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|Board Members Present:||Fitzgerald A. Barnes, Dan W. Byers, Willie L. Gentry, Jr., Willie L. Harper, Richard A. Havasy, P.T. Spencer, Jr. and Jack T. Wright|
|Others Present:||Dale Mullen, County Administrator; Ernie McLeod, Deputy County Administrator; Greg Hoffman, County Attorney; Jeremy Camp, Director of Community Development; Kevin Linhares, Director of General Services; Bob Hardy, Director of Information Technology; Robert Dubé, Fire Chief; Jane Shelhorse, Director of Parks and Recreation; Sherry Vena, Director of Human Resources; Carolyn McCray, Tourism Manager; Nancy Pleasants, Commissioner of the Revenue; Amanda Reidelbach, Office Manager, Administration; Alyson Simpson, Deputy Clerk, Administration, and Kimberly Smith, Records Clerk, Administration|
CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Harper called the October 5, 2009 regular meeting of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors to order at 5:00 p.m. Mr. Wright led the invocation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
Mr. Harper said the presentation of a resolution recognizing Ms. Mandy Owens would be removed from the agenda. Mr. Harper added a presentation from 4-H and a resolution proclaiming October 4-10, 2009 as National 4-H Week in Louisa County under Presentations. Mr. Harper said Item 8 under Old Business for financing of the James River Water Authority and Item 9 under Old Business for the James River Water Authority Inter-jurisdictional agreement would be removed from the agenda. Mr. Harper said a resolution approving Addendum No. 2 between Dewberry & Davis, Inc. and the County of Louisa would be added to Old Business. Mr. Harper said a resolution to approve a supplemental appropriation for contractual services related to CSA would be added to Old Business.
Mr. Spencer asked to add a discussion regarding the payment of taxes twice a year. Mr. Harper said that would be added to Old Business.
On the motion of Mr. Wright, seconded by Mr. Barnes, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the October 5, 2009 agenda was adopted as amended.
Presentation - 4-H Club
Ms. Jenny Thompson, 4-H Coordinator, said the 4-H Club, represented by Will and Hasher Watkins, would like to present a token of appreciation to the Board in recognition of National 4-H Week. Ms. Thompson thanked the Board for their support on behalf of 4-H.
Resolution - Proclaiming October 4-10, 2009 as National 4-H Week in Louisa County
On the motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Spencer, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board adopted a resolution proclaiming October 4-10, 2009 as National 4-H Week in Louisa County.
Presentation - A Resolution Recognizing Mandy Owens for her Service to Louisa County
This item was removed from the agenda.
Presentation - VDOT Monthly Update
Jamie Glass, Resident Administrator, provided an update of VDOT activities, which included the following:
Maintenance Work Completed
Maintenance Work Planned
0644-054-278C-C501-B601, UPC 71908
0649-054-270-N501, UPC 76183
0699-054-716-B646-P101, UPC 90310
0791-054-P01-N501, UPC 71907
0820-054-275-N501, UPC 80070
EN03-254-114-P101, UPC 70312
EN98-054-124-C503, UPC 88142
EN05-254-123-P101, UPC 78233
|Status Changed Since Last Month|
|At Canal Bridge||No Parking||Installation Completed|
|Between Rt. 635 & E.S.M.||Speed Study||Study Completed|
|@ Rt. 33||Speed Limit 25||Installation Completed|
Status Unchanged Since Last Month
|Between Rt. 640 & I-64||Speed Reduction to 35 MPH||Installation Scheduled|
|Between Rt. 22 & Rt. 694||Install Centerline||Request Submitted|
|Between Rt. 522 & Rt. 613||Deer Crossing Signs||Request Submitted|
Permitting and Land Development
Site Plan Review Subdivision/Comm.
New Entrance - Commercial
New Entrance - Private
Total Permits Processed
Total Utility Permits Processed
Inspection of New Subdivision Streets
Inspection of New Entrances
Miles of Streets Accepted Into System
Mr. Havasy asked if the Route 695 (Hamilton Road) Bridge was going to be included. Mr. Glass said he was not sure. Mr. Glass said it had been talked about, but it was trying to be determined where the funding would come from. Mr. Glass said if he went through the normal process, it could take several years to obtain the appropriate funding. Mr. Glass said he was looking for an alternate that may be able to speed things up.
Mr. Gentry asked about the stimulus money. Mr. Glass said that the stimulus money would usually not make it that far. Mr. Glass said the stimulus money was supposed to have been allocated to the construction projects that were ready to move forward within 90 days.
Mr. Spencer asked if all but $80 million went to Northern Virginia. Mr. Glass said yes. Mr. Glass said the money was spread out all over Virginia, but it had to go towards projects that were ready to move forward. Mr. Glass said this was considered a small project and money never usually made it that far and usually went to the bigger projects.
Mr. Byers said he received more calls about the sidewalk project that goes outside of the Town of Louisa. Mr. Byers said he was always asked how VDOT never had any money, but was able to build that sidewalk or what the advantage was to having that sidewalk. Mr. Byers said he understood the funding for that project was grant money. Mr. Glass said the Town of Louisa wanted that project and the only way it could be funded was to apply for enhancement funds. Mr. Glass said the Town of Louisa applied and the grant funding was improved. Mr. Byers asked if any of the money that went towards that sidewalk project was previously earmarked for the County. Mr. Glass said no. Mr. Glass said enhancement funds were in a large funding pool until a request was received.
Mr. Gentry said that project started in the 1990s and the Town of Louisa did have to put up a portion of the funding. Mr. Glass said there was a match rate.
Mr. Barnes said he was glad to see the public hearing had been scheduled for the Byrd Mill Road (Route 649) project.
