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|Board Present:||Willie L. Gentry, Jr., Willie L. Harper, Richard A. Havasy, Allen B. Jennings and Jack T. Wright|
|Absent:||Fitzgerald A. Barnes and Eric F. Purcell|
|Others Present:||C. Lee Lintecum, County Administrator; Ernie McLeod, Deputy County Administrator; Patrick Morgan, County Attorney; Amanda Lloyd, Office Manager; April Jacobs, Deputy Clerk; and Zuwana Morgan, Records Clerk|
CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Wright called the December 1, 2007 Board Retreat of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors to order at 9:04 a.m. Mr. Jennings led the invocation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Wright stated Mr. Barnes and Mr. Purcell would not be able to attend the meeting; however, they sent an email requesting that their thoughts and concerns be placed into the record.
The following is a copy of an email submitted by Mr. Barnes.
A) The Board needs to decide on how serious we are about directing growth toward the growth areas. If we are serious, then we need to decide how to deal with developers providing their own water and sewer systems.
B) The Board needs to decide how important of an issue affordable housing really is. We have the ability to make ordinances that can make housing affordable. This needs to include duplexes, mobile or modular homes.
C) Economic Development We need to develop a model that analyzes incentives versus tax revenues and job creation (over a period of years) so that we do not lose businesses because of hookup fees or permit fees that are one-time occurrences.
D) Tax -relief for the elderly and disable Continue developing ways to help the elderly and disable reduce their tax liabilities so that they may keep their homes.
E) Schools We must continue to push our schools to be better than the SOL Benchmarks, lead the area in SAT' scores, AP tests, etc. We must keep up the pace with our teacher salaries.
F) Last, but not least, we must put together a plan to address our paid fire and rescue issues, but make sure that we do not alienate our volunteers. We have to make sure that we continue to increase our law enforcement officers salaries.
The following is a copy of an email submitted by Mr. Purcell.
A) Economic Development The bottom line is that we are not where we need to be from an ED standpoint. The economy is taking a hit and we need to facilitate the location for business. IF we dont, we risk losing a lot of good will in the business community and QUALITY businesses that may want to locate here. We WILL get business of some sort - but is it the quality we want? We need to take every step possible to realize the investment Louisa has made at Zion and other areas where we would like growth to occur.
B) Honor our Growth Areas Its either grow where we said we want to focus the growth, or have sprawl. Its that simple. We better have a plan because this valley will not last forever and growth is coming one way or another even if people divide up A-2 land as much as they possibly can. I think a more reasonable approach, and we have all discussed this, is to have growth areas where the growth is concentrated. This is appealing to commercial and Industrial people who want to be around population "centers". If we truly want business to come to this County, we need to have population centers that can support these businesses where it makes sense to have them IE: where the growth areas are in the Comp Plan. Some may argue, well, "if you allow for residential along with commercial you are defeating the purpose. Bull. The business wont come without so many people per square mile - talk to them if you have any doubt. Also this is the ONLY WAY to ensure the interior of the County stays rural. Unless you want to take away every property right many citizens already have - which will have dire consequences. The idea should be, grow in the growth areas, both residentially and commercially, take your lumps, and then the commercial will KEEP PAYING TAXES long after the residential has built out. It requires long-term vision, but I feel that this Board and some of our new members will hopefully see this.
C) Keep County Government in Check Rightly or not, there is a perception that our County Government is growing way too fast and we dont need the level of control we are getting. People are really upset - from contractors, to home-owners, to the guy just wanting to know what his zoning allows him/her to do. Growing pains are to be expected. But if we grow in-so-far as staff they must have a specific reason for doing so. And the public should SEE AND EXPERIENCE more ease of use with regard to County Government as a result of their tax dollars paying for new people. I feel that we dont need any new people at this time with the possible exception of deputies at Zion. The amount of theft up there is amazing and we need a formal full-time police presence there.
