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|Board Members Present:||
Fitzgerald A. Barnes*, Dan W. Byers, Willie L. Gentry, Jr., Willie L. Harper*, Richard A. Havasy, P.T. Spencer, Jr.* and Jack T. Wright
*Mr. Barnes arrived at 5:47 p.m.
*Mr. Harper arrived at 5:17 p.m.
*Mr. Spencer left the meeting at 6:36 p.m.
|Others Present:||Dale Mullen, County Administrator; Ernie McLeod, Deputy County Administrator; Greg Hoffman, County Attorney; Jeremy Camp, Director of Community Development; Kevin Linhares, Director of General Services; Robert Carter, Solid Waste Coordinator; Bob Hardy, Director of Information Technology; Robert Dubé, Fire Chief; Keith Greene, Assistant Chief of Operations; Jane Shelhorse, Director of Parks and Recreation; Tommy Runnett, Maintenance Mechanic; Pam Vaughan, Human Resources Generalist; Andy Wade, Director of Economic Development; Ed Kube, Family Youth Services Coordinator; Amanda Reidelbach, Office Manager, Administration; Alyson Simpson, Deputy Clerk, Administration; Kimberly Smith, Records Clerk, Administration and Deborah Willard, Administrative Assistant, Administration|
CALL TO ORDER
Vice-Chairman Gentry called the December 21, 2009 regular meeting of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors to order at 5:00 p.m. Mr. Wright led the invocation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
Mr. Gentry added actual or probable litigation to the Closed Session agenda.
Mr. Mullen said the resolution on the Consent Agenda authorizing a supplemental appropriation of Fire Program funding for the purchase of a thermal imaging camera (Item 13b) needed to be deleted. Mr. Mullen said the Board had already acted on that.
Mr. Mullen said the presentation by Robinson Farmer Cox needed to be removed and carried over to a later meeting.
On the motion of Mr. Wright, seconded by Mr. Byers, which carried by a vote of 5-0, with Messrs Barnes and Harper being absent, the December 21, 2009 agenda was adopted as amended.
Presentation - VDGIF; Wildlife Management
Mr. Mike Dye, VDGIF District Wildlife Biologist, said he wanted to talk about the deer management in Louisa County. Mr. Dye said the good news about Louisa County was that it was a great deer habitat. Mr. Dye said it was estimated that about 95% of the County was in habitat that a deer could utilize, survive and live in. Mr. Dye said that could be good or bad.
Mr. Dye presented a chart of deer harvest numbers over the last 50 years. Mr. Dye said over the last five years, there had been a tremendous increase in the deer harvest. Mr. Dye said VDGIF used that to correlate to an increase in deer population. Mr. Dye pointed out a dip in the numbers during the mid to late 1990s. Mr. Dye said more aggressive doe harvest strategies were implemented during that time which dropped the deer population back.
Mr. Dye presented a chart of deer harvest numbers from “kill permits.” Mr. Dye said anyone experiencing agricultural damage was allowed by Virginia Code to request a “kill permit” from VDGIF to kill as many deer on their property in order to protect their crops. Mr. Dye said over the last four years, there had been a high increase in the number of deer killed on the “kill permits.” Mr. Dye said there was a period in the 1990s when no deer were killed on the “kill permits.”
Mr. Dye presented a map showing all the counties in the State of Virginia. Mr. Dye said there were some counties whose objective was to stabilize the deer population and other counties wanted to decrease the deer population or even increase the deer population. Mr. Dye said Louisa County was still experiencing an increase in the deer population. Mr. Dye said the “doe days” were increased twice recently. Mr. Dye said that would be up for debate again in about six months. Mr. Dye presented a map of Virginia showing the current regulations for hunting seasons. Mr. Dye said some counties were more conservative than others. Louisa County was one of the more conservative counties.
Mr. Dye said the future changes to the hunting regulations would be based on the harvest totals and other statistics. Mr. Dye said there were many factors that would go into the changes, but it would weight heavily on comments received by hunters and landowners. Mr. Dye said the current options for Louisa County were to keep the regulations the same or to expand to the next step, which would be allowing two Saturdays and the last four weeks of the general firearms season as “either sex days.” Mr. Dye said the County could choose to go with other more aggressive options as well.
Mr. Dye said VDGIF regulation cycles were done every two years. Mr. Dye said the next cycle would begin in summer 2010 and the VDGIF would begin to solicit comments from the public. Mr. Dye said there would then be public input meetings in September 2010 and one of those meetings would probably be held in Louisa County in the coming year. Mr. Dye said some draft regulations would be created based on the comments received from the public around December 2010 and then there would be another public comment session. Mr. Dye said the final version of the regulations would go to February 2011 VDGIF Board meeting. Mr. Dye said the regulations would apply for two years, which would be the 2011 and 2012 hunting seasons.
Mr. Havasy asked how many deer were killed using the “kill permits” and what was done with the carcasses after they were killed. Mr. Dye said the deer could be utilized for meat or could be donated to “Hunters for the Hungry.” Mr. Dye said it was up to the individual landowner to determine what to do with the meat.
Mr. Havasy said if a farmer got a “kill permit,” what would he do if he killed twenty to thirty deer on his farm. Mr. Havasy asked if that farmer could just throw the deer over the hill. Mr. Dye said the deer had to at least be buried. Mr. Dye said they must be disposed of properly.