Presentation - Jefferson Area CHIP Report
Ms. Judy Smith, Executive Director for CHIP, presented a presentation to the Board about the CHIP program and its success and statistics in Louisa, Fluvanna, Charlottesville and Albemarle. Ms. Smith discussed the CHIP mission, who was eligible for CHIP, CHIP core services and outcomes in Louisa County.
Mr. Byers asked how the CHIP program related to Social Services. Mr. Byers asked if the information was shared and if CHIP became part of the resources used by Social Services. Ms. Smith said that could happen. Ms. Smith said families signed a release of information and the information could be shared back and forth. Ms. Smith said that reduced duplication of information and services.
Mr. Barnes said good prenatal care would help with developmental delays and would help the school system save money in the long run. Mr. Barnes said early detection and intervention would help with the high costs later on.
Mr. Gentry said he was very impressed with the program and asked if CHIP was meeting the needs of the community. Ms. Smith said not all of the needs were being met. Ms. Smith said CHIP probably reached out to about 50% of the eligible families. Ms. Smith said there were waiting lists at every locality that CHIP served.
Mr. Harper thanked Ms. Smith for coming.
Presentation - TJPDC; Draft Legislative Program
Mr. David Blount said the Program was similar this year to the way it was last year. Mr. Blount said he thought localities would be playing “defense” against the General Assembly this year. Mr. Blount said the action items and the areas of continuing concern were very similar to last years Program. Mr. Blount said he really just fine-tuned the items and adjusted some of the rationale and background.
Mr. Barnes asked if any movement had been made to relax the “Dillon Rule” for localities. Mr. Barnes said this was an ongoing issue every year. Mr. Barnes said he would just like counties to have the same rights as cities and towns. Mr. Blount said there had been efforts, but they had been unsuccessful.
Mr. Barnes asked Mr. Blount if he knew where Louisas State representatives stood on the idea. Mr. Blount said it would depend on the situation and what was being requested. Mr. Blount said he hoped there would be more sympathy towards the “Dillon Rule” this year, particularly with budget issues. Mr. Blount said he would hope the State would pull back on some requirements and give the localities more flexibility.
Mr. Barnes asked if the Board had ever sent a letter to the State representatives asking them to support this legislation. Mr. Harper said he doubted that. Mr. Barnes said he felt the Board should do that. Mr. Blount said he felt that would be a great idea and he would be willing to work with the County to compose such a letter.
The Board agreed to write a letter and send it to the State representatives.
Mr. Havasy said the Chesapeake Bay Act was basically for counties west of I-95. Mr. Havasy asked why they would try to enact the Chesapeake Bay Act on localities on the other side of I-95 in this difficult economic time. Mr. Havasy said it would cost homeowners $3,000 to $7,000 more to build a house. Mr. Havasy said that was not right. Mr. Blount said he did not disagree with Mr. Havasys point. Mr. Blount said the pressure was there and he could not say what was going to happen.
Mr. Harper commented that not all of the shifting of cost to the localities was on the table yet. Mr. Harper said, for example, at the last Central Virginia Regional Jail meeting he attended, there were about 87 State responsible prisoners there who had not been moved to State facilities. Mr. Harper said JALARC stood in Richmond and bragged about the money being saved by not moving those prisoners. Mr. Harper said the localities were being kicked from every direction and there was not much to be done about it right now.
Mr. Harper thanked Mr. Blount for coming. Mr. Blount asked for approval of the Program.
On the motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to approve the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commissions Draft Legislative Program for 2010.
Discussion and Resolution - LCHS Gym Wall
Mr. Mullen said at the last Board meeting, the Board asked for certain assurances that the wall footer of the Gym wall would be adequate based on the current wall repair as designed. Mr. Mullen said, after working with the schools, they were able to get an engineer on site on October 1, 2009. Mr. Mullen said he wanted to relay the engineers findings to the Board.
Mr. Mullen said Balzer and Associates was retained under emergency procurement using the schools attorney. Mr. Mullen said Balzer completed a sub-surface investigation and a geotechnical analysis for the East-side gymnasium wall and also examined the significant portions included on the other walls. Mr. Mullen said the engineers report included information that was gleaned from four test pits. Mr. Mullen said the test pits were conducted using a backhoe procured from Mr. Howard Loudin. Mr. Mullen said there were also 30-foot-depth core borings. Mr. Mullen said several sections of block and brick were removed and the walls and cracks were examined from top to bottom.
Mr. Mullen provided a background on the Gym wall footer and construction of the original wall. Mr. Mullen said the wall as it currently existed was adequately supported by the wall footer. Mr. Mullen said the second half of that was the footer would also be sufficient enough to support the wall as it was designed and currently engineered. Mr. Mullen said the footing was not experiencing any abnormal settling based on the test and the test borings.
Mr. Mullen said the existing footing width was adequate for support of the wall under vertical loading; however, the footing width was not adequate for support of the wall when subjected to lateral or horizontal loading. Mr. Mullen said the engineer would communicate that the builders would need to be careful working on the existing wall if they needed to do any excavation.
Mr. Mullen said the engineering portion would come in well below budget and would be under $7,500. Mr. Mullen said this would give the Board the assurance that the footer would be sufficient enough to build the new wall. Mr. Mullen said he communicated this information to the schools through Dr. Pettit. Mr. Mullen said the schools would continue their work on getting the contract together on the terms they selected using a 10-week completion schedule and the sum of money provided by the Board of Supervisors at the September 21, 2009 meeting.
Mr. Spencer asked that Mr. Mullen send this information in writing to everyone involved. Mr. Spencer said he did not want anyone coming back in 60 or 90 days saying that they did not know the foundation sections could not be disturbed. Mr. Mullen said yes. Mr. Mullen said Dr. Pettit would receive a written, stamped engineers report that would contain the engineers findings and more information. Mr. Mullen said the project was ready to proceed barring anything unforeseen.
