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|Board Present:||Fitzgerald A. Barnes, Willie L. Gentry, Jr., Richard A. Havasy, Allen B. Jennings, Eric F. Purcell and Jack T. Wright|
|Board Absent:||Willie L. Harper|
|Others Present:||C. Lee Lintecum, County Administrator; Ernie McLeod, Deputy County Administrator; and April Jacobs, Deputy Clerk|
CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Wright called the March 28, 2007 meeting of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors to order at 6:00 p.m. Mr. Purcell led the invocation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
UPDATE ON TRANSPORTATION
Mr. Lintecum said House Bill 3202 is the Governors revised transportation bill. Mr. Lintecum stated the Bill requires any county over 20,000 people, with over a five percent growth in population, to have a Comprehensive Plan that addresses urban areas within the county. Mr. Lintecum said urban areas are already listed in Louisa Countys Comprehensive Plan and the Board would only have to review and certify that information for the State.
Mr. Barnes questioned if the Comprehensive Plan has to go through the Planning Commission first. Mr. Lintecum stated he thinks the Board of Supervisors certifies the plan.
Mr. Lintecum said impact fees could be charged within growth areas. Mr. Lintecum said the Bill defines what the impact fees can be used for. Mr. Lintecum said since Louisa County is within the Richmond SMA (Standard Metropolitan Area), impact fees can only be used for road improvement. Mr. Lintecum added the County can accept proffers in addition to impact fees, but credit has to be given to the proffers.
Mr. Purcell questioned if real estate fees could be charged as impact fees if a person were to sell their house. Mr. Lintecum stated impact fees could only be charged for new facilities. Mr. Lintecum added impact fees could be charged for the building permit and the occupancy permit. Mr. Wright stated parcels dont have to be rezoned to charge impact fees.
Mr. Gentry said the County has plenty of roads to improve and questioned what percent of the impact fees can be used for road improvement. Mr. Lintecum said the Planning Commission has to come up with road improvement plans, with costs included, and then the cost is calculated for the road improvement. Mr. Gentry questioned if the road improvement plan is for secondary roads or primary roads. Mr. Lintecum stated the improvement plan is for any roads located within urban growth areas. Mr. Gentry added a lot of secondary roads arent included within growth areas. Mr. Lintecum stated the County Attorney and the Community Development Department would put together more information for the Board about the impact fees.
Mr. Wright questioned if a joint meeting with VDOT would be appropriate after more information is provided. Mr. Lintecum said yes. Mr. Gentry commented the County needs to focus on the secondary roads and the impact fees arent going to help with that. Mr. Purcell added the proposal could be a lot worse.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FROM MARCH 14, 2007
Mr. McLeod stated that at the last budget meeting, Mr. Harper questioned if the State Compensation Board pays for salary increases for the employees who gain certification as a Master Deputy. Mr. McLeod said the Compensation Board pays for half of the salary increase for Compensation Board employees.
Mr. McLeod said the Board requested the School Boards 15-year Capital Plan. Mr. McLeod said a request for the Long Range Facility Plan was made on March 27 and the Schools Administration Department said the Plan was discussed during the March meeting and tabled for further discussion at the April meeting. Mr. McLeod added when the School Board approves the Long Range Facility Plan, it would be made available to the Board of Supervisors.
Mr. McLeod stated the Board requested staff to review and compare other counties teacher and deputy salaries with Louisa County. Mr. McLeod stated the Human Resources Department is currently looking for this information. Mr. Barnes said he asked Mr. McLeod for information on the teacher and deputy salaries because the Board looked at phasing the teacher salary scale in over a three-year period, like they had done for the deputies, and he wanted to see the status. Mr. Barnes said he called Mr. Gregory Strickland, member of the School Board, with concerns about what he has seen so far with the teachers salaries. Mr. Barnes stated starting teacher salaries are great, but salaries need to be looked at for teachers that have been employed five to fifteen years because the County is falling behind with salaries in those areas. Mr. Barnes added he is concerned that the teacher salaries may be getting back into a “flat raise.”
Mr. McLeod said he asked the Schools for the approved teacher salaries for FY 07 and the proposed for FY 08. Mr. McLeod said in FY 07, the Schools took the compressed range and made it into a thirty-year range and tried to fit in teachers with five to fifteen years experience. Mr. McLeod said the focus for the next two years is to increase the starting teacher salary. Mr. McLeod added the starting teacher salary in FY 07 was $38,000 and the proposed for FY 08 is $39,500. Mr. Barnes said the County is competitive for first year teacher salaries, but teachers are leaving at the five to fifteen year range because that is a point where the County is behind. Mr. Barnes said he thought the goal was to work where the County was behind.
