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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 November 7, 2005 regular meeting of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors to order at 5:00 p.m. Mr. Jennings led the invocation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
Nancy Pleasants, Commissioner of Revenue, informed the Board that she was here this evening to remind them that they are drawing near to the time that they have to address the Personal Property Tax Relief Act (PPTRA) for 2006. Mrs. Pleasants said that the state is putting a freeze on the amount of money that they will be sending to each locality; therefore, they need to address the percentage of the PPTRA that they would be allowing for 2006. Mrs. Pleasants said that the state is currently paying 70% on qualifying vehicles. She explained that the freeze would be based on the amount of taxes and the payment that the state has made to the County through the 2004 tax year. Mrs. Pleasants said that they have to look at what they are going to do about that difference by determining the growth progression of the County and how much tax revenue would be lost if they continue allowing the 70%.
The Board discussed this topic with Mr. Wright asking what options they had and what their deadline was. Chairman Barnes asked Mrs. Pleasants what other localities were doing for this situation. Mr. Harper said that if they were to freeze the amount at $3,000,000 and there is something in place that generates $4,500,000, who would pay the $1,500,000.
In response to the Boards questions, Mrs. Pleasants said the Board would have the option of what to set the tax rate at for 2006 or they could adjust the amount of percentage of what they would allow. Mrs. Pleasants said that the Board has to implement an ordinance, which VACo has been working on, prior to the first of the year, but then they could actually change this amount during their budget process. Mrs. Pleasants stressed the importance of having an ordinance in place to allow them to make the necessary changes during their budget process. Mrs. Pleasants said that some localities are looking at reducing the percentage that citizens receive based on the growth. Mrs. Pleasants said that the state is going to send $3,000,000, then the citizens would be responsible to pay the difference if the Board decided.
Sheriff Fortune provided an update to the Board on the activities that took place in the Sheriffs Department during the month of September. Sheriff Fortune identified the amount of warrants, civil papers, and traffic summons that were served during this time. He went on to state the amount of calls that they received for the month and the types of calls they responded to.
CITIZENS INFORMATION PERIOD
There were no citizens wishing to address the Board.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
Chairman Barnes stated that item four on the agenda for the Technical Assessment would be removed this evenings agenda along with item 10, g. for allowing localities to utilize prisoners for removal of trash and road debris, since this issue is already being addressed.
Mr. Wright said that he would like to add Rock Spring Road and Walnut Woods Drive as items to the agenda for consideration of a resolution to add these roads as Rural Additions.
Mr. Gentry said that he would like to add Route 722 (Garretts Mill Road) as an item to the agenda for consideration of a resolution to have a “Children at Play” sign posted.
Lee Lintecum, County Administrator, said that he would like to add the car tax issue as an item on the agenda for their consideration of holding a public hearing.
On motion of Mr. Wright, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the November 7, 2005 agenda was adopted as amended.
Rappahannock Juvenile Detention Center (RJDC)
Doug Jones, RJDC Superintendent, introduced Donna Smith, RJDC Finance Director, to the Board and said that she would be explaining the statistical information for the “True-Up” process for the member jurisdictions that participate with the RJDC. Mr. Jones said that the True-Up service agreement was made April 21, 1998 by the RJDC and the member jurisdictions. Mr. Jones identified the participating member jurisdictions. Mr. Jones explained how the True-Up process is determined, saying that at the end of each fiscal year the commission share shall compare each member jurisdictions operating component to a respective actuality use percentage of the total detainee days used by the members jurisdictions concession preceding fiscal year. Mr. Jones said that the localities are billed based upon the childcare days for the calendar year. Mr. Jones reiterated that the True-Up is based on fiscal year totals; therefore if a member has underpaid, they would be billed for the additional amount or credited if they had overpaid. He said that the member jurisdictions would not receive their credit for overpayment until the Commission has received all payments due from member jurisdictions.