Mr. Gentry asked how far off the originally anticipated November completion date the project was delayed. Mr. Mullen said tryouts and practices for the winter season basketball team would begin in November and the games would start in December. Mr. Mullen said there was a small portion of the basketball schedule that would be missed. Mr. Mullen said some of the home games would be missed, but he had talked to Dr. Pettit and Mr. Straley and they felt it was something that could be worked out or rescheduled. Mr. Mullen said it was a 10-week project. Mr. Mullen said it would be in the contractors best interest to get as many brick layers on site as possible because of the approaching winter season.
Mr. Gentry asked if the 10-week completion date was included in the contract. Mr. Mullen said he would talk to Dr. Pettit and the school attorney again about the specifics, but he felt the 10-week completion should be included in the contract. Mr. Mullen said he could not write the contract or dictate the terms and that his authority stopped at a certain point.
Mr. Gentry said he was originally told that if the project was started by the end of September, it would be finished by the middle of November. Mr. Gentry said the completion date seemed to have moved out by about a month just because of a one week sub-surface investigation.
Mr. Spencer said the copy of the contract he had listed a completion date of November 17, 2009. Mr. Spencer said the foundation work delayed the project by about one week and the completion date should be no later than November 25, 2009. Mr. Mullen said he thought that assumed contract execution on a particular date. Mr. Mullen said he did not know how or why that date was set.
Mr. Byers said he had raised some concern about the foundation. Mr. Byers said the cost was only about $6,000 or $7,000, but that a lot of staff time had been spent working on the issue. Mr. Byers said he felt it was time well spent because he now felt that the foundation was sufficient. Mr. Byers said the project could probably have moved faster if the engineering was not done, but he was glad to learn that the foundation was okay. Mr. Byers said he would like to continue to work closely with the School Board in the future when issues arose. Mr. Mullen agreed that this was money and time well spent and added that he felt better knowing that what was buried in the ground to support the wall was sufficient. Mr. Mullen said the cost of the wall was $375,000 and he felt that $7,000 for the engineer to check the foundation was a great insurance policy.
Mr. Gentry said he thought that the contract was not going to be held up because of the sub-surface investigation. Mr. Gentry said it appeared to him that it was still held up. Mr. Mullen said the terms of the contract for the wall were currently being refined with the builder. Mr. Mullen said he had not asked the schools to delay anything. Mr. Mullen said if he was the attorney working on the contract, he would have been very hesitant to enter into a contract not knowing what was under the surface. Mr. Mullen said if the contract was executed and then the terms were changed, there would be change orders which could be potentially costly. Mr. Mullen said this was a very complicated contract and he thought it was still in the drafting phase.
Mr. Harper thanked Mr. Mullen for the information and the update.
Discussion - Tax relief for the Elderly and Disabled
Mr. McLeod said the Board requested a review of the current Tax Relief for the Elderly and Disabled at the September 8, 2009 Board meeting.
Mr. McLeod said prior to CY 2004, the income level was $22,000 and the net worth was $75,000 for a 50% exemption with $200 maximum tax relief. Mr. McLeod said property was also exempted as one acre of land and the dwelling. Mr. McLeod said in CY 2004, the Board changed the exemption to 70% and the maximum tax relief to $500.
Mr. McLeod said for CY 2005 and 2006, the Board changed the program by increasing the income to $35,000 and the net worth to $85,000. Mr. McLeod said the maximum tax relief was also increased to $800, but a sliding scale was created for the exemption percentage from the level of income to net worth.
Mr. McLeod said for CY 2007, the Board changed the program to increase the net worth to $100,000. Mr. McLeod said the maximum tax relief was then increased to $1,000 and the sliding scale was still utilized to find the exemption percentage from the level of income to net worth. Mr. McLeod said the property exemption was also changed to 10 acres and the dwelling.
Mr. McLeod said in CY 2008, the Board changed the program to increase the income to $40,000 and the net worth stayed at $100,000 and the maximum relief stayed at $1,000. Mr. McLeod said the permanently disabled added an additional $7,500 and the relatives living with them had an exemption of income to $6,500. Mr. McLeod said the sliding scale was still utilized to find the exemption percentage from the level of income to net worth. Mr. McLeod said the property exemption stayed at 10 acres and the dwelling.
Mr. McLeod said State law had changed to where the income from non-relatives living with an elderly or disabled individual could also be exempted. Mr. McLeod said State law was currently $50,000 for income, $10,000 for the income addition for the permanently disabled, $10,000 for the income addition for relatives, $10,000 for the income addition for non-relatives, $200,000 for the net worth, 10 acres for the acreage exemption and the maximum tax relief amount being set locally. Mr. McLeod said if the tax relief for the elderly or disabled was changed, it would require a public hearing.
Mr. Byers said he thought some of the information in the letter he received from the Commission on Aging was incorrect. Mr. Byers said the letter listed that the income level for Louisa County was $35,000 when it was actually $40,000. Ms. Pleasants said $40,000 was correct. Mr. Byers said the letter indicated that the net worth was set at $100,000. Ms. Pleasants said that was correct. Mr. Byers said the letter listed that the maximum amount for exemption was $1,000. Ms. Pleasants said that was correct.
Mr. Byers asked who was eligible. Ms. Pleasants said persons who are age 65 or older or who were permanently disabled were eligible.
Mr. Byers asked how many people applied last year. Ms. Pleasants said staff mailed at least 700 applications and 590 applications were mailed back. Ms. Pleasants said out of the 590 applications received, 554 of them qualified. Ms. Pleasants said out of the 554 applications, the total amount of tax relief granted for 2009 was $338,511.15. Ms. Pleasants said in 2008, there were 485 applications that qualified and the total amount of tax relief was $332,803.11.