D) Continue to look out for the rights of our citizens Every day, I hear the same complaint - that County Government is becoming more and more difficult to deal with. We need to do what we have to do to insure stability, both socially and economically - but we need to always be mindful of the PEOPLE whom we represent.
E) Support North Anna and its Goal of a third reactor Despite what the school board says, we need this shot in the arm financially to build the schools they so crave. It was ridiculous for them to take a formal stance against North Anna.
F) Continue to support our schools regardless of personal issues Our children dont deserve us letting our personal disagreements get in the way of their receiving the best education possible. In that vein, the school board is simply wrong on many fronts, in my opinion. They are too concerned with short term accomplishment - not long term sustainability. We will need a new middle school soon. And we will need it no matter how anti-growth we want to try and be.
G) More schools are not the EVIL we make them out to be If someone told me that after 20 plus years, and the growth we have had in that time, that Louisa would STILL have one HS, one MS, and three elementary schools I would say they had to be joking. WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF CENTRAL VA FOLKS!!! If we have 5 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and 2 high schools we wont be CLOSE to our neighbors in Charlottesville and Richmond! We need to not go into a shell every time the issue of building schools come up. Rather, we need to be doing everything possible to ensure economic development so such expansion can be paid for more realistically. Also, there are many ways to finance such items. We need to be more creative with investment and financing options, in my opinion.
H) Regress or Progress This is what it all comes down to. We will grow, no matter what. Developers will find a way, no matter what - if not local ones, than big, corporate ones - if the motives are there. I hope we dont choose to hurt many local people and cut off our nose to spite our face, so to speak. We WILL be building more schools. We DO need to honor our growth areas in order to control it. WE MUST recognize and facilitate the economic development we have worked so hard to achieve. WE MUST keep the faith of our citizenry by minimizing, as much as possible, the growth of School and County bureaucracy. As I said when I was running for the Louisa District seat, communities NEVER stay the same, as much as we may want them to. They either progress or regress. I have seen both. Regress is never desirable, even if it provides a year or two or three of stability - it is eventually doomed to failure. With progress comes learning and growth, and pains. But the end result should be a Louisa County that is vibrant, working hard, strong, and vital. This should be our goal. We should not bury our heads in the sand. We should recognize current trends and have enough vision to do right by as many of us as possible - respect the rights of all - and make Louisa a TRULY delightful place to " live, work, and play" as the sign says.
Mr. Wright stated Mr. Lintecum, Mr. Harper and himself attended a press release for Dominion Power. Mr. Lintecum said the reason for the news conference was because Dominion had applied for a construction permit for the third unit at North Anna. Mr. Lintecum added that didnt necessarily mean they were going to build it; however, if the cost estimates were good, they were looking to move forward with the process. Mr. Lintecum said if that were the case, the actual construction would start in 2010 with operation of the third unit beginning in 2015.
Mr. Lintecum said during the construction of the project, Dominion stated there would be approximately 2,000 temporary workers involved in the construction process. Mr. Lintecum indicated that this was different than the original construction because in the original construction they had to build Lake Anna. Mr. Lintecum said this was a water tower-type cooling system in which Dominion would not emit anymore warm water into the Lake, which would hopefully alleviate some concerns of citizens that lived at Lake Anna. Mr. Lintecum said given the standards of constructions, he understood that the third unit would be safer than the first two units built and produce about 80 percent of what they produced. Mr. Lintecum added Dominion was very exited about taking this step and moving forward because it was another step towards the actual construction of the project.
Discussion - Rotation of Chairman and Vice-Chairman to begin January 2009
Mr. Wright indicated that a lot of counties had transferred to a rotation system for chairman and vice-chairman. Mr. Wright added the rotation would be in alphabetical order by district. Mr. Wright said Mr. Havasy had concerns about if a supervisor didnt want to take on the role of being chairman or vice-chairman. Mr. Wright stated if that were the case, they would simply be skipped because someone couldnt be made to take on that position. Mr. Wright said the supervisor that was vice-chairman would automatically become chairman the following year. Mr. Gentry questioned why the rotation system would begin in 2009 instead of in 2008. Mr. Wright said to be part of the rotation, you would want someone to serve as vice-chairman the year before they became chairman. Mr. Wright said for example, the Cuckoo District Supervisor would serve as vice-chairman in 2008 and would become chairman in 2009 to start the rotation.