Ms. Smith explained to the Board how they determine the calculations for the True-Up process. Ms. Smith said that they have to accumulate the actual usage figures at the end of June and compare them to what has been billed for the past year. She said that the problem is that you are budgeted on a calendar year and the True-Up is done on a fiscal year. Ms. Smith said that when they determine the actual days, they re-figure the appropriation, which Louisa had an actual number of 12.12 and they did the budget on 2.94 that had a difference of $82,588.24. Ms. Smith said that this amount is going to be added to this years budget. Ms. Smith said that she would show an adjustment on what has already come in, which they do by taking what has been billed for the current year and finding the difference to determine what the new quarterly payment would be. Ms. Smith said that Louisa Countys projected usage for this year is 6.42 versus the 3.39 that they billed for.
The Board discussed this topic briefly and extended their appreciation to Mr. Jones and Ms. Smith for their presentation. Mr. Wright questioned how the children are assigned to their facility whether it is through the courts, social services, or some other agency.
Mr. Jones replied that the kids that are assigned to their facility come strictly from the courts. Mr. Jones said that the Judges dictate how long a child is housed at their facility.
VDOT Monthly Update - Milton Thacker, Resident Engineer
Milton Thacker, VDOT Resident Administrator, summarized VDOTs current maintenance activities to the Board saying that local maintenance crews have been conducting vegetation control operations on secondary roads, day-lighting signs, completed equipment readiness for the winter season, and supporting traffic control for several incidents over the past month. Mr. Thacker identified VDOTs current construction activities saying that the current surfacing and overlay contracts have been completed with the exception of minor corrective work, trying to coordinate efforts with the schools to close Hamilton Road (Route 695) between Routes 640 (East Jack Jouett Road) and 636 (Valentine Mill Road) for a week to perform bridge repairs, waiting on staking of the proposed road for the industrial access on the Library Tract, selected Pearson Construction for the project on Route 718 (Proffits Road), awaiting scoping approval to begin improvements of Bakers Branch (Route 754) and Indian Creek Road (Route 699), and the need for a revised resolution from the County identifying the incorporation of the funds that are now being used to complete Rock Springs Road and Walnut Woods Drive. Mr. Thacker identified VDOTs general activities as their public hearing that is being held this evening for the Six Year Plan, which he has received two requests for this for May Lane that is off of Route 613 at Oakland and Harts Mill Road (Route 647) off of Route 522.
The Board extended their appreciation to Mr. Thacker for his presentation. Dr. Morgan said that he had talked with Jamie Glass of VDOT last month about the sign that used to be appropriate on Route 15 saying reduced speed ahead before the 45 mph speed limit was extended north of I-64, which he finds to be confusing unless they plan on reducing the speed southbound; therefore, he would like to have the sign removed. Mr. Gentry asked Mr. Thacker if he was aware of VDOT experimenting with oddball speed limits such as 38 mph versus 35 mph to 40 mph. Mr. Wright said that on Route 33 when heading towards the Shiffletts farm, you see a sign that reduces the speed ahead to 45 mph, but when you go around the curve, there speed limit drops to 35 mph, which strikes him as being dangerous since people always tend to hit their brakes immediately to reduce their speed. Dr. Morgan said that the Transportation Safety Committee is going to review the passing lanes on Route 15. Dr. Morgan said that he had read in the paper that the Culpeper District had actually identified their intentions as expanding Route 22 between Louisa and Mineral to four lanes as the primary project for Louisa County, which he does not believe that this is the number one item on their list and asked if he had any further information regarding this.
In response to the Boards questions, Mr. Thacker said that he would look at the sign on Route 15 and that he was not aware of any experimentation with speed limits. Mr. Thacker said that he received an email from Harrison Rue saying that they had held a meeting in Charlottesville where the Route 208 was reactivated as Louisa Countys primary project and Route 22 was identified because of potential traffic volumes and industrial development. Mr. Gentry stated that he and Darren Coffey, Community Development Director, had attended the meeting that was held, where they voiced their concerns and have been told that the changes would be made.