Mr. Purcell said the County does not have a recruiting problem within the School System to attract first year teachers. Mr. Purcell said it worries him when there is an area that needs to be fixed and only flat raises are still given. Mr. Purcell added teachers loved the way salaries were done last year because they were more targeted.
Mr. Gentry stated he is concerned because the Schools have gone through the first year of increases and now the other two levels need to be fixed. Mr. Wright questioned if the County Administrator could ask the School Board to provide information on teacher salaries for the joint budget meeting to be held on April 4.
Mr. McLeod stated he has a graph of the comparison of salaries for Louisa and two other counties. Mr. McLeod said the graph shows where salaries are over a period of time. Mr. McLeod added it is hard to get the proposed teacher salaries from other counties because they dont want to give out what has not been approved.
Mr. McLeod said the Board requested a spreadsheet showing the total payback figures from $17 million to $22 million. Mr. McLeod said the Board has been given a spreadsheet containing that information.
Mr. McLeod said the Board questioned how many road deputies the Sheriff has increased since his election. Mr. McLeod stated the Board has been given a spreadsheet containing that information. Mr. Wright stated there are a total of fourteen additional deputies. Mr. Wright added there are ten road deputies; seven funded by the County and three funded by the Compensation Board. Mr. Wright further added Court Services has three deputies; two funded by the County and one funded by the Compensation Board.
Mr. McLeod said the Board requested the Sheriffs Department to go through a staffing audit and that has been placed on the meeting agenda for April 2.
Mr. Havasy stated the Board approved $275,000 for the Sheriffs Department to purchase ten cars and questioned if the cars cost $27,500 each. Mr. Havasy said he would like a list of specifications and equipment that are included with each vehicle.
Mr. Gentry stated he thinks the question is worded inappropriately. Mr. Gentry said in the discussion at the last meeting the Board questioned how many additional deputies would be needed for the growth in Zion Crossroads. Mr. McLeod said there is a request for the Board to approve a staffing audit for Sheriffs Department at the next Board meeting to determine the appropriate staffing level. Mr. Wright said the State standards are one deputy for every 1,500 people. Mr. Purcell stated he would like a report of how many deputies are on the road at one time. Mr. McLeod said the Sheriffs Department has a grant for tablet pcs, which will allow deputies to complete paper work electronically within their cars and not have to come into the office. Mr. McLeod added this would allow the deputies to be on the road more.
Mr. Gentry stated he doesnt think that the two additional positions the Sheriffs Department is proposing will be enough coverage for the growth for Zion Crossroads. Mr. McLeod stated the staffing audit will tell how many deputies are needed for operations.
Mr. McLeod stated the Board requested updated tax relief figures. Mr. McLeod said the Board has been given an update for tax relief figures from 2004 to June 2006. Mr. McLeod stated the program has increased from the number of applications to the number of qualified applicants to the exempt tax dollar amount. Mr. Barnes stated it is important for people to see that more people are taking advantage of this program because it helps subsidize taxes. Mr. McLeod said this year the Commission expects more applicants and more people to be qualified, which will also increase the exempt tax dollar amount.
Mr. Barnes questioned if the County is at the maximum that can be done with tax relief. Mr. Wright said the State allows $52,000 and Louisa is at $35,000 for income. Mr. Barnes stated he would like the Board to examine tax relief as soon as possible because he sympathizes with people on fixed incomes with rising real estate assessments. Mr. Barnes added people are taking advantage of the program and he would like to look at increasing the figures, if possible. Mr. Wright said he thinks the Board should be looking at figures between $40,000 and $45,000. Mr. Wright added if anything is changed now, it will not be effective until 2008 because of eligibility. Mr. Wright stated within the next sixty to ninety days, the Board should look at changes for next year. Mr. Barnes questioned if the Board agreed to look at $44,000 as a target for next year. Mr. McLeod stated he could bring the Board options on what can be done.
Mr. Gentry said he thought the Board took action on this last year and he would like to see where it was left off. Mr. McLeod stated he can give the Board a report of progression on a yearly basis. Mr. Gentry stated he would like to see the minutes of what exactly was said at that time because he wants to continue in the same direction. Mr. Gentry stated he would like to know how the efficiency study for the Schools is included in the budget. Mr. Lintecum stated the School Board is going to present it at the joint budget meeting.