Mr. Byers asked what the average income was for the County. Mr. McLeod said he had not been able to locate that updated information, but added that the median income for 2007 was $52,514.
Mr. Barnes said this was a subject that he was very passionate about. Mr. Barnes said this was a great savings to the people in the community who were living on a fixed income and who had to decide whether to buy their prescriptions or pay their taxes one month. Mr. Barnes said he understood that the people who were on Social Security did not get a great increase this year. Mr. Barnes said the numbers provided by the Commissioner proved that people were becoming more engaged in the tax relief program.
Mr. Spencer asked if a persons house was worth $125,000, would that keep them from being eligible for the tax relief program. Ms. Pleasants said the house that the person lived in and up to ten acres of land was exempt from that total. Mr. Spencer asked what else the net worth was. Ms. Pleasants said it was any other assets such as stocks, bonds, personal property, money in the bank, savings or CDs. Mr. Spencer asked if that included the $40,000 income limit. Ms. Pleasants said no.
Mr. Gentry asked how much research was done on the applications that were received to check for accuracy. Ms. Pleasants said it took staff a lot of time to follow-up and review all the paperwork. Ms. Pleasants said each application had to be treated fairly and equally. Ms. Pleasants said staff had the authority to investigate at the banks to check the accuracy of statements and could even check on income taxes if they were filed.
Mr. Gentry asked if there were situations where the applicants had been dishonest. Ms. Pleasants said yes.
Mr. Wright thanked Ms. Pleasants for her willingness to help citizens complete the applications and gather their information. Mr. Wright said he thought more information needed to be handed out regarding the tax relief program.
Mr. Havasy asked if the Commissioners Office was receiving a lot of calls about taxes this year. Ms. Pleasants said yes. Mr. Havasy said it was important to understand that if the Board increased this program, someone could have a house and land worth $1,000,000, but if their income was under $40,000 and their assets were under $100,000, they could still receive tax relief. Mr. Havasy said if there was a tax shortfall, the other people who were not eligible would have to pay more to make up the difference.
The Board decided to move on and take no action towards changing the program.
Discussion - Options for Zion Crossroads “Footprint”
Mr. McLeod said at the July 20, 2009 Board meeting, it was requested that staff review the Zion
Crossroads Footprint Area which was used to evaluate revenue associated with water and sewer infrastructure. Mr. McLeod said staff had evaluated the current boundary used, and had looked at an existing subdivision which shows that it may be appropriate to recalculate the figures of the financial study.
Mr. McLeod said for analyzing added revenue, it was previously decided that the Zion Crossroads Footprint should use the same boundary as the Zion Crossroads Growth Area (2006). Mr. McLeod said the Zion Crossroads Footprint represented a land area primarily situated along Route 250, Route 15, and Interstate 64, extending from the Albemarle County line to just south of Rock Quarry Road (Route 607). Mr. McLeod said properties within the Zion Crossroads Footprint had seen a significant amount of growth in the last decade and was also an area designed by the County for future growth, with a considerable amount of potential for the years to come. Mr. McLeod said for these reasons, it was believed to be a suitable area for measuring revenue gains from the water & sewer investment made by the County at Zion Crossroads.
Mr. McLeod said in a previous study, Louisa County had spent $9,024,311 on water projects and had collected $11,743,221 in revenue. Mr. McLeod said the revenue included real estate taxes, merchant capital, machinery & tools, and water hookups from the Zion Crossroads area.
Mr. McLeod said some had suggested that the pre-existing residential development either should or could be excluded from the calculations. Mr. McLeod said in 2001, Mountain View Estates had 85 improved lots of 86 total lots. Mr. McLeod said in 2009, the improved lots increased to 86 of 86 total lots.
Mr. McLeod said in comparison, total Zion Crossroads real estate values for CY 2009 including Mountain View Estates was $ 446,343,600 and the modified total without Mountain View Estates was $423,720,600. Mr. McLeod said the change would amount to about a 5% reduction.
Mr. McLeod said he, the Director of Community Development and the Real Estate Assessor would all suggest that the County continue to use the Zion Crossroads Growth Area of the latest Comprehensive Plan for any future analysis. Mr. McLeod said it was up to the Board whether or not the one development, Mountain View Estates, would be removed from the analysis or not.
Mr. Wright asked why the County would want to remove that development from the analysis. Mr. Wright asked what the driving factor to remove the development was. Mr. Harper said he questioned it and continued to question it. Mr. Harper said these were developments that were in place years before the water and sewer projects were. Mr. Wright said a lot of the other things at Zion Crossroads were already in place, too.
Resolution - Approving Addendum No. 2 Between Dewberry & Davis, Inc. and the County of Louisa for Professional Services Related to the Upgrade of the Louisa County Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant
Mr. Barnes motioned for approval. Mr. Wright seconded the motion.
Mr. Gentry asked if the addendum was advertised before Dewberry & Davis, Inc. got the work. Mr. Hoffman said he was not sure.
Mr. Harper asked Mr. Bar Delk if this was advertised or not. Mr. Delk said it was not advertised. Mr. Mullen said this was an existing contract that was already in place. Mr. Mullen said he felt it was fair to say that the answer was no.
On the motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 6-1, with Mr. Gentry voting against, the Board adopted a resolution approving Addendum No. 2 between Dewberry & Davis, Inc. and the County of Louisa for professional services related to the upgrade of the Louisa County Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Resolution - To Approve a Supplemental Appropriation for Contractual Services Related to the Comprehensive Services Act
Mr. Gentry motioned for approval. Mr. Barnes seconded the motion.
Mr. Harper added that this only involved $1,824 in local funds.
