Board of Supervisors - February 9, 2017 Regular Meeting

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The Wise County Board of Supervisors met in a Regular Meeting on Thursday, February 9, 2017, at 6:00 PM in the School Board Education Center located on 628 Lake Street in Wise, VA.  The following members were present:

Honorable Dana G. Kilgore – Chair
Honorable Robert E. Robbins, Jr. – Vice-Chair
Honorable Fred Luntsford
Honorable Ronald L. Shortt
Honorable Steve Bates
Honorable J. H. Rivers
Honorable Virginia Meador
Honorable Robert R. Adkins – members of said Board and
Shannon C. Scott – County Administrator
Karen T. Mullins – County Attorney
David L. Cox – Finance Administrator
Annette Underwood – Executive Secretary

PRAYER

Adrian Dale led in prayer.

PLEDGE

All led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

MINUTES

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

AGENDA

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Steve Bates, to approve the agenda as presented to include items in red.  The motion was unanimously approved.

ROADS AND HIGHWAYS

Supervisor Rivers asked Administrator Scott to get an update on the status of State Route 613 road construction and the estimated time of completion.

Supervisor Adkins asked that a gravel request be written for Cumbo Road.

IN RE:  PUBLIC HEARING – ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF FILING PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX RETURNS

A public hearing was duly advertised for this date to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed ordinance authorizing an alternative method of filing personal property tax returns.

There being no one to speak for or against the proposed ordinance, the public hearing was closed.

IN RE:  CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL ONE ACT PLAY TEAM

Central High School One Act Play Team and Coaches came before the Board to accept a resolution honoring them for their recent win of the 2A Championship in Theatre.

IN RE:  MECC UPDATE

Dr. Scott Hamilton, President at Mountain Empire Community College, addressed the Board with an update on the enrollment for the spring semester and ongoing activities at MECC.  He noted that  MECC now offers online classes to expand skills with GIS and training in Cyber Security.

 Dr. Hamilton informed the Board that he would be retiring at the end of June to pursue other interests in his life.  He praised the Board for its support of the college over the years, which has made a difference in the growth of the college, and its ability to offer more classes and training courses to equip citizens for better jobs and students for a better future.

IN RE:  COMCAST UPDATE

Comcast representative, Katy Brown, Manager, Government Affairs, came before the Board to answer questions that were addressed in a letter from County Administrator Scott regarding internet speed, pricing packages, phone service, and customer service.  She stated that  monthly bills are being revised to more clearly explain charges, etc, which will identify, more clearly, any changes to the customer’s monthly statement.

Ms. Brown, only being with Comcast for a few weeks, introduced Ronnie G. Colvin, Sr. Director, External Affairs, and a veteran of 34 years with Comcast, to answer further questions the Board may have.

Mr. Colvin spoke regarding the internet speed stating that some advertising went out that was not correct.   He said he made the suggestion that packages should be sent out by zip code, which would give those localities the correct package for that area.  This would help alleviate misleading customers with the wrong information for their specific area. 

Supervisor Robbins said he get lots of complaints on customer service.  When someone calls in for service, they get a person they cannot communicate with, and then they are put on hold for the long period of time with nothing being accomplished; only frustration.

Mr. Colvin stated that Comcast is bringing several call centers back to the United States to help alleviate this problem.

Supervisor Luntsford voiced his frustration with customer service.   When he called Comcast regarding the increase in his monthly bill, he was connected to an employee  out of the United States that did not speak English very well or they could not understand him enough to help with his problem.  Not only that, but when Mr. Byrd, before his retirement from Comcast, came before the Board, he stated  that  Comcast customers are now required to have a digital adapter, which is free of charge.  After a year, the monthly bill started showing a charge of $1.99 for each adapter.  It then went to $2.99, and is now $5.99 for each adapter .  Mr. Luntsford said the least Comcast could do, would be to remove the charge for the digital adapter.  He challenged Mr. Colvin to get this done, not only for him but to help other customers too.  Mr. Luntsford also questioned Comcast’s various packages that do not include landline services. 

Mr. Colvin said he would make sure that Mr. Luntsford’s account is reviewed for some resolve to his problem.

Supervisor Shortt stated that citizens are constantly getting increased monthly bills, without asking for a change of service or not knowing why the bill was increased.  Citizens realize that Comcast has no competition, and they are at Comcast’s mercy if they are to have cable service.  Mr. Shortt has an ongoing issue at his house with internet service going out, and staying out for hours.  At this point, he has gone through five modems, and his problem is still not fixed.  Mr. Shortt commented that Comcast has a lot of damage control to do in Wise County.  Citizens are asking when Comcast’s franchise expires, and when the County could bring in a new provider.