Mr. Havasy asked if the number of “kill permits” issued in the County could be offset if another week or two was added in the hunting season to compensate so that the meat could be used. Mr. Dye said that was a possibility. Mr. Dye said this year was the first hunting season with the last two weeks being “either sex days.” Mr. Dye said it would take this season and possibly next season to see any of the effects of adding that extra week. Mr. Dye said another thing to consider was the addition of the use of slugs. Mr. Dye said he thought allowing the slugs would seriously help with the deer harvest.
Mr. Byers said he had heard of a number of recent cases where a deer had deformed antlers or the deer were extremely small. Mr. Byers asked if these were traits that could be related to over-population. Mr. Dye said not necessarily. Mr. Dye said antler production was based on three cornerstones: age, nutrition and genetics. Mr. Dye said the older a deer became, the larger his antlers would be. Mr. Dye said the better nutrition a deer received, the bigger his antlers would be. Mr. Dye said there were cases where deer in over-populated areas would have smaller antlers, but that would usually not cause deformities. Mr. Dye said deformities could come from genetics or from an injury.
Mr. Byers asked what the major impetus was to cause counties to change and become more liberal in their regulations. Mr. Dye said some of those counties were not being affected by the VDGIF regulations. Mr. Dye said the number of “doe days” continued to be increased, but the deer population still grew. Mr. Dye said some of the more liberal areas have better soil quality, which allowed for a higher reproductive rate.
Mr. Byers asked if the VDGIF completely regulated hunting seasons, such as the number of “doe days” that were allowed. Mr. Dye said VDGIF set the regulations, but added that the regulations were always set strongly on the comments received from the public. Mr. Dye said if a County came forward and asked the VDGIF to do something, it would most likely be done.
Mr. Spencer said he was a retired State Trooper and he said when he worked, the troopers had to fill out game check cards whenever a deer was killed by a car. Mr. Spencer asked if troopers were still doing that. Mr. Dye said some did and some did not. Mr. Spencer said that meant that there were no accurate figures. Mr. Dye said that was correct and added that there were a lot of deer that did not get included in the deer harvest figures.
Mr. Spencer asked if hunting regulations could be changed and made effective for this season. Mr. Dye said it could be done by special action of the VDGIF Board. Mr. Dye said the general regulations cycle would set the changes for the 2011 season first. Mr. Spencer asked if the changes could be made for this year. Mr. Dye said it could, but it would be a different process. Mr. Dye said the request would have to go through the VDGIF Board. Mr. Spencer asked how long that would take and if the deer season would be over before the extension could take place. Mr. Dye said there probably wouldnt be much chance of getting the request in for the current hunting season. Mr. Dye said the request could possibly be processed for next hunting season.
Mr. Wright said one of the things that concerned him was that the estimated statistics was that 1 out of every 137 drivers would hit a deer in their vehicle over the next 12 months. Mr. Wright said some of the hunters who had hunted in Louisa County for years say that they had seen more deer this year than ever before. Mr. Wright said it was not single deer that were being seen anymore, but rather the large herds of deer. Mr. Wright said the deer population was way ahead of what it was ten years ago from his personal observation.
Mr. Wright said if hunting season was extended it would have to be done for the regular hunters, the black powder hunters and the bow hunters so that it would be fair to everyone.
*Mr. Harper arrived at 5:17 p.m.
Mr. Dye said that was certainly something for the VDGIF to look into. Mr. Dye said maybe the County needed a more aggressive approach, but that would all depend on what statistics came out of this hunting season with the expansion of an extra “either sex” week. Mr. Dye said he felt the addition of using slugs would increase the deer killed and it would be hard to gauge from this season alone because of the time it was approved.
Mr. Gentry said he had noticed this year that there were much more deer around and that the deer appeared to be smaller. Mr. Dye said there was an excellent acorn crop last year and deer in this area relied heavily on acorns. Mr. Dye said deer got their carbohydrates from acorns, which increased the reproductive ability.
Mr. Gentry said based on the regulation cycle, the County had not only missed the regulation changes for this hunting season, but had also missed them for next hunting season. Mr. Dye said the VDGIF could approve the regulation changes through special action. Mr. Gentry asked Mr. Dye if he needed a resolution from this Board to initiate that action. Mr. Dye said that would be appropriate.
Mr. Wright motioned to have the VDGIF study the issue and bring it into existence as soon as possible, taking into consideration the regular deer hunters, the black powder hunters and the bow hunter. Mr. Spencer seconded the motion. The motion passed 6-0, with Mr. Barnes being absent.
Presentation - The Battle at Trevilians Station Reenactment Plans
Mr. Gentry turned over the meeting to Mr. Harper.
Ms. Shelhorse said she just wanted to provide the Board with an update on the Reenactment plans. Ms. Shelhorse said the 2010 event would be the 146th anniversary event and would take place on June 12 - 13, 2010 at the Historic Bracketts Farm. Ms. Shelhorse said the overall Confederate Commander would be Colonel Ken Wilt and the overall Union Commander would be Colonel Darrell Markijohn. Ms. Shelhorse said this was being considered the “premier cavalry event of 2010.”
