comcast Consent to Assignment and Change of Control Resolution.

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

Motion Carried.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION CONSENT TO ASSIGNMENT AND TRANSFER OF CABLE FRANCHISE

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Bob Adkins, to take no action on the Consent to Assignment and Change of Control Resolution.

Supervisor Rivers said he would prefer not to take a vote.  He did not think there was a need to vote.  He further stated that he was not happy about the explanation as to why the Board had to rescind its previous vote and why they had to take the vote that is now on the floor.

There was some discussion on looking for another cable provider to come to this area that could provide the same service as Comcast.

Attorney Mullins stated that several other possible providers have been spoken to but their response has been that it is not feasible for them to come to this area with the required build-out and infrastructure.  One provider said they would look at the area, get a cost estimate, and respond accordingly, but no word has been received to date.

After further discussion, Robby Robbins withdrew his motion to take no action, and Bob Adkins, withdrew his second.

No action was taken.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION EXCELLENCE IN CLINICAL HEALTH CARE

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to approve the resolution in support for maintaining excellence in clinical health care with attention to the economic health of Southwest Virginia and Ease Tennessee.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION #           -2014

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

IN RE:  MOU 911 BOUNDARY DESIGNATION – DICKENSON COUNTY

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Steve Bates, to approve the 911 Boundary Designation Agreement between Wise County and Dickenson County as presented.   The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  BUDGET AMENDMENTS #4 THRU #7

A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to approve budget amendments #4 through #7 as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – PLANNING COMMISSION

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Steve Bates, to reappoint Dana Kilgore to the Planning Commission for her term of office.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  ORDINANCE --- ELECTRONIC SUMMONS (AMENDMENT)

Attorney Mullins explained that this amendment is to specifically identify that the cost assessments were to be assessed in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and the General District Court.

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the amendment to the Electronic Summons Ordinance as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

ORDINANCE AMENDMENT

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

IN RE:  CLOSED SESSION

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

Section2.2-3711(A)(6)  Investing of public funds
                              (A)(7)  Consultation with legal counsel
                              (A)(1)  Personnel

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

IN RE:  RESOLUTION CERTIFICATION FOR CLOSED MEETING

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to adopt the resolution certifying that only public business matters lawfully exempted from open meeting requirements as were identified in the motion convening the closed meeting were discussed or heard by the Board of Supervisors.   The motion was unanimously approved by roll call vote.

RESOLUTION #       -2014

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

IN RE:  TRANSFER OF FUNDS

A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by  Ronnie Shortt, to approve an appropriation not to exceed $35,000  from the Transit Occupancy fund for the Tourism Kiosk.  The motion was unanimously approved.

ADJOURN

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to adjourn the meeting at 10:45 PM.  The motion was unanimously approved.

ATTEST:                                                                                    WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

 

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

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