Board of Supervisors - January 10, 2019 Regular Meeting

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The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Regular Meeting on Thursday, January 10, 2019 @ 6:00 PM in the School Board Education Center located at 628 Lake Street in Wise. The following members were present:

Honorable Dana G. Kilgore – Chair
Honorable Robert E. Robbins – Vice-Chair
Honorable J. H. Rivers
Honorable John Schoolcraft
Honorable Fred Luntsford
Honorable Bobby Cassell
Honorable Steve Bates
Honorable Robert R. Adkins – members of said Board and
Michael W. Hatfield – County Administrator
Karen T. Mullins – County Attorney
Annette Underwood – Executive Secretary

MINUTES

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Bobby Cassell, to approve the minutes as presented. The motion was unanimously approved.

AGENDA

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Bob Adkins, to approve the agenda as presented to include item in red. The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE: PUBLIC HEARING – PROPERTY MAINTENANCE ORDINANCE

A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed Property Maintenance Ordinance for Wise County.

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

IN RE: APPALACHIA RESCUE SQUAD PRESENTATION

Travis Anderson, Deputy Fire Chief/EMS Chief Appalachia Fire Department, provided a power point presentation on Appalachia Fire and Rescue services and needs. He explained that Wise County funds nine fire departments and nine EMS agencies for a total of $468,000, with no increase since 2010. Since that time, the coverage area has increased, calls have increased, and operational costs have increased.

He explained how Fire/EMS staff is paid. On average AFD breaks even to pay for paid staffing, but each year EMS billing is in decline due to frequent patients passing, and co-pays not being met or paid. One source of revenue is from medical calls. Due to the downturn in the economy, volunteers are few if any at all. Most of them are working two jobs and have no time to volunteer. Membership has declined because there is no incentive, or benefits to attract new members.

AFD and Valley Fire Department are the only two agencies in Wise County that are both Fire/EMS combined.

When AFD was asked to take over EMS transport in 2014, AFD had to purchase an ambulance and equipment at a cost of $80,000. No money was allocated from either the Town of Appalachia or Wise County to help get this required service started. If it was not for Virginia Office of EMS grants, AFD would not be able to provide EMS services to Wise County residents.

Operational costs are increasing. There is not enough paid staffing to help supplement the decline in volunteers. Firefighters and EMS personnel are having health issues from this line of work. Apparatus for protection is very expensive. EMS billing is decreasing, which puts the County’s EMS agencies at risk of having to lay off some of their staff.

He asked the Board to consider increased funding for fire and EMS agencies, and better communication between the county, towns, and emergency services.

On another note, he briefed the Board on the poor condition of the existing AFD building. The building has water leaks, and the driveway is sinking. A new building is needed at this time. Plans for a proposed new fire station would incorporate the police department, and a helicopter pad for emergencies. Federal funding is available, but in order to get those funds, all federal requirements must be met. One of those requirements states that the building must be out of the floodplain. The only place in Appalachia that is not in the floodplain is the Appalachia High School parking lot. He said it would be greatly appreciated if the County would consider donating this property to the AFD to build a fire hall, which would meet the federal guidelines for grant funding.

PUBLIC EXPRESSION

Robert Anderson, Deputy Fire Chief/EMS Chief Appalachia Fire Department, provided a power point presentation regarding the impact downgrading the trauma centers in Kingsport would have on Wise County and EMS.

If JCMC is the level 1 trauma center, EMS in Wise County would see an increased operating cost in EMS, fuel, maintenance, and an increase in time for Wise County residents to receive the proper care they need plus extended out of service time for EMS. Five minutes could mean life or death for a patient. He asked that the Board consider all the facts that have been presented this evening, and ask Ballad to reconsider their proposal in downgrading the trauma center.

Tim Bradshaw addressed the Board opposing Ballad Health’s proposal for downgrading the trauma centers at Kingsport and Bristol to a Level 111. He stressed the importance of having the Board of Supervisors adopt a resolution opposing the closing of the neonatal intensive care unit and the Level 1 trauma Center at Holston Valley Medical Center.

Mickey Spivey addressed the Board opposing the closure and downgrading of medical facilities in Tennessee. The Holston Valley Medical Center neonatal intensive care unit is vital to Southwest Virginia as well as currently being a Level 1 trauma center . If Ballad is not agreeable to this proposal, ask that it not be made any lower than Level 11.

Jeff Dotson, Mayor of Wise, voiced his support for a financial increase for EMS, Fire Departments, and Rescue Squads. He noted the increased cost of equipment, travel, insurance and other miscellaneous items that are necessary to keep these entities up and running. The cost for training is very expensive, which must be done to have qualified personnel. The County has grown over the years with more territory to cover, and volunteers are no longer available to serve. He asked the Board to consider increasing its support for fire and rescue to keep them operational.