Mr. Harper questioned who would step in if a supervisor served as vice-chairman and it were their turn to become chairman the following year, but they were up for election and didnt get re-elected. Mr. Wright indicated that there were some details that would have to be worked out if the Board decided they wanted to begin a rotation system.
Mr. Jennings indicated that there was a different Board each year; therefore, different members of the Board needed to be elected chairman year by year.
Mr. Havasy stated he could see both sides. Mr. Havasy said the fact that someone could be chairman three to five years might be the will of the Board versus rotating, but the odds were, out of seven people, at least three of them wouldnt be interested in being chairman.
Discussion - Transfer of the water and sewer assets at Zion Crossroads to the Louisa County Water Authority
Mr. Wright stated in January, the Board agreed for the County to transfer ownership of all water and sewer lines to the Water Authority; however, he understood that had not been completed. Mr. Morgan indicated that the legal work hadnt been done because of the litigation at Zion Crossroads. Mr. Morgan said he spoke with Mr. Stanley Franklin with McGuire Woods and at this point, they were trying to go through all of the documents that created the Water Authority and any agreements between the Water Authority and the counties and towns to determine what exactly needed to be done to transfer the assets.
Discussion - Plan growth management
Mr. Havasy said he was concerned with the fact that when the Board started approving PUDs they were for subdivisions for 100 to 200 units and now the applications were for 500 to 2,000 units. Mr. Havasy said to his recollection, the Board wanted the Planning Commission to study PUDs and come up with a workable, feasible size for them. Mr. Havasy indicated that he didnt want a 2,000 home subdivision built in his district, but the fact was that the way the zoning laws were written and the way the growth areas were, that was going to happen. Mr. Havasy added the Board should be prepared to take care of those issues now or they better be ready to accept it and take the wrath of the people in the County when it came about because the Board was not going to be able to keep PUDs out of growth areas.
Mr. Gentry said he thought the Board had already come a good ways with the Countys growth initiative; however, to have reasonable planned and managed growth, the Board had to be concerned about the infrastructure in those areas. Mr. Gentry stated with Zion Crossroads, first there was a plan that outlined the growth areas and then the Board later looked at the master plan for infrastructure in that area. Mr. Gentry said unfortunately, other growth areas havent gone quite that far, but they needed to get there as soon as possible. Mr. Gentry added he thought infrastructure was the key item to tell whether an area was ready for growth; therefore, the Board needed to establish infrastructure plans.
Mr. Jennings agreed with Mr. Havasy and Mr. Gentry and stated the Board had a lot of planning to do. Mr. Jennings indicated that some neighboring counties incorporated a growth rate in their comprehensive plan that stated the county would not exceed more than a two to three percent growth rate per year.
Mr. Harper said the County probably had a dilemma with designated growth areas and with that, he thought the Board had an obligation to do the things necessary to make those growth areas work. Mr. Harper said he supported everything that had gone on at Zion Crossroads; however, that wasnt all there was to Louisa. Mr. Harper said he was concerned that the Board had left their original efforts of infrastructure in the central parts of the County flat. Mr. Harper said the Board stated they wanted commercial activity; however, except perhaps along the interstate, to get commercial activity there had to be rooftops. Mr. Harper indicated that the County was going to have to grow and it was important that the Board designate those areas that they wanted to see growth in and commit to them.
Mr. Harper said when the Board started discussing PUDs, he thought they would be built where there was public water and sewer. Mr. Harper said now that so many developers wanted to have their own public water and sewer, it was imperative that the Board set certain criteria as to what the developers had to meet with public systems before the Board would approve the PUD. Mr. Harper said because no criteria had been set, he was concerned that the Board seemed ready to bring into the Countys fold many of those systems the developers were creating.