Ms. Shelhorse said the event will have a reenactment, which would involve the soldiers. Ms. Shelhorse said there would be a group of “sutlers,” which were period craftsmen. Ms. Shelhorse said the “sutlers” would set up their own camp area, or living history exhibit, where they would sell official things to the re-enactors and people would be able to wander through the encampment. Ms. Shelhorse said there would be a craft show where people would be able to sell heirloom crafts only in keeping with the feel of the reenactment. Ms. Shelhorse said there would be entertainment events, such as guest speakers, authors and musicians. Ms. Shelhorse said demonstrations, food vendors and Bracketts Farm house tours were all part of the plan.
Ms. Shelhorse said the role of the Trevilians Station Battlefield Foundation was a support role. Ms. Shelhorse said the Battlefield Foundation had the guidance and the expertise that the County needed. Ms. Shelhorse said the Battlefield Foundation had the relevant contacts and would also help with the demonstrations and entertainment.
Ms. Shelhorse said the Trevilians Station Battlefield Foundation would not be making any money from the event. Ms. Shelhorse said the program was funded by Louisa and any revenue earned would be for Louisa. Ms. Shelhorse said the one thing that the Battlefield Foundation was going to do was publish the event program. Ms. Shelhorse said the County would get some approval on the content of the program. Ms. Shelhorse said the Battlefield Foundation was happy with the event.
Ms. Shelhorse presented a tentative event schedule to the Board. Ms. Shelhorse provided the names of the event management to the Board. Ms. Shelhorse said the revenue sources were the re-enactor and “sutler” registration fees, the craft and food vendor registration fees, spectator admission and parking fees and sponsorships. Ms. Shelhorse said the expenditures including marketing, advertisement, signage, fliers, porta-potties, gray water holding tanks, amenities for the re-enactors, site improvements and staffing.
Ms. Shelhorse said advertising had already started for the event in the Civil War News and on the website. Ms. Shelhorse said the registration packet was being created and anyone interested in more information could call Louisa Parks and Recreation.
Mr. Byers asked if there was someone who was going to be responsible for safety or traffic control. Ms. Shelhorse said she had already talked to Major Lowe and she was planning on providing him more information and having a meeting with him.
Mr. Spencer said he was coming down the mountain the other day and there was a large sign promoting the Reenactment of the Standardsville Battlefield. Mr. Spencer said the County might want to consider a sign like that to promote the event. Mr. Spencer thanked Ms. Shelhorse for getting this event together. Ms. Shelhorse said the main thing was to confirm that there were re-enactors to come to the event and securing the two Commanders was key. Ms Shelhorse said the Commanders were big on spreading the word and helping with the registration packets.
Mr. Gentry said whoever designed the logo did a tremendous job. Mr. Harper thanked Ms. Shelhorse for the work she had done so far.
Resolution - To Establish a Financial Policy for Louisa County
Mr. McLeod said this was a policy that was put together to ensure that the County budget was balanced. Mr. McLeod said because revenue had not currently come in the way it was projected, the resolution was only to approve the third quarter money. Mr. McLeod said this policy went right along with that to make sure the revenue was reviewed with the expenditures.
Mr. McLeod said the revised policy reflected that the County Administrator would only have the ability to approve up to $20,000. Mr. McLeod said there would be a resolution specific to Mr. Mullen that would increase his value only to $50,000.
Mr. McLeod said the policy talked about the General Fund balance and where money had been allocated for different projects and whether that money was non-spendable or assigned. Mr. McLeod said the policy address Capital Improvement projects and their funding. Mr. McLeod said the policy addressed auditing, closing of the books and of the purchase order system.
Mr. Spencer motioned for approval. Mr. Havasy seconded the motion.
Mr. Gentry said he had heard that a project had to be over $500 in order to be included in the Capital Improvement Plan as a project. Mr. Gentry said if there were any items out there that could be used as general guidelines that were missing from the Policy. Mr. McLeod said he didnt think the Policy was “missing” anything and he had asked a lot of people to look at it. Mr. McLeod said the Policy would be amended as necessary. Mr. Harper said the County would always have the ability to update the Policy.
On the motion of Mr. Spencer, seconded by Mr. Havasy, which carried by a vote of 6-0, with Mr. Barnes being absent, the Board adopted a resolution to establish a Financial Policy for Louisa County.
Resolution - To Establish Dale Mullens, County Administrator, Financial Discretionary Authority
Mr. Gentry motioned for approval. Mr. Spencer seconded the motion.
Mr. Wright made one grammatical error to the resolution.
Mr. Byers asked if the intention of this was to limit this to Mr. Mullen or should another County Administrator come in and have to be voted on. Mr. Harper said this resolution was specific to Mr. Mullen. Mr. Wright said the resolution specifically stated that the amounts would go back to what they were in the basic policy if another County Administrator was hired or if Mr. Mullen departed from the position.
Mr. Hoffman said it was his understanding that the Board wanted the increase specific to Mr. Mullen and so he drafted the resolution that way. Mr. Hoffman said the amounts would revert back to the baseline amount once Mr. Mullen left the County Administrator position.
On the motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Spencer, which carried by a vote of 6-0, with Mr. Barnes being absent, the Board adopted a resolution establishing the financial discretionary authority of Dale G. Mullen, County Administrator.
