Board of Supervisors - March 12, 2015 Regular Meeting

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The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Regular Meeting on Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 6:00 PM in the School Board Education Center located on Lake Street.  The following members were present:

Honorable Robert R. Adkins – Chairman
Honorable Virginia Meador – Vice-Chair
Honorable J. H. Rivers
Honorable Robert E. Robbins
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
Annette Underwood – Executive Secretary

ABSENT

Honorable Dana Kilgore
Karen T. Mullins – County Attorney

PRAYER

Mitch Elliott 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 Robby Robbins, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to approve the agenda as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

ROADS AND HIGHWAYS

Supervisor Robbins voiced his concern regarding wrecks at the entrance to his property located on Rt. 58.  He asked the County Administrator to write a letter to VDOT asking that they visit this area to ascertain a possible solution to this situation.

IN RE:  PUBLIC HEARING – BUDGET AMENDMENT OVER 1% OF FY 2014/15 COUNTY BUDGET

A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed change to the adopted Wise County’s FY 1014/15 Budget, which totals an amount greater than 1% of said budget.

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

IN RE:  MEOC ACTIVITIES UPDATE

Bill Dotson, representing MEOC, addressed the Board with an overview of the Foster Grandparent Program that is being managed by MEOC.  This program provides volunteer opportunities for people aged 60 and older willing to devote 20 hours a week to tutoring and caring for children in partnership with teachers in Pre-school, Head Start, Kindergarten, and elementary schools in the public school systems of Wise, Scott and Lee County and the City of Norton.  Benefits include an hourly tax-free stipend, a daily free meal, an annual physical examination, transportation, and accident insurance.

Mr. Dotson also gave a brief update on the PACE Program that has been a huge success.  This program is a health and social service program that enables older people with chronic illnesses who need help with activities of daily living to live in their own homes as long as possible.

Mitch Elliott, representing MEOC’s Transportation Department, stated that MEOC Transit (or MET) serves as the public transportation provider for Lee, Scott and Wise Counties and the City of Norton.  Transportation is provided to people of all ages on a demand response basis with 24-hour notice being required.  MET is equipped to provide transportation to persons with canes, walkers and wheelchairs.  Public transit charges are 75 cents per boarding for persons age 60+ and those under 18; $1.50 per boarding for all others.

IN RE:  PRO-ART ACTIVITIES UPDATE

Michael  McNulty, representing Pro-Art, thanked the Board for its continued support, which has enabled Pro-Art to receive matching funds to continue bringing the best of programming to citizens of Southwest Virginia.  He reviewed some of the upcoming events with an invitation to all Board members to attend.

IN RE:  REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY

Skip Skinner, Executive Director for LENOWISCO, came before the Board to review the Skills Gap Study recently completed by the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development and the Work Force Investment Board noting areas of weakness and strengths in the report.  He addressed the economic problems facing the region and spoke of several projects showing promise or success in the southwest region including improved broadband, wireless communication capabilities and outdoor recreation opportunities.  At the same time, he noted dramatic declines in the region’s population, work force, and in coal and gas severance taxes.

Mr. Skinner asked the Board to consider consolidating all economic development efforts of the three (3) counties in the LENOWISCO Planning District, including the City of Norton, and transfer those efforts to the LENOWISCO Planning District Commission under his direction.

PUBLIC EXPRESSION

Frank Kibler, representing LENOWISCO, addressed the Board regarding a resolution in support of CDBG grant application for Roda, Osaka, and Stonega sewer, which is on the Board agenda for consideration.  He noted that there may or may not be a change in the number of households as noted in the resolution, since a few more days are left in surveying the need.  He asked for flexibility in making that change in the number of households, if necessary.  

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

  • No tax increase

  • Coal Severance Tax

  • Reduce spending

  • Stop littering

  • Recycle

  • Cut School Administration staff

  • Tourism will not take place of coal job loss

Adam Wells provided the Board with a brief overview of his new position as Economic Diversification Campaign Coordinator for Appalachian Voices and the benefits this agency can provide toward tourism in our region.

Herb Shortt, a member of the Pound EDA and the Spirit of the Pound Society, reminded the Board that they have come before the Board several times for possible assistance in establishing a community center at the old Pound High School.

Martha Jett, a Lonesome Pine Realtor and a member of the Pound EDA, explained to the Board that she had received a call from a developer looking for property with 20,000 sq. ft. and a parking lot with at least 130 parking spaces.   After a period of searching and with a deadline of February 27, she happened to think about the Pound High School property.  She understood that the Pound residents had hopes for a community center but with the building being unoccupied for some time now, she felt it would soon deteriorate from lack of use and have to be torn down.  It would be to the benefit of the town for an industry or business to occupy the building, which would provide a revenue stream for other projects as well as tax revenue for the town.  Ms. Jett wanted to point out that the developer has not yet visited the property.  She also noted that this purchase does not include the athletic fields.