Mr. McLeod referenced the following spreadsheet, which details the operational budget.
|County of Louisa, Virginia|
|General Budget Fund|
| Budget |
| Department |
| County Admin |
| Increase/ |
| Percent Increase/ |
|Dept of Social Services||2,911,839||2,805,518||3,020,082||3,020,082||214,564||7.65%|
|Gen Gov admin||2,978,779||2,892,371||3,059,331||3,000,269||107,898||3.73%|
|Health and welfare||2,246,784||2,537,735||2,759,915||2,702,732||164,997||6.50%|
|Parks, rec & cultural||1,151,481||1,248,366||1,637,939||1,455,839||207,473||16.62%|
|Judicial administration - Increase is attributed to misclassification between departments; FTE in Clerk's office|
|Public safety - increase is attributed to funds for regional jail|
|Facilities Management - funds for animal pound & operational increases in Facilities; Landfill contract, ground water monitoring & professional services|
|Health and welfare - CSA; JAUNT; JABA, etc|
|Parks, recreation, and cultural - Louisa Arts Center; Mineral DMV; Historical Society|
|Community development - New FTEs to be paid by increase in fees; Tourism budget|
|Non-departmental - worker's comp, unemployment comp, continuing education, contingency, & salary increase|
|Debt Services - borrow 8m for elementary school; 4m for wastewater projects|
Mr. McLeod stated the total operating budget is about $75 million, which is an increase of 8.79 percent from last year. Mr. McLeod stated the County and Agencies budget is further broken down to show exactly where the 13.59 percent increase is for the individual departments. Mr. McLeod added the major increase is for debt services and the second major increase is for non-departmental because money is distributed from that budget for salary increases.
Mr. McLeod stated the increase for Judicial Administration is attributed to misclassification between two of the Sheriffs Departments employees and a new employee for the Clerks Office. Mr. McLeod said the Public Safety increase is attributed to contingency funds for the Regional Jail. Mr. McLeod stated the Facilities Management funds are for the animal pound and operational increases, the Landfill contract, ground water monitoring and professional services. Mr. McLeod stated the Health and Welfare Departments increase is attributed to organization such as CSA, JAUNT, JABA and Volunteers of Louisa. Mr. McLeod said the Education increase is for community colleges. Mr. McLeod stated the Parks, Recreation and Cultural increase is attributed for the Louisa Arts Center, the Mineral DMV and the Historical Society. Mr. McLeod said the increase for the Community Development Department is for the new employees and the increase in fees.
Mr. Barnes said Community Development is self-supporting and questioned how the department will be affected if construction permits are not meeting demands. Mr. Jennings questioned if permits are slowing down because he thought there is an increase. Mr. Jennings added, he thinks in terms of workload, the Department is terribly busy. Mr. Lintecum said he thinks commercial activity is going to increase greatly within the next eighteen months. Mr. McLeod said he can show the Board a chart that shows the revenue and how Community Developments activity is built in with fees.
Mr. Gentry said the Planning Commission is on the rise to look at the fee schedule and he thinks it is important to see where all of the fees go. Mr. Havasy said fees for Louisa County are in the middle or below surrounding counties. Mr. Gentry stated he thinks the Department is almost at a point where the Planning Commission can look at the fees. Mr. Gentry stated he would like for Mr. Lintecum to speed the process up for the scheduling of fees.
Mr. Purcell stated if fees are going to increase then there needs to be an educational component because people are used to the old fees and then when they increase people will be unaware. Mr. Lintecum said the Department advertises the fees before they are put into affect.
Mr. Gentry said all of the fees need to be reviewed because some are too high and need to be lowered. Mr. Barnes said the County owes it to the public to educate them about any fee changes before putting them into affect and should advertise the changes in the County Messenger and have flyers on the new fees available at the Community Development Department window. Mr. Wright said the fee schedule needs to be compared to surrounding counties every year. Mr. Gentry said the Community Development Review Committee has been active in discussion in the last year about the fee schedule, but hasnt come to a final decision on changes.
Mr. Havasy stated he would like to know where revenue generated by the Sheriff's Department goes. Mr. McLeod said in FY '06, $4,090 was collected and stated he would find out what fees generated this revenue and where the revenue goes. Mr. Wright questioned where the revenue from court fines is applied. Mr. McLeod said he thinks court fines are split between the state and the general fund.
Mr. McLeod said real property revenue is a comparison from the current year to the next. Mr. McLeod stated new construction is $312 million and it is added to the 2007 real estate number and compared to the estimate for 2008. Mr. McLeod stated the difference is the equalization rate. For FY 08, the equalization rate is 62 cents, which is two pennies less than the current tax rate. Mr. Wright said that is close compared to previous years.
Mr. Purcell questioned if the Planning Commission is going to be meeting with the School Board and the Superintendent to discuss the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). Mr. McLeod said two-thirds of the CIP is for the Schools and the Planning Commission said they wanted justification for all projects included in the CIP. Mr. McLeod added the Planning Commission decided to talk with individual School Board members to gather that information. Mr. McLeod stated when the Planning Commission members went to the local School Board members, they were referred to Dr. Melton for the answers. Mr. McLeod added the Planning Commission invited Dr. Melton to a Planning Commission meeting so the Planning Commission could get justification. Mr. Wright stated the Board needs to know justification as well. Mr. Purcell questioned if the Planning Commission will be telling the Board what the CIP should be. Mr. McLeod said no, the Planning Commission is going to give their recommendation on the CIP and then the Board will come up with their own decision.