On the motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Barnes, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board adopted a resolution to approve a supplemental appropriation for contractual services related to the Comprehensive Services Act.
Resolution - Financing of the James River Water Authority
This item was removed from the agenda.
Discussion and Resolution - James River Water Authority Inter-jurisdictional Agreement
This item was removed from the agenda.
Discussion - Tax Payments Survey; Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Spencer said he received a request for the survey and it did not make any sense to him because people already had the ability to pay their taxes quarterly or semi-annually. Mr. Spencer said he had just dropped off an $1,800 tax payment and no one refused to take it or told him to come back in December to pay it. Mr. Spencer said he wondered why a survey needed to be in place if this was already being done.
Mr. Havasy said this was not a survey by the Board. Mr. Havasy said he asked Ms. Deana Meredith, Executive Director for the Chamber of Commerce, if she could do the survey because he had received questions from some of his constituents who owned businesses. Mr. Havasy said that some business owners told him that between Thanksgiving, Christmas and tax season, their businesses were run dry during the late part of the year. Mr. Havasy said it was obvious that there were people out there who were not aware that they could make tax payments on a monthly, daily or quarterly basis. Mr. Havasy said he was just looking for comments and that this would not obligate the Board to anything.
Discussion and Resolution - Proceeding with EMSAL Capital Improvement Projects
Mr. Barnes motioned for approval. Mr. Havasy seconded the motion.
Mr. Spencer asked if the Trevilians Rescue Squad was supposed to still be receiving the money if they were not running any calls. Mr. Mullen said he would be meeting with Trevilians Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad on October 6, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. and the issue would be discussed at that time. Mr. Mullen said he thought Trevilians Rescue Squad was now currently running calls and was just scaling back getting ready to close. Chief Dubé said the only information he had received was a letter that was sent to the County saying that they wanted to stop EMS transports on July 1, 2010. Mr. Mullen said there would be discussion about what Trevilians Rescue Squad would be giving back.
Mr. Byers said he hoped that if the County purchased a vehicle, it would be titled in the County of Louisas name instead of any other organizations name. Mr. Harper asked Mr. Mullen if that was a policy that was now in place. Mr. Harper said he did not think that had been the case in the past. Mr. Mullen agreed that it was not the practice in the past to title the vehicles in the Countys name.
Mr. Havasy asked if the Board could come back to this after Closed Session. Mr. Harper said if that was necessary, the Board could come back to it or carry it over to another meeting. Mr. Havasy said the item regarding Louisa Rescue for building equipment and a new truck could be removed and the rest of the CIP projects could be supported.
Mr. Barnes, being the person who made the original motion, stated that he would like to withdraw the item regarding Louisa Rescue for building equipment and a new truck and approve the remaining EMSAL CIP projects. Mr. Havasy, being the person who seconded the original motion, stated that he was okay with that change.
Mr. Hoffman pointed out that the item regarding Lake Anna for a new HVAC system and the purchase of a new ambulance also included a vehicle and if the Board had an issue with the vehicle policy that needed to be discussed further, then they might want to reconsider that item.
Mr. Barnes, being the person who made the original motion, stated that he would like to withdraw the item regarding Lake Anna for a new HVAC system and the purchase of a new ambulance and approve the remaining EMSAL CIP projects. Mr. Havasy, being the person who seconded the original motion, stated that he was okay with that change.
On the motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Havasy, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to proceed with the EMSAL CIP Projects excluding the two projects regarding Louisa Rescue and Lake Anna Rescue.
Discussion - Governor Kaines FY2010 Budget Reduction Strategies
Mr. McLeod said it was unfortunate, but the Commonwealth of Virginia had a budgetary problem that was a combination of a shortfall in FY 2009 and a reforecast of revenue for FY 2010 that reduced the projected revenue. Mr. McLeod reported that the net effect for the budget was approximately $1.35 billion.
Mr. McLeod said the known effects for Louisa County were the reductions from the Compensation Board. Mr. McLeod said the Constitutional Officers budget reductions included $74,517 for the Sheriffs Department, $19,188 for the Commonwealth Attorneys Office, $24,274 for the Clerk of Court, $26,522 for the Treasurers Office and $20,699 for the Commissioner of the Revenue. Mr. McLeod said the total reduction from the Compensation Board was $165,200.
Mr. McLeod said it was his understanding that the Constitutional Officers were supposed to identify the reductions to the Compensation Board or the reductions would come from the last submittal for FY 2010.
Mr. McLeod said other known budget reductions were sales tax for Louisa County Public Schools reduced by $400,000; the Central Virginia Regional Jail reduced by $117,409; the Electoral Board/General Registrar reduced by 10%; the “4 for Life” program for the local rescue squads reduced; the Louisa County Resource Council reduced by 10%; the library state aid reduced by 5%; the Social Services chore and companion services reduced by 10%; the Auxiliary Grant Program reduced Statewide by $400,000; and the TJPDC funding was also reduced. Mr. McLeod said the Extension Office had a $2.5 million reduction coming for FY 2010 that was unidentified at the time and a $4.5 million reduction for FY 2011.
Mr. Harper said he felt the Board should not discuss specifics, but should talk in generality. Mr. Harper said the County, with the current revenue flow, could not continue to make up the difference of the States shortfalls. Mr. Harper said the Board should give serious consideration to identifying core services and areas that cannot suffer any losses.
Mr. Gentry said about a year and a half ago, he felt that the Board took a very strong position that they would not automatically absorb what the State cut from the budget. Mr. Gentry said the Board should consider taking that approach again until the State became realistic in their cuts.