 Mr. Colvin said he would make sure that Mr. Shortt’s problem is corrected.   He noted that Comcast gets a below average number of service calls in this area.  Mr. Shortt stated that people are giving up on getting any assistance from a call center employee because they cannot communicate due to the language barrier, so they stop calling.  That is why the service calls have decreased.

PUBLIC EXPRESSION

Walter Crouse, a resident of Hurricane, voiced many suggestions for reducing the County budget for the upcoming year.  He suggested bringing agriculture back to Wise County as a revenue source, and build an orphanage to end foster parenting, which will keep the children safe and create jobs.

Brenda Bolling came before the Board to address her request for a private cemetery.  She was told that the public hearing is scheduled for the March meeting.

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

IN RE:  CONSENT AGENDA

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

IN RE:  SPECIAL USE PERMIT

Set public hearing (3-9-2017 @ 6:00 PM on a request from Brenda Bolling for a Special Use Permit for a cemetery

IN RE:  RESOLUTION – HONORING CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL

Adopted a resolution Honoring Central High School One Act Play Team & Coaches for recently winning the 2A State Championship in Theatre recording a first place championship finish for 2 consecutive years

RESOLUTION #3 – 2017

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

IN RE:  RESOLUTION – HONORING SARAH LOVE McREYNOLDS

Adopted the resolution honoring Sarah Love McReynolds for her services to Wise County

RESOLUTION #4 – 2017

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

IN RE:  SURPLUS VEHICLE SALE

Authorized the selling of surplus vehicles

The motion to approve the consent agenda was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  ORDINANCE – ALTERNATIVE METHOD FOR FILING PERSONAL PROPERTY  TAX RETURNS

A public hearing was held on February 9, 2017 to receive citizens’ comments regarding a proposed ordinance on an alternative method for filing personal property tax returns.

There was no public opposition to the proposed ordinance.

A motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to approve the ordinance as presented.  The motion was unanimously approved.

ORDINANCE #1 – 2017

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

IN RE:  “GO VIRGINIA”  DISCUSSION

Supervisor Shortt stated that the topic “Go Virginia” has been discussed several times, and hearing all that has been said, he has several unanswered questions that he would like to discuss in close session.

IN RE:  MOU – GAS REMEDIATION WORK -  T&L

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Fred Luntsford, to approve T&L’s MOU #12 for gas remediation work at the landfill.  The motion was unanimously approved.

IN RE:  RESOLUTION –PSA HIX ORCHARD WATERLINE REPLACEMENT

A motion was made by Fred Luntsford, seconded by Steve Bates, to approve the resolution of the Board of Supervisors  consenting to the issuance of a water and sewer revenue bond by the Wise County PSA and authorizing the execution of a support agreement providing for Wise County’s moral obligation to make certain appropriations with respect to the Bond.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION #5 – 2017

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

IN RE:  RESOLUTION – DARK SKIES PARK DESIGNATION

A motion was made by Robby Robbins, seconded by Ronnie Shortt, to approve the resolution endorsing, and supporting the Thomas Jefferson National Forest, Clinch District, Bark Camp Lake Dark Skies Park application advanced by the Coeburn Boy Scout Troop 301.  The motion was unanimously approved.

RESOLUTION #6 – 2017

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

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – ROUNDTABLE EXECUTIVE BOARD

Fred Luntsford nominated Robby Robbins for re-appointment to the Roundtable Executive Board

Ronnie Shortt made a motion that nominations cease.  Fred Luntsford seconded the motion.  Mr. Robbins was re-appointed by acclamation.

IN RE:  APPOINTMENT SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES COUNCIL

J. H. Rivers nominated Dr. Sue Cantrell for re-appointment to the Southwest Virginia Emergency Medical Services Council.

Fred Luntsford made a motion that nomination cease.  Bob Adkins seconded the motion.  Dr. Sue Cantrell was re-appointed by acclamation.
 
IN RE:  APPOINTMENT – BUILDING CODE AND APPEALS BOARD

Fred Luntsford nominated Steve Brooks for re-appointment as an alternate to the Building Code and Appeals Board.

J. H. Rivers made a motion that nominations cease.  Steve Bates seconded the motion.  Steve Brooks was re-appointed by acclamation.

IN RE:  CLOSE SESSION

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

RESOLUTION #7 – 2017

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

ADJOURN

There being no further business to come before the Board, a motion was made by Ronnie Shortt, seconded by J. H. Rivers, to adjourn the meeting at 9:45 PM.  The motion was unanimously approved.

ATTEST:                                                                                   WISE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

 

____________________________________                                ___________________________________
Shannon C. Scott, Clerk                                                                 Dana G. Kilgore, Chair

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