OPERATIONAL BUDGET REVIEW
Mr. McLeod stated the Operational Budget Review is to go into more detail on what has already been given.
Mr. McLeod stated there is no significant increase for the Board of Supervisors budget. Mr. McLeod stated high speed Internet is in the budget and Bob Hardy, Director of Information Technology, is looking at modifications of what the Board currently uses. Mr. McLeod questioned if the Board members want or need cell phones.
Mr. Gentry stated cell phones help with long distance calls to constituents. Messrs Jennings and Havasy agreed with Mr. Gentry. Mr. Havasy added cell phones are a great idea because Board members would be more available. Mr. Purcell said during a normal workday, he wouldnt have time to answer a Board cell phone, but cell phones would increase the publics accessibility. Mr. Barnes said it is a good idea, but most constituents call him on his personal cell phone. Mr. Barnes added that another cell phone would be a problem for him because it would be hard to answer three cell phones. Mr. Barnes added it is not uncommon for Board of Supervisors to have cell phones in other counties. Mr. Jennings added cell phones would be helpful for emergency situations as well.
On motion of Mr. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Gentry, with Mr. Harper being absent and Messrs Barnes and Purcell abstaining, which carried by a vote of 4-0-2, the Board agreed for the County to provide a cell phone for any Board member who requests one.
Mr. McLeod stated the Human Resources Department is looking to expand the Summer Work Program for interns. Mr. McLeod said the program would increase from seven to ten interns and would costs $2,000 more over last year. Mr. Barnes said the Summer Work Program is a good program and the Board doesnt get enough credit for the good things they have done to support the children. Mr. Gentry questioned if there were interns hired that didnt do a good job. Mr. Purcell stated even if interns dont do a good job, the program is a learning experience for them.
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Purcell, with Mr. Harper being absent, which carried by a vote of 6-0, the Board voted to approve the expansion of the Summer Work Program to ten interns, at an additional cost of $2,000.
Mr. McLeod stated that Constitutional, Social Services and School employees currently receive a Health Care Credit benefit. Mr. McLeod said an employee has to have a minimum of 15 years of VRS creditable service before being eligible for the program. Mr. McLeod added the maximum possibility an employee could receive is $45 per month. Mr. McLeod stated this program would give long-term employees an additional benefit.
Mr. Wright questioned if $45 was the premium. Mr. McLeod stated the premium is about 0.49 percent of the employees salary. Mr. McLeod stated money is currently budgeted in the non-departmental to be distributed to different county budgets, if approved by the Board.
Mr. McLeod stated when an employee retires, they are granted $45 of Health Care Credit per month. Mr. Barnes questioned if money was already budgeted for the program. Mr. McLeod stated yes. Mr. Gentry questioned how much money would the benefit cost the County per year. Mr. Gentry questioned if the County already had this benefit and if this motion would be to increase the funds. Mr. McLeod stated County employees dont currently have this benefit. Mr. McLeod added the action would be to get County employees the same benefit as the Constitutional, Social Service and School employees. Mr. Gentry questioned if an employee would have to have 30 years of service or 15 years. Mr. McLeod stated an employee would have to have 15 years of service to be eligible for the benefit.
On motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Purcell, with Mr. Harper being absent, which carried by a vote of 6-0, the Board agreed for County employees to receive Health Care Credit.
Mr. McLeod said part of the Human Resources Departments increase is to conduct background checks on all employees. Mr. McLeod said the County doesnt have a background check on file for some employees who have been employed with the County for a long time. Mr. McLeod said part of the increase is also for office supplies for the production of employee handbooks.
Mr. Gentry questioned why should background checks be conducted on existing employees. Mr. McLeod stated according to research released by SHRM during January 2005, only 51 percent of employers conducted background checks on applicants. Mr. McLeod said SHRM also reports that most recently, 96 percent of employers conduct background checks, and this practice is as prevalent among small and medium-sized companies as it is among large companies.
Mr. McLeod said employers cannot protect employees from all of the “worlds ills,” but important steps can be taken to increase the actual security of workplaces and the sense of security.
Mr. McLeod said the County is committed to providing a safe environment for all employees, citizens and visitors to the County facilities. Mr. McLeod added, historically, it has been the practice of Louisa County to conduct background checks on full-time employees only. Mr. McLeod noted, originally, these background checks were performed by the Sheriffs Department and noted in the employees personnel file.
