Board Night Meeting

Board Room
600 North Main Street
Woodstock, VA 22664

MINUTES OF MEETING OF

THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

March 28, 2017

A regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors was held at 7:00 p.m. in the Board Meeting Room, 600 North Main Street, Woodstock, Virginia, on March 28, 2017. The following members of the Board of Supervisors were present:  Chairman Conrad A. Helsley, Vice Chairman Richard Walker, Steve Baker, Marsha Shruntz, Cindy Bailey and Dick Neese.   Others present included County Administrator Mary T. Price, Assistant County Administrator Evan Vass, Director of Finance Harrison Nicholson, County Attorney Jason Ham and Deputy Clerk Chris Sherman.

Chairman Helsley called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

An invocation was given by Supervisor Baker followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Vice Chairman Walker made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Bailey to approve the March 28, 2017 meeting agenda as presented.    The Motion was approved by a voice vote of 6-0 as follows:     Ayes:    Neese, Shruntz, Bailey, Baker, Helsley and Walker    

PUBLIC COMMENTS (On new business agenda items only)

Katie Freakley, District 4 School Board Member spoke in support of New Business Item #5 and asked the board to please re-allocate the carry over funds for one time CIP use by the school division.      

CONSENT AGENDA  

            Supervisor Walker made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Baker to approve the Consent Agenda.  The Motion to approve the consent agenda was approved by a voice vote of 6-0 as follows:  Ayes:    Baker, Bailey, Neese, Shruntz, Walker and Helsley.   

  1. Approval of Minutes – February 16, 2017 joint school board meeting; February 28, 2017 regular meeting; March 2, 2017 budget work session; March 7, 2017 budget work session; March 9, 2017 budget work session; March 15, 2017 budget work session; (Action requested) 

PUBLIC HEARING(S)    

To receive citizen comment in accordance with Section 15.2-1427 (f) of the Code of         Virginia, as amended, to adopt an Ordinance amending Shenandoah County Code       Chapter 146: Taxation. The amendments to Chapter 146 consist of the deletion of certain       provisions related to unlicensed or inoperable motor vehicles and farm animals and machinery, a proposed change to the financial worth requirements for the senior citizens    and disabled persons tax exemption, insertion of certain provisions relating to jointly held        property and the senior citizens and disabled persons tax exemption, deletion of various      provisions relating to a consumer telecommunications utility tax, updating citations, and         other changes.

Kevin Rooney of Maurertown asked if the board had researched the right to farm act.

There being no other speakers, the public hearing was closed at 7:08 p.m. 

REPORTS AND/OR SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS – No reports were scheduled.  

OLD BUSINESS                                                                                                        

  1. Establish a Tax Rate for the FY2018 proposed budget advertisement.

Chairman Helsley reviewed a revised list of requests that Finance Director Harrison Nicholson displayed on the overhead screen.

Supervisor Baker made a Motion to advertise for a tax rate of $0.64.

Supervisor Bailey said that she requested level funding and the tax rate stay at $0.60 cents.

Supervisor Neese said he would support a $0.64 cent tax rate.

Supervisor Shruntz said she would vote to stay at $0.60 cents.

Vice Chairman Walker said he would abstain from a vote because he wanted additional information from the Department of Education.

Chairman Helsley said he would support advertising for a $0.64 cent tax rate.

Jason Ham, County Attorney said no formal action is required; however a general consensus of the board members by 3-2-1 would give the County Administrator direction to proceeding with advertising at the $0.64 rate.   

CONSIDERATION OF PLANNING COMMISSION ITEMS                                                 

  1. Consideration of text amendments to the subdivision and zoning ordinances.  

Supervisor Baker made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Neese to approve the recommended text amendments to the subdivision and zoning ordinances.  The Motion was approved by a roll call vote of 6-0 as follows:

Neese             aye                      Shruntz              aye

Bailey            aye                     Baker                 aye

Walker           aye                     Helsley              aye

NEW BUSINESS

  1. Consideration of a request from the Sheriff’s Department to appropriate U.S. Department of Treasury funds to the Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

Sheriff Tim Carter provided background regarding of the grant.  He explained that the Department of Treasury approved an extension in January provided the department expends the funds by the end of May.  He said no match is needed as the money is already in the County Treasury fund.

            Vice Chairman Walker made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Shruntz to authorize the expenditure of funds.  The Motion was approved by a roll call vote of 6-0 as follows:

Neese              aye                   Baker               aye

Bailey              aye                   Shruntz            aye

Walker             aye                   Helsley            aye

  1. Consideration to approve the Filibuster Distillery Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Grant Performance Agreement and Local Implementation Agreement. 

