BOS Meeting, March 22, 2016

Click here for the full agenda and video.

This was a regular BOS rather than a budget workshop. All supervisors were present. Several folks spoke opposing the Sugar Hollow gravel quarry during the public comment period.

Two U.S. marshals appeared requesting use of the sheriff’s department firing range for which they will pay $1200/yr. to meet firearms training requirements. The marshals were granted a single use time because they are unable to reimburse during the current fiscal year without a formal contract and allowing use by a group other than the Sheriff’s department would require planning commission action, public hearings, etc. Supervisor Baker asked to be informed of the time of the use by the marshals so that residents could monitor in the neighborhood for noise concerns.

Supervisor Hernandez, requested a funding supplement for the Goodson-Kinderhook Fire Department, which has fire and rescue equipment running on tires that will not pass inspection. The department has opened its accounting books to Mr. Hernandez and he is working with them to improve financial management. The funds were granted 7-0.

Similarly the Victim Witness Program is eligible for some additional state money and requested it be received as a one-time salary benefit to the program director and sole employee. Most of the funding for this program is Federal, channeled through the state, and a minimal local match is required. That match cannot be reduced below current levels as state funds increase (“supplanting” of funds). The supervisors granted the request for funds, 7-0.

A lengthy discussion ensued when County Planner, Cherith Marshall, presented on behalf of the County Planning Commission definitions of “lodge” and “private club” for an ordinance they are drafting on camping and private clubs as part of a series of three ordinances designed to regulate outdoor recreation within the zoning ordinance. The discussion focused on the definition of club. Supervisor Baker thought the definition was too specific and that one could easily imagine clubs that would not be included in the proposed definition (quilting clubs, for an example). He proposed leaving the definition open otherwise the Planning Com. and BOS may be forced into having multiple re-draftings and hearings as the ordinance would be updated to include additional types of clubs. He proposed leaving the definition of club as a group of people with shared interests who meet together regularly. He also felt that the stricter definition violated the FIrst Amendment’s freedom of association. Baker made a motion to reject the definition. Supervisor McCall offered a substitute motion to allow the definition to go forward so that the Planning Commission could respond to public requests for clear zoning, and schedule a hearing on the new camping and private clubs ordinance. The substitute ordinance was defeated 4-3, and Baker’s motion carried 4-3 (Ayes: Baker, Copenhaver, Hernandez, Smith; Nays: Mays, Pennington, McCall).

An additional request from Ms. Marshall, to update the county’s recreational vehicle and campground ordinance passed 7-0 with little discussion.

Vernon Smith was appointed as BOS representative to the New River/Mt. Rogers Workforce Investment Area Consortium Bd., 7-0. [This Bd. needs a new name.]

Among Supervisor comments, Supervisor Hernandez talked about his April 16th Town Hall meeting and said that he was meeting with county Service Authority employees to address the 994 households in the western part of Washington Co. without public water. The authority has developed a number of segments where it makes sense to extend water lines and will seek local project champions to sign homeowners up for hook-up agreements.

Wednesday’s BOS budget workshop will deal with fire and EMS services.
Thursday’s workshop will focus on nonprofits’ requests for funding.
Tuesday’s workshop will deal with the library and any remaining non-profits and must set the 2017 county tax rate as required by law.