Mr. Wright stated Louisa County couldnt afford to become the bedroom community for the surrounding areas. Mr. Wright said most counties have 65 percent of their growth designated for residential and 35 percent designated for commercial; however, Louisa County didnt have those types of guidelines.
Mr. Gentry said he thought the Board needed to analyze what the County had and then decide where they wanted to go from there. Mr. Gentry said the Town of Louisa and Mineral had their own developments and he would like to know how they contributed to the workforce and affordable housing needs of the County. Mr. Gentry said he would also like to see numbers as to how new developments affected the school systems. Mr. Gentry added the Board needed to stop talking about general terms.
Mr. Wright agreed with Mr. Gentry and said the County didnt know what they had now as far as affordable homes, so how could it be determined what was needed. Mr. Wright added the County had left it up to the developers to decide where they wanted to put affordable housing and how many homes they wanted to build. Mr. Wright indicated that if the County didnt want to be come the bedroom for outlying areas, they needed to determine the needs for affordable and workforce homes and set a cap. Mr. Wright questioned Mr. Morgan if the County had any leeway in trying to curtail that. Mr. Morgan said that would be an extremely difficult path to follow because there was a fine line between really controlling growth and then becoming arbitrary and capricious. Mr. Wright said he thought the Board needed to look at ways to help affordable housing. Mr. Wright added for example, reducing lot sizes for affordable homes.
Mr. Harper stated when talking about homes sites, land used to be sold by the acre; however, it was now sold by the lot. Mr. Harper said even if a lot was cut in size, it would still be sold for the same amount of money because it was a buildable lot. Mr. Jennings said not necessarily because if a developer designated certain lots for affordable housing they wouldnt double the price. Mr. Byers stated his vision was to give people opportunities to earn and to be able to afford what they could have to meet their needs. Mr. Byers said he thought the County would never be able to define affordable housing where it was acceptable to everyone.
Mr. Havasy questioned for justification for adding three additional lots in A-2 for affordable housing when the County already had developers present that would build affordable homes. Mr. Havasy added he didnt want to add forty percent more growth in A-2 when we didnt have to because it would only increase population and density.
Mr. Gentry said about a year ago, he asked for a countywide study to be completed for possible reservoir areas to determine the availability of water in the County and questioned if that had been done. Mr. Lintecum indicated that Mr. Pauley and Mr. Coffey had been working with Dewberry and the water plan was in process. Mr. Lintecum said he hadnt been updated lately on it; however, he would get an update and provide Mr. Gentry with the details.
Mr. Byers questioned if the County had a list of what the priorities were for the next five years and measurable milestones for them with regular updates that showed the Board where they were with the initiatives. Mr. Byers added it seemed to him that the County should have a method of being able to track priorities. Mr. Lintecum said he could evaluate the goals the Board had set and periodically give updates. Mr. Gentry said he thought that was a good idea because the Board was in the midst of a growing county and things could fall through the cracks if action items werent being identified.
Mr. Havasy referenced (c) of Mr. Purcells email and stated he would like to see a chart that showed growth in the County and growth of staff required to service the County. Mr. Harper indicated that the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for year ended June 30, 2006 showed how many employees there were in given areas and how much growth there had been over the last ten years. Mr. Havasy said Mr. Purcell stated that County Government was becoming more and more difficult to deal with; however, he found that just the opposite. Mr. Havasy said County Government was becoming more and more efficient and easier for the public to deal with. Mr. Harper stated he thought the County needed to be very guarded that they didnt become bureaucratic.
Discussion - Expansion of Regional Jail
Mr. Harper said Louisa County got into a regional jail concept where they partnered with four other counties to build the Central Virginia Regional Jail. Mr. Harper indicated that there was a breakdown between the regional monies based on population and Louisas contribution towards building the jail was 28 percent of the total cost. Mr. Harper said the jail was built and from its inception forward, the administration at the jail had the foresight to get into an agreement with the U.S. Marshals Service to house federal prisoners. Mr. Harper stated the jail has expanded twice since that time with no local monies being put in; however, today the population of local and state prisoners was growing to the point that they couldnt house anymore federal prisoners than what they were contractually obligated for, which meant there were no windfall of monies to offset the operational costs. Mr. Harper indicated that they were estimating that they would ask localities for operational funding within the next two years and possibly partially next year. Mr. Harper added that would be about $750,000 per year for Louisa based on occupancy.