            Vice Chairman Walker made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Shruntz to approve the agreements. 

            Evan Vass explained that this action and resulting refund of tax dollars is a result of improvements made by the local distillery and increase in taxable values. 

            The Motion was approved by a roll call vote of 6-0 as follows:

                        Bailey              aye                   Baker               aye

Shruntz            aye                   Neese              aye

Walker             aye                   Helsley            aye

  1. Consideration of a request to accept a quit claim deed for the County Farm.

            Supervisor Shruntz made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Walker authorizing the County Administrator to accept the quit claim deed for the Shenandoah County Farm. 

            Chairman Helsley acknowledged that this discussion has continued for a very long time and the state has given the County possession. 

            Ms. Price provided a list of the protected property acres including the vacant lot of the Alms House which was destroyed by fire in 2014.     

            The Motion was approved by a roll call vote of 6-0 as follows: 

                        Baker               aye                   Bailey              aye

Neese              aye                   Shruntz            aye

Walker             aye                   Helsley            aye

  1. Consideration to approve the use of Parks and Recreation Enterprise Funds from FY2016 to purchase a new tractor.   

Ms. Price explained that the money for the purchase of this tractor will come from the parks and recreation 2016 enterprise fund in the amount of $39,712.

            Supervisor Baker made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Neese to approve the purchase of the tractor.  The Motion was approved by a roll call vote of 6-0 as follows:

Shruntz            aye                   Neese              aye

Baker               aye                   Bailey              aye

Walker             aye                   Helsley            aye

  1. Discussion regarding a request for re-appropriation of 2015-16 School Division Fund Balance.

Chairman Helsley and Vice Chairman Helsley concurred there was no need to take action regarding the 2015-16 fund balance in the amount of $562,749 because it was placed in the Schools 2018 CIP plan.

Mr. Vass reminded the board that the special grants appropriation in the amount of $460,115 requires action.

            Supervisor Bailey made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Shruntz to approve the special grants budget in the amount of $460,115.  The Motion was approved by a roll call vote of 6-0 as follows:   

                        Neese              aye                   Shruntz            aye

Bailey              aye                   Baker               aye

Walker             aye                   Helsley            aye

PUBLIC COMMENTS (regarding non-agenda items and other matters not previously the subject of a public hearing at this meeting)

Dan Walsh of 211 Manor Drive, Edinburg and President of Parents Alliance for Stronger Schools (PASS) spoke in support of school funding and shared his concern over teachers leaving for other regions.  He agreed with the Sheriff that sometimes you get what you pay for and said that our school division teachers are unable to continue to do more--with less.

Ray Powell of 518 Henry Drive, Woodstock asked the board not to neglect the future generation as they will be taxpayers themselves making decisions that will affect the senior population.  He asked the board to improve the tax base and invest in the future and allow a moderate increase in taxes that is tolerable to the citizens each year.

Eugenia Kimble of 496 Frenchman Pond Road, Fort Valley spoke as Chairman of the Democratic Education Committee and a representative of six grandchildren in the school system.  She preferred citizens have the opportunity to speak and discuss the tax rate before the decision is made to advertise for a tax rate.

Jeff Iverson of 2464 Garber Road, Mt. Jackson expressed to Vice Chairman Walker that he does not accept the fact that we are a mediocre education system.  He also questioned the need for a vehicle for Tourism which was the subject of prior budget discussions earlier in the meeting.

Kevin Rooney of Maurertown questioned whether all the accolades of the school system that the School Superintendent promotes are evidence that we really are not suffering as badly as some would have us believe.

Ken Cruise of Madie Byrd Park, Toms Brook suggested we find ways to keep our youth employed here in the County.   He said the downfall of this Country is the $20 trillion dollar budget.

Dennis Atwood of 2430 Old Valley Pike, Maurertown spoke on behalf of the Shenandoah Area Agency for Aging.  He urged the board to approve the full $83,000 request that the agency has depended on for several years because our area has a larger senior population to serve.

Kyle Ford of 303 W. North Street, Woodstock reported to the board that they had spent $10,859 of taxpayer money for legal fees since February because of the vote for a new chairman.

Karl Ralston of 154 N. Church Street, Woodstock expressed gratitude to the board for trimming the fat from the budget and encouraged board members to realize the difference between the fat and the meat. He said that the County needs to improve and invest in Economic Development by improving schools, public safety, law enforcement and a good quality of life for the citizens.

Karen Whetzel of 9424 Shenandoah Drive, New Market serves as Chairman of the School Board and shared the importance of funding certain programs, such as special education, because the state requires localities to provide services regardless of the local contributions.

Carly Iverson, 2464 Garber Road, Mt Jackson suggested pro-rated personal property tax rates so that no citizen is free from paying their share.

