The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Workshop meeting on Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors meeting room located in the Wise County courthouse. The following were present:
Honorable Robert E. Robbins, Jr., Chairman
Honorable J. H. Rivers, Vice-Chairman
Honorable Virginia Meador
Honorable Dana G. Kilgore
Honorable Fred Luntsford
Honorable Robert E. Adkins
Honorable Ronald L. Shortt
Honorable Steve Bates – members of said Board and
Shannon C. Scott – County Administrator
David L. Cox – Financial Administrator
Karen Mullins – County Attorney
Annette Underwood – Executive Secretary
T. G. Branson led in prayer.
All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
IN RE: AGENDA
The following items were reviewed for addition to the agenda:
Resolution – Intent to Reimburse Expenditures for Landfill Expansion
Budget Amendment #9
IN RE: ROADS & HIGHWAYS
Residency Administrator T. G. Branson gave an update on the J.W. Adams Elementary School road project.
Board members provided needs in their districts for VDOT review and response.
Don Purdie a resident of Big Stone Gap, expressed his appreciation to the Board for the math/science initiative created in 2004 in the amount of $100,000 to assist students in advancing in these areas. He encouraged the Board to continue its support in keeping this project going.
James Baker voiced his support for bringing elk into Wise County. In other states where he has visited, elk has increased tourism and revenue. With this being a tourist attraction, Mr. Baker could not understand why the Board was against bringing them into Wise County. He further explained the elk’s mannerisms which implied that there was no need to have concern for one’s property or safety. He asked the Board to take his comments into consideration if this subject comes before them for another vote.
Walter Crouse addressed the Board regarding:
There being no further comments, the public hearing was closed at 6:23 p.m.
IN RE: MECC UPDATE
Dr. Suarez provided the Board with a Fact Sheet on how MECC is serving Wise County. He spoke briefly on the College’s accreditation and the Quality Enhancement Plan.
The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.
The Quality Enhancement Plan presents a framework for the College to provide students with a technology-rich learning environment, while preparing them for success in a technology-driven world. Ensuring that both the students and faculty are ready for this experience is fundamental to the plan, thereupon creating engaged learning through the effective use of academic technology.
IN RE: DAVENPORT & COMPANY – DEBT MANAGEMENT REVIEW
David Rose, representing Davenport & Company provided a power point presentation on the County’s funding strategy, goals and objectives.
Based on conservative estimates it seems that the County could responsibly borrow $44.5M to $52M for the schools with no revenue from the power plant until 2013, and no tax increases for ten years with an additional $24M for CIP projects.
To fund the full school consolidation for an estimated cost of $99M, the County could possibly borrow that money but he would not recommend it. It could be done, but not responsibly.
Since this is Mr. Rose’s first review of the County’s finances he tried to estimate all revenues conservatively which included less-than-expected tax revenues from Dominion, and not expecting any revenue from the power plant until 2013. Saving from the school consolidation was not factored in because he did not think it wise to count on savings as revenue. There is also a possibility that further cuts will be forthcoming from the state.
Mr. Rose recommended that the County use any unexpected revenue or savings to establish a “capital reserve fund” of up to at least $10M that would be available to offset future debt service impacts and provide contingency for any delay in revenues.
Mr. Rose’s preliminary report was free but the County would have to hire the firm to provide financial consulting services. If hired, Davenport & Company would work with the Board to refine debt capacity guideline and also help seek low and no-interest bonds available as a result of the federal stimulus package and keep an open door with the School Board regarding funding options.
IN RE: WISE SKILL CENTER
Bill Dotson, (title) provided an update on the history of the Wise Skill Center (Wise Workforce Center) and the many benefits offered by the Center.
The vision is to create a seamless system of services, customer focused, market driven and performance based, in a one-stop center environment.
The mission is assisting job seekers to access the tools they need to locate and manage their careers through high quality information and services. To assist employers by helping them acquire a capable and willing workforce. He reviewed the Workforce Programs being offered which included computer technology classes, welding classes, and building trades.
A recess was taken at 8:05 p.m.
The meeting reconvened at 8:12 p.m.
IN RE: WISE COUNTY TOURISM COMMITTEE UPDATE
Stan Botts, Chairman of the Wise County Tourism Committee, commented on several tours that have been provided to visitors from other states and the favorable responses that have been received on the beauty of Wise County and all the activities it has to offer.
Mr. Botts spoke briefly on the goals of the Committee and its intent to spread the word regarding tourism in Wise County.
IN RE: CONSENT AGENDA
The following items were reviewed under the Consent Agenda:
Set public hearing (Dec. 3, 2009 @ 6:00 p.m. on a request for a Special Use Permit for a family cemetery in the Powell River Community on Laurel Grove Road
Set public hearing (Dec. 3, 2009 @ 6:00 p.m.) on a request for a Special Use Permit for a family cemetery in the South Mountain Community of Pound
Set public hearing (Dec. 3, 2009 @ 6:00 p.m.) on E-911 road name additions
Set public hearing (Dec. 3, 2009 @ 6:00 p.m.) on a proposed amendment to the existing Enterprise Zone
NACo Prescription Discount Card Program
Ratify resolution on nationwide coal related permits
IN RE: OTHER ITEMS REVIEWED
The Wise Inn
School System Financing
Resolution - Math/Science Initiative Fund
Resolution - IEC Fusion Program
Elevator Service Contract
Appointments (None for November)
Closed session – Personnel and Investing of public funds
Finance Administrator’s Report
County Attorney’s Report
County Administrator’s Report
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.
ATTEST: WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk Robert E. Robbins, Jr., Chairman