Board of Supervisors - May 9, 2019 Regular Meeting

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The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Regular Meeting on Thursday, May 9, 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
Honorable John Schoolcraft
Honorable Robert R. Adkins
Honorable Steve Bates
Honorable Bobby Cassell
Honorable Fred Luntsford- Members of said Board and
Michael W. Hatfield – County Administrator
Karen T. Mullins – County Attorney
Annette Underwood – Executive Secretary

PRAYER

Mike Winters, Pastor Wise Baptist Church led in prayer.

PLEDGE

All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

MINUTES

A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the minutes of April 11, 2019 as presented.

Supervisor Rivers stated that after reviewing the minutes regarding the tax increase, the substitute motion made by Supervisor Robbins regarding the use of 2-cents of the 7-cent tax increase, was not what he understood the motion to be.  The minute’s states that the motion was to accept the 7-cent increase only if 2 cents is set aside strictly for County building projects.

Mr. Robbins said that was not the intent of his motion.  The motion was for school debt and when that debt expires or paid off the tax rate would drop back to 2 cents.

Supervisor Rivers thought he meant the 2 cents would go for Social Services.

Supervisor Robbins said it was meant for school debt.

After further discussion, Supervisor Rivers made a substitute motion to delay any action on the minutes until the Recess meeting which will allow the staff time to listen to the tape of the April meeting for clarification on Supervisor Robbins motion.  John Schoolcraft seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved.

AGENDA

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 – ZONING ORDINANCE #2-1991 AMENDMENT

A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed amendment to Zoning Ordinance #2-1991, which will allow and support solar energy projects .

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

IN RE:  PUBLIC HEARING – CONDITIONAL REZONING – TANNING SALON BUSINESS

A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed Conditional Rezoning of property located at 9730 Coeburn Mtn. Road for the purpose of establishing a tanning salon business.

Danny Fannon owner of the proposed business explained to the Board that he has gone before the Planning Commission with his request, and the opposition from the residents in that area is because of increase in traffic and past accidents.  He further noted that he has spoken with Joey Mullins at VDOT and asked for a lower speed limit on this road and road signs to assist with the traffic issue.

Several individuals spoke opposing the request to rezone mostly because of the traffic problems, and the fact that this is a residential area.

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

IN RE:  MECC ACTIVITY UPDATE

Dr. Kris Westover, MECC President, provided the Board with an update on different functions ongoing at the college.  Enrollment has increased this year over last year.   She stated that many programs have been put in place to help students to prepare for future endeavors. 

She thanked the Board for working with MECC on the use of the Appalachia Elementary School, which is a perfect location for MECC’s training programs.

IN RE:  SCHOOL BOARD PROPOSED FY 2019/20 BUDGET PRESENTATION

Dr. Greg Mullins, Superintendent of Wise County Public Schools, provided the Board with a power point presentation with an overview of Wise County Schools’ achievements, needs, and goals as follows:

  • Reviewed Capital Improvements that have been made since 2016, and the upcoming capital projects

  • Reviewed the increased needs for school children living in poverty.  Wise County has a higher poverty rate than 83% of other schools

  • Reviewed local, state and federal funding difference since 2013

  • Noted efforts that are being made to increase pay scale for teachers and other employees

Dr. Mullins asked for school funding at current level, and wants to work with the Board to reduce next year’s school budget.

Beth Shupe, Director of Business/Finance, provided a handout on the proposed FY 2019/20 School Budget.  She reviewed the budget by line item explaining increases and decreases.  The total budget for FY 2019/20 is $60,407,919.00.

The Operation Expenditure Summary is as follows:

Instruction                                          $42,007,519 – an increase of                       $829,372
Administration                                  $     879,600 –an increase of                        $   17,636
Attendance & Health                      $ 1,836,500  --an increase of                        $  85,100
Transportation                                  $  3,642,600 –an increase of                        $    1,328
Operation & Maintenance           $  6,136,500 – an increase of                        $478,100
School Food                                       $2,943,000 –     a decrease of                       ($ 79,600)
Other operations                             $1,242,800  --   a decrease of                      ($42,478)
Technology                                         $1,719,400 –   an increase of                         $62,400             
___________________________________________________________________________________
    Total                                               $60,407,919  --an increase of                       $1,351,858

IN RE:  APPALACHIA FIRE AND RESCUE

Travis Anderson, Appalachia Deputy Fire Chief, addressed the Board with  a power point presentation focusing on a proposal to build four (4) Fire and EMS stations in Wise County.  He provided reasons he felt this proposal would not be in the best interest of Wise County. 

