Board Meeting

Board Meeting Room
600 North Main Street
Woodstock, VA 22664

MINUTES OF MEETING OF
THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
February 1, 2018

A regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors was held at 4:00 p.m. in the Board Meeting Room, 600 North Main Street, Woodstock, Virginia on February 1, 2018. The following members of the Board of Supervisors were present: Chairman Conrad A. Helsley, Vice Chairman Dick Neese, Steve Baker, Richard Walker, Karl Roulston and Dennis Morris.   Others present included County Administrator Mary T. Price, Assistant County Administrator Evan Vass, Director of Finance Harrison Nicholson, Deputy Clerk Chris Sherman and County Attorney Jason Ham.

Others in attendance included:   Jason Malloy, Director of Emergency Communication Center; Robert Clark, Senior Extension Agent; Rodney McClain, Director of Public Utilities; Dr. Mark Johnston, Superintendent of Schools;

An invocation was given by Reverend David Howard of the Strasburg Presbyterian Church followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Vice Chairman Neese made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Baker to approve the February 1, 2018 regular meeting agenda with the addition of New Business Item #2 Consideration of three House and Senate Bill Resolutions and the additional appointment in  closed session of a Citizens Advisory Committee member.   The Motion was approved by a verbal vote of 6-0 as follows:  Ayes:  Baker, Walker, Roulston, Morris, Neese and Helsley.

Chairman Helsley also requested starting the Non Action discussion portion of the agenda with the general reassessment item.

CONSIDERATION OF NON ACTION ITEMS 

  1. Discussion related to Real Estate General Reassessment.

Ms. Price explained that the last reassessment took effect on January 2016 and said that to keep on schedule with the usual 4 year cycle, the County would need to begin the RFP process this summer and therefore budget enough funding to do so or the board could agree to a 5 or 6 year cycle.   She said the cost for the last general reassessment was $519,348 and was divided over three budget cycles.

Kathy Black, Commissioner of Revenue stated that the property values are holding at 97% of fair market value  and stated that she does not anticipate a justification to reassess at the four year timeframe based on current real estate sales.

Supervisor Morris suggested the county wait one year and perhaps review the numbers at that time.

Supervisor Walker said there is no reason to spend money for another re-assessment if the numbers are holding steady and he preferred maintaining the six year cycle.

Jason Ham, County Attorney said that the previous resolution specifically states that it would take effect January 2016 and implies that the Board would act again for the next general reassessment and he recommended that the board take formal action.

Chairman Helsley requested action during the next meeting on February 27.

  1. Discussion regarding a Resolution Supporting the Creation of a Small and Rural Schools  

Dr. Mark Johnston, Superintendent of Shenandoah County Schools explained that the creation of this coalition would assist with advocating for the smaller rural schools in the State that carry a higher percentage of poverty, experience a high percentage of free or reduced lunches, have a larger teacher turnover rates and has a tax base that relies heavily on residential property taxes.

Chairman Helsley said that this Resolution would be added to the February 27 meeting for action.

  1. Discussion regarding a request from the School Division to re-appropriate their FY17 Fund Balance.  

Dr Johnston requested the re-appropriation earlier this year because of the revised schedule for the school division; to allow the projects to get underway when school adjourns in late May.

Chairman Helsley said this request would be acted on at the February 27 meeting.

  1. Discussion with Grimm and Parker Architects regarding the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office and the Emergency Communication Center.

Jim Boyd and Patricia Jessee, Senior Architects with Grimm and Parker (G&P) presented a powerpoint presentation with possible changes to the design of the Sheriff’s office to include the Emergency Communication Center (ECC).  They explained that the cost to include the ECC with the Sheriff’s project is estimated at an additional $ 2,240,048 and would adjust the completion date to October of 2019.

Supervisor Walker asked if the County’s technology department could service the new computer system in ECC and Mr. Vass explained that ECC has specific information and technology needs related to computer aided dispatching (CAD).

Jason Malloy, Director of Emergency Communications stated that they currently have five work stations plus they keep one spare station as a back up in the CAD office and he concurred that the new design would be more efficient in meeting the space constraints that ECC is currently under.