Resolution - To Release Louisa Volunteer Rescue Squads FY 2010 Capital Improvement Plan Funds to EMSAL
Mr. Havasy motioned for approval. Mr. Gentry seconded the motion.
Mr. Mullen said he received a description of the things Louisa Volunteer Rescue Squad wanted to do.
Mr. Spencer asked if Louisa Rescue would be required to spend money the money on those particular items. Mr. Mullen said that was the understanding. Mr. Spencer asked what would happen if they did not spend the money on what they said they were going to spend it on. Mr. Mullen said that was a very good question. Mr. Mullen said the same thing would be required out of Louisa Rescue as was out of all the other volunteer agencies in Louisa. Mr. Mullen said he would be happy to follow up with Mr. Garland Nuckols about this issue.
Mr. Spencer said the County needed to start pinning down what would happen if the money was not spent appropriately to make these agencies show some accountability. Mr. Spencer said the agencies needed to know that the $25,000 was capital and was not to be used for operating expenses.
On the motion of Mr. Havasy, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 6-0, with Mr. Barnes being absent, the Board adopted a resolution to release Louisa Volunteer Rescue Squads FY 2010 Capital Improvement Plan funds to EMSAL.
Resolution - To Appropriate the Third Quarter of the FY 2009-2010 Operating and Maintenance Budget
On the motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 6-0, with Mr. Barnes being absent, the Board adopted a resolution to appropriate a portion of the FY 2009-2010 annual operational and maintenance budgets.
Resolution - To award the contract for engineering services for the Louisa County Landfill to Joyce Engineering
Mr. Gentry motioned for approval. Mr. Spencer seconded the motion.
On the motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Spencer, which carried by a vote of 5-1, with Mr. Barnes being absent and Mr. Havasy voting against, the Board adopted a resolution to award a bid to Joyce Engineering for solid waste management services and water quality monitoring services for the Landfill.
Mr. Wright said it was mentioned in the resolution that Joyce Engineering was chosen by the Evaluation Committee and he asked who constituted that Evaluation Committee. Mr. Hoffman said this particular Evaluation Committee was himself, Mr. Kevin Linhares, Mr. Robert Carter, Ms. Faye Stewart and Mr. Dale Mullen. Mr. Hoffman said that Committee conducted the interviews. Mr. Wright said most committees came through the Board and he just wanted to see who the committee was made up of.
Mr. Hoffman clarified that this was to award the bid to Joyce Engineering, not the contract. Mr. Hoffman said at this point there was no contract. Mr. Hoffman said this would have to come back to the Board once there was a contract.
Mr. Wright said the contract would have to be approved by the County Attorney first. Mr. Hoffman said yes. Mr. Hoffman said this resolution would allow him and Mr. Mullen to move forward with preparing the contract. Mr. Hoffman said the contract would come back to the Board before it was approved.
Mr. Harper said he was sure this was a tough situation because of the fact that Joyce Engineering was involved in this for so long. Mr. Harper said he didnt know if the initial involvement in it had something to do with it. Mr. Harper said because of the involvement and understanding that Joyce Engineering already had, he could understand where the Evaluation Committee was coming from.
Discussion and Resolution - To Provide Tax Relief for Active Volunteer Fire and EMS
Mr. Bywaters thanked the Board for the opportunity and for the support over the years. Mr. Bywaters said the career/volunteer transition was going well and everyone was working well together. Mr. Bywaters said he felt that it continued to improve the service to the citizens of the County.
Mr. Bywaters said the volunteers shared the Boards concern with the state of the economy, both locally and Statewide. Mr. Bywaters said his operating budget would come through Chief Dubés office. Mr. Bywaters said with the combination of the Fire Association and EMSAL, there was less than a 0.6% increase in the overall budget. Mr. Bywaters said most of that increase was due to an increase in costs at the stations and rescue buildings where career staff was housed 24/7.
Mr. Bywaters thanked the Board for tabling the issue at the December 7, 2009 Board meeting regarding the titling of apparatus. Mr. Bywaters said he appreciated the Board putting more thought into that.
Mr. Bywaters said the main reason he came before the Board was to talk about approving a change in the way the volunteers were currently recognized for their service. Mr. Bywaters said he was asking that it be changed from the $20 County decal to a $175 personal property tax voucher. Mr. Bywaters said some of the surrounding counties were doing more and some were doing less and the $175 was somewhere in the middle. Mr. Bywaters said the change would result in an increase of $8,580 for 429 active volunteer members. Mr. Bywaters said the total current voucher amount would be $75,075.
Mr. Bywaters reviewed some statistics with the Board regarding volunteer calls, fundraiser hours and administrative hours. Mr. Bywaters said the volunteer hours from 2008 totaled $2,757,840. Mr. Bywaters said these were volunteer hours that were provided to the County and the volunteers received a $20 County decal each year.
Mr. Bywaters provided a list of all the current equipment and buildings that belonged to each of the volunteer agencies. Mr. Bywaters said he hoped the information he provided the Board helped them make their decision.
*Mr. Barnes arrived at 5:47 p.m.
