The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Regular Meeting on Thursday, April 11, 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 – Chairman
Honorable Robert E. Robbins, Jr. – Vice-Chairman
Honorable J. H. Rivers (By Phone)
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
Bob Adkins led in prayer.
All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to approve the minutes of March 14, 2019 as presented. The motion was unanimously approved.
A motion was made by John Schoolcraft, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the agenda as presented to include items in red. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: PUBLIC HEARING – REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX RATE FY 2019/20
A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments on a proposed real and personal property tax increase for FY 2019/20.
There being no public comments, the public hearing was closed.
IN RE: CLEAN THE CLINCH
Maddie Gordon, Project Manager for StreamSweepers, provided the Board with a short video and an overview of StreamSweepers goal to clean 50 miles of the Clinch River in the next 3 years.
Wise County has approximately 11 miles of riverbank that will be cleaned on the Clinch River this year for a cost of $6,000 per mile of riverbank. Once the cleaning of the Clinch has been completed, other rivers such as the Powell River and the Guest River are on the list for cleaning.
At the present time, with the current funding running short, the 3 year project can only continue through part of June.
StreamSweepers intends to hire local college students to help in this endeavor. However, these students must be trained. The goal is to train workers in late May and put them in the water by June. Volunteers may be an option for completion of this project.
Ms. Gordon asked for support from the Board since the Clinch River is such a vital asset to Wise County. This is an opportunity to invest in a program that will provide training and jobs to our local youth and boost the revenues of local river related tourism business. With the County’s help, 10-12 people can be hired to clean approximately 15 miles of river this summer.
IN RE: SPEARHEAD TRAILS UPDATE
Shawn Lindsey, Executive Director, addressed the Board with an overview of the activities ongoing with Spearhead Trails and the benefits that are offered to citizens for outdoor recreational events. One of Spearhead Trails’ goals is to build trails that connect to the towns, which in turn brings revenue for businesses.
The mission of Spearhead Trails is to develop and manage multi-use trails in the Southwest Regional Recreation Area to enhance, and sustain economic development and job creation through entrepreneurial opportunities in Southwest Virginia.
IN RE: APPALACHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT FACILITY
Travis Anderson, Deputy Fire Chief/EMS, Chief Appalachia Fire Department, addressed the Board with a resolution from the Town of Appalachia requesting the Board of Supervisors to transfer the remaining portion of the Appalachia High School parking lot property, approximately one acre, more or less, which has yet to be developed, to the Appalachia Fire and Rescue Organization for the purpose of constructing an emergency services facility, subject to obtaining 100% outside funding in order to construct said facility.
The current emergency services facility housing the Appalachia Fire and Rescue Squad has deteriorated, due to age and damage, to the point that it is no longer serviceable or repairable.
Mr. Anderson noted that the Appalachia Fire and Rescue Squad has developed a comprehensive plan to include construction and possible funding for an emergency services facility to include a much-needed helipad, which would provide swift air evac medical services to this area.
He noted that one of the requirements for grant funding is that the property must not be in the flood plain. The High School parking lot property is the only area in Appalachia that is not in the flood plain.
IN RE: CONSENT AGENDA
A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the consent agenda as follows:
IN RE: VIRGINIA RETIREMENT SYSTEM EMPLOYER ADOPTION AGREEMENT
Approved the VRS Employer Adoption Agreement as presented
IN RE: RESOLUTION – WELLS-ADAMS SEWER PROJECT
Approved the resolution for Compliance for Wells-Adams Sewer Project…. CDBG CIG#18-21
RESOLUTION # 2019
(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator’s Office)
IN RE: APPROPRIATIONS – SECOND MONTH OF 4TH QUARTER
Approved the second month of the 4th quarter appropriations
IN RE: ORDINANCE AMENDMENT (ZONING ORDINANCE #2-1991 )
Set public hearing (5-9-2019 @ 6:00 PM) on a proposed amendment to Zoning Ordinance #2-1991 (solar energy systems)
The motion to approve the consent agenda was unanimously approved.
IN RE: RESOLUTION – REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX RATE FY 2019/20
A public hearing was held on 4-11-2019 to receive public input on the proposed Real and Personal Property Tax Rate increase for FY 2019/20. There were no public comments regarding the proposed increase.
