Board of Supervisors - August 4, 2005 Workshop Meeting

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The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Workshop meeting on Thursday, August 4, 2005, at 6:00 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County courthouse.  The following were present:

Honorable Fred A. Luntsford - Chairman

Honorable Ronnie Shortt - Vice-chairman

Honorable Steve Bates

Honorable Virginia Meador

Honorable Leland Branham

Honorable Robert Robbins - members of said Board and

Glen A. Skinner - County Administrator

Shannon C. Scott - Assistant County Administrator

Karen T. Mullins - County Attorney

Annette Underwood - Executive Secretary

 

ABSENT

Honorable Robert R. Adkins

Honorable John W. Peace II

 

IN RE:  KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL AWARDS

Littler Coordinator Ray Couch presented 2005 Service Awards to individuals for their participation in litter cleanup throughout Wise County.

 

IN RE:  HUBZONE PROGRAM

Carolyn Alley, Counselor for the Procurement Technical Assistance Center, provided a power point presentation on the HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program.

Ms. Alley explained that the purpose of the program is to generate employment and to improve the general economy of a locality by assisting business firms in obtaining and performing under Federal, State and Local government contracts.  The program also provides Federal contracting assistance to qualified small businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones).

Wise County is qualified as a HUBZone since it was re-designated based on changes in unemployment as of May 5, 2004, and will cease this re-designation on May 5, 2007

The City of Norton is qualified as a HUBZone based on income.

There was a brief discussion on the HUBZone Program and its benefits for Wise County.

Bill Smith, representing Black Diamond RC&D, stated that he considered picking up trash and cleaning the streams as economic development and a necessary tool for making our county clean and attractive for tourism.

 

IN RE:  FAIRGROUND ENHANCEMENT PROJECT

Roger Williams, AML Manager and Gerald Collins, Environmental Manager, provided a power point presentation on a proposed fairground enhancement project.  The objectives of this project include high wall elimination, mine portal closure, and clogged stream land restoration.

Currently DMME has reclamation funding of approximately $80,000 that could be used for a portion of this project on adjacent property across the road from the fairgrounds.  From looking at the mine maps, there seems to be sufficient coal revenue that would be generated from potential recovery of that remnant coal to totally fund the project as envisioned at this time.

Mr. Williams provided further background information on the "Potential Abandoned Mine Land Project" on the fairgrounds with some of the benefits and opportunities it would bring to the County.  He asked for the Board's endorsement to proceed with implementing this project.

Mr. Williams further stated that DMME would prefer contracting with the IDA because of its flexibility of procurement and its ability of negotiating for the County since it is the owner of the approximate 3.5 acres being considered for this project.

There was mention of the cemetery located on the property. Mr. Williams stated that at the present time, the removal of the cemetery is not being considered but the scope of work is still in the preliminary stages and all options can be explored.

Mr. Williams recommended moving as soon as possible due to the expiration date of the FY 2005 funding grant, and the increased marketing price of coal at the present time.  With this being a "straight forward" project, it should be completed within two (2) years.

Chairman Luntsford recommended that the proper documents be prepared for Board approval subject to the approval of the County Administrator and the County Attorney.

Mr. Williams stated that a draft document has already been prepared that mirrors the one recently done in Buchanan County and has been given to the County Administrator for review.

 

IN RE:  PUBLIC HEARING - E-911 ROAD NAME ADDITIONS

A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens' comments regarding four (4) E-911 road name additions.

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

 

IN RE:  PUBLIC HEARING-SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE AMENDMENT

A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens' comments regarding proposed amendments/additions to County Subdivision Ordinance #2-1976.

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

 

IN RE:  PUBLIC EXPRESSION

Jack Kennedy asked the Board to consider funding, by some means, the NASA Program on channel 97.  NASA has dropped its analog coverage to go digital and as a result there must be a devise purchased for approximately $1,500.00 that will allow this production to continue. He noted the educational benefits of this program and encouraged the Board to provide the necessary funding to allow Channel 97 to purchase this equipment.