Sheriff Tim Carter said he has provided the amounts to the Board that will be covered by asset forfeiture.  He added that if the Board of Supervisors approves the inclusion of ECC to the project, and they have a way to pay for it, he said that it is achievable and he would appreciate it if the project would keep moving forward.

Chairman Helsley asked Mr. Vass if he had information related to Supervisor Walker’s prior request to research the vacant buildings downtown such as the, circuit courthouse, the former county jail and the bank building.

Mr. Vass distributed several handouts while Duane Williams, Facilities Foreman provided information regarding the challenges associated with renovating those buildings including asbestos removal, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, ,  limited parking and the lack of space required for a 200 foot antenna associated with the radio project upgrade.

Supervisor Walker asked if the cost estimates include installation of the radio tower and Mr. Malloy stated that it is included with the entire radio upgrade project.

Chairman Helsley stated further discussion could occur at the February night meeting.  He asked Mr. Malloy if he has additional information regarding the RFP results and Mr. Malloy said that there are meetings scheduled during the month of February with consultants and vendors and he is hoping to make a selection sometime in March.

  1. Discussion concerning possible connection of the Town of Edinburg to the county owned North Fork Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Dan Harshman, Edinburg Town Mayor and Rodney McClain, Director of Public Utilities invited the Town  of Edinburg’s engineering representatives Earl Sutherland and Karl Shaffer with Pennoni Associates, and the County’s representative William Johnson, II,  P.E.,P.C.

Mr. Harshman explained that the Town has struggled the last several years with E-Coli readings and a consent order to correct the problem by the Department of Environmental Quality.  He stated that the Edinburg wastewater facility is reaching the end of its life and they are left with two options to either upgrade the facility or abandon the facility and connect to the County’s North Fork Waste Water Treatment Facility.   He said the Town Council had many discussions and ultimately believe running a sewer line to the county’s wastewater plant is the most cost effective improvement.

Mr. Sutherland distributed a graphic showing how close in proximity the Town is located to the NFWWTP.  He said the plant is currently operating at a minimal capacity and would benefit greatly from adding the Town’s sewage.    Mr. Sutherland stated that DEQ has spoken favorably for the Town to connect to the North Fork system and Rural Development

is also encouraging implementation. He advised that the major challenge is to avoid changing the landscape and stay in the right of way and off of private property and he is confident they can do that.  He said the overall implementation including environmental review would take approximately two or three years.   Mr. Sutherland requested board members blessing to move forward with researching and investigating further details for this project.

Mr. Johnson agreed with Mr. Sutherland and confirmed the Town and the County will need the board to support this idea and proceed with the research as he acknowledges there are technical details that need to review.

Mr. McClain emphasized that it would be much more cost effective to operate one WWTP in the County with a large capacity versus two small WWTP with smaller capacities.

Supervisor Roulston said that he remembered Mr. McClain’s explanation about how adding Edinburg’s sludge would assist in keeping the “bugs” active and he appreciated that.

Supervisor Walker said that he had no objection and asked if property owners along the Rt. 11 Corridor would have the opportunity to connect to the system and Mr. McClain said if they own an on-site system yes they could.

Supervisor Neese had no objection.

Supervisor Morris said to go for it.

Supervisor Baker encouraged them to move forward.

Chairman Helsley said there is no objection and the board will look forward to hearing further details later.

Mr. Vass reminded board members there will be challenges and costs associated with tying the two together. 

PUBLIC COMMENTS (On new business and consent agenda items only

Stephen Curtis of Edinburg spoke about the benefits of home schooling and how it saves the county money.  He asked the Board to create different ways to save money.  Mr. Curtis also shared concern about the NFWWTP and a possible odor and the condition of the road would need repaired if they add the Town of Edinburg.

Robert Clark of Woodstock encouraged the board to step up the pace and put Shenandoah County on the map as one of the top 10 Counties in the State of Virginia. 