A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Bobby Cassell, to approve the resolution increasing the Real and Personal Property Tax Rate for FY 2019/20 by 7 cents.
Supervisor Luntsford asked how the new income would be spent.
Administrator Hatfield explained that 3 cents would be for school consolidation debt, 2 cents would be for the estimated $10M for county construction projects, and 2 cents would be for shortfalls in the budget.
Supervisor Luntsford asked if the J.J. Kelly renovation is part of the proposed county projects to move offices from the courthouse to the Kelly building. He also heard that UVA-Wise has an interest in the Kelly building, which he felt would be a better investment for the County.
Supervisor Cassell questioned whether or not UVA-Wise was serious about the Kelly building or if that was one option of several sites that are being considered.
Chairman Kilgore noted that the Department of Social Services has an urgent need for a permanent location. At the present time, they have temporarily been placed in the Sykes building for two years until a permanent location has been identified.
Supervisor Luntsford stated that he is not in favor of renovating the Kelly building. As it stands right now, none of the new money is being designated for meeting the critical needs of EMS.
Supervisor Rivers felt that the County should look at any expected state and federal funding before approving the 7 cents tax increase. His concern is that the tax increase will stifle business investments and potential new comers to Wise County. Also, without knowing the current revenues, he could not vote for a 7 cent tax increase.
Supervisor Luntsford once again noted that all departments are not cutting spending as requested. Until that becomes a reality, there will be tax increases.
Roll call vote.
Aye- Bob Adkins Nay- Fred Luntsford
Bobby Cassell John Schoolcraft
Steve Bates J. H. Rivers
Supervisor Robbins said his vote is contingent upon the 2 cents.
Attorney Mullins explained that he could vote no or abstain, which would cause the motion to fail. Then he could make another motion with a stipulation on the 2 cents.
Supervisor Robbins voted “no” to Supervisor Adkins motion.
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Bob Adkins, to accept the 7 cent increase only if 2 cents is set aside strictly for debt service.
Supervisor Luntsford briefed the Board on another instance when money was set aside for a certain project and used for something else.
Administrator Hatfield asked Supervisor Robbins if the 2 cents he’s referring to, the 3 cents for bonds, or the 2 cents for county facilities-potential debt service or the 2 cents for balancing the budget, and whether or not this is across the board.
Supervisor Robbins stated that the 2 cents is for debt service for Social Services. It’s across the board.
The votes were as follows:
Nay- John Schoolcraft Aye- Robby Robbins
J. H. Rivers Bob Adkins
Fred Luntsford Bobby Cassell
IN RE: HEALTH DEPARTMENT - DEED OF LEASE
Administrator Hatfield stated that the draft of the Deed of Lease for the Health Department that is in the Board packet has had a few minor changes by the State of Virginia. He suggested that the Board may want to approve the Deed of Lease subject to the approval of the County Attorney and County Administrator after completing negotiations with the State of Virginia or place it on the agenda for May or June.
A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to approve the Deed of Lease between the County of Wise and the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of General Services subject to the approval of the County Attorney and the County Administrator after completing negotiations with the State of Virginia. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: RESOLUTION ---- HARVESTING OF ELK IN WISE COUNTY
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to approve the resolution requesting DGIF to reconsider and reexamine the Elk Management Plan and the impact it has on Wise County, or ask the legislature to authorize and mandate the EMP, which includes Wise County, be modified by authorizing Wise County to harvest Elk during deer season as is permitted in other areas of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The motion was unanimously approved.
Resolution # 2019
(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator’s Office)
The Board took a break at 7:36 PM.
The meeting reconvened at 7:47 PM.
IN RE: SPEARHEAD TRAIL BLAZERS
A letter was received from Spearhead Trail Blazers, a 501C3 organization, requesting financial assistance from Wise County and the City of Norton on an annual basis as a Corporate Sponsorship in the amount of $2,500. This funding would go toward hiring an Executive Director. There was also a request for the governing board to make a (1) 3-year appointment to the Trail Blazer’s Board.
After discussion, a motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to table this request for consideration during the upcoming budget process. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: PUMP AND HAUL – HAZ-MAT
A letter was received from Haz-Mat Co-Team Leader Jack Tolbert stating that the Haz-Mat Team has recently constructed a new facility in the Wise County Industrial Park on land that was donated by the Wise County IDA. The main sewer line is over 600 feet from the building, which is cost prohibited for Haz-Mat to install. Estimates have been from $15,000 to $30,000 to install the line. The Haz-Mat Team only receives $30,000 a year from VDEM to operate the team.