Mr. McLeod stated in 2002, the State determined that the background checks should be conducted through the State Police Central Crime Records Department and the current cost for a background check through this department is $20.00 per check.
Mr. McLeod said in 2006, the County expanded the policy to include a background check on part-time employees because they have the same access to records and confidential data as full-time employees and they are representatives of the County as well.
Mr. McLeod stated the County is recommending that the policy be expanded to include the Parks & Recreation program employees and volunteers because they interact with citizens as County representatives. Mr. McLeod added many of these County representatives conduct programs that involve children, teens and young adults.
Mr. McLeod stated the County is also recommending that a background check be conducted on current employees who do not have a record of their check noted in their files.
Mr. McLeod said the County believes retroactive background checks should be completed for the County to be current and consistent. Mr. McLeod said background checks are used as a selection device during the pre-employment and employment processes, and this practice is becoming more and more common as a result of increased access to information and increased liability for failure on the part of an organization to tap into that information.
Mr. McLeod said in addition, the County is recommending that background checks be performed on current employees either as a matter of course or prior to a promotion, transfer or other change in the terms and conditions of employment. Mr. McLeod added the County finds this practice to be consistent with other organizations in the public and private sector.
Mr. Gentry questioned if the County has had a single case to make conducting retroactive background checks necessary. Mr. Barnes said background checks should be done for liability of the County. Mr. Gentry questioned what the State law says about background checks. Mr. Havasy said he agrees with Mr. Barnes.
Mr. Purcell questioned what is looked for in background checks. Mr. McLeod said background checks are done as a precaution. Mr. Wright said Social Services conducts background checks as a last step before an applicant is hired. Mr. McLeod said this proposal isnt for new employees but for current employees who never had a background check. Mr. Wright questioned if that would be discriminatory. Mr. Lintecum said the background checks will have to be uniform for all employees. Mr. Barnes added that all background checks need confidentiality. Mr. Wright said he thinks more specifics are needed before a decision is made. Mr. Gentry stated he thinks the County should follow the State rules for the checks. Mr. Barnes stated he thinks the checks should be conducted to protect the County from a liable standpoint. Mr. McLeod added in order to do a background check, an employee has to agree to it and sign a form. Mr. Gentry stated he would be offended if he were a current employee and was asked to have a criminal background check run on him. Mr. Wright stated he would like to see the Board take a vote on this issue.
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Purcell, with Mr. Harper being absent, which carried by a vote of 6-0, the Board voted for the County to conduct criminal background checks on all current full-time employees who do not have a background check in their personnel file, as well as all part-time and volunteers associated with the County who have not already had a background check run.
Mr. McLeod stated the Commissioner of Revenue has two employees that have completed certification to become Master Deputies and added they are both Constitutional employees. Mr. McLeod stated an increase in the Commissioners budget is because the cost of mail is increasing.
Mr. McLeod stated Reassessments budget increased 1.7 percent. Mr. Gentry questioned how many assessors do most counties have for the size of Louisa County. Mr. McLeod said the Assessment Office currently has four full-time employees and one part-time employee and they are requesting for the part-time employee to become full-time. Mr. Gentry questioned what the Assessor to parcel ratio is in the County. Mr. McLeod stated he would get the Board that information. Mr. Wright stated 25 percent of the County is physically looked at every year. Mr. Gentry stated additional parcels are added to the County every year and the same number of employees cannot look at 25 percent of the County because the number of parcels in the County is increasing.
Mr. McLeod stated the Treasurer has one employee that has completed certification to become a Master Deputy. Mr. McLeod added the Treasurer is requesting part time help. Mr. McLeod stated SAS 112 is a new requirement that looks at the agreements with the auditors and how they are utilized. Mr. McLeod stated the program effects the Finance Department and how the countys financial reports are completed. Mr. McLeod stated the Board will receive a letter from Robinson, Farmer and Cox requesting a full-time employee for the Treasurers Department. Mr. McLeod added the additional employee would also start the DMV-Stop program as well as help with the SAS 112 program. Mr. Jennings stated the employee diversification should be increased in the Treasurers Department.
Mr. McLeod stated the Finance Departments increase is 1.41 percent. Mr. McLeod stated the increase is because the advertisement for bids has increased because of the Procurement Ordinance and the Department is increasing the amount budgeted for dues and memberships in other areas.
Mr. McLeod stated the Information Technology Departments budget is basically flat. Mr. McLeod stated the budget was decreased for data circuits to a level that was workable, but the Department stated the budget came in flat and they would like the $3,000 back for the data circuits. Mr. McLeod added most of the Departments budget is operations. Mr. Barnes stated Bob Hardy, Director of Information Technology, has been conservative and prudent for the Department so the funds should be returned.