Ed Provost of 14 Jackson Street, Woodstock said that education, fire and rescue and law enforcement should be top priority when considering the budget.  He requested citizens have discussion before an advertised rate is decided.

COUNTY ATTORNEY COMMENTS   - No comments were received.                 

BOARD MEMBERS’ COMMENTS

Supervisor Shruntz read an email from a citizen who took issue with the application of the County Attorney’s opinion related to the ability of the board to take any action(s) at their work sessions and drew attention to previous action taken to advertise a tax rate made at a 2016 work session. The citizen called for a partial refund of taxes as a result.

             Supervisor Bailey said this board should change the policies that are in place that deter growth and Economic Development in this County.  She indicated she will not raise taxes on retirees with fixed incomes and the lower income population of this County.

Supervisor Baker said that he will continue to support the Volunteer Fire and Rescue groups of the western corridor of the County and their request for additional career staff.

Chairman Helsley reported that each time he met with potential economic prospects they were always more interested to learn about the school system and parks and recreation in the area.  He announced that the Jacob Bowman House has been designated to the National Registry of Historic Places.  He reported that the State Commonwealth Transportation Board will meet on April 27 at 5:30 p.m.

ADMINISTRATOR’S COMMENTS                          

OTHER BUSINESS

CLOSED SESSION(S)

Vice Chairman Walker made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Neese to enter into the following Closed Sessions at 9:47 p.m.  

  1. 1.      In accordance with Section 2.2-3711 (A) (3) of the Code of Virginia to discuss the acquisition of real property for a public purpose, where discussion in an open meeting would adversely affect the bargaining position or negotiating strategy of the county. The subject matter is possible replacement convenience sites.

 

  1. In  accordance with  Section 2.2-3711 (A) (3) and  (7) of the Code of Virginia to discuss the  disposition of publicly held real property, where discussion in an open meeting  would  adversely affect the bargaining position or negotiating  strategy of  the public body,  and to consult with  legal counsel  regarding  specific  legal matters requiring  the  provision of  legal advice by such counsel.  The subject matter is the current lease with the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging.

 

  1. In accordance with Section 2.2-3711(A) (7) of the Code of Virginia to consult with legal counsel regarding specific legal matters requiring the provision of legal advice by such counsel and to consult with legal counsel and be briefed by staff members or consultants about actual or probable litigation, where such consultation or briefing in open meeting would adversely affect the County’s negotiating or litigating posture.  The subject matter of the meeting is the potential litigation against Shenandoah Valley Construction’s partners personally in order to collect the taxes owed by Shenandoah Valley Construction.

 

  1. In accordance with Section 2.2-3711(A) (1) of the Code of Virginia to discuss the hiring and appointment of specific public officers, appointees, or employees. The subject matter is the appointment of public officials to serve on the Lord Fairfax Community College Board, the Agriculture and Forestal Advisory Committee; the Board of Building Code Appeals, the Library Board of Trustees, the Tourism Council, the Lord Fairfax Emergency Medical Services Council, the Social Services Board and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership.

 

  1. In accordance with Section 2.2-3711(A) (3) of the Code of Virginia to discuss or consider the disposition of publicly held real property, where discussion in an open meeting would adversely affect the bargaining position or negotiating strategy of the public body, and in accordance with Section 2.2-3711(A) (7) of the Code of Virginia to consult with legal counsel regarding specific legal matters requiring the provision of legal advice by such counsel,. The subject matter of the meeting is the possible vacation of a public right-of-way located in Valley View Subdivision, Number Two, Section One.

            The Motion to enter into all five closed sessions was approved by a verbal vote of 6-0 as follows:   Ayes:   Bailey, Baker, Neese, Shruntz, Walker and Helsley      

            Supervisor Neese made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Baker to return to regular session at 10:35 p.m. The Motion passed by a verbal vote of 6-0 as follows: 

Ayes:  Baker, Shruntz, Neese, Bailey, Walker 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 of 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.

Bailey              aye                  Helsley            aye

Baker               aye                   Shruntz            aye

Neese              aye                   Walker             aye

Jason Ham requested an amendment to the agenda to:

  1. Consider the termination of Lease with the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging effective April 30, 2017.

Supervisor Walker made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Bailey to terminate the lease

with SAAA as of April 30, 2017.    The Motion passed by a verbal vote of 6-0 as follows.

Ayes:  Bailey, Baker, Neese, Shruntz, Walker and Helsley.

With no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at             10:40 p.m.

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________________________

Conrad A. Helsley, Chairman

ATTEST:  __________________________

Mary T. Price, Clerk of the Board