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|Board Present:||Fitzgerald A. Barnes, Willie L. Gentry, Jr., Willie L. Harper, Allen B. Jennings, David B. Morgan, Eric F. Purcell, and Jack T. Wright|
|Others Present:||C. Lee Lintecum, County Administrator; Ernie McLeod, Deputy County Administrator; Patrick Morgan, County Attorney; and Mary Jackson, Deputy Clerk|
CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Barnes called the May 16, 2005 regular meeting of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors to order at 5:00 p.m. Mr. Gentry led the invocation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
APPROVAL OF BILLS
On motion of Mr. Wright, seconded by Dr. Morgan, which carried by a vote of 7-0, with Dr. Morgan abstaining from a reimbursement check pertaining to him and Mr. Jennings abstaining from a check pertaining to his daughter that is listed under Parks and Recreation, a resolution was adopted approving the bills for the first half of May 2005, for the County of Louisa in the amount of $299,620.05.
There were no Constitutional Officers that wished to address the Board.
CITIZENS INFORMATION PERIOD
Wayne Poore, Green Springs District, informed the Board that he was here this evening to ask them to move the telephone line that was placed on his property three years ago. Mr. Poore said that Pat Morgan, County Attorney, assured him that the line would be removed once they went through litigation.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
Mr. Wright said that he would like to add security concerns for the Courthouse as a topic for discussion.
Lee Lintecum, County Administrator said that he would like to add litigation in the Green Springs area and contractual matters in the Green Springs area as topics for discussion in closed session.
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Purcell, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the May 16, 2005 agenda was adopted as amended.
Resolution Appreciation of Amy Turner Fifer
Mr. Lintecum read the resolution for all to hear and presented a plaque to Amy Fifer, Community Development Senior Administrative Assistant.
The Board extended their appreciation to Mrs. Fifer for all of her hard work during her years of service with the County.
On motion of Mr. Purcell, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution of appreciation was adopted recognizing Amy Turner Fifer for her seven years of dedicated service to the citizens of Louisa County.
CONTINUANCE OF CITIZENS INFORMATION PERIOD
Paula Molina, JABA Senior Center Manager, extended her appreciation to the Board for all of their support to their senior center services.
Barbara Butler, Jackson District, expressed her gratitude to the Board for all of their support for the seniors at the Betty J. Queen Center.
CONTINUANCE OF PRESENTATIONS
Courthouse Security Concerns
Mr. Wright said that the Building and Grounds Committee met last week with the Sheriffs Department, State Police, Judge Whitlock and her staff, and Pat McWilliams, Director of Public Works to discuss the security issues at the Courthouse. Mr. Wright explained that they talked about putting in a security gate at the General District Court that would provide an x-ray screening device, which would require an additional full time Deputy to monitor. Mr. Wright said since they have not pinned down precise cost of everything, the Building and Grounds Committee is recommending that an additional $75,000 be put into the Reserve Contingency Funds for this coming year for the expense to be taken out. Mr. Wright said that to help pay this fee back, the courts have been collecting fees that go into the General Fund, which would pay for this expense after a period of time. Mr. Wright expressed the importance of having the additional security at the Courthouse due to the nature of the cases that are handled there and the liability exposure that the County faces for the protection of their citizens.
The Board discussed this topic in great detail with Mr. Gentry asking if they were able to credit the fines from the Courthouse towards this project. Mr. Harper said that he has trouble supporting this because Judge Whitlock has referenced in her letter that this was due to recent events, which did not take place in a courtroom. Mr. Harper said that he has issues with what is being talked about and whether or not it would create real security or a false sense of security. Chairman Barnes expressed concerns about the citizens that are left without protection while all of their Deputies are in court and asked Major Lowe how many officers were out on the streets patrolling during court hours. Chairman Barnes suggested that they find an alterative solution. Mr. Wright further commented that a lot of the confrontations happen outside on the sidewalk or in the parking lot, which would be watched over by the fulltime deputy.
Mr. Lintecum replied that the funds go into the General Fund, which they would review the fines and forfeitures to see if that is generating more than what they have estimated. Major Lowe explained that the Sheriffs Department has a four-man shift, which varies for the amount of coverage throughout the day due to them having to go to court, training, or on a special assignment.