Mr. McLeod stated Elections has put more money into their budget this year and plan on spending it so problems dont occur during the next election.
Mr. McLeod stated the Clerk of the Court is requesting an additional full-time and part-time employee based on workload. Mr. McLeod stated Auditing Public Accounts and funds for book restoration are their major budget requests.
Mr. McLeod said the Commonwealths Attorney is requesting a ten percent match for the Victim Witness Assistance Grant. This grant appeared to have the same ten percent match, but they backed down from it last year. Mr. Barnes questioned how much would be the match. Mr. McLeod said a ten percent match would be $5,083.
Mr. McLeod stated the Sheriffs Department increase is for two additional employees and to target salary increases for leadership and education. Mr. Gentry said citizens expect enough law enforcement on the road and questioned if the Department is sure they have enough deputies for the growth in the County. Mr. Barnes stated he agreed with Mr. Gentry and said he wants to make sure the County doesnt get behind in the deputys salaries. Mr. Purcell stated he recommends the Sheriffs Department to have a Deputy specifically to only travel growth areas within the County. Mr. Barnes stated he wants to see the deputies on the road rather than in the Courts. Mr. Havasy added that citizens complain there arent enough deputies on the road.
Mr. McLeod stated the Communication Center would like a new CAD system because the CAD maintenance is projected to increase ten percent. Mr. Barnes questioned if the new system would be in the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) rather than the operational budget. Mr. McLeod stated the Department didnt list the new system in the budget, but if they did, it would be in the CIP.
Mr. McLeod stated the Rappahannock Detention Centers budget is based on population and contingency funding is included for the Regional Jail.
Mr. McLeod stated under Emergency Services, the Fire Associations request increased 1.75 percent and EMSAL decreased 3.18 percent. Mr. McLeod stated in the past, the career medics have been using the volunteers fuel for ambulances. Mr. McLeod stated now the fuel is going to be charged to the County and the question is what to do with the volunteers extra gas money. Mr. McLeod said that Garland Nuckols has stated he would like to keep the extra funding for FY 08 and review it for FY 09, because the volunteers gas is over budget for FY 07..
Mr. Barnes questioned if this is when the Revenue Recovery program should be discussed. Mr. Havasy said he would like to hear the Boards opinions about the program. Mr. Gentry stated the employees and the public need to be educated on this program. Mr. Barnes said the volunteers do not want the County to use this program as a way of giving volunteers retirement funding. Mr. Gentry stated if the program is important enough to do then the County needs to move forward with it.
Mr. McLeod stated the next Revenue Recovery meeting is scheduled for April 10, 2007 to look at the pros and cons of the Program and to come up with a recommendation for the Board for the April 16, 2007 regular meeting. Mr. Havasy stated eighty to eighty-five other counties in Virginia are in the process of the reviewing the Revenue Recovery Program or are already using the Program.
Mr. Havasy questioned where the money goes when it is recovered from the debt collection. Mr. McLeod stated he would like to send an email out verifying the Revenue Recovery Committee meeting on April 10 and requesting participation from anyone who is interested. Mr. McLeod added the Committee would report back to the Board on April 16, 2007 with the pros and cons of the Program. Mr. Barnes stated he thinks the Committee should be allowed to move forward first.
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Havasy, which did not carry by a vote of 3-3, with Mr. Harper being absent and Messrs Barnes, Jennings and Wright voting against, the motion failed for the Board to proceed immediately and move forward with the Revenue Recovery Program.
Mr. Havasy asked for further clarification of the proceeding motion. Mr. Gentry clarified his motion was to implement the Revenue Recovery Program without allowing the Committee to present information to the Board.
Upon further clarification of the motion, Mr. Wright requested a roll call vote.
|Willie L. Harper||Absent|
|Richad A. Havasy||No|
|Allen B. Jennings||No|
|Eric F. Purcell||Yes|
|Jack T. Wright||No|
|Fitzgerald A. Barnes||No|
|Willie L. Gentry, Jr.||Yes|
On motion of Mr. Havasy, seconded by Mr. Barnes, with Mr. Harper being absent, which carried by a vote of 4-2, the Board voted for the Revenue Recovery Committee report to the Board on April 16, 2007 at the regular Board meeting with recommendations for the Program.
Mr. Gentry questioned if this is the time when full-time employees for the Fire Departments should be discussed. Mr. McLeod said yes. Mr. Gentry stated this is another issue that needs to be resolved and he hasnt heard of Company 1 or Company 2 no longer needing help. Mr. McLeod stated Mr. Harper has been attending the meetings and he has information on this issue. Mr. McLeod stated the Fire Departments had a vote for career firemen to help the volunteer Departments. Mr. McLeod stated the thought is instead of hiring career firemen to help, a Fire Chief should be hired first to set the program up.
