The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in Regular Meeting on Thursday, March 03, 2016 @ 6:00 PM in the School Board Education Center located on Lake Street in Wise, VA. 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
Bob Adkins led in prayer.
All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
A motion was made by Virginia Meador, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the minutes as presented. The motion was unanimously approved.
A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to approve the agenda as presented to include items in red. The motion was unanimously approved.
ROADS AND HIGHWAYS
Supervisor Kilgore said that she had spoken with Daniel Miller regarding his flooding problem. Mr. Miller was told by VDOT to fix this problem would cost around $100,000. He noted that there are two drain pipes that need to be replaced and he felt by replacing those pipes would take care of the problem. She asked Administrator Scott to ask VDOT to meet with Mr. Miller again to discuss whether or not replacing the pipes would prevent the flooding.
Supervisor Rivers said he had a request from a citizen living at 1717 Spring Ridge Road regarding a drainage problem. The water seems to be coming from both sides of her property. He asked Administrator Scott to ask VDOT to look at this site for a possible solution to the drainage issue.
IN RE: EASTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL ONE ACT PLAY TEAM
The Eastside High School One act Play Team was presented a resolution honoring them for their recent winning of the 1A State Championship in Theatre
IN RE: PRO-ART
Bonnie Elosser, Executive Director for Pro-Art, addressed the Board with an update on Pro-Art’s accomplishments this past year and briefly reviewed upcoming events. She thanked the Board for its continuous support of Pro-Art, which allows them to continue bring the arts to Wise County.
IN RE: DAVENPORT
Roland Kooch, representing Davenport & Company, addressed the Board with an update on the $59.3M
bond issuance the county approved in 2011 for the County’s school construction program. The goal of the 2011 Notes, and ultimately the permanent Literary Loan financing, was to secure below market interest rates for roughly $15 million of the overall School Program. The 2011 Notes were issued with an approximate 5 year maturity in order to provide sufficient time and flexibility for the County to receive 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.
In December 2012, the County refinanced the 2011 Notes through the IDA’s issuance of the $14.6M Taxable Literary Loan Anticipation Notes. By issuing the 2012 Notes, the County was able to lower the interest rate on the Interim Financing from 3.00% to an all-in interest rate of 2.13% and maintain the ability to redeem the 2012 Notes at any time without penalty beginning February 1, 2015.
The Board at its meeting in December 2015 voted to allow Davenport, in conjunction with the County Administrator’s Office, to issue a RFP to obtain bond anticipation financing to potentially replace the County’s current financing, which did not bind the County in any way and is an effort to be proactive in obtaining interim bond anticipation financing with favorable interest terms.
The Literary Loan Program has recently been restored, and about $50 million has been appropriated for funding these loans in the State’s fiscal 2016 budget. The “first priority waiting list” for these funds include 26 projects that represent $132 million in funding requests. The County’s projects are # 22 & 23 on that list. At this point, the County may expect to receive permanent 2% funding in fiscal year 2019.
Mr. Kooch explained that the 2012 Notes are scheduled to mature on February 1, 2017. Therefore, by FY 2017, at the latest, the County needs to “roll” the 2012 Notes for approximately 2 to 3 years in order to safely ensure that the Interim Financing’s maturity coincides with the expected receipt of permanent Literary Loan funding.
Mr. Kooch stated that The First Bank & Trust has committed to providing the County with a 2% fixed rate for up to 3 years, callable at any time without penalty. They have also offered a 4 year option with a fixed rate of 2.20%. The First Bank & Trust’s proposal meets all of the desired criteria of the County, which can be paid off at any time without penalty to lock in the permanent 2%.
There was some discussion on the two options. Supervisor Rivers voiced his concern with the “unknowns” regarding the Literary Loan Program and future interest rates.
Finance Administrator Cox stated that he will be providing the Board with a proposed budget at the next Board meeting at which time these concerns can be addressed.
Davenport will meet with the Board at its April meeting with its recommendation to move forward with First Band & Trust’s funding commitment.
IN RE: COUNTY FY 2016-2017 PRELIMINARY BUDGET UPDATE
Finance Administrator David Cox presented a power point presentation on a preliminary overview of the County’s FY 2016-2017 budget, which shows a revenue shortfall of $1M - $1.2M for 2016 and an expected $2M for 2017. He reviewed several measures that are being taken to reduce spending. The shortfall in revenue is contributed to reduction in Machinery/Tools, and decline in coal severance.
Wise County Treasurer Delores Smith informed the Board that as of January 19, 2016, records show that Alpha Natural Resources, that recently declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, has $1.46M in unpaid taxes. Alpha has been informed that these taxes must be paid if any of its assets are sold.