In the power point, Mr. Anderson pointed out that the Wise County Fire Departments cover 400 square miles with an average of 1,200 plus responses per year, and EMS cover 340 square miles with an average of 5,300 emergency calls per year.   He feels that each existing Fire and EMS Station is located in the ideal location to serve Wise County citizens.

Mr. Anderson noted that constructing four (4) Fire/EMS Stations will not solve the county’s Fire/EMS problems.  Also, by having only one fire truck at each station will impact the towns’ ISO rating.  There would not be enough equipment, manpower, nor response time from the second due stations.  This plan will cost lives, property and money.

He asked the Board to leave the agencies in place.  If an agency request funding for paid staffing to help supplement the loss of volunteers, find a way to do that, and help find a way to increase operational funding.

There were other Fire and EMS members present in opposition to the four (4) new stations proposal.

PUBLIC EXPRESSION

Several  individuals approached the Board in support of level funding the School Board. They also voiced their support for more funding for Fire and EMS services in our area.  Several comments were made that the Board of Supervisors needs to stand up against Ballad to keep our health facilities in our locality.

Walter Crouse a resident in the Hurricane section of Wise County voiced his opposition to the recent tax increase, and property being over assessed.  He also spoke briefly on the recent loss of the recycling company in Kingsport, which was Wise County’s source for disposal of our recyclables.  He noted that this need should be addressed as soon as possible to save space in our landfill.

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

RECESS

The Board took a brief recess at 8:16 PM
The meeting reconvened at 8:34 PM

IN RE: CONSENT AGENDA

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

IN RE:  TECHNOLOGY ZONE INCENTIVE TAX RATE 

The following motion was made and unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors at its meeting on October 11, 2018 regarding the Technology Zone Incentive Tax Rate.  However, the motion was inadvertently omitted from the written minutes of that meeting.

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to adopt the following real and personal property incentive tax rate for the Wise County Technology Zone, specifically, the Appalachian American Energy Research Center located in the LP Business and Technology Park: 

  • 75% reduction in real and personal property taxes for year 2019

  • 65% reduction in real and personal property taxes for year 2020

  • 55% reduction in real and personal property taxes for year 2021

  • 45% reduction in real and personal property taxes for year 2022

  • 35% reduction in real and personal property taxes for year 2023

The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION PPTRA BUDGET

Approved the PPTRA Budget as presented

RESOLUTION #           2019

(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator’s Office)
IN RE:  RESOLUTION  NATIONAL INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM – DECLARATION OF ADOPTION

Adopted the resolution approved the National Incident Management System – Declaration of Adoption as presented

RESOLUTION #        2019

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

IN RE:  ORDINANCE --TAX EXEMPT STATUS  - HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF THE POUND

Set public hearing  (6-13-2019 @ 6:00 PM) on a proposed Tax Exempt Ordinance for Historical Society of The Pound

IN RE:  RESOLUTION –COAL & GAS ROAD ANNUAL PLAN FOR ROADS AND BRIDGES

Adopted the resolution approving the Coal & Gas Road Advisory Committee’s Annual Plan for Roads and Bridges

RESOLUTION #          2019

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

IN RE:  REZONING OF PROPERTY –SITE FOR MOBILE HOME

Set a public hearing (6-13-2019 @ 6:00 PM) on a proposed rezoning of property at 5303 Esserville Road for the purpose of placing a mobile home there

IN RE:  SIX YEAR PLAN & SECONDARY SYSTEM CONSTRUCTION BUDGET

Set a public hearing (6-13-2019 @ 6:00 PM) on Wise County’s Secondary Six-Year Plan & Secondary System Construction Budget

IN RE:  SPECIAL USE PERMIT – CELL TOWER SITE

Set a public hearing (6-13-2019 @ 6:00 PM) on a proposed Special Use Permit for erecting a new cellular tower on property located at 5620 Dan Hall Mountain Road, Coeburn, VA

IN RE:  RESOLUTION – HONORING JESSE McREYNOLDS

Approved the resolution honoring Jesse McReynolds for his artistic achievements and his lifetime of commitment to American music

RESOLUTION #               2019

(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator’s Office)
  
The motion to approve the consent agenda was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  ZONING ORDINANCE #2-1991 AMENDMENT

A public hearing was held on May 9, 2019 to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed amendment to Zoning Ordinance #2-1991 for the purpose of adding specific language for defining a solar energy system and the requirements and restrictions related to such systems for use in Wise County.  There were no public comments for or against the proposed amendment.