Mr. Harper said the jail was also looking at the possibility of expansion. Mr. Harper added federal funds werent available; therefore those funds would have to come from the counties involved. Mr. Harper added Louisas responsibility would be about 28 to 29 percent of the total cost for the expansion. Mr. Harper said for the next expansion, the jail wanted to move out to a less secure type of construction where they would house females, work release prisoners and prisoners that didnt have serious violent crimes. Mr. Harper said the jail was at capacity; therefore administration was obligated to start looking at ways to expand. Mr. Harper asked the Board how they wanted the jail to proceed.
Mr. Gentry questioned if Mr. Harper was talking about expansion of the existing structure and then an additional building somewhere else. Mr. Harper said everything would be connected on the same site, but there would be different levels of security.
Mr. McLeod questioned how much the cost would be for 28 percent of the construction. Mr. Harper said the amount would depend on if the minimum security concept were used versus the maximum security concept. Mr. Harper said he thought the total project would be $12 million to $14 million and Louisas cost would be about one-fourth of that. Mr. McLeod questioned with the expansion, would Louisas operation cost increase. Mr. Harper indicated that the County was billed per day per prisoner.
Mr. Wright indicated that there were grants available for a lot of different things and the County should be taking advantage of them. Mr. Lintecum said the problem was that the higher a Countys composite index, the less they were eligible for grants.
It was consensus of the Board to support moving forward with the minimal security expansion of the Regional Jail.
Discussion - Establish Goals and Objectives for 2008
Mr. Lintecum stated he thought the Board needed to identify the areas where they wanted their goals to generate from and then each Board member and department head could determine specific goals for those areas. Mr. Lintecum added he would give the Board the department heads input.
Mr. Gentry said he thought it was important to have immediate goals for 2008, as well as goals for a five-year program. Mr. Wright added he would like for benchmarks to be set for the long-term goals.
Mr. Harper said for more than ten years, the County had been able to fund tremendous growth in their government by appreciation on real estate. Mr. Harper indicated that the tax rate had been kept close to the same, but a lot more money had been generated, as well as spent. Mr. Harper said he thought if the Board put their priorities on budget management that would control a lot. Mr. Harper said the Board played a big role in budget management and would have to give direction to the people that put together a budget. Mr. McLeod said the budget memos stated for departments to keep the growth at three percent or less unless there was a very good explanation and to tell him how they were going to cut five percent instead of him cutting it to give them the flexibility incase that had to be done.
After discussion, it was consensus of the Board to give Mr. Lintecum a list of their goals and objectives by the first week in January.
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Jennings, which carried by a vote of 5-0, the Board voted to enter Closed Session at 11:35 p.m. for the purpose of discussing the following:
1. In accordance with §2.23711 (a) (7) of the Code of Virginia, 1950 as amended, for the purpose of consultation with legal counsel.
On motion of Mr. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Havasy, which carried by a vote of 5-0, the Board voted to return to Regular Session at 11:53 p.m.
RESOLUTION - CERTIFICATION OF CLOSED SESSION
On motion of Mr. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Havasy, which carried by a vote of 5-0, the Board voted to adopt the following resolution:
WHEREAS, the Louisa County Board of Supervisors has convened a Closed Meeting this 1st day of December 2007, 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 1st day of December 2007, 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 motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Havasy, which carried by a vote of 5-0, the Board voted to adjourn the December 1, 2007 meeting at 11:55 p.m.
BY ORDER OF
JACKSON T. WRIGHT, CHAIRMAN
LOUISA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
LOUISA COUNTY, LOUISA, VIRGINIA