Ms. Smith told the Board that she and Mr. Cox have been discussing an option that could improve the County’s cash flow. The proposal would be to start billing public services corporations twice a year, in the same manner as real estate taxes. This option does not raise the taxes but helps with the cash flow. This method of payment would also involve the Commissioner of Revenue. She said that some counties are already using this method of payment. If this method of payment is implemented, Supervisor Kilgore suggested that any tax funds transferred to the current fiscal year should be set aside to help repay school-related debt rather than applied to balancing budgets.
There was some discussion on freezing any capital purchases in this fiscal year to help offset the revenue shortfall, which would be best done earlier than later. In years past, the Board would freeze purchases on non-essential items around May. However, with the shortfall being earlier in the budget, the Board agreed to have all non-essential purchases reviewed for approval by Finance Administrator Cox prior to purchase.
Mr. Cox reviewed the estimated expenditures, which do not represent the proposed CIP Plan, nor the proposed 5% cut for departments. Some departments have raised concern that cuts would involve personnel. Proposed cuts will also include the schools. He voiced his concern that the school has not provided a 5 year CIP Plan, which is needed for guidance on school maintenance, etc.
Mr. Cox mentioned several “unknowns” that could impact the budget and several cost savings options for consideration by the Board.
IN RE: LIBRARY ART GALLERY
Bill Harris, Chairman of the Library Art Gallery Board, addressed the Board with an overview of the Gallery’s activities. He explained that the Gallery is a non-profit 501©3 corporation located in the Wise branch of the LP Regional Library, but is an independent organization, and does not receive any financial support from the Library. He asked the Board for financial support in the amount of $2,000, which would make the Gallery eligible for matching funds from the Virginia Commission for the Arts.
Mr. Harris voiced his appreciation for the Board’s continuous support for the Gallery.
IN RE: CONSENT AGENDA
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Virginia Meador, to approve the consent agenda as follows:
IN RE: APPROPRIATIONS 4TH QUARTER
Approved the 4th quarter appropriations as presented
The motion to approve the consent agenda was unanimously approved
IN RE: BOARD MEETING DATE CHANGE
A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Robby Robbins, to change the April Board meeting date to Thursday, April 7, 2016 @ 6:00 PM in the School Board Education Center. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: PUBLIC HEARING - ORDINANCE ON USE OF ATV’S IN WISE COUNTY
Andria Hicks, Spearhead Trails Administrative Marketing Assistant, and Michael Wampler, Tourism and Marketing Director, reviewed and discussed, with the Board, the proposed ordinance on use of ATV’s in Wise County. Mr. Wampler noted that this ordinance is designed for recreational vehicles being driven on a connector road to the town’s corporate limits.
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to hold a public hearing on April 7, 2016 @ 6:00 PM on a proposed ordinance on use of ATV’s on designated roadways in Wise County. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: LEGISLATIVE MEETING DISCUSSION
After discussing the possibility of having legislators meet with Southwest Virginia leaders in the counties of SWVA rather than spending time and money to travel to Richmond each January, a motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, that this item be tabled. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: FREEZE ON CAPITAL PURCHASE
There was some discussion on placing a freeze on all capital purchases thru the remainder of this fiscal year due to the current revenue shortfall.
A motion was made by Virginia Meador, seconded by Dana Kilgore, that there be an immediate freeze placed on all non-personnel expenses for the remainder of this fiscal year, and further that all expenditures must be reviewed and approved by Finance Administrator Cox prior to purchase. The motion was unanimously approved
IN RE: TAX RATE DISCUSSION
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to table discussion on the tax rate until next month. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: BUDGET AMENDMENTS
A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to approve budget amendments #12 & #13 as presented. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: APPOINTMENT LONESOME PINE YOUTH SERVICES BOARD
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to appoint Erin Slemp to the Lonesome Pine Youth Services Board for a term of four (4) years. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: APPOINTMENT PLANNING COMMISSION
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to re-appoint Richard Houchins to the Planning Commission for a term of four (4) years. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: APPOINTMENT PUBLIC SERVICE AUTHORITY ((PSA)
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to re-appoint Ruthie Rainey to the PSA for a term of four (4) years. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: CLOSE SESSION
A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to go into close 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
The motion was unanimously approved.
After close session, a motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to reconvene the regular meeting. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: RESOLUTION CERTIFICATION FOR CLOSE SESSION
A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to approve 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 # -2016
(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator’s Office)
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to recess the meeting until Thursday, March 24, 2016 @ 5:00 PM in the School Board Education Center for a presentation on the County’s FY 2016/17 proposed budget. The motion was unanimously approved.
ATTEST: WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk Robert R. Adkins, Chairman