On motion of Mr. Wright, seconded by Mr. Jennings, which carried by a vote of 4-3, with Messrs Barnes, Harper, and Purcell voting against, the Board agreed to have $75,000 set aside in the Contingency Reserve Fund for security at the General District Court.
National Park Service Representative - Ed Clark
Ed Clark, National Park Service Land & Resource Protection Specialist / Project Manager, informed the Board that part of his duties are to oversee the Green Springs National Historic Landmark District, which has been managed by Park Services for the last twenty-five years. Mr. Clark explained the history of this District and how it was formed. Mr. Clark said that this District is a little more that 14,000 acres, which has three different entities that hold easements within this District. Mr. Clark said that this area is different because the federal government does not own the land outright, but they manage the entire area through managing the preservation easements. Mr. Clark said that they are concerned with the land and the historic dwellings, which as time progresses the dwellings are being modified to accommodate modern technology. In closing, Mr. Clark informed the Board that he is willing to work with them on any issue or concerns that they might have pertaining to this location.
The Board discussed this topic briefly with Dr. Morgan saying that he believes that they all recognize that having a National Historic Landmark District in Louisa County is something that they should be proud of. Dr. Morgan said that he believes that once tourism gains steam in Louisa County, this would be one of the aspects that they could potentially utilize. Mr. Gentry questioned how much time they spent in managing Louisa County and whether the Department of Interior would reconsider having VDOT pave the roads in the Green Springs Historic District.
In response to the Boards questions, Mr. Clark explained that he spends about 20% of his time managing Green Springs and he also deals with land issues at Shenandoah as well as providing the role of protection specialist. Mr. Clark said that they are concerned with the cultural landscape in the Green Springs Historic District and before they could even consider allowing paving in this area, they have to go through a variety of entities before a decision could be made.
Hazardous Mitigation Plan Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission
Bill Wanner, Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) Senior Planner, informed the Board that he was here this evening to introduce the Hazardous Mitigation Plan to the Board prior to it coming before them on June 20, 2005 for consideration and adoption. Mr. Wanner explained that this plan is committed to an overriding purpose of reducing or eliminating the loss of life and property due to natural hazards. Mr. Wanner stated that the plans secondary importance is that it meets reporting requirements for both Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. He said that an adopted plan is a prerequisite for receiving certain pre and post disaster funds for the County. Mr. Wanner explained the primary issue as identifying the risks in Central Virginia that they are most likely to have and how to address those. Mr. Wanner said that they are proposing that this plan be considered at the June 20, 2005 Board of Supervisors meeting. Mr. Wanner said that this plan has already been considered and approved for the Boards review by the Planning Commission at their May 12, 2005 meeting.
The Board discussed this topic in great detail with Dr. Morgan questioning some of the data that was included in their report. Dr. Morgan said that the recommended mitigation actions does not include any information of how these would be carried out or what the actual intent is and asked Mr. Wanner to further elaborate on these issues, which he said that he would email his list to him.
Discussion Additional Tax Credit for Agricultural Land; Director of Governmental Affairs; VA Farm Bureau Federation - Martha Moore
Chairman Barnes informed the Board that he had asked Charles Rosson to bring someone before the Board to talk about tax credit for agricultural land in hope of preserving the agricultural land in the County.
Martha Moore, Virginia Farm Bureau Director of Governmental Relations, gave a presentation to the Board on moving in the right direction to preserve agriculture in Louisa County. Ms. Moore summarized that in 2002 there were 87,275 acres of farms in Louisa County with the average size being 184 acres. Ms. Moore said that the average market value of agriculture products sold per farm was $21,335, the average farm production expenses per farm was $26,911, and the average net cash income of operation per farm was $2,609. Ms. Moore described the types of forestry in Louisa County as being hardwoods, oak/pine mix, and pine. Ms. Moore identified the challenges that landowners face in maintaining farm and forestland. As a solution, Ms. Moore suggested that the Board consider providing more incentives for landowners to keep their property in agricultural or forestry by providing sliding scale on property tax assessments, adopt a Purchase of Development Rights Ordinance, and incorporate a goal of preserving farm and forestland into the Comprehensive Plan.