Mr. Gentry questioned how hiring a Fire Chief will fill the time in the middle of the afternoon when the Departments need help. Mr. Lintecum said after the Fire Chief is hired, studies will be completed. Mr. McLeod stated EMSAL is considering that request. Mr. Gentry stated the Board has a window of opportunity for this years budget and if there is a need for a job to be done, then the need has to be acknowledged as soon as possible. Mr. Wright stated the Louisa Fire Departments has about five to seven additional members from the high school fire class. Mr. Purcell said this is a problem and the Companys still need help.
Mr. Barnes said this is a valid concern because professionals should be available to help properly. Mr. Barnes added eventually, the County is going to need more paid fire and rescue people as well as volunteers. Mr. Wright stated the County currently has ten to twelve paid fire and rescue people and questioned what percentage of their time is for fire calls and what percentage is for rescue calls. Mr. Wright stated he would like to see a breakdown of those figures.
Mr. Gentry stated if the response is not getting done, it is the Board of Supervisors responsibility, for the safety and welfare of the citizens of the County, to make the move. Mr. Havasy stated that EMSAL has recommended that all newly hired employees have a dual purpose of a medic as well as a firefighter. Mr. Wright said that is how employees have always been hired.
On motion of Mr. Havasy, seconded by Mr. Jennings, with Mr. Harper being absent, which carried by a vote of 6-0, the Board voted to put $80,000 plus benefits for sufficient funds in the non-departmental contingency budget to hire a Fire Chief to get the Program started for the studies that are needed.
Mr. McLeod stated Emergency Services had a part-time initiative for the two full-time equivalent day crews, but Mr. Lintecum recommended full-time instead of part-time.
Mr. McLeod stated Facilities Management needed additional funds for fuel and diesel for ambulances. Mr. McLeod added the animal pound needs additional funds for telephones, drugs, medicines and vaccines. Mr. McLeod stated a new Animal Shelter building is included in the CIP. Mr. McLeod stated Facilities Management also requested additional funds for the recycling centers, an increase because of the rental costs for extra recycling boxes, electrical and heating costs, maintenance supplies and building enhancements. Mr. Jennings questioned why Facilities Management had such a large increase. Mr. McLeod stated Facilities is requesting a large increase because in FY 07, the Department didnt request enough funds. Mr. Barnes stated that maintenance gets cut out of the budget first because citizens arent being dealt with.
Mr. McLeod stated the Monticello Area Community Action Agency (MACAA) requested an eight percent increase and the County Administrators recommended budget reduces it to a five percent increase. Mr. Gentry questioned what MACAA has done specifically for Louisa County. Mr. Barnes stated that Head Start is the biggest program they are involved in. Mr. Gentry stated he would like to request more information about MACAA. Mr. Wright stated he would like for Rudy Beverly to make a short presentation to the Board with information on MACAA and what they do for Louisa County.
Mr. Lintecum stated Region Tens budget is fairly level.
Mr. Lintecum said Jefferson Area Board on Aging (JABA) has justified increases within their budget. Mr. McLeod stated JABA asked for money for the Mountainside Facilities. Mr. Gentry questioned why Louisa County should put money towards Mountainside because the facility is located in Crozet and only one person from Louisa County uses that facility.
Mr. McLeod stated Criminal Justice Planner costs and the cost of living is included in the Offender Aid and Restoration funds.
Mr. McLeod stated for JAUNT to maintain their current services, they have requested a 15.12 percent increase.. Mr. McLeod added JAUNT would require a 36.61 percent increase to provide higher quality services.
Mr. McLeod stated the Housing Assistance budget includes a quarter of a penny for the Housing Trust Fund. Mr. McLeod added a quarter of a penny is now $147,000. Mr. Wright stated developers are interested in contributing money to the Housing Trust Fund as some help for affordable homes. Mr. McLeod said Mr. Howard Evergreen, Director of Fluvanna/Louisa Housing Foundation, is trying to set up an account for monies to be managed in a money market. Mr. Wright stated the Board should encourage Community Development to use that for subdivisions as a voluntary offer.
Mr. McLeod stated there is an increase of 12.12 percent for CSA. Mr. McLeod added the County gets money back from that.
Mr. McLeod stated for Community Colleges, J. Sargeant Reynolds requested funds for infrastructure improvements. Mr. McLeod stated a new facility and upgrades to existing infrastructures is needed. Mr. McLeod said J. Sargeant Reynolds developed a ten-year funding plan to provide specific annual request and to provide realistic estimates of future requests. Mr. McLeod stated for 2008, the funds include exterior signage, lighting improvements, campus entry improvements for vehicles and pedestrians, congregation areas for student and faculty interaction, safety improvements and landscape redesign and refurbishment.