A motion was made by Steve Bates, seconded by Robby Robbins, to approve the amendment to Zoning Ordinance #1-1991 as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

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

IN RE:  CONDITIONAL REZONING – TANNING SALON

A public hearing was held on May 9, 2019 to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed Conditional Rezoning of property located at 9730 Coeburn Mtn. Road for the purpose of establishing a Tanning Salon.

Several citizens came forward at the public hearing opposing the conditional rezoning due to increased traffic that a business would bring into this residential area that already has had several accidents due to the entrance of this property.

It was noted that the Planning Commission recommends to the Board of Supervisors to deny this request because of the serious safety concerns of the entrance into this property, and a petition was signed by the adjacent property owners requesting the property remain residential.

A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to deny this request as recommended by the Planning Commission.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPROPRIATIONS (THIRD MONTH) OF 4TH QUARTER

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to take no action on the appropriations (third month) of 4th Quarter until the Recessed meeting, which will give more time to get further into the budget for FY 2019/20.   The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION – SCENIC OVERLOOK COEBURN MOUNTAIN

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Dana Kilgore, to approve the resolution requesting VDOT’s support for improving maintenance of Route 646 and for the initiation of a review to determine the feasibility of a scenic overlook along Route 646.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION #               2019

(Said resolution is on file in the County Administrator’s Office)
IN RE:  COUNTY BUDGET (PROPOSED) FOR FY 2019/20 (DISCUSSION)

Administrator Hatfield stated that budget requests have been received from all departments.  The requests were reviewed and reduced by $6,000,000.  A final draft of the budget should be ready to be delivered to Board members for review on Friday, and for discussion at the Recessed Meeting , which will be set for one day next week.

There was some discussion on setting a date for the Recessed meeting.  A vote will be taken on the time and date at the end of this meeting.

IN RE:  BUDGET AMENDMENT

A motion was made by Bob Adkins, seconded by Steve Bates, to approve budget amendment #33, #34, and #35 as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – TRANSPORTATION (HIGHWAY) SAFETY COMMISSION

Attorney Mullins explained that the Board adopted an ordinance  in 1979, which superceded and replaced the  Highway Safety Commission Ordinance of November 12, 1968.

This Transportation Safety Commission Ordinance established the Wise County Transportation Safety Commission and provided for membership, terms of office, and responsibilities of said Commission.

The purpose of this Commission is directed to carry out the guidelines of the Virginia Department of Transportation Safety, which mandates a local commission in order to qualify for Federal Highway Safety Grants.

After checking with VDOT, Attorney Mullins was told that this Commission is no longer required for receiving federal grants.  Funding is now on an application based system and the department provides crash analytics for the selection process.   She noted that she would prepare an ordinance to rescind the 1979 ordinance for Board action at its June meeting.

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to table any action on the Transportation (Highway) Safety Commission appointment until the June meeting.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – LONESOME PINE LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES

A motion was made by J. H. Rivers, seconded by John Schoolcraft, to appoint William Christopher Allgyer to fill the unexpired term of Grace Bradshaw on the LP Library Board of Trustees.  The motion was unanimously approved.

BOARD COMMENTS

Board members voiced their concerns regarding health care for Wise County.  It was agreed that there needs to be more communication with Ballad.  It seems that the people’s voice has fallen on deaf ears with Ballad. 

RECESS

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to recess the meeting until Monday, May 13, 2019 @ 4:00 PM in the School Board Education Center.  The motion was unanimously approved.

ATTEST:                                                                             WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

 

____________________________________                       _____________________________________
Michael W. Hatfield, Clerk                                                            Dana G. Kilgore, Chairman

 

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