The Board discussed this topic in great detail with Mr. Purcell questioning how a land trust worked and how the value of the land would be assessed. Dr. Morgan said that he believes that farmers are experiencing a lot of pressure from development along with other market forces and anything that could be done to help them out would make sense. Dr. Morgan said that since 2002, individuals that put easements on their property that have been found to be beneficial in terms of reducing the property value by an appraiser that could actually take 50% of that as a tax credit, which a lot of farmers do not have the income to be able to take those credits and they could sell them for resale; he questioned if this process would be effected by having a sliding scale. Mr. Harper asked Ms. Moore to clarify how they define a farmer. Mr. Gentry questioned how this blends in with the Comprehensive Plan and the Community Development Department, which Chairman Barnes explained that individuals that apply for land use would be incorporated into the sliding scale. Chairman Barnes said that he would have more of an interest in a sliding scale rather than the development rights issue. Chairman Barnes directed Ernie McLeod, Deputy County Administrator, to work with Mr. Rosson and Ms. Moore to determine the numbers for a sliding scale to consider for next years budget and report back to the Board within sixty days.
In response to the Boards questions, Ms. Moore explained that under the state code of Virginia, there are provisions in place that a land trust would have to meet before it would be allowed to accept such easements. Ms. Moore replied that the sliding scale would not have an effect on the tax credit for easements because these are two separate issues. Ms. Moore said that a farmer is defined by land use assessment standards that are made up with regulations that identify the activity of the land rather than the person. Ms. Moore said that there would be an application process between the individual landowner like it is now, but with land use assessment.
Discussion Water Alternatives
Skip Notte, Dewberry and Davis Representative, informed the Board that he was here this evening to present water supply alternatives that they have come up with for water service to the western end of Louisa County. Mr. Notte said that in addition to speaking with Fluvanna County and looking at the James River as a long-range water resource, they have considered the idea of potentially drilling more wells and two routing options from surface water sources from Bowlers Mill Lake and the Northeast Creek Reservoir. Mr. Notte said that they are looking at what it would take to run water service from these two sources, treat it, and run it to the Zion Crossroads area. Mr. Notte presented two options to the Board to look at utilizing the existing plant at the Northeast Creek Reservoir and the existing infrastructure that currently runs from Northeast Creek to the Town of Louisa, down Route 208 by Ferncliff and up Route 250; with the other option being the construction of a new water treatment plant at Bowlers Mill Lake and run it along Route 15 to the Zion Crossroads service area. Mr. Notte provided the projected costs for the two options that he presented to the Board.
The Board discussed this topic in great detail with Dr. Morgan questioning what portion of the available capacity would this represent for both Bowlers Mill and Northeast Creek. Dr. Morgan questioned if the permit that has been applied for through DEQ for the James was for three million gallons per day. Chairman Barnes said that he believes it would be too far of a distance to go from Northeast Creek to the Zion Crossroads area. Dr. Morgan asked what the current capacity is of the system that is located at Zion Crossroads with the wells and what portion of this would be considered for commercial/industrial versus residential. Mr. Gentry stated that this is a continued effort by the Board of Supervisors to locate water other than the wells for a permanent source for Zion Crossroads. The Board agreed that the infrastructure has to be put in place in the designated growth area of Zion Crossroads in order to attract more businesses.
In response to the questions asked, Mr. Notte responded that capacity studies would need to be updated for both locations, but previous reports show that you would have a 50 70% capacity for Bowlers Mill. Mr. Notte confirmed that three million gallons per day is what was applied for on the permit from the James River. Mr. Notte stated that if they were to delay coming down Route 250, the construction costs coming from Bowlers Mill Lake to the Zion Crossroads area would cost approximately $5.5 million.
Bar Delk, Louisa County Water Authority Director, said that the current capacity of the system at Zion Crossroads is 310,000 gallons per day for the system to the south, not including the Spring Creek Wells. Mr. Delk said that the County has 310,000, which 72 gallons a minute of this could be used for residential.
Resolution Recognizing Emergency Services Week of May 15 21, 2005
On the motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Harper, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution was adopted proclaiming May 15 21, 2005 as Emergency Medical Services Week in Louisa County.
Resolution To Name a County Agent for The Homeland Security Grant
On the motion of Mr. Wright, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution was adopted naming Mr. C. Lee Lintecum as the County Agent for the Homeland Security Grant.
Resolution Declaring June 4 & 5 as Relay for Life in Louisa County
On the motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution was adopted declaring June 4 & 5, 2005 as Relay for Life Days in Louisa County.
