The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Recessed Meeting on Thursday, March 24, 2016 @ 5:00 PM at the School Board Education Center located on Lake Street in Wise. The following members were present:
Honorable Robert R. Adkins – Chairman
Honorable Virginia Meador – Vice-Chair ABSENT
Honorable Dana Kilgore
Honorable Robert E. Robbins, Jr. Honorable Fred Luntsford
Honorable J. H. Rivers
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
IN RE: THOMPSON & LITTON – GROUNDWATER MONITORING WELL
Eric Price, representing Thompson & Litton, addressed the Board regarding the need for replacement of groundwater monitoring well MW-12 at the landfill.
DEQ has requested replacement of well MW-12 due to the recently detected increase in zinc at this location. The objective and scope of service is to install replacement monitoring well MW-12 within the underlying Addington coal seam. The well will need to be replaced prior to the next semi-annual monitoring event schedule for mid to late April 2016. He explained the requirements from DEQ for replacement of the well and reviewed the services that will be provided by T&L for installation of said well. The work will be conducted under the supervision of a Professional Engineer and/or Geologist licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Mr. Price stated that T&L will provide these services for a not-to-exceed fee of $21,000.00.
After discussion, since this request was not an agenda item, a motion was made by J. H. Rivers to add to the agenda the installation of a new groundwater monitoring well at the Blackwood landfill. Ronnie Shortt seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: BLACKWOOD LANDFILL – GROUNDWATER MONITORING WELL
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Steve Bates, to authorize the execution of MOU #8 to Retainer Agreement between the Wise County Board of Supervisors and Thompson & Litton for replacement of groundwater monitoring well MW-12. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: WISE COUNTY BUDGET UPDATE FOR FY 2016/17
Finance Administrator Cox provided a power point presentation with a budget update for FY 2016/17, which showed projected revenues of $48,755,821 and projected expenditures of $48,984,375, which shows a shortfall of $228,554) The continuous decline in coal severance is the main cause for the shortfall. Mr. Cox stated that he has reduced the $2M shortfall that was presented earlier through departmental cuts and reductions to the County’s proposed 5-year CIP Plan. The County still faces an estimated $1M shortfall in the current fiscal year, which stems mostly from the declining coal industry. He reminded the Board that Alpha Natural Resources recently declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and has $1.46M in unpaid taxes. Also, the ongoing hiring freeze will help eliminate that shortfall.
Regarding the 2016/17 budget, the state budget includes funding for a 2% raise for all state Compensation Board funded positions, which includes the offices of the Sheriff, Treasurer, Commissioner of the Revenue, Commonwealth Attorney, and Clerk of the Court. Some of these positions are fully funded by the state while others are partially funded by state and local monies. He explained that the County pays most of these employees’ fringe benefits. The 2% raise however is contingent upon Virginia meeting its revenue projections for the current year, and that won’t be known until December. If that comes about, he noted that he has not included any funds to reflect the proposed raise in the current budget draft. The state has also indicated it will provide funding to increase local sheriff’s deputies salaries. There was some discussion as to how these unknowns would impact the shortfall.
Supervisor Shortt stated that in the past, when the state has provided pay increases, the County also gave an equal pay increase to County employees. Mr. Cox noted that any increase for the County employees would be a decision for the Board to make.
The Board directed Mr. Cox to do further cuts from departments. Mr. Cox stated that he has asked for the 5% cuts, but some have not been able to meet that cut without going into personnel. There was some discussion on making further cuts to the County Administration budget. Supervisor Rivers agreed, and he felt that all departments should be treated the same, making everyone equal. Supervisor Kilgore agreed that a full 5% reduction should come from all departments for locally funded expenses.
Mr. Cox stated that there has been a decrease in the County’s contribution to the Regional Jail, which is based upon the number of inmates housed from Wise County. That is a plus for the County.
Some of his concerns are: debt service in 2018, capital needs for Sheriff’s Department, Landfill, schools, and continued decline in coal severance.
There was some discussion on the tax rates for FY 2016/17. It was the consensus of the Board that there would be no tax increase this year. Mr. Cox noted that the Board needs to take action on the tax rate at this meeting if possible.
Since the tax rate was not an agenda item, a motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to add the resolution setting tax rate for FY 2016/17 to the agenda for consideration by the Board. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: RESOLUTION SETTING TAX RATE
A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Steve Bates, to approve the resolution setting the tax rates, with no tax increase, for FY 2016/17. The motion was unanimously approved.
RESOLUTION # - 2016
(Resolution is on file in the County Administrator’s Office)
IN RE: CLOSE SESSION
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, 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
The motion was unanimously approved.
After close session, a motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to reconvene the regular meeting. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: RESOLUTION CERTIFYING CLOSE MEETING
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by J. H. Rivers, 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)
IN RE: COMMONWEALTH ATTORNEY POSITION
A motion was made by Dana Kilgore, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the hiring for replacement of the recent vacancy in the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office as requested by Commonwealth Attorney Chuck Slemp per his letter dated March 23, 2016. The motion was unanimously approved.
There being no further business to come before the Board, a motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Robby Robbins, to adjourn the meeting at 7:17 PM. The motion was unanimously approved.
ATTEST: WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk Robert R. Adkins, Chairman