Mr. Spencer said there were 429 volunteers. Mr. Bywaters said those were active volunteers. Mr. Spencer asked what the volunteers were doing. Mr. Spencer asked if all 429 active members were running calls. Mr. Bywaters said the 429 active volunteers were made up of people who were running calls and auxiliary members. Mr. Spencer asked if the auxiliary members ran calls. Mr. Bywaters said no, but he felt like the auxiliary members who did fundraisers and organized the events to raise money were just as important.
Mr. Spencer asked how many EMS members there were at Zion Crossroads. Mr. Bywaters said there were approximately 18 to 20 EMS members. Mr. Spencer asked Mr. Bywaters if he would be certifying those 18 to 20 members to receive the tax voucher. Mr. Bywaters said yes.
Mr. Spencer said the County provided $200,000 plus for Zion Crossroads Rescue alone. Mr. Spencer said only 35 calls were run in the last year. Mr. Spencer asked Mr. Bywaters to enlighten the Board on that. Mr. Bywaters asked what the $200,000 figure was for. Mr. Spencer said that was what the County provided for capital and operating budgets to Zion Crossroads. Mr. Bywaters said the EMS side only was about $70,000 last year plus the $25,000 in capital. Mr. Spencer said the County was paying $100,000 for 35 calls. Mr. Bywaters said he would challenge the 35 calls. Mr. Spencer said 35 calls was the number on the record. Mr. Bywaters said he knew that more duty hours were put out, though.
Mr. Gentry said one of the big things when talking about incentive for the fire and EMS volunteers was the roster. Mr. Gentry asked if the questionable items had been corrected. Mr. Gentry said there were supposedly names on the roster that were not active and he asked Mr. Bywaters if that had been revised. Mr. Bywaters said that was discussed with the Fire Association and all the chiefs when back to their departments and discussed what the membership qualifications would be going forward. Mr. Bywaters said it had been addressed.
Mr. Havasy asked Mr. Bywaters to explain some of the duties that active members had to do. Mr. Bywaters said active members had to run calls, maintain the buildings and grounds and perform fundraisers. Mr. Havasy asked who did the paperwork or administrative work. Mr. Bywaters said he did. Mr. Bywaters said there was a lot of behind the scene duties that it took to run a volunteer agency.
Mr. Havasy asked if it was fair to say that for every fireman placed in the field, there was a certain amount of support staff that was needed. Mr. Havasy said there were auxiliary members who raised money and training that had to be done. Mr. Havasy said just because there were only 35 calls did not mean that those were the only things that EMS did all year long. Mr. Bywaters said there may be three different duty crews this week that would be at the firehouse from 6:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. and there may not even be a single call coming in. Mr. Bywaters said even though a call may not come in, there were still three or four people at the station, donating their time. Mr. Bywaters said there could be career staff and volunteers working together on a call, but whoever transported the patient got credit for the call.
Mr. Havasy said the volunteers were putting out a total of over 3 million man hours in dollar value. Mr. Havasy said the volunteer agencies owned over $17 million in equipment. Mr. Havasy said the County was getting a bargain. Mr. Havasy said everyone questioned the money, but it was about the coverage to him. Mr. Havasy said he happened to be on both the EMSAL Committee and the Fire Association and one of the things he found out in all of the meetings was that everyone agreed that it was about the citizens and fire and rescue coverage. Mr. Havasy said he thought this was a bargain for the County and it was a way to promote enthusiasm for what the volunteers do.
Mr. Havasy said he had a scanner at home and when there was big weather or emergency events, he would turn the scanner on and listen. Mr. Havasy said VDOT did nothing in the County. Mr. Havasy said everything that was done out on the roads was done by fire and rescue people. Mr. Havasy pointed out all the money that VDOT received.
Mr. Havasy said this came down to all the man hours the volunteers provided. Mr. Havasy said Mr. Bywaters might put up three crews in a week at Zion Crossroads Rescue. Mr. Spencer asked where the crews were. Mr. Havasy said even if there were no calls, the crews were still at the station waiting. Mr. Havasy said when a call came out, there was a crew sitting out at a fire station waiting to go. Mr. Havasy said just because there were not any calls did not mean that fire and EMS crews were not there donating their time. Mr. Havasy said this should be more about applause for the volunteers.
Mr. Havasy said Louisa had always tried to come in the middle, whether it was for fees, fines or services. Mr. Havasy said $175 was a small amount to pay volunteers from the County for all the enormous hours they put into volunteer service for the community.
Mr. Spencer said he had the rescue call report divided by agency with him. Mr. Spencer said the career staff ran 3,243 calls, Holly Grove ran 184 calls, Lake Anna ran 251 calls, Louisa ran 187 calls and Mineral ran 596 calls. Mr. Spencer said the career staff call expenses was $329.41 per call, but Zion Crossroads call expense was $2,583 per call. Mr. Spencer said this was just discussed at the last meeting. Mr. Spencer said there was a situation where there were two medic units on the way to the hospital, but out of 429 volunteers, no one could respond to another call. Mr. Spencer said there were 384 radios and over 300 pagers, but no one would respond to run a call. Mr. Spencer said this was a constant problem and did not happen only once.
Mr. Wright said Chief Dubés letter regarding this tax voucher proposal made a valid comment and cleared up some of the questions about who was involved. Mr. Wright said the memo mentioned that eligible hours were accumulated by attending meetings, responding to calls, on-duty time, training and support and administrative functions. Mr. Wright said that was a good explanation.