CONSIDERATION OF CONSENT AGENDA 

            Vice Chairman Neese made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Morris to approve the consent agenda. The Motion was approved by a verbal vote of 6-0 as follows:

Ayes: Baker, Roulston, Morris, Walker, Neese and Helsley

  1. Approval of Minutes – January 4, 2018 Work Session and January 9, 2018 regular meeting.  
  2. Consideration of the appointment of Jessica Sager to the Tourism Council.
  3. Consideration of the re-appointment of Rhonda Lively to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.  
  4. Consideration of the appointment of Seth Coffman to the Citizens Advisory Committee on the Comprehensive Plan.   

PUBLIC HEARING – No public hearings were scheduled.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

            Robert Clark, Sr. Extension Agent provided additional information regarding the recent media release regarding winter rainfall patterns and the lack of adequate recharging to our ground water supplies.  He said the purpose of the media release was to raise awareness to the private water supplies so that they can begin conserving water.  Mr. Clark said it is tough to guess how much rain is needed but speculated between 5 and 8 inches between now and the end of March. 

OLD BUSINESS   No old business was scheduled.

PLANNING COMMISSION ITEMS - No PC items were scheduled. 

NEW BUSINESS  

  1. Consideration of a revised FY2019 Budget Calendar.

Supervisor Morris made a Motion seconded by Supervisor Baker to approve the revised calendar.  The Motion passed by a verbal vote of 6-0 as follows:

Ayes:   Baker, Roulston, Walker, Morris, Neese and Helsley

  1. Consideration to approve a Resolution Supporting Senate Bill 827 increased Funding

For Courthouse Security: a Resolution Supporting House Bill 859 sharing building code enforcement with other localities; and a Resolution Opposing Senate Bill 751 posting account payable registers to locality websites.   Resolutions attached hereto.   

Supervisor Neese made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Morris to approve a Resolution of Support for Senate Bill 827.  The Motion passed by a roll call vote of 5-0-1 (walker abstaining) as follows: 

Baker               aye                   Roulston          aye
Walker             abstain             Morris              aye
Neese              aye                   Helsley            aye

Supervisor Morris made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Baker to approve a Resolution of Support for House Bill 859The Motion passed by a roll call vote of 6-0 as follows:

Roulston          aye                   Baker               aye
Morris              aye                   Walker             aye
Neese              aye                   Helsley            aye

Supervisor Roulston made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor to support a Resolution of Opposition against Senate Bill 751.  The Motion passed by a roll call vote of  5-1 as follows:

Walker             nay                  Baker               aye
Roulston          aye                   Morris              aye
Neese              aye                   Helsley            aye

PUBLIC COMMENTS ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS (and other matters not previously the subject of a public hearing at this meeting) – No comments were received. 

COUNTY ATTORNEY COMMENTS

            Mr. Ham said that many of his clients have benefitted from regional water and wastewater services. 

BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS           

Supervisor Walker expressed concern with the RSW meeting he attended and their desire to keep 20% of funding as a result of overbilling and attempt to create another reserve account.  He said the RSW Regional jail already has phenomenal operating, debt and liability reserve accounts and is not necessary to create additional reserves.

Chairman Helsley said that the bonding agency requires a separate reserve for funding principal and interest for one year in case of emergency and the other reserves are meant to be used in rare occasions.   He said it makes good business sense to have funding available if needed.

COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR COMMENTS

Ms. Price said that she could invite Robinson Farmer and Cox to attend a future meeting.          

OTHER BUSINESS - no other business was discussed. 

CLOSED SESSION(S)  

  1. Supervisor Neese made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Baker to enter into closed session at 6:30 p.m. in accordance with Section 2.2-3711 (A) (1) of the state code to discuss the assignment and appointment of specific public officers, appointees or employees.  The subject matter is the appointment of public officials to serve on the Social Services Board, the Agriculture and Forestal Advisory, the Lord Fairfax Community College Board,  , the Citizens Advisory Committee to the Comprehensive Plan and the Tourism Council, the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission(NSVRC)      The Motion to enter into closed session was approved by a voice vote of 6-0 as follows: 

Ayes:    Baker, Morris, Roulston, Walker, Neese and Helsley   

            Supervisor Morris made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Neese to return to regular session at 6:40 p.m.    The Motion passed by a voice vote of 6-0 as follows:

Ayes:    Baker, Morris, Roulston, Walker, Neese and Helsley    

Mr. Vass read the certification that all members must certify that to the best of each member’s knowledge (i) only public business matters lawfully exempted from open meeting requirement, under The Virginia Freedom Information Act and (ii) only such public business matters as were identified in the motion by which the closed meeting was convened were heard, discussed or considered in the meeting of the public body.