Resolution Recognizing May 16 - 20 as Business Appreciation Week
On the motion of Mr. Harper, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution was adopted recognizing May 16 20, 2005 as Business Appreciation Week.
Resolution Honoring Volunteers in Louisa County
On the motion of Mr. Wright, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution was adopted honoring three volunteers in Louisa County for their outstanding services, which were Marilyn Root who was awarded the John O. von Hemert Award, Celia Suthard who was awarded the Adult Volunteer Spirit Plaque, and Gail Chiles who was awarded the Youth Volunteer Spirit Plaque.
Mr. Gentry said that he would like to have these individuals attend a Board meeting to receive their recognition.
Discussion Preliminary Subdivision Plat Review Sugar Plum Hill Subdivision
Darren Coffey, Director of Community Development, said that according to resolution RES05.033 that was adopted by the Board on March 23, 2005 amending Section 86-73 (10) of the Louisa County zoning ordinance, the last paragraph states, “that no road constructed under the provisions of this section may be extended to serve as an access road for a second parent parcel unless such extension is approved by the Board of Supervisors”. Mr. Coffey said that this proposed subdivision has been analyzed by staff and meets with all of the provisions of both the County Subdivision and Zoning Ordinances.
Chairman Barnes passed the gavel to Vice-Chairman Gentry to allow him the ability to make the motion.
On motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Purcell, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board approved of the Sugar Plum Hill Subdivision having one primary access road that would serve both parcel for the proposed subdivision.
Vice-Chairman Gentry returned the gavel to Chairman Barnes.
Discussion Agreement to Order Sheriffs FY06 Vehicles in May 2005
On motion of Mr. Harper, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution was adopted approving and appropriating funds in the amount of $202,000.00 from the FY-06 CIP for the Sheriffs Department to purchase vehicles.
Discussion Contract with Timmons to Bring the GIS In-House
Mr. Coffey said that they have brought this request before the Board to ask their permission to initiate a contract with Timmons to bring the GIS system in-house. Mr. Coffey said that they would like to begin this process in this budget year so they can start saving money and get it up and running in five to six months. Mr. Coffey said that the funds are currently in their budget for this project and enough to finish the process out.
The Board discussed this topic briefly with Dr. Morgan pointing out that they would be saving money, have better control over the GIS System, and a better product ultimately; therefore, he would like to move forward with it. Mr. Harper said that he would like to receive an annual report reflecting the breakdown of the monies that would be saved by bringing this in-house. Mr. Gentry questioned if this would bring in any additional revenue. Mr. Wright asked if the Community Development Department was receiving information in a timely manner from the Clerk of the Court, Commissioner of Revenue, and the Treasurer.
In response to the Boards questions, Mr. Coffey replied that he did not see this as a direct revenue stream. Mr. Coffey said that from an efficiency standpoint on business on how they operate and how permits are issued, it would be hard to calculate those benefits. Mr. Coffey said that he believes that bringing this in-house would give them a higher degree of control over these issues, which should allow them to have updates added in a timelier manner.
On motion of Dr. Morgan, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board agreed to award a contract to Timmons Group to bring the GIS System in-house and manage it through the Community Development Department.
Mr. Gentry said that he was delighted to attend an event that occurred at the Betty J. Queen Center on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 where JABA made a presentation of appreciation for the Louisa County Board of Supervisors.
Mr. Wright said that Dominion Virginia Power received an excellence award from the state for the Voluntary Protective Program Award.
Mr. Gentry reported that the Volunteers of Louisa have provided 1,458 hours of their time during the month of April. Mr. Gentry reminded everyone that their next event would be the Relay for Life that will be held on June 4 and 5, 2005 at the Louisa County School Sport Complex and invited everyone to attend.
Mr. Jennings said that he would like to reappoint Barbara Hollins to the Commission on Aging.
On motion of Mr. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board reappointed Barbara Hollins to the Commission on Aging.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT
Mr. Lintecum presented his report highlighting the following items:
Mr. Lintecum informed the Board that he has enclosed the written response from Hanover County regarding charges thats related to EMS calls. Mr. Lintecum said that he spoke with Mike Schlemmer, Louisa County Emergency Services Coordinator, regarding this subject and found that Spotsylvania County, Virginia is also considering charging fees for these services. Mr. Gentry said that he would like to have a report put together by Mr. Schlemmer and Mr. Lintecum advising the Board on what needs to be done to handle all of the calls in Louisa County.