Mr. Wright asked said there was a statement in the memo from Chief Dubé that said that active volunteers must have completed their respective departmental minimum requirements during the preceding twelve month period. Mr. Wright said he determined that as each volunteer agency was going to set its own criteria. Mr. Wright said he thought that could be conflicting for the agencies because someone could be eligible for one agency, but not eligible for another.
Chief Dubé said EMSAL and the Fire Association both talked about that when the program was developed. Chief Dubé said some of the agencies had different criteria on what they determined to be active membership. Chief Dubé said as it stood right now, each agency would detail what they felt an active member was. Mr. Wright said this was one of the issues that caused a problem before. Mr. Wright said if each agency set their own criteria, someone would have to monitor that. Mr. Wright said he was supportive of the program and he still felt this was a good deal for Louisa County. Mr. Wright said he thought there should be some way to make sure this was fair from agency to agency.
Mr. Byers said he really like the tax voucher proposal because he felt it was the type of program that had a lot of merit. Mr. Byers said one thing that would be beneficial moving forward would be to keep records that showed when there were volunteers at the stations even if they werent running calls. Mr. Byers said he knew there were times when volunteers were at the stations doing training or paperwork, but were not running calls. Mr. Byers said volunteers did not receive recognition for those hours because they were not out running the calls. Mr. Byers said if records were kept for those times it would help to validate this request.
Mr. Bywaters said he had worked with Dispatch over the last year trying to establish a procedure so that it could be tracked and then a report could be generated. Mr. Bywaters said it was an effort in progress. Mr. Byers asked if there was anything the Board could do to help that situation. Mr. Bywaters said no. Mr. Bywaters said it would be up to each individual agency to report the time.
Mr. Gentry said the Board had been talking about incentives for the volunteers for some time. Mr. Gentry said he felt it was time to stop talking and start doing. Mr. Gentry asked if there was any way to close this confusion by trying to be as consistent as possible with the membership criteria for all the agencies. Mr. Bywaters said he didnt see any reason why that couldnt be done.
Mr. Barnes said he had always supported fire and rescue and he was going to be somewhat prejudice because an ambulance had to come pick him up at his home the other day. Mr. Barnes said Colonial Heights had a program where the Board of Supervisors placed a certain amount of money into a fund and the volunteers had to work toward certain goals and at the end of the year, the funds were paid out to the volunteers who had completed their goals. Mr. Barnes said he had asked staff to research that possibility. Mr. Barnes said the Board needed to have an accountability piece to go along with the incentive program. Mr. Barnes said he was in favor of and supported a reward program. Mr. Barnes said he did not know the right time to bring this back to the Board and he really didnt want to delay a decision, but he felt that there was not an accountability piece in place yet.
Mr. Harper said he thought there had to be uniformity of measure. Mr. Harper said he also felt that during the budget time was an appropriate time to consider this. Mr. Harper said it may be too late this year, but going forward, it was something to talk about during budget time. Mr. Harper said he liked this incentive program more than any other program that had been presented. Mr. Harper said there were areas that needed to be tied down, such as the fire reports. Mr. Harper said maybe the $20 County decal was outdated, but it was an appreciative thought. Mr. Harper said he hoped Chief Dubé would work with Mr. Bywaters to come up with a solid uniform measurement for the Board to be able to make their decision.
Mr. Spencer said he wanted to make it clear that he had no problem with the fire companies because they were running calls. Mr. Spencer said it was the rescue operations. Mr. Spencer said the reason citizens donated funds was because they had been promised 24/7 coverage. Mr. Spencer said the citizens were not getting that. Mr. Spencer said he did not mind giving someone a tax voucher if they were, in fact, doing something. Mr. Spencer said there had to be some way to show that work was being done. Mr. Spencer said just because someone stays at a fire house and watches TV does not mean they can get the $175.
Mr. Harper said the common goal was to serve the public and he felt that could be worked out. Mr. Harper said the career staff, volunteers and the Board could come up with a way that would work and make everyone happy. Mr. Harper thanked Mr. Bywaters for making his presentation.
Mr. Havasy said the County had an Ordinance or a Resolution that some of the firefighters who were paid staff could not take a County vehicle home because they lived outside of the County. Mr. Havasy said the Countys Assistant Fire Chief lived 4.7 miles outside the County borders in the Gordonsville area, which was one of the weak areas in the County. Mr. Havasy said that person had to take his car home and then if a call went out, he had to drive all the way back to the County building, pick up the County car and then drive all the way to the call. Mr. Havasy said that seemed senseless.
Mr. Havasy said he would like the Board to consider allowing Mr. Keith Greene, Assistant Chief, to take a vehicle home so he could be a first responder in Gordonsville. Mr. Havasy said Gordonsville was one of the Countys weak areas and the County heavily relied on Orange County to help in that area.
Mr. Harper asked Mr. Mullen if he knew what the stated policy was. Mr. Mullen said the Policy was slightly unclear and it would be better if the Board would entertain a resolution for that. Mr. Mullen said Chief Greene was 24-hour personnel and would be available to respond. Mr. Mullen said a fair interpretation of the Policy would allow him to grant Chief Greene the authority to take a County vehicle home, but he would feel more comfortable about it if the Board would make the decision.
