Board Work Session

Board Conference Room
600 North Main Street
Woodstock, VA 22664

Minutes of the Board of Supervisors

Regular Work Session

May 4, 2017

             A regular work session of the Board of Supervisors was held at 4:00 p.m. in the Board Conference Room of the Government Center, 600 North Main Street, Woodstock, Virginia, on Thursday, May 4, 2017.  The following members of the Board of Supervisors were present:   Chairman Conrad A. Helsley, Vice Chairman Richard Walker, Dick Neese, Steve Baker and Cindy Bailey and Marsh Shruntz.     Others present included County Administrator Mary Price, Assistant County Administrator Evan Vass and Deputy Clerk Chris Sherman.  Supervisor Shruntz was absent.

Topics of Discussion:

Bradley Polk, Director of Community Development addressed recent misinformation regarding the board action on April 25 for a rezoning and site plan approval by the Broadway Group, LLC in the Basye area.  He explained that the applicants had worked on this project for several months and they had the option to submit both a rezoning request and a site plan approval at the same time.   He added that his staff did not instruct the applicant one way or the other.  Mr. Polk said for future reference, this office would begin notifying the respective board member who resides in the applicant’s district.

  1. Consideration to hold a rabies clinic at the Shenandoah County Animal Shelter.

Ms. Price explained that early approval of this request will give us more time to advertise and get the Health Department to approve.  This will go to the May 9, 2017 board meeting for action.

  1. Discussion regarding proposed changes to Chapter 146 Taxation of the Shenandoah County Code.

Kathy Black, Commissioner of Revenue said that Ms. Price, Ms. George and I have reviewed relevant changes to Chapter 146 Taxation since late last summer including Senior Citizen and Disabled Persons Tax Exemption.

Vice Chairman Walker indicated his requested changes were to change the one acre requirement to five acre only when computing the net worth of a property and not in section 146-22 exemption.

Ms. Black said that her research indicates that no residents would be affected by this change and she expressed concern that the elderly citizens would get confused between the two different one acre and five acre amendments.

Vice Chairman Walker asked how many citizens typically are disqualified and Ms. Black said that on average between 10 and 20 citizens do not qualify.

Chairman Helsley stated this topic would return to another board meeting for adoption.

Ms. Price reviewed additional changes to the taxation chapter including Article X Transient Occupancy Tax under the Hotel definition.

Vice Chairman Walker asked if the County imposes a tax on Air B&B and Ms. Price said yes the County does impose a tax however it is very difficult to track.   He also suggested leaving the classifications of farm machinery in the section 146-76 and 146-77 in case hemp farming is legalized in the future.

Chairman Helsley asked Ms Price to consult with the county attorney if another public hearing is needed regarding the revisions and add it to the May 23 board meeting for adoption or to advertise for another public hearing.

  1. Discussion regarding an Economic Development Authority versus an Industrial Development Authority.

Supervisor Shruntz requested that the IDA transition to an EDA.

Vince Poling, Chairman of the IDA explained that changing the name to an EDA is a more modern approach in today’s world.  He explained that the current IDA has the ability to borrow money, loan money, facilitate sale of bonds and other functions not related to industry. He said basically the IDA has requested to change the name and fund a position that would assist with the County’s general plans for Economic Development.

Supervisor Bailey asked what are the obstacles as of today for the IDA to do this.

Mr. Poling said that the IDA still has three outstanding bonds that would need to be satisfied and the IDA would need to have a formal vote to dissolve and rename themselves adding that Ms Price would need to amend the ordinance and the Board of Supervisors would have to concur with the suggested changes.  He said that the IDA would like to use the money it has now to enhance the industrial park in Strasburg and prepare it to be “site ready”, i.e.:  water and sewer, remove or clear and grub 10,000 square feet of vegetation and include a storm water management plan.  However, Mr. Poling reported that staff time is needed to facilitate a request for proposal and administer a contract.  He said that the IDA might be willing to help with the salary of an ED Director for two years.  Mr. Poling reminded the board that the IDA has no revenue stream and does not play a role in marketing but their primary focus is to have a dedicated person to complete data sheets, serve as a point of contact for the county and to facilitate contracts and RFP’s.

Supervisor Bailey suggested the IDA fund the position the first year then the County could use the funding reserved for membership in the Shenandoah Valley Partnership the second year but Mr. Poling said it would be a mistake to lose the SVP.

  1. Discussion related to the proposed Virginia Department of Transportation six year secondary road plans.

Ed Carter, Project Administrator for VDOT presented the proposed FY2018 six year secondary road plans.  He reported to the board that secondary formulas will end in 2020 and be replaced by district grant monies that will be awarded on a competitive basis in each district.  He indicated the Board of Supervisors will still set priorities and submit road plans.   He reminded the board that the VDOT funding is based on forecasted revenues such as the price of gas and taxes etc.

Ms. Price asked if the same list we have now would exist in 2021 and Mr. Carter said yes unless the board decides to change how they prioritize.

Supervisor Neese asked if there was any funding remaining from snow removal.

Mr. Carter said yes and it is being used towards road maintenance, surfacing and ditching and drainage work.

Chairman Helsley reported that the public hearing would be advertised for May 23 at 7:00 p.m.

Ms. Price distributed handouts with information Ms. Shruntz requested regarding the way Frederick County handles their ranking and prioritization of road paving.

  1. Consideration proceeding with initiation and implementation of a strategic planning process for fire and EMS needs within the Shenandoah County Community.

Evan Vass stated that this is a follow up conversation regarding a request to form a Strategic Plan and Committee to identify the needs of Fire and Rescue and to identify where Shenandoah County is headed.  He said the process would engage members of the community with meetings open to the public.   Mr. Vass requested that each board member appoint a representative from their district and that each Fire and Rescue Volunteer station have representation.  He said he hoped to start the process this summer with a kick off meeting and would send out notification when it a date and location is established.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:50 p.m.