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

IN RE: CONSENT AGENDA

A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to approve the consent agenda as follows:

IN RE: RESOLUTION-WATER & SEWER REVENUE BOND-CARFAX WATER TREATMENT PLANT

Approved the resolution amending resolution adopted September 13, 2018 for issuance of Water and Sewer Revenue bond for improvements to Carfax Water Treatment Plant.

RESOLUTION #1- 2019

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

IN RE: WISE RESCUE SQUAD

Authorized payment of $8,000 to Wise Rescue Squad to help with financial obligations

IN RE: DISPATCHER POSITION

Approved Sheriff’s request to fill vacancy of Dispatcher

IN RE: COUNTY YEARLY CALENDAR

Approved the 2019 Pay and Holiday Calendar as presented

The motion to approve the consent agenda was unanimously approved.

IN RE: ORDINANCE FOR PROPERTY MAINTENANCE

A public hearing was held on January 10, 2019 to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed Property Maintenance Ordinance for Wise County. There were no public comments for or against the proposed ordinance.

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to approve the Property Maintenance Ordinance as presented.

Aye- Fred Luntsford Nay- Robby Robbins
Bobby Cassell Dana G. Kilgore
Steve Bates
Bob Adkins
J. H. Rivers
John Schoolcraft

Motion carried.

ORDINANCE #1 – 2019

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

IN RE: AGENDA ADDITION

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to add budget amendment #17 –($8,000 to the Wise Rescue Squad for financial assistance)to the agenda for consideration by the Board. The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE: BUDGET AMENDMENTS #16 & #17

A motion was made by John Schoolcraft, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to approve budget amendment #17 ($8,000 to the Wise Rescue Squad for financial assistance) to be taken from the EMS account, and budget amendment # 16 ($785.00 Wise Works Drug Fees) as presented. The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE: RESCUE SQUADS LONG TERM OPERATIONS

County Administrator Hatfield stated that he has formed a committee for the purpose of deciding how to meet short-term and long-term financial needs of the various emergency service agencies in Wise County. Members chosen for the Committee were Bob Adkins, EOC Director, Board Member Bobby Cassell, EOC Coordinator Jessica Swinney, Southwest Virginia EMS Council Executive Director Greg Woods, and County Attorney Karen Mullins. This group has met and reviewed the 2013 report that evaluated local emergency services, which provided recommendations to help meet the financial needs of these emergency service agencies. The next step will be to meet with City Manager Fred Ramey and all the town managers, and then meet with emergency medical service leaders and fire chiefs for their input. This is a goal that we all must work toward. Working together can make a big difference in this endeavor to move forward.

IN RE: POLICY FOR FILE STORAGE

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Bob Adkins, to approve the Policy for File Storage as presented. The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE: POLICY PERSONAL VEHICLE USAGE

A motion was made by John Schoolcraft, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to approve the Policy for Personal Vehicle Usage as presented. The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE: BUDGET AMENDMENTS

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to approve budget amendment #15 as presented. The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE: APPOINTMENT – REDEVELOPMENT & HOUSING AUTHORITY

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to table this appointment until next month. The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE: APPOINTMENT – WISE COUNTY REGIONAL JAIL AUTHORITY

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to appoint County Administrator Michael Hatfield to fill the position previously held by Interim County Administrator David Cox on the Wise County Regional Jail Authority. The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE: APPOINTMENT –COMMUNITY POLICY AND MANAGEMENT BOARD

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to appoint County Administrator Michael Hatfield to fill the unexpired term of David Cox on the Community Policy & Management Board. The motion was unanimously approved.

AGENDA ADDITION

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Bob Adkins to add letter of opposition to Ballad Health to reconsider or compromise leaving the neonatal intensive care unit and the Level 1 trauma center at Holston Valley Medical Center. The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE: BALLAD HEALTH / LETTER OF OPPOSITION

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to authorize the County Administrator to send a letter to Ballad Health in opposition to its decision to move the neonatal intensive care unit and the Level 1 trauma center from Holston Valley Medical Center. The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE: CLOSE SESSION

A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Robby Robbins, 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
(A)(1) Personnel
The motion was unanimously approved.

Following close session, a motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Bob Adkins, to reconvene the regular meeting. The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE: RESOLUTION CERTIFICATION FOR CLOSE MEETING

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

RESOLUTION #2-2019

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

IN RE: TREASURER’S OFFICE – VACANT POSITION

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to authorize filling the vacant position in the Treasurer’s office. The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE: LANDFILL – VACANT POSITIONS

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by Bobby Cassell, to authorize filling the two vacant positions at the Landfill. The motion was unanimously approved.

BOARD COMMENTS

During Board comments, all Board members agreed that there is an urgent need to come together and meet the needs of the fire and rescue squads for Wise County.

ADJOURN

There being no further business, a motion was made by Bobby Cassell, seconded by Steve Bates, to adjourn the meeting at 9:30 PM. The motion was unanimously approved.

ATTEST WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

__________________________            ________________________________
Michael W. Hatfield, Clerk                    Dana G. Kilgore, Chair

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