Mr. Harper said Deputy Sheriffs were 24-hour personnel and some of them traveled considerably longer than 4.7 miles. Mr. Harper asked if the same criteria carried over to those employees. Mr. Mullen said no. Mr. Harper said he did not understand the difference. Mr. Mullen said the difference was that the Deputy Sheriffs work for a Constitutional Officer and he did not have first line supervision over the Deputies. Mr. Mullen said he did not have the authority to give them orders.
Mr. Byers said the Board had this discussion about a year ago regarding County vehicles being taken home beyond the County borders. Mr. Byers said the Board had to be careful when making a decision not to set a precedent.
Mr. Harper said this could be a separate agenda item in order to make the Board fully aware of the details of the current policy. Mr. Harper said this could then be addressed at that point.
Mr. Harper said he had been doing some more reading and he knew that there was a lot more money coming the Countys way in regards to the CVRJ. Mr. Harper said there were increases in some costs and some of that had to do with the current status with the State.
Mr. Spencer said he and Mr. Gentry attended the JAUNT meeting two weeks ago and they talked about plans for brining more routes throughout the district. Mr. Spencer said he had already let JAUNT know that the County was asking for flat budgets. Mr. Spencer said JAUNT was going to try to work with the Department of Veterans Affairs to be able to take people from all over the JAUNT district to McGuires Veteran Hospital in Richmond.
Mr. Wright asked when the Affordable Housing Committee last met and asked if the Committee was still active. Mr. Wright said it had been a couple years since he heard anything. Mr. Harper asked for an update to be provided to the Board.
Mr. Gentry said he would like to re-appoint Mr. Gene Newman, Mr. Ronald Craddock, Ms. Mary Johnson and himself to the Cutalong Community Development Authority.
Mr. Havasy said he would like to re-appoint Mr. James Bogdan to the Affordable Housing Committee. Mr. Havasy said he would like to appoint Ms. Robin Heimer to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board in place of Mr. Gerald Harlow. Mr. Havasy said he would like to re-appoint Mr. Jim Scharf to the Planning Commission. Mr. Havasy said he would like to re-appoint Ms. Holly Reynolds to the Social Services Advisory Board.
Mr. Spencer said Mr. Garnett, a member of the IDA, said that terms were supposed to expire in January 2010, but the County records indicated December 2010. Mr. Spencer said he wanted to take care of that before the next meeting. Mr. Mullen said the IDA records were pulled, but the determination had not yet been made as to which would take precedence.
On the motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Havasy, which carried by a vote of 7-0, with Mr. Gentry abstaining from his re-appointment, the Board re-appointed Mr. Gene Newman, Mr. Ronald Craddock, Ms. Mary Johnson and Mr. Gentry to the Cutalong Community Development Authority, re-appointed Mr. James Bogdan to the Affordable Housing Committee, appointed Ms. Robin Heimer to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board in place of Mr. Gerald Harlow, re-appointed Mr. Jim Scharf to the Planning Commission and re-appoint Ms. Holly Reynolds to the Social Services Advisory Board.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORT
Mr. Mullen reminded the Board of several holiday closings and monthly reports that were included in the Board packet.
Mr. Mullen said there were some employees who had to work over and through the weekend. Mr. Mullen said General Services had a crew out before daylight on Saturday. Mr. Mullen said crews cleaned sidewalks and entrances to try and keep up with the snow. Mr. Mullen said activity continued on Sunday to help ensure that the buildings would be opened for the work week. Mr. Mullen said crews spread salt and ensured safe access to the buildings. Mr. Mullen said Mr. Linhares was to credit for that.
Mr. Mullen said from 3:00 p.m. on Friday until 12:00 p.m. today, there were 432 calls for service of which 261 calls were for fire and EMS and 171 calls were for the Sheriffs Department.
Mr. Mullen said Mr. Tommy Runnett worked over the weekend. Mr. Mullen said he was on vacation, but he came in anyway. Mr. Mullen said the main focus was keeping the Mineral Rescue Squad and Louisa Fire station open and passable. Mr. Mullen said they helped pull ambulances and fire trucks out when they got stuck and opened roads for ambulances to respond to calls. Mr. Mullen said they also cleared the IGC parking lot, the Resource Council lot, the airport parking area, the library lot and the recycling center at Wares Crossroads.
Mr. Gentry asked Mr. Mullen to send out a letter on behalf of the Board thanking the employees that worked over the weekend to clean up the County facilities and help with rescue operations.
Mr. Wright noted a correction that needed to be made to the Procurement Activity log.
CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS
Resolution - Authorizing a Supplemental Appropriation for Vehicle Replacement to the Sheriffs Office
On the motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board adopted a resolution authorizing a supplemental appropriation for vehicle replacement to the Sheriffs Office.
Resolution - For a Supplemental Appropriation to the Social Services Department for Additional State and Federal Funds for June 1, 2009 November 30, 2009, (1st & 2nd Quarters)
On the motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board adopted a resolution for a supplemental appropriation to the Social Services Department for additional State and Federal funds for June 1, 2009 - November 30, 2009 (1st & 2nd Quarters).