2006 Thomas Jefferson Planning District Legislative Program - David Blount
David Blount reminded the Board that he had told them in September that he would be back to discuss the Regional Legislative Program. Mr. Blount identified the high priority items along with their objective as transportation, local revenue authority, public education funding, comprehensive services act, and public safety. Mr. Blount said that behind the priority items are the continued areas of concern such as economic development, environmental quality, health and human services, housing, and local government structure and laws. Mr. Blount identified changes that were endorsed last week by other localities for the transportation position statement, they added the word “state” to clarify the phrase and establish state and local assistance and state revenues. Mr. Blount said that they had added a clause to the third paragraph under transportation that now states, “we support the ongoing state and local efforts to coordinate transportation and land use planning and state incentives for localities that implement such planning practices.” Mr. Blount said that another change is listed under the public education funding position that changed the second sentence of the first paragraph to read as, “in 2004 the state acknowledged that localities have greatly exceeded their mandated responsibilities for educational funding by providing dollar for initiatives…” Mr. Blount identified the last change as being under land use and growth management, which pertains to the statement concerning the Supreme Courts Kelo versus New London decision in the second bullet, they added, “including schools, transportation facilities, and redevelopment projects being carried out by a governmental entity to avoid and abate blight.” In closing, Mr. Blount informed the Board that the Legislative Luncheon would be held on Tuesday November 29, 2005.
The Board discussed this topic with Dr. Morgan saying that during their retreat, they had discussed expanding the recruitment and retention programs for the volunteers of fire and rescue. Dr. Morgan said that one of the options that they are considering is a state run defined contribution plan for VOLSAP, which the state identifies their contribution as zero dollar amount, but he would like to have this added as an issue to request the state to fully fund the VOLSAP Program that was established five years ago and has not received any funding. Mr. Gentry asked if all of the priorities held the same weight.
Mr. Blount informed the Board that any of the changes that are made by them would be forwarded to the County Administrators of other localities since they have to have a general consensus. Mr. Blount said that the priorities are in the position that they are prioritized, but that doesnt mean that a specific topic would take priority over another. He said that these are all hot topics that need to be addressed.
On motion of Dr. Morgan, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board approved the Planning District Commission Legislative Program as submitted with the addition of asking for the VOLSAP Program to be fully funded.
Resolution - To Add Additional Mileage to Rock Spring Road of The Secondary System of State Highways and To Add Walnut Woods Drive To The Secondary System of State Highways
On motion of Mr. Wright, seconded by Mr. Purcell, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution was adopted to add an additional 0.50 mileage to Rock Spring Road and to add Walnut Woods Drive to the Secondary System of State Highways with a revenue sharing contribution of $119,187 from the County of Louisa.
Resolution - To Authorize a “Watch for Children at Play” Sign on State Route 722 (Garretts Mill Road)
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Purcell, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution was adopted authorizing a “Watch for Children at Play” sign to be erected on state Route 722, Garretts Mill Road.
Awarding the Contract for the Water System and Sanitary Sewer Improvements North of I-64 at Zion Crossroads Bar Delk
Bar Delk, Water Authority Director, explained to the Board that this is the third and final step to run the Spring Creek lines to the lines that they are currently putting under the interstate that will connect to the lines on the north side of the interstate. Mr. Delk said that Faulconer Construction was the lowest bidder at $253,823. Mr. Delk said that this contractor is currently doing other work for the Spring Creek Development. Mr. Delk urged the Board to consider implementing a 10% contingency fund as part of this request so he would have the appropriate funds to handle change order and other issues that come along with this type of project.
The Board discussed this topic with Dr. Morgan asking how this relates to what the Board has approved and set aside monies for the water and sewer improvements at Zion Crossroads.
In response to Dr. Morgans question, Mr. Delk said that this is coming from the budgeted amount that they had to get water from the lines that were put in at Spring Creek to the other side of the interstate, which was broken down into three separate jobs.
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Dr. Morgan, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution was adopted to award a contract for the water system and sanitary sewer system improvements north of I-64 at Zion Crossroads to Faulconer Construction Company, Inc. in the amount not to exceed $253,823.00.