Mr. McLeod stated the Regional Librarys increase is basically for medical insurance and retirement.
Mr. McLeod stated for Cultural Enrichment, the County Historical Society requested $160,000 and he and Mr. Lintecum recommended $30,000, which is a 100 percent increase. Mr. McLeod said the Louisa Arts Center total request was $400,000 plus an additional $50,000. Mr. McLeod added the additional $50,000 was recommended to be funded next year. The current FY 08 request is $105,000. Mr. Purcell stated he thought the Arts Center budget was at $250,000. Mr. McLeod stated that is where they started and they have requested increasing it last year to $400,000 and now they are requesting $450,000. Mr. Purcell stated it was his understanding that the County would provide funds to get the organization started and then they would raise funds and get donations. Mr. Purcell added he would talk with the principals and report back to the Board at the next meeting.
Mr. McLeod stated the Mineral DMVs current FY 07 request was $50,000 and they are requesting $200,000 this year to buy land for a new building.
Mr. McLeod stated Tourism separated from the Economic Development Department. Mr. Barnes questioned if the Buffalo Soldiers request for funds would go in Tourism and stated the Board needs to discuss this issue. Mr. Wright stated the County is receiving $53 million from tourism. Mr. Wright said every sale that is made from service stations and convenient stores are included. Mr. Havasy questioned if the County would receive food tax back on the dollar. Mr. Havasy added that public education needs to be started because there are several people who did not vote for it because they didnt know what it was. Mr. Purcell state he would recommend to the Chamber of Commerce to educate the public. Mr. Gentry stated a lot of citizens saw the word tax and simply voted against. Mr. Purcell stated this is to take advantage of economic growth so that citizens dont have to foot the bill.
Mr. Barnes stated he would like to have a discussion about Mr. Grants Buffalo Soldiers request. Mr. Gentry said he would support it if the program can be tied to a participant from Louisa County. Mr. Barnes said during that time period, a lot of Buffalo Soldiers werent given any documentation. Mr. Purcell stated $3,350 is a reasonable monetary request, but he cannot support this program out of fairness to the Trevilians Battlefield Foundation because he did not support them. Mr. Havasy said he would support this program for tourism, but he doesnt think it is business of the Government to support charities. Mr. Gentry stated he would support the request if the Buffalo Soldiers could be part of the museum. Mr. Jennings stated the County needs to move forward with tourism. Mr. Purcell said he would support funding the Buffalo Soldiers as a tourism item.
On motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Jennings, with Mr. Harper being absent, which carried by a vote of 6-0, the Board agreed for a one-time contribution of $3,350 to be funded to Tourism for illustration of the Buffalo Soldiers.
Mr. McLeod stated the Community Development Departments increase is for additional staff.
Mr. McLeod stated the Soil and Water Conservation has a five percent increase for salary increases and the soil and sediment program. Mr. Havasy questioned how much the five percent increase is. Mr. McLeod stated $3,000. Mr. Barnes questioned if the organization could send the Board a cost share of how much Louisa farmers benefited from the program last year. Mr. McLeod stated a cost share was given to the Board. Mr. McLeod stated the Agricultural Cost Share Program has increased by over 200 percent to almost $500,000 annually. Mr. McLeod said the Virginia General Assembly granted funding for a temporary, two-year agricultural staff position. Mr. McLeod added the position is based in Charlottesville but much of the staff time will be spent in Louisa County because of the relatively higher workload.
Mr. McLeod stated the Channel Markers are second of two years.
Mr. McLeod stated for Solid Waste, the major increase is the cost of the Landfill operations. Mr. McLeod stated the Hazmat collection has been requested to be spread over two days with potentially shorter hours. The Landfill needs to close three to four acres in Summer 2007.
Mr. Gentry questioned what funds were requested for the Lake Anna Civic Association (LACA). Mr. McLeod stated LACA requested $3,000. Mr. Barnes questioned if LACA has reported an audit to the Finance Department. Mr. McLeod stated no because the request is only for $3,000. Mr. Lintecum added LACA has submitted the Treasurers report.
The Board agreed to have a meeting on April 11, 2007 to continue discussing the budget. Mr. Barnes questioned if County employee salaries have been compared to surrounding counties. Mr. Lintecum stated County employee salaries are currently being analyzed.
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Havasy, with Mr. Harper being absent, which carried by a vote of 6-0, the Board voted to adjourn the March 28, 2007 meeting at 8:49 p.m.
BY ORDER OF
JACKSON T. WRIGHT, CHAIRMAN
LOUISA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
LOUISA COUNTY, LOUISA, VIRGINIA