To meet this need, the Haz-Mat Team is requesting to be added to the County’s Pump and Haul Permit, which would be sufficient and cost effective for the Team to operate in its new facility.
A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Robby Robbins, to allow the Haz-Mat Team to be added to the County’s Pump and Haul Permit. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: CONDITIONAL REZONING
A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Bob Adkins, to set a public hearing on 5-9-2019 @ 6:00 PM on a request for conditional rezoning of property located at 9730 Coeburn Mtn. Road for the purpose of establishing a tanning salon business. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: ROAD MAINTENANCE – COEBURN MTN. RT 646
A letter was received from Congressman Morgan Griffith’s Office regarding a meeting Congressman Griffith had with William Steele, a resident of Coeburn Mountain. Their discussion was on Rt. 646, Coeburn Mountain Road and the need for maintenance on that road. They also discussed the proximity of this road and its potential to see many distant beautiful sites if there were viewing stations along the route.
After discussing the request, Administrator Hatfield was asked to contact VDOT regarding maintenance on the road, and also discuss the possibility of a scenic overlook being placed in a location along Rt. 646 that would enhance the view of distant sites. The Board also asked that a resolution be prepared for the Board to consider at its May meeting regarding this request.
IN RE: BUDGET AMENDMENTS
A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Bobby Cassell, to approve budget amendments #30, #31, and #32 as presented. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: APPOINTMENT – DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to appoint Wayne Wheatley to fill the unexpired term of Charles W. Bennett on the Social Services Board. The motion was unanimously approved.
N RE: APPOINTMENT-STANDARDS COMMITTEE 911
John Schoolcraft nominated Major Grant Kilgore for reappointment to the Standards Committee 911.
Robby Robbins made a motion that nominations cease and Major Grant Kilgore be reappointed by acclamation. Bob Adkins seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: APPOINTMENT – LONESOME PINE AIRPORT COMMISSION
Bob Adkins nominated Danny G. Mullins for reappointment to the LP Airport Commission.
Bobby Cassell nominated Steve Bates to the LP Airport Commission.
John Schoolcraft made a motion that nominations cease. Bob Adkins seconded the motion.
The votes for Danny G. Mullins were as follows:
Aye- John Schoolcraft Nay- Fred Luntsford
Bob Adkins Robby Robbins
J. H. Rivers Dana Kilgore
The votes for Steve Bates were as follows:
Aye- Fred Luntsford
J. H. Rivers
IN RE: APPOINTMENT – TRANSPORTATION (HIGHWAY ) SAFETY COMMISSION
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to table the appointment to the Transportation Safety Commission until next month for more information. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: APPOINTMENT – RECREATIONAL AUTHORITY
A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Bobby Cassell, to appoint Brian Falin to fill the unexpired term of Brian Estep on the Recreational Authority. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: CLOSE SESSION
A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Bob Adkins, 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.
Following close session, a motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by John Schoolcraft, 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 Bobby Cassell, to approve the resolution certifying that only public business matters lawfully exempted from open meeting requirements that were identified in the motion convening the close meeting were heard or discussed by the Board of Supervisors. The motion was unanimously approved by roll call vote.
RESOLUTION # 2019
(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator’s Office)
IN RE: AGENDA AMENDMENT
A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Bob Adkins, to amend the agenda to include a request made by Appalachia Fire and Rescue. The motion was unanimously approved.
IN RE: APPALACHIA FIRE & RESCUE FUNDING
A request was received from Appalachia Fire & Rescue for funding in the amount of $11,637.00 for operational expenses.
A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Bobby Cassell, to approve the request made by Appalachia Fire and Rescue. The motion was unanimously approved.
Board members voiced their concerns regarding the future of recycling, and how that will affect our environment and landfill space.
Administrator Hatfield noted that a meeting is being set to discuss possible short term solutions that could alleviate this problem until a market becomes available for this area.
There being no further business, a motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Bob Adkins, to adjourn the meeting at 9:05 PM. The motion was unanimously approved.
ATTEST: WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Michael W. Hatfield, Clerk Dana G. Kilgore, Chairman