Water Authority Contingency Fund
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Dr. Morgan, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution was adopted approving the award of contingency to the Water Authority for contract for the water system and sanitary sewer system improvements north of I-64 at Zion Crossroads.
Tax Relief for Elderly and Disabled
Ernie McLeod, Deputy County Administrator, stated that the Board had discussed tax relief for the elderly at their recent retreat, which they wanted to address the changes that were made to increase the net worth of the elderly or disabled to $100,000, increase the calculation of the acreage that is excluded from the net worth to ten acres, and increase the maximum limit of the tax relief to $1,000. Mr. McLeod said that in trying to calculate how much revenue would be lost by doing this, was difficult, but in brief they would be looking at $8,000 loss in revenue by increasing the acreage, plus how many other individuals might qualify that are not quantifiable right now. Mr. McLeod said that the $200.00 increase in the limit would be about $72,000, which would depend on how many people are involved. Mr. McLeod informed the Board that if they would like to implement this, then a public hearing would be required and would have to be scheduled.
The Board discussed this topic with Mr. Harper pointing out that the Boards goal was to provide additional relief to help the individuals that are financially limited. Chairman Barnes asked what would benefit these individuals a lot.
In response to the Board, Mrs. Pleasants said that if they were going to increase the number of acres, then they would have to raise the amount to $100,000 due to the value of property in Louisa County. Mrs. Pleasants said that it would not help a thing if they were to increase the amount of acreage without increasing the net worth.
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board agreed to schedule a public hearing to modify the Tax Relief Program to increase the net worth amount to $100,000 and the land of 10 acres.
Mr. McLeod informed the Board that action is needed by them to hold a public hearing to enact an ordinance that would allow them to set the rate for car tax during their budget process.
On motion of Mr. Wright, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board agreed to schedule a public hearing prior to the end of the year to enact an ordinance that would be created by Pat Morgan, County Attorney, that would allow them to establish the rates for vehicle tax during their budget process.
Chairman Barnes asked Mr. McLeod to work with Mrs. Pleasants to see what other localities are handling this process.
Mr. Purcell reported to the Board that the Library Board met on Thursday November 3, 2005. Mr. Purcell said that Mr. Holladay from the Jefferson Madison Regional Library had attended the meeting and provided them an in depth report on what they do and how they help the citizenry. Mr. Purcell said that beginning this Sunday November 13, 2005, the Library would be extending their hours during the winter months to open on Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Mr. Wright reported to the Board that the Board of Building Appeals has been reactivated and held two recent meetings. Mr. Wright said that this group has asked his prior appointee, Mr. Gregory to hold another training session for them.
Mr. Gentry reported to the Board that the Volunteers of Louisa are gearing up for the upcoming 2006 Relay for Life. He said that they would be holding another C.E.R.T. Team training class. Mr. Gentry said that as of October 2005, the Volunteers of Louisa have reported 16,088 hours of volunteer service in Louisa County.
Mr. Wright said that he wanted to know if Jim Riddell was still going to be an active member for the Agricultural and Forestal District Advisory Committee.
Dr. Morgan said that the last time they held a meeting, Mr. Riddell was out of town on a business trip and unable to attend. It was further explained that Mr. Riddell was a citizen appointment rather than an appointee representing the Virginia Cooperative Extension.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR REPORT
Mr. Lintecum presented his report highlighting the following items:
Mr. Lintecum informed the Board that he has enclosed a letter from the Health Department addressing their concerns about the backhoe policy, which they have come up with an exemption from the policy if the Board wishes to pursue it.
Mr. Lintecum informed the Board that he has enclosed a report for their review regarding the Hazardous Waste Day that the County held on October 29, 2005.
Mr. Lintecum informed the Board that he has enclosed a budget calendar from Mr. McLeod for the upcoming budget.
Mr. Lintecum informed the Board that Robin Horne and Hal Schaeffer have been appointed by the School Board to serve on the Elementary Construction Committee along with Mr. Harper and Mr. Gentry.
Mr. Lintecum informed the Board that the Department of Parks and Recreation would be handling the Christmas Parade this year.