Mr. Wright said anytime the County automatically and quickly stepped in to pick up the slack, the State realized that it was an easy route to take. Mr. Wright said the State would look for the next move to make where the County would have to pick up the slack there, too. Mr. Wright said the County was allowing the State to pick and choose when the County automatically gave in.
Mr. Byers said on several occasions, he had mentioned core services because he felt there was a lot of value in identifying core services and then determining how best to give the level of funding to those key areas. Mr. Byers said if there were areas that were not value added, then perhaps those areas should not be done any longer. Mr. Byers said he would like to look at core services.
Mr. Spencer said the States idea was that anything they cut from their budget would have to come from the localities. Mr. Spencer said the County did not have money to do that. Mr. Spencer said there was another idea that the State wanted the localities to take over all the VSRS for the teachers which would be a big budget item. Mr. Spencer said the departments who were being cut by the State were going to come to the County looking for money to make up the difference. Mr. Spencer said the Board had to be careful because the School Board was also going to be looking for money next year for start up costs for Moss-Nuckols Elementary.
Mr. Barnes said it was unfortunate that people in the General Assembly were looked at as if they were from another planet. Mr. Barnes said the General Assembly was composed of elected officials and it was time to send the message to them that the localities were tired of unfunded mandates. Mr. Barnes said the Board was in a different position because they had to live in the same community with department heads and Constitutional Officers. Mr. Barnes said the Board was more accessible than the General Assembly and the employees looked to the Board for answers because they were the local governing body. Mr. Barnes said the General Assembly did not have to have this type of interaction with people. Mr. Barnes said it was time to push back to the State.
Mr. Havasy said he agreed with Mr. Barnes. Mr. Havasy said the Board asked staff to write letters to the local elected officials about attending a meeting and he asked if any responses had been received. Ms. Reidelbach said Senator Houck was planning on attending the legislative dinner hosted by the Extension Office and he would be trying to work his schedule to attend a Board meeting. Ms. Reidelbach said Delegate Janis had conflicts on Monday evenings and he was trying to make special provisions to be able to attend a Board meeting. Ms. Reidelbach said she had spoken with someone from Mr. Eric Cantors office and he would also be trying to attend a meeting.
Mr. Harper said this year would be a tough year and each year would be tougher until the economy turned around. Mr. Harper said Louisa was not as bad off as some of the neighboring localities were. Mr. Harper said he felt the Board should spend more time on the budget this year rather than just March and April. Mr. Harper said he felt the Board should have more input in the beginning. Mr. Harper said one of the ideas was not to lose personnel. Mr. Harper said some of the CIP money that had been sitting for years was going to start going away. Mr. Harper said there were heavy projects that would mean a lot towards the growth of the County.
Mr. Barnes said he agreed that the budget process should start sooner. Mr. Barnes said if there were Constitutional Officers who were going to lose staff, he would like the Board to try to assume those employees within the framework of the County if a position was available. Mr. Barnes said he would like to see those employees have a place within the County framework to be transferred. Mr. Barnes said he was not saying it would come to that, but he would like the Board to start entertaining that thought.
Mr. Byers said this may be a time for there to be a pool of resources that could help out. Mr. Byers said there were peaks and valleys in the operations of the County at times and if there could be a pool of employees, it could potentially help to save someones job. Mr. Harper said that was discussed many years ago, but times were too good to move to that back then.
Mr. Spencer said the Sheriffs Office was being cut by $74,517 and he reminded the Board that they gave away $67,000 and then gave away another $3,000 to make you feel good up at Lake Anna. Mr. Spencer said that was $70,000 and asked the Board if the Sheriffs Office would be forced to drop two deputies so that the same funding could be done next year.
Mr. Harper said the idea was to sit down and identify the areas that would have to be maintained. Mr. Harper said Mr. Mullen and Mr. McLeod should determine how to start this budget process. Mr. Harper said every Board member may not make every meeting, but the opportunity to allow for input needed to be there.
Mr. Gentry said he did not want to send the message to the Constitutional Officers that the Board was not in support of what they needed. Mr. Gentry said the County would have to challenge the cuts from the State. Mr. Gentry said he would like to be kept in the loop of information with the Constitutional Officers.
CITIZENS INFORMATION PERIOD - 6:30 P.M.
Mr. Tam Murray, Alexandria, Virginia, said he represented Community Wireless Structures. Mr. Murray said he wanted to provide an update on the situation with the various towers built in the last few years. Mr. Murray provided a map of the towers and updated the Board on the status of each tower. Mr. Murray provided pictures of several towers to the Board. Mr. Murray provided a carrier-by-carrier breakdown of the potential coverage in Louisa County on each of Community Wireless Structures towers.
Mr. Gentry asked Mr. Murray if he was talking about cell phone service or Broadband service. Mr. Murray said a cell site would enable voice and data service, so the answer was both.
Mr. Wright said there was no information provided for the Eastern end of the County. Mr. Wright asked if it meant that part of the County was being ignored. Mr. Murray said Community Wireless Structures was a small business who had put in a lot of time and money into a business that was not doing very well in Louisa. Mr. Murray said he could not afford to go further out on a limb and take his chances in Eastern Louisa.
Mr. Barnes asked what Louisa could do to encourage carriers to co-locate on towers together. Mr. Murray said all the sites built by CWS had more than one carrier. Mr. Murray said he was trying to attract any and all carriers to his towers. Mr. Barnes asked what Louisa could do as a local governing body to get the carriers to co-locate. Mr. Murray said the carriers were all cross-pollinating and co-locating together. Mr. Murray said the cell phone was the most popular technology ever. Mr. Murray said carriers could not build enough infrastructure to carry the load. Mr. Murray said the County could call the carriers and tell them they wanted service.