Bonnie Aker presented to the Board a Certificate of Appreciation that was received by the Wise Business Association on behalf of Wise County in recognition of the County's outstanding support of the Capitol Holiday Tree 2004 Project.

Ms. Aker also voiced her support for supplementing the salary of the Guest River Restoration Project Coordinator.  She stressed the need to have a coordinator to continue with the Guest River Restoration Project and to further the efforts in keeping our streams free from pollution.

Mike Holbrook, Chief Investigator for the Sheriff's Department, spoke to the Board on behalf of Dr. Maurice Nida, former Medical Examiner for Wise County.  Dr. Nida has recently resigned because the pay does not cover his time or expenses. He has asked that the pay rate be increased to $150.00 per case and he would resume that position.  Since l982, the Medical Examiner has been receiving only $50.00 per case in Wise County. This matter was brought before the state legislature, which failed to take action on the issue.  Therefore, the rate of pay was left at $50.00 per case.

Since there is no local medical examiner, the bodies that require a medical examiner must now be sent to the Roanoke Medical Examiner's Office, which cost approximately $350.00.  This is not only more expensive but also hinders investigations and prolongs grief of family members.

Mr. Holbrook stressed the importance of having a medical examiner not only for the sake of families but also for their department during investigations of suicides, suspicious deaths, etc.  He asked the Board to consider supplementing the $100.00 difference until such time the legislature addresses the need.

Officer Holbrook stated that he had spoken with six (6) of the seven (7) localities regarding deaths that occur within their jurisdiction that would require a medical examiner.  Two have given a positive response and the others are waiting for their councils to meet.

Walter Crouse voiced his support for supplementing the Medical Examiner's pay and the salary of the Guest River Restoration Project Coordinator.  He asked that the Board control any blasting that may occur with the proposed Abandoned Mined Land Program at the fairgrounds, if approved, and consider events that are scheduled at the fairgrounds.  Mr. Crouse noted the necessity of having pride in keeping our homes, businesses and recreation areas well kept to encourage tourism.

 

IN RE:  ROADS AND HIGHWAYS

Highway Resident Engineer T. G. Branson thanked the Litter Coordinator for the award given to the Department of Highways.

Board members provided Mr. Branson with needs in their district for VDOT review.

 

IN RE:  CONSENT AGENDA

The following items were reviewed:

(1)   Set public hearing (6:00 p.m. September 1) on six (6) proposed E-911 road name additions

(2)   Proclamation-National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month

(3)   Budget amendments:

No. 5:  Source of revenue-Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant ($12,391.00).  Expenditures Sheriff-Law Enforcement budget (3102) Machinery and Equipment line item (507001) $12,391.00

No. 6:  Source of revenue-Virginia State Compensation Board ($23,238.00). Expenditure- Sheriff-Law Enforcement budget (3102)- Salaries and Wages (501001) - $19,576.00 -Expenditures - Sheriff-E-911 Dispatch budget (3303) - Salaries and Wages (50100) $3,662.00

No 7:  Source of revenue-Virginia Commission for the Arts ($5,000.00).  Expenditures - Community organizations/events (1102) Discretionary Funds (505804) - $5,000.00

 

IN RE:  OTHER

The following items were reviewed:

(1)     Resolution - Medical Examiner

(2)     Change of Workshop meeting place for September

(3)     Appointments

(4)     Closed session 2.2-3711(A)(1) Personnel

 

IN RE:  BOARD COMMENTS

Board members made brief comments.

Supervisor Branham asked that the supplemental pay for the medical examiner be placed on next week's agenda for discussion.

Supervisor Bates asked that the receiver needed for channel 97 to provide the NASA Program be purchased.

Supervisor Meador asked that Dave Harris be contacted regarding the possibility of getting a lower government channel that could be utilized by all citizens.

Supervisor Shortt asked for information on providing a dedicated TV channel for the schools.

 

RECESS

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

 

 ATTEST:                               WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

 

_______________________    _____________________________

Glen A. Skinner, Clerk                 Fred A. Luntsford, Chairman

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