Mr. Lintecum informed the Board that Bob Hardy, Director of Information Technology, is currently in the process of redesigning the web page for the County, which he would like to have input from the Board.
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board agreed to adopt the Consent Agenda for the four scheduled public hearings that will be held on December 5, 2005 and the following two resolutions:
Resolution - Appropriation of Additional Funds to the Louisa County Social Services Department
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution was adopted approving the appropriation of $9,800 to the Social Services Department for funds that were received from federal sources for the TANF Competitive Grant for the period of June 1, 2005 through August 31, 2005.
Resolution - Appreciation for Michelle Thurston of the Community Development Department
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution of appreciation was adopted for Michelle Thurston for her four years five months of dedicated service to the citizens of Louisa County and wishes her the best of luck on her future endeavors.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
On motion of Mr. Wright, seconded by Dr. Morgan, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board adopted the minutes of October 17, 2005 as presented.
APPROVAL OF BILLS
On motion of Mr. Wright, seconded by Mr. Purcell, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution was adopted approving the bills for the second half of October 2005, for the County of Louisa in the amount of $754,714.30.
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Purcell, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to enter Closed Session at 6:10 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 Zion Crossroads 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 potential litigation in the Mineral, Virginia area.
On motion of Mr. Wright, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to return to Regular Session at 6:57 p.m.
RESOLUTION - CERTIFICATION OF CLOSED SESSION
On motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Dr. Morgan, 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 7th day of November 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 7th day of November 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.
VDOT 2006/2007 Through 2011/2012 Six Year Plan and 2005/2007 Secondary System Construction Budget
Mr. Thacker said that VDOT and the Board annually work together to develop the Secondary Six Year Plan. Mr. Thacker said that they are looking for opportunities from public comment this evening along with the Boards input to finalize the plan so they can bring it back in December. Mr. Thacker said that the plan currently has twenty-seven items in it aside from the ones that reflect zero that are currently being worked on. Mr. Thacker said that they have responded to many of their concerns to change some of the construction projects to Rural Rustic. Mr. Thacker said that they would be able to net a saving of approximately $300,000 for the Lands End Project on Route 750, which they can apply these funds to other projects. Mr. Thacker said that he had received a request about May Lane off of Route 613 and Harts Mill Road off of Route 647 as new additions, which he believes they could do as Rural Rustic.
The Board discussed this topic in great detail with Mr. Wright saying that when VDOT receives the estimated construction for the total on each of the six years and they are broken out into various categories and asked if they were to move something around from one category to another would that be a problem if the total amount was not changed. Mr. Wright said that he intends on asking the residents on Route 698 (Rolling Path Road) if they would like to have it considered as a Rural Rustic Road. Mr. Harper asked Mr. Thacker to clarify what date a road would have to have been constructed by in order to qualify for Rural Addition. Chairman Barnes said that Henson Road reflects December 30, 2005 on the list and asked if this project is on schedule. Chairman Barnes said that Captain Meade Road reflects March 1, 2007 and asked if this was an error since the other project list 2006. Chairman Barnes said that they have had right-of-way issues for Patrick Henry Place (Route 711) and asked Mr. Thacker if it would be better to have this road considered as a Rural Rustic. Chairman Barnes asked Mr. Thacker about the intersection on Byrd Mill Road if the date was accurate, which reflects a date of December 30, 2006.
Mr. Thacker responded by saying that it would not present any problems as long as the total amount is not adjusted. Mr. Thacker said that the cutoff date for a road to be considered as a Rural Addition would have been 1992. Mr. Thacker said that a developer would be responsible to bring a road up to state standards. Mr. Gentry said that VDOT traditionally adds another year to the 1992 date each year; therefore, it could have possible changed to 1993. Mr. Thacker stated that they have a 40 right-of-way on Henson Road and the project should be completed on schedule. Mr. Thacker replied that he has Captain Meade Road listed in budget 2006 and 2007. Mr. Thacker said that he would like to have a resolution to have Patrick Henry Place considered as a Rural Rustic Road. Mr. Thacker replied that the project date for Byrd Mill Road is accurate.