Mr. Lintecum informed the Board that he has enclosed a letter from Butch Davies regarding truck traffic on Route 22 and Route 231. Mr. Lintecum said that they have reduced the speed limit on Route 22 to 45mph and 50mph on Route 231. Mr. Gentry said that he believes that Mr. Davies letter leads everyone to believe that if they build a bypass on Route 15 then all of the problems would be cured. Mr. Gentry said that he would like to have a letter sent to Mr. Davies to let him know that Louisa County does not want the truck traffic on Route 15.
On motion of Mr. Purcell, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution was adopted to add Elnor Road (Route 1059) from Route 1055, Cuckoo Drive for a total of 0.74 miles in a southerly direction to the end of the cul-de-sac into the Secondary System of Highways in Louisa County, Virginia.
The Board did not discuss any correspondence.
Pat Morgan, County Attorney, did not discuss any correspondence with the Board.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board adopted the minutes of March 23, 2005, March 30, 2005, and May 2, 2005 as presented.
On motion of Mr. Jennings, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to enter Closed Session at 6:26 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 for discussion of litigation in the Green Springs area.
2. In accordance with §2.23711 (a) (7) of the Code of Virginia, 1950 as amended, for the purpose of consultation with legal counsel for discussion of contractual matters in the Green Springs area.
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Jennings, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to return to Regular Session at 7:00 p.m.
RESOLUTION CERTIFICATION OF CLOSED SESSION
On motion of Mr. Purcell, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to adopt the following resolution:
WHEREAS, the Louisa County Board of Supervisors has convened a Closed Meeting this the 16th day of May 2005, 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 the 16th day of May 2005, 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.
Fiscal Year 2005 2006 County Budget
Mr. McLeod stated that the proposed budget overall has an increase of 11.3%, which include the CIP and the Operational. Mr. McLeod said that 58% of the Operational Budget is allocated for the schools. Mr. McLeod said that out of the overall increase to the budget, 74% of it is because of the operational increases. Mr. McLeod summarized the revenue overview for FY05 as a tax rate of $0.70 per every $100, which would give you $3.88 million for real estate and public services would be at $587,000. Mr. McLeod said that with real estate at $0.66 per every $100 would give you $2,893,000 for real estate and public service would be down $587,000, which is reduction of $1,832,000 or 4 pennies. Mr. McLeod highlighted the revenue changes, saying that the sales ratio has increased 2.5% since the budget was first recommended to the Board, which provided an increase of $382,000. Mr. McLeod identified the FY06 Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) and the projected costs associated with the projects. Mr. McLeod further identified the major future CIP projects and their projected amounts as the radio system, Landfill projects, new elementary school, Zion Crossroads, Economic Development, Zion Crossroads Industrial Park, and the Gum Spring Industrial Park. Mr. McLeod identified the increases to the Operational Budget that compares to the amount of funds received by the increase by the real estate assessments. Mr. McLeod said that the cost of the Landfill operation is worth more than 2 pennies of the real estate taxes. He identified the necessary cuts to the operational budget that would compensate for the fourth penny. Mr. McLeod identified potential future problems for the operational budget. In closing, Mr. McLeod identified the percent changes to the school system operating budget saying that the overall increase to their budget is a 3.66% increase.
The Board discussed this topic in great detail and asked what amount the health insurance increase translated to in an actual dollar amount, what the $400,000 that is designated for the Library tract would be used towards, and whether or not the water and sewer connection fees in the Zion Crossroads area had been factored into the budget.
In response to the Boards questions, Mr. Lintecum replied that the amount for the Library tract would be used towards the necessary infrastructure. Mr. McLeod replied that the increase for the health insurance premiums would be equivalent to $542,880 for the total cost, but the schools would be higher. Mr. McLeod confirmed that the budget does not include the water and sewer connection fees.
Chairman Barnes opened the public hearing at 7:24 p.m.
William Anthony, Jackson District, informed the Board that he supports lowering the tax rate due to the difficulties that some individuals have paying their taxes and urged them to decrease it further.