Harold Greear, a resident of Pound, spoke briefly on using the Pound High School property to benefit the community and the need for jobs to replace mining unemployment.

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

IN RE:  CONSENT AGENDA

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

IN RE:  PROCLAMATION NATIONAL COUNTY GOVERNMENT MONTH

Approved the proclamation proclaiming April 2015 as National County Government Month

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

IN RE:  APPROPRIATIONS

Approved the 4th quarter appropriations

IN RE:  RESOLUTION CDBG GRANT FUNDS RODA, OSAKA, STONEGA SEWER

Approved the resolution in support of CDBG Application for Roda, Osaka, and Stonega Sewer

RESOLUTION #      2015

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

IN RE:  RESOLUTION WELLS-BOONE SEWER PROJECT

Approved the resolution appropriating $122,652 from the VDHC Development Block Grant funds to the construction of the Wells-Boone Sewer Project

RESOLUTION #      2015

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

  IN RE:  WELLS-BOONE SEWER PROJECT –

Authorized the County Administrator to execute Residential Anti-Displacement & Relocation Assistance Plan for the Wells-Boone Sewer Project

The motion to approve the consent agenda was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  COUNTY FY 2014/15 BUDGET AMENDMENT

A public hearing was held on March 12, 2015 to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed increase in the adopted County FY 2014/15 budget.  There was no public comment regarding said increase.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Steve Bates, to approve an amendment to the adopted County FY 2014/15 budget for increased expenditures of mandated services for CSA in the amount of $1,106,928.00.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  PROCLAMATION HONORING FOSTER GRANDPARENTS PROGRAM

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Virginia Meador, to approve the proclamation honoring the Foster Grandparents Program of MEOC.  The motion was unanimously approved.

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

IN RE:  RESOLUTION SETTING PROPERTY TAX RATES

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Steve Bates, to approve the resolution setting the property tax rate for FY 2015/16.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION #          2015

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

IN RE:  SHERIFF’S 911 STANDARDS COMMITTEE

The Southwest Virginia Regional Standards Committee was created to assist with uniform standards among the four contiguous member jurisdictions, Dickenson County, Lee County, Wise County, and City of Norton.  The Standards Committee determines the standards that will be required of the Positron and Spillman Systems to insure consistency among the localities.

With the retirement of Major Gene Vanover last month, there is a vacancy on the 911 Standards Committee for the Sheriff of Wise County.  The request to the Board is to appoint Major Grant Kilgore to serve in this position on behalf of the Wise County Sheriff’s Office.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Steve Bates, to appoint Major Grant Kilgore to serve on the Southwest Virginia Regional Standards Committee to replace Major Gene Vanover as requested.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  BUDGET AMENDMENTS

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Steve Bates, to approve Budget amendments #18 and #19 as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  AGREEMENT TOWN OF POUND HIGH SCHOOL PROPERTY

Supervisor Meador was concerned as to whether or not the Pound Counsel had voted on the  option agreement for the Pound High School property and  if they had appointed the EDA.

George Dean, Town Manager of Pound, stated that this project is with the Pound EDA and not the Pound Town Counsel.  However, the Pound Town Counsel did appoint the EDA members.

Ms. Meador also asked if the Pound EDA had voted on the Option Agreement.

Martha Jett stated that the Pound EDA had voted in favor of the Option Agreement.

Supervisor Robbins asked if there was anything the Board could do to make sure the athletic fields were not a part of this agreement.

Supervisor Shortt stated that the County Attorney, if necessary, could prepare a MOU between the two parties stating that the athletic fields would not be a part of this transaction unless agreed upon by all parties.

After further discussion, a motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Steve Bates, to ratify the Option Agreement with the Town of Pound EDA for purchase of Pound High School property as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

  IN RE:  CLOSED SESSION

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, 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

                                           (A)(7)  Consultation with legal counsel
                                           (A)(1)  Personnel

The motion was unanimously approved.

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

IN RE:  RESOLUTION CERTIFICATION FOR CLOSED SESSION

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Steve Bates, to approve the resolution certifying that 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 #        -2015

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

IN RE:  JUSTICE CENTER ROOF

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to authorize the County Finance Administrator to proceed with the bidding process for replacement of the flat portion of the Justice Center roof located over the Sheriff’s Office area .  The motion was unanimously approved.

BOARD COMMENTS

Board members voiced their appreciation to all the County Staff and volunteers that helped during the recent storm.

Supervisor Robbins suggested that more information be placed on the channel 19 scroll during  
times of emergency.

Supervisor Rivers asked the County Administrator to write a letter to VDOT requesting that snow removal on the road to the Technology Park and the Airport Road be done quicker.  

ADJOURN

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 PM.  The motion was unanimously approved.

 

ATTEST:                                                                  WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

 

_________________________________                  __________________________________
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk                                               Robert R. Adkins, Chairman

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