Chairman Barnes opened the public hearing at 7:12 p.m.
Ellen Davis, Patrick Henry District, informed the Board that she was here this evening to speak with them about paving certain roads, which they already addressed. Ms. Davis expressed her concerns about the vegetation that hangs over onto the roads and asked whether white lines could be placed on the secondary roads to mark the edge of the roads.
Harry Carter, Patrick Henry District, informed the Board that he was here this evening to talk about the road in front of the Macedonia Church. Mr. Carter said that the curve presents a dangerous situation. Mr. Carter said that as the community and their church continues to grow, it is becoming a bad situation for the individuals that have to cross the street to get to the parking lot. Mr. Carter said that the Church has purchased all of the land necessary for them to have a right-of-way and urged the Board to take this into consideration.
Chairman Barnes closed the public hearing at 7:14 p.m. and brought it back to the Board for further discussion.
Upon further discussion by the Board, Chairman Barnes said that he has shared the same concerns with VDOT about the white lines that Ms. Davis mentioned and the maintenance for the vegetation. Chairman Barnes said that Mr. Carter had asked about Byrd Mill Road and asked Mr. Thacker again if the date was accurate.
In response to the concerns that were raised, Mr. Thacker said that in order for them to put the edge line on the roads, they have to have a minimum and consistent width of 20. Mr. Thacker explained that when VDOT reconstructs a road with the proper shoulders and the proper embankments, there is an opportunity to maintain the grass much better that when you have a Rural Rustic Road where they are making any improvements or a road with only 30 of right-of-way that only has a short distance between the edge of the pavement and the ditch line. Mr. Thacker said that the majority of the secondary routes typically only gets cut once a season or possibly twice. Mr. Thacker said that VDOT does respond to safety issues at an intersection or around a curve for vegetation. Mr. Thacker stated that they are unable to trim any further beyond their right-of-way unless they have permission from the property owner. Mr. Thacker said that his office was unaware of the availability of the right-of-way, which now allows them to move forward with the project. Mr. Thacker suggested that the Board consider applying some of the money that they saved on the Lands End towards this project.
Upon further discussion by the Board, Chairman Barnes asked Mr. Thacker to meet with Mr. Carter regarding the right-of-way to take care of that issue so they can move forth with the project. Chairman Barnes asked Mr. Thacker to verify if the date was accurate for Captain Meade Road. Mr. Gentry asked what the earliest date was that the Byrd Mill Road could be completed.
Mr. Thacker replied that Byrd Mill Road would take a minimum of a year due to the environmental reviews and processes that take place. Mr. Thacker said that this project would be done under contract. In closing, Mr. Thacker informed the Board that he would be back in December for the final presentation that would reflect the changes they have made this evening. He said that he would like to present the final information to them at their December 5, 2005 meeting because he has to submit the plan to Richmond by December 31, 2005.
Resolution - To Have Patrick Henry Place Considered as a Rural Rustic Road
On motion of Dr. Morgan, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution was adopted requesting VDOT to have Patrick Henry Place (Route 711) considered as a Rural Rustic Road.
Resolution - To Have Vigor Road (Route 697) Considered as a Rural Rustic Road
On motion of Dr. Morgan, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, a resolution was adopted requesting VDOT to have Vigor Road (Route 697) considered as a Rural Rustic Road.
Amendment to the Louisa County Code Section 10:52, Transient Occupancy Tax
Mr. Morgan explained to the Board that he has enclosed a draft amendment to the Louisa County Code Section 10:52, which will establish a Transient Occupancy Tax for room rentals. This would apply to motels, boarding houses, travel campgrounds, and other facilities offering guest rooms rented out for continuous occupancy for fewer than thirty days; therefore, if it were for more than thirty days, then the tax would not apply. Mr. Morgan said that the tax that has been established is a 2% tax on the amount of the charge for the occupancy. He said that this amount has been established in the State Code and cannot exceed this amount. Mr. Morgan said that the person who is collecting the taxes is entitled to no more than 5% of the taxes collected as a processing fee and turning those taxes over to the local government. Mr. Morgan said that the taxes would be due to the Treasurer at the end of each fiscal quarter. Mr. Morgan stated that he has drafted a provision saying that this ordinance would not take effect until January 1, 2006 if the Board decides to adopt the ordinance.