Mr. Jim Ogg, Patrick Henry District, said he had one of the “un-fired up” towers on his property. Mr. Ogg said the County could stimulate the carriers to move forward with service. Mr. Ogg said the strongest voices in telecommunications were collective customers, regulatory bodies or legislative bodies. Mr. Ogg said the Board could gather information and write a collective letter to the carriers. Mr. Ogg said to allow several weeks for a response and then keep sending letters. Mr. Ogg said the State Corporation Commission would hear the voice of a County body. Mr. Ogg said the only way to get it done was to make some noise. Mr. Ogg recommended that the Board send letters with facts in them to the carriers.
Discussion - Guidelines for County Departments and Agencies in Developing FY2011 Operation and Maintenance Budget
Mr. McLeod said real estate assessments were not complete yet, but he believed that real estate values were going to fall another 5% to 10% collectively. Mr. McLeod said that may or may not have anything to do with the sales ratio. Mr. McLeod said he knew that every percent point in reduction equaled approximately $140,000. Mr. McLeod said there were also some known operational issues. Mr. McLeod said most of the housing sales were under $250,000 and the houses over $250,000 were not moving as rapidly. Mr. McLeod said he hoped that Wal-Mart opening up at Zion Crossroads would help the commercial side.
Mr. McLeod said Moss-Nuckols Elementary would be opening up next year and that would bring about $1.3 million in local funds. Mr. McLeod said he would be discussing GASB 45 and how that would affect the County. Mr. McLeod said the health insurance increase trend was 12%, but he would have everyone use a 15% increase in their budget. Mr. McLeod said the County also had to determine the cuts from the Governor for FY 2011.
Mr. McLeod recommended that budgets stay flat and ask for a 5%, 10% and 15% budget reduction. Mr. McLeod said the budget would have to be balanced and it would probably be more difficult than FY 2010.
Mr. Gentry said the 5%, 10% and 15% synopsis was used about a year and a half ago because that was what the Governor sent to the State agencies. Mr. Gentry asked how many departments or agencies could really stand a 15% cut in Louisa County. Mr. McLeod said it would be the areas that did not have a high percent of labor. Mr. McLeod said a 15% budget cut would be difficult. Mr. McLeod said it was his hope that the budget could be balanced without any reductions.
Mr. Harper said a balanced budget meant the income had to match the expenditures. Mr. Harper said the only area that could really be adjusted would be on the expenditure side.
Mr. Gentry said his point was why the Board would ask for a 15% budget reduction synopsis because they already knew 10% would be tough enough. Mr. Harper said the Board did not have to ask for a reduction at all, but it would be better to allow for the departments and agencies to have some planning time.
Mr. Barnes said this was a sign for Louisa County to keep pushing to have the growth in business. Mr. Barnes said this was a tough time, but Louisa had more of a spark right now than other localities. Mr. Barnes said this may be a year when the Board has to look at some of the reserves.
Mr. Mullen said his recommendation was that most budget areas would have to remain flat. Mr. Mullen said he felt the County would realize substantial savings in FY 2009 and FY 2010 that could be passed forward. Mr. Mullen said this would have to stop sometime and the economy would have to pick up. Mr. Mullen said this would be the second year with health insurance increases and no raises and his recommendation would be to look at flat and 5% reduction budget synopses. Mr. Mullen said the 10% and 15% reductions could be empty mathematical work. Mr. Mullen said there was about $170,000 in shortfalls to come up with for the Constitutional Officers because the Courts and the Sheriffs Office were core services. Mr. Mullen said the State could place those cuts there because they know the County will have to pick up the difference for core public services.
Mr. Harper said he did not care if the request was for budgets to be flat or 5% reductions because at the end of the day, the Board would have to deal with what they were handed.
Mr. Byers said there were a few approaches the Board could take. Mr. Byers said everyone seemed to get nervous, but when there are budget cuts, all areas have to be examined to see which services were value added.
Mr. Harper said he felt the staff pooling was definitely an item that should not be off the table. Mr. Harper said there was no crystal ball to know what was going to happen. Mr. Harper said the Board was not preaching doom, but would have to look at the reality.
Mr. McLeod said his hope was to get a letter out to the departments and agencies about the expectations of the FY 2011 budget.
Mr. Barnes said the Board really needed to get a grasp on what it would cost to open up Moss-Nuckols Elementary.
Mr. Spencer reminded the Board of the money that had been sitting for the down payment assistance program for first-time home buyers. Mr. Spencer said the Board needed to look at what they had been given away so that some could be taken back to take care of the services that were needed.
Discussion - Hunting on County-Owned Property
Mr. Barnes said this issue had been brought up in the past. Mr. Barnes said there was a shortage of hunting land and it was becoming even scarcer. Mr. Barnes said he thought that the County should assess the feasibility of allowing hunting on County-owned property. Mr. Barnes said he could understand if it was not feasible, but it should be analyzed.
Mr. Byers asked Mr. Barnes if he was talking about school property as well. Mr. Barnes said no. Mr. Barnes said it would be sites like the landfill or the well sites property.
Mr. Spencer said there should be no reason why County employees should have to worry about dodging bullets just so someone can get the pleasure of hunting. Mr. Spencer said these sites were not designed for hunting. Mr. Spencer said there were wooded acres for hunting.
Mr. Barnes said this was brought up and he just wanted to have it looked in to.
Resolution - Proceeding with the East End Tower Repeater Capital Improvement Project
Chief Dubé said when this project was originally written up, it said it was for the East end tower, but work would actually be done on three different towers. Chief Dubé said this one was actually for the West end tower and the tower located at the Courthouse.
On the motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Havasy, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board adopted a resolution proceeding with the East end tower repeater capital improvement plan project.
Mr. Havasy asked if the Board would consider having staff directly contact cell phone carriers about getting some antenna on the water tower. Mr. Havasy said that would be a great place for the County to rent out. Mr. Mullen said he would be happy to check in on that.