Members were polled to certify that only those matters identified in the above Code Section was discussed.

Baker               aye                   Roulston          aye
Walker             aye                   Morris              aye
Neese              aye                   Helsley            aye

With no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 6:42 p.m.

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________________________

Conrad A. Helsley, Chairman

ATTEST:  __________________________

Mary T. Price, Clerk of the Board

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A Resolution to Support Senate Bill 827  
 now pending before the Virginia General Assembly

WHEREAS, the Virginia General Assembly has convened to consider the passage of legislation that would amend laws affecting the authority and operation of Virginia local governments; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors believes Senate Bill 827, introduced by Senator Janet D. Howell, would help the localities in funding courthouse security personnel as well as equipment used in connection with courthouse security. The governing body would have the option to increase the assessment for courthouse security from $10 to $20 as part of the costs in each criminal or traffic case in its district or circuit court in which the defendant is convicted of a violation of any statute or ordinance.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that the Board of Supervisors of Shenandoah County, Virginia, hereby expresses its strongest support to pending Senate Bill 827 and requests that Senator Mark D. Obenshain and Delegate C. Todd Gilbert join in supporting and voting to approve Senate Bill 827.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of the County of Shenandoah Virginia directs the Clerk to send a copy of this resolution to Senator Mark D. Obenshain and Delegate C. Todd Gilbert.

Approved February 1, 2018.

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A Resolution to Support House Bill 859  
now pending before the Virginia General Assembly

WHEREAS, the Virginia General Assembly has convened to consider the passage of legislation that would amend laws affecting the authority and operation of Virginia local governments; and

WHEREAS, House Bill 859, introduced by Delegate Christopher K. Peace, would provide that the governing body of a county or municipality may enter into an agreement with the governing body of another county or municipality for the provision to such county or municipality's building department of technical assistance with administration and enforcement of the Building Code; and

WHEREAS, Shenandoah County has seen the need for mutual aid agreements with adjacent localities to provide assistance with building code enforcement services.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that the Board of Supervisors of Shenandoah County, Virginia, hereby expresses its strongest support to pending House Bill 859 and requests that Senator Mark D. Obenshain and Delegate C. Todd Gilbert join in supporting and voting to approve House Bill 859.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of the County of Shenandoah, Virginia directs the Clerk to send a copy of this resolution to Senator Mark D. Obenshain and Delegate C. Todd Gilbert.

Approved February 1, 2018

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A Resolution Opposing Senate Bill 751 
 now pending before the Virginia General Assembly

WHEREAS, the Virginia General Assembly has convened to consider the passage of legislation that would amend laws affecting the authority and operation of Virginia local governments; and

WHEREAS, Senate Bill 751, introduced by Glen H. Sturtevant, Jr., would require every locality with a population greater than 25,000 to post on their websites a register of all transactions that would include the vendor name, date of payment, amount and description of the type of expense; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors believes that Senate Bill 751 would require significant staff time to implement since staff would need to review the transactions and input the necessary data; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors believes that localities should have the local option of complying with the unfunded mandate; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that the Board of Supervisors of Shenandoah County, Virginia, hereby expresses its strongest opposition to pending Senate Bill 751 and requests that Senator Mark D. Obenshain and Delegate  C. Todd Gilbert  join in opposing and voting to disapprove Senate Bill 751.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of the County of Shenandoah Virginia directs the Clerk to send a copy of this resolution to Senator Mark D. Obenshain and Delegate  C. Todd Gilbert.

Approved February 1, 2018.