The Board discussed this topic in great detail with Dr. Morgan asking what qualifies as another facility charge with collecting the Transient Occupancy Tax. Mr. Wright said that he feels that they need to consider boarding houses compared to a residence for someone who rents a room. Mr. Gentry said that item c specifies that they would be entitled to a commission of no more than 5%. Mr. Gentry asked if there was any documentation providing guidance on what the rate should be.
Mr. Morgan replied that if it were habitually rented for less than thirty continuous days. Mr. Morgan said that the 5% is the maximum amount that could be collected. He said that the state code specifies they can allow for 3% to 5%. Mr. Morgan said that the amount is based on the fact it will take the property owners some trouble to collect the tax and then turn it over to the state.
Chairman Barnes opened the public hearing at 7:29 p.m.
Ruth Small, Patrick Henry District, explained to the Board that she and her husband own and operate the Small Country Campground. Mrs. Small urged the Board to not take any action on this until they have had time to review the numbers. Mrs. Small questioned why they would consider having an occupancy tax on such a small industry within the County. Mrs. Small identified all of the businesses that would be impacted by this tax and emphasized how much revenue these businesses bring to the County. Mrs. Small asked the Board not to place any additional burdens on the small business owners pf the County.
Chairman Barnes read a letter that he received from Bill Small of the Patrick Henry District for all to hear. The letter addressed Mr. Smallss concerns and how they allow their facility to be used by County agencies. Mr. Small urged the Board to consider the impact that this would have on the small business owners if they implement the Transient Occupancy Tax.
Chairman Barnes closed the public hearing at 7:39 p.m. and brought it back to the Board for further discussion.
The Board further discussed this topic with Chairman Barnes saying that when this issue was addressed five years ago, he had told Mr. Small that this was a dead issue at that time, but he cannot promise someone that an issue would never be brought up again by other members. Chairman Barnes said that any time they look to implement a new tax he would like to have justification. Chairman Barnes asked if they had any numbers showing what the potential revenue would be and where they were going to earmark that.
In response to Chairman Barnes question, Mr. McLeod said that he has not reviewed the numbers at this time. He explained that he would have to go through and look at projections of what it would bring in minus the 5%.
Upon further discussion by the Board, Mr. Wright said that he would like to see the numbers before making a decision on this because Mr. Small made a lot of valid points in his letter. Mr. Harper said that this is somewhat of a pass through because not many locals stay in local establishments. Mr. Harper said that someone has to account for this, which would be the responsibility of the Treasurer. Dr. Morgan stated that most localities look to this tax to try to generate revenue that is from a group that doesnt build in the County. Dr. Morgan said that this is not something that would provide an undue burden to those individuals. Dr. Morgan agreed that he would like to see the number for potential revenue generated as well as the potential expenses that would be related to it; therefore, he does not want to take a position on this until he can see those numbers. Mr. Gentry asked Mr. Morgan if they had to include campgrounds in the list of establishments to charge for this tax. Mr. Purcell said that he shares the same concerns about seeing the number prior to making any decisions. Chairman Barnes emphasized the importance of knowing the numbers and how those dollars would be earmarked since they are crucial. Chairman Barnes said that he received a call from Mr. Kramer of the Best Western had told him that if the funds that were generated from this went back towards tourism then he wouldnt have an issue supporting this. Mr. Wright pointed out that having individuals staying temporarily in the County creates an impact on the Sheriffs Department and would require additional law enforcement and for Emergency service Department for both fire and rescue.
In response to Mr. Gentry's question, Mr. Morgan replied that the way the state code is written, the County has the ability to adopt an ordinance that would levy the tax on hotels, motels, boarding houses, travel campgrounds, and other facilities. Mr. Morgan said that the code does not have an “or” in the code, which would not allow them to specify establishments.