Resolution - Supporting the Closure of Route 644, Mount Airy Road, for the Construction and Replacement of the Bridge over Northeast Creek
On the motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board adopted a resolution supporting the closure of Route 644, Mount Airy Road, for the construction and replacement of the bridge over Northeast Creek.
APPROVAL OF BILLS
Mr. Barnes motioned for approval. Mr. Wright seconded the motion.
Mr. Byers said there were a number of items that he had questions about and he wanted to thank staff for helping answer his questions and figure things out.
On the motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board adopted a resolution approving the bills for the first half of December 2009 for the County of Louisa in the amount of $572,760.87.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
On the motion of Mr. Spencer, seconded by Mr. Barnes, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board adopted the minutes of the November 30, 2009 meeting.
On the motion of Mr. Spencer, seconded by Mr. Barnes, which carried by a vote of 7-0, the Board adopted the minutes of the December 7, 2009 meeting.
CITIZENS INFORMATION PERIOD - 6:30 P.M.
Mr. Gentry asked Mr. Robert Bobbitt to come forward and tell his story about how he helped out some families in the local community.
Mr. Bobbitt said he was approached by Mr. Doug Straley who said he had several families at the High School that were in need. Mr. Bobbitt said he got a list of eight families and his staff went shopping for the families, wrapped and bagged the gifts and took the gifts to Mr. Straley so he could distribute them.
Mr. Bobbitt said he was actually shocked at the level of adults and children who did not really want any gifts. Mr. Bobbitt said the families wanted food or food cards to get them through. Mr. Bobbitt said none of the families asked for gifts because their priority was food. Mr. Bobbitt said he had some families through Social Services that he tried to help.
Mr. Bobbitt said the biggest issue was the lack of food. Mr. Bobbitt was there were food banks, but he was not sure how some of these families were falling through the cracks.
Mr. Harper said he appreciated what Mr. Bobbitt had done. Mr. Harper said there was a great deal of people who had pride and would not go to the food banks. Mr. Harper said he appreciated the individuals who would take the time to help the families.
Mr. Spencer said he also knew that Mr. Bobbitt had helped some people from New Life Community Church and he wanted to thank him for what he had been doing.
*Mr. Spencer left at 6:36 p.m.
On the motion of Mr. Wright, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 5-0-1, with Mr. Harper abstaining and Mr. Spencer being absent, the Board voted to enter Closed Session at 6:37 p.m. for the purpose of discussing the following:
On the motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Wright, which carried by a vote of 5-0-1, with Mr. Harper abstaining and Mr. Spencer being absent, the Board voted to return to Regular Session at 6:53 p.m.
RESOLUTION - CERTIFICATION OF CLOSED SESSION
On the motion of Mr. Gentry, seconded by Mr. Barnes, which carried by a vote of 5-0-1, with Mr. Harper abstaining and Mr. Spencer being absent, the Board voted to adopt the following resolution:
|Jack T. Wright||Yes|
|Fitzgerald A. Barnes||Yes|
|Dan W. Byers||Yes|
|Willie L. Gentry, Jr.||Yes|
|Willie L. Harper||Abstain|
|Richad A. Havasy||Yes|
|P.T. Spencer, Jr.||Absent|
WHEREAS, the Louisa County Board of Supervisors has convened a Closed Meeting this 21st day of December 2009, 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 21st day of December 2009, 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.
Public Hearing - To consider the abandonment of a Louisa County easement within the property of the Shoppes at Spring Creek, purchased by the County for $10 by Deed of Bargain and Sale dated September 3, 1999
Mr. Camp said in 2007 the County agreed to exchange land with Rebkee Partners Zion, LLC, who was the owner of the Shoppes at Spring Creek. Mr. Camp said as part of the agreement, the County gained 0.67 acres and an unimproved access road to the water tower. Mr. Camp said Rebkee gained 0.86 acres and a lot layout that was more conducive to commercial development. Mr. Camp said the land exchange had already occurred and Rebkee had constructed the road, which the County currently used to access the water tower site.
Mr. Camp said at this time, Rebkee had requested that the County abandon the old access easement, which was the easement that was in place prior to the construction of the road and the land swap. Mr. Camp said the abandonment of this easement was necessary for the construction of the Shoppes at Spring Creek, Phase I. Mr. Camp said it was agreed to that the County would abandon this easement as part of the original agreement. Mr. Camp said he recommended moving forward with the abandonment of the easement.
Mr. Harper opened the public hearing. With no one wishing to speak, Mr. Harper closed the public hearing and brought it back to the Board for discussion.
On the motion of Mr. Wright, seconded by Mr. Gentry, which carried by a vote of 6-0, with Mr. Spencer being absent, the Board adopted a resolution authorizing disposition of Louisa County property to Rebkee Partners Zion, LLC.
Mr. Barnes said it had been an honor to serve with Mr. Wright for the last twelve years. Mr. Barnes said it had been very enjoyable.
On the motion of Mr. Barnes, seconded by Mr. Byers, which carried by a vote of 6-0, with Mr. Spencer being absent, the Board voted to adjourn the December 21, 2009 meeting at 7:03 p.m.
BY ORDER OF
WILLIE L. HARPER, CHAIRMAN
LOUISA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
LOUISA COUNTY, LOUISA, VIRGINIA