Virg Sabin, Patrick Henry District, informed the Board that he wanted to speak with them from a senior citizens point of view saying that the recent 35% increase on real-estate assessments and the state tax increase makes it difficult for individuals on a fixed income to handle.
Rea Williams, Jackson District, expressed his concerns to the Board about the overall percent that the budget has increased and urged them to spend the money as if they had to earn the money themselves.
Kevin Sharpe, Cuckoo District, informed the Board that he was here this evening to request information pertaining to the future swimming pool for Louisa County for his Government class with Mr. Blanchard at the High School.
Gerald Harlow, Green Springs District, informed the Board that he has seen a 50% increase in his real-estate taxes over the past five years and urged them to implement a plan that would limit the amount of increases.
Edwin LaPlace, Woodbridge, Va. Resident, Landowner in Louisa County, informed the Board that he is opposed to the proposed budget due to the increase in the real estate assessments that will result in the property owner having to pay 33% more in taxes this year. Mr. LaPlace said that in reviewing the information that has been posted on the Louisa County website, he is unable to get the numbers to balance.
Chairman Barnes closed the public hearing at 7:42 p.m. and brought it back to the Board for further discussion.
The Board discussed this topic in great detail and extended their appreciation to the individuals that spoke this evening. Mr. Wright asking Mr. McLeod to work with Mr. LaPlace to address his concerns and questions and report back to the Board. Mr. Gentry said that he would like to have Mr. Lintecum meet with the high school students in Mr. Blanchards class to go over the details of the future aquatic facility that the County is going to build. Mr. Purcell emphasized the amount of work that goes into the budget each year by the Board stressing that they do not spend money recklessly. Mr. Gentry identified what he felt were positive highlights in the budget of keeping teachers and deputies salaries competitive with surrounding localities, supporting the new elementary school, continuation of infrastructure needs in the Zion Crossroads area, support of JABA for the elderly, support for the library, tax relief for the elderly, support of the services offered through Parks and Recreation, and their attempt to reduce the real estate tax rate. Mr. Gentry said that he is disappointed with the School Board Budget due to the amount of additional positions that were requested even though the state incentive only required eight new positions for them to be in compliance, the increased salary for the Superintendent, and for the amount of effort he sees them putting forth in being conservative with the budget. Dr. Morgan said that he would like to see the tax reduction be greater than what it is. Dr. Morgan said that they have a lot of initiatives that he fully supports and finds it difficult to provide reductions. Dr. Morgan stressed that they are trying to bring more businesses into the County to alleviate some of the pressure on the citizens. Chairman Barnes reiterated the positive attributes of the proposed budget and identified some of the expenditures that the Board faces due to unfunded mandates.
Real Property Tax Increase - Reassessment
Mr. McLeod summarized that the County is proposing to increase property tax levies, which the proposed tax rate would be lower, but the tax due would increase due to the general reassessment. Mr. McLeod said that the average increase for assessments in Louisa County is 35%. Mr. McLeod said that the lowered rate is necessary to help offset the increase in assessments. Mr. McLeod said that the effective tax rate is the difference between the $0.66 per $100 that is being proposed and the lowered tax rate of $0.60 per $100, which is the effective tax rate increase of 9.43%. In closing, Mr. McLeod said that based on the proposed real property tax rate and changes in other revenues, the total budget for the County of Louisa would exceed last years budget by 11.3%.
Chairman Barnes opened the public hearing at 7:59 p.m.
Reverend Sims, Patrick Henry District, emphasized the importance of listening to the youth in the County since they are the ones that hold the future of the County in their hands.
Chairman Barnes closed the public hearing at 8:01 p.m. and brought it back to the Board for further discussion.
The Board discussed this topic in detail with Mr. Wright pointing out that the County is currently having a staffing audit conducted on their staff along with the Treasurers Department and the Commissioner of Revenues Department, which he hopes the end result would be more savings. The Board further commented on the audit for the schools and compared the costs between having the audit done through the state if it is approved versus paying for it privately. The Board identified the topics that they are looking at and how they are attempting to reduce necessary costs.
On motion of Mr. Wright, seconded by Mr. Purcell, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to adjourn the May 16, 2005 regular meeting at 8:04 p.m.
BY ORDER OF
FITZGERALD A. BARNES, CHAIRMAN
LOUISA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
LOUISA COUNTY, LOUISA, VIRGINIA
Board of Supervisors