It was the consensus of the Board to table this topic until further justification is presented to them by Mr. McLeod. Chairman Barnes urged anyone who faces this situation to forward their information to Mr. McLeod.
On motion of Mr. Purcell, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board agreed to table this topic until further data has been collected and presented to them.
Amendment to the Louisa County Code to Enact Section 70-11, Assessment of New Buildings Substantially Completed
Mr. Morgan explained to the Board that this is to have an ordinance put in place that would allow for partial year assessments on buildings that are constructed since the County is currently experiencing such rapid growth. Mr. Morgan said that this allows an assessing officer to look at a structure that is substantially completed for use and occupancy by November 1 of the year in which the assessment is to take effect. Mr. Morgan pointed out that the ordinance says that once a structure has been assessed, published, and made public record, then the locality can collect tax on it.
The Board discussed this topic with Dr. Morgan questioning what substantially complete meant according to the state code. Dr. Morgan asked what the Board could expect from implementing this ordinance. Chairman Barnes questioned what amount the County has lost by not doing partial assessments.
In response to the Boards questions, Mr. Morgan replied that a substantially complete structure would be determined by having a temporary certificate of occupancy. Mr. Morgan said that if someone were to build on land that was at $10,000 per acre prior to construction and had it unimproved for a period of nine months, then you would look at the nine months for what the rate would be on an improved property, then you would be able to charge 25% of the increased value for the remaining three months. Mr. McLeod replied that when the assessor had previously reviewed the numbers, he estimated the amount to be $450,000, which is almost equivalent to a penny in taxes.
Chairman Barnes opened the public hearing at 7:53 p.m. With no one wishing to address the Board, Chairman Barnes closed the public hearing at 7:54 p.m. and brought it back to the Board for further discussion.
Upon further discussion by the Board, Mr. Purcell stated that he would not want this to be a deterrent in preventing individuals from coming to the County since they would be charging someone for something before they are actually utilizing it. Mr. Purcell said that he was under the assumption that they were going to be charging individuals for partial structures, but since Mr. Morgan confirmed that there would have to be a temporary certificate for occupancy, then he is able to support this. Chairman Barnes asked Mr. McLeod if other localities pro-rate assessments. Chairman Barnes asked Mrs. Pleasants if she was staffed to handle the pro-rations. Mr. Wright pointed out that the information has to be entered into their system at one point and time, so he didnt understand why there would be a staffing issue. Mr. Jennings said that he believes that this is ideal and something they need to move forth with since individuals begin earning equity on their property once they have purchased it; therefore, he would support this. Dr. Morgan said that he believes that they are losing a lot of revenue on structures that are ready for occupancy; therefore, he agrees that this is something that they should move forward with.
Mr. McLeod responded that this is becoming more prevalent with many localities. Mr. McLeod said that this becomes a fairness issue that the individuals pay taxes along with everyone else that is required. Mrs. Pleasants said that they have enough staff for right now, but as the County continues to grow, there could be a possible need for additional staff in the future.
On the motion of Mr. Jennings, seconded by Dr. Morgan, which carried by a vote 7-0, a resolution was adopted to amend the Louisa County Code, Section 70, Taxation, to add Section 70-11, Assessment of New Buildings that are substantially completed to allow for the pro-ration of taxes.
Mr. Gentry stated that he would like to follow up on prior correspondence to verify what the School Boards response was for the property on Route 619 (New Line Road) and how the funds were used for the $25,000 that the Board sent to the Red Cross for hurricane relief.
Mr. Lintecum said that the School Board office had told him that this was discussed at their meeting, but they did not take any action. Mr. Lintecum said that the $25,000 was sent to VACo, where they had sent correspondence on the total amount that was collected from various localities.
Mr. Morgan did not discuss any legal correspondence with the Board.
On motion of Mr. Purcell, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board voted to adjourn the November 7, 2005 regular meeting at 8:03 p.m.
BY ORDER OF
FITZGERALD A. BARNES, CHAIRMAN
LOUISA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
LOUISA COUNTY, LOUISA, VIRGINIA