Mr. Wright said the TJPDC had a meeting last week and there was information on a carbon tax credit that he would like Mr. Mullen to do some research or follow-up on. Mr. Wright said the VDOT 2035 plan was discussed and it did include projects in Louisa. Mr. Wright said he mentioned economic development at the TJPDC meeting and said now was the time to do some planning.
Mr. Wright said at the Workforce Council meeting, they talked about training the unemployed and the under-employed. Mr. Wright said economic development and training were key areas to focus on right now.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATORS REPORT
Mr. Mullen reminded the Board of the Extension Strategic Planning meeting scheduled for November 17, 2009 in Charlottesville, Virginia where two Board members needed to attend. The Board decided for Mr. Gentry and Mr. Barnes to attend the meeting as Louisas representatives.
Mr. Mullen said the tire dump in Interstate-64 was checked out. Mr. Mullen said he checked with VDOT and DEQ and the two tractor trailer loads of tires were removed and recycled by VDOT a while ago. Mr. Mullen said the open, paved area and the ravines were completely clear of tires and VDOT had secured the area with gates. Mr. Mullen said DEQ was hoping to complete the clean-up sites, except the problem site on Route 250, within the next week.
Mr. Mullen said he needed the Boards approval for a contract for the IGC parking lot improvements. Mr. Mullen said that the soil was found to be unsuitable for re-application of asphalt. Mr. Mullen said it was necessary for the unsuitable soils to be removed and replaced with stone in order to provide an adequate base. Mr. Mullen said the County had $1,800 to cover, but the additional cost was $7,600. Mr. Mullen said the difference would need to be transferred from Park Development and Enhancement.
Mr. Gentry motioned for approval. Mr. Wright seconded the motion.
Mr. Spencer said the parking lot was paved not that long ago. Mr. Wright said he thought it had been seven or eight years. Mr. Gentry said the parking lot was in terrible shape. Mr. Spencer said his question was why someone did not catch the problem with the soil before the asphalt was put down the first time. Mr. Gentry said it was probably designed incorrectly the first time.
On the motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to transfer $5,800 from Park Development and Enhancement to cover the additional cost for the IGC parking lot improvements.
Mr. Gentry asked if Loudin Lane was ready to be taken into the State Highway System. Mr. Mullen said it was supposed to be ready for the punch list. Mr. Gentry said he wanted to go ahead and approve Mr. Mullen to get that road turned over to the State system.
On the motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Byers, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to request VDOT to accept Loudin Lane into the State Highway System contingent upon the completion of the construction punch list.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS
A Resolution to Transfer Private Donors Funds for the Construction of the Piedmont Crossroads Visitors Center to the Louisa County Historical Society
On the motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Barnes, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board adopted a resolution to transfer private donors funds for the construction of the Piedmont Crossroads Visitors Center to the Louisa County Historical Society.
A Resolution Proclaiming October 4-10, 2009, as “Fire Prevention Week”
On the motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Barnes, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board adopted a resolution proclaiming Fire Prevention Week for the County of Louisa.
A Resolution Transferring Funds from Revenue Recovery Program Revenue to the General Fund
On the motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Barnes, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board adopted a resolution to transfer funds from the Revenue Recovery Fund back to the General Fund.
APPROVAL OF BILLS
Mr. Barnes motioned for approval. Mr. Spencer seconded the motion.
Mr. Byers said one of the things he found interesting was that the Sheriffs Office had purchased some deer avoidance systems. Mr. Byers said this system was supposedly going to work. Mr. Byers said if it did work, the County should look into placing the system on other County vehicles.
On the motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Spencer, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board adopted a resolution approving the bills for the second half of September 2009 for the County of Louisa in the amount of $380,511.92.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
On the motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board adopted the minutes of the September 21, 2009 meeting.
On the motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Spencer, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to enter Closed Session at 7:12 p.m. for the purpose of discussing the following:
* Mr. Harper left Closed Session at 8:50 p.m. and returned at 9:00 p.m.
On the motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Spencer, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to return to Regular Session at 9:08 p.m.
RESOLUTION - CERTIFICATION OF CLOSED SESSION
On the motion of Mr. Spencer, seconded by Mr. Barnes, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to adopt the following resolution:
|Dan W. Byers||Yes|
|Willie L. Gentry, Jr.||Yes|
|Willie L. Harper||Yes|
|Richad A. Havasy||Yes|
|P.T. Spencer, Jr.||Yes|
|Jack T. Wright||Yes|
|Fitzgerald A. Barnes||Yes|
WHEREAS, the Louisa County Board of Supervisors has convened a Closed Meeting this 5th day of October 2009, pursuant to an affirmative recorded vote and in accordance with the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act; and
WHEREAS, §2.2-3712 of the Code of Virginia requires a certification by the Louisa County Board of Supervisors that such closed meeting was conducted in conformity with the Virginia Law.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED on this 5th day of October 2009, that the Louisa County Board of Supervisors does hereby certify that, to the best of each member's knowledge, (i) only public business matters lawfully exempted from open meeting requirements by Virginia law were discussed in the closed meeting to which this certification resolution applies, and (ii) only such public business matters as were identified in the motion convening the closed meeting was heard, discussed or considered by the Louisa County Board of Supervisors.
On the motion of Mr. Havasy, seconded by Mr. Spencer, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to submit the resolution requesting a study for Louisa County Fire and Emergency Medical Services.
On the motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to adjourn the October 5, 2009 meeting at 9:10 p.m.
BY ORDER OF
WILLIE L. HARPER, CHAIRMAN
LOUISA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
LOUISA COUNTY, LOUISA, VIRGINIA