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Board of Supervisors : 1.28.10

[ 1 ] January 29, 2010 |

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Thursday, January 28, 2010

Present: Ms. Connie Brennan, Mr. Joe Dan Johnson, Mr. Tommy Bruguiere, Mr.
Allen Hale and Mr. Tommy Harvey

CONVEYANCE OF PROPERTY/RVCC DRAFT DEED: Mr. Phil Payne, County Attorney,
reported that RVCC’s attorney has expressed concern over the implications of
two clauses in the draft deed, the subdivision prohibition and the reverter
clause, both of which would have implications if RVCC were to apply for a
loan. Mr. Payne said that the clauses would mean that the RVCC Board would
not have clear deed to the property. After discussion, Supervisors agreed
that Mr. Payne would draft an agreement that the RVCC Board would cooperate
with the Board of Supervisors in the event of default on any debt to allow
the Board of Supervisors to reclaim the property in exchange for the county
paying off the debt should the county choose to do so.

VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH/LOCAL FUNDING REQUEST: Mr. Carter presented a
request to divert $643.00 from local match to local-only funding to support
local Public Health programs. Supervisors voted 5-0 to approve the funding.

TYE RIVER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ROOF REPLACEMENT/WINDOW EVALUATION A&E PROPOSAL:
Dr. Roger Collins, Superintendent, reported that the School Board is
requesting a supplemental appropriation of $40,825 to contract with BCWH
Architects to investigate to determine the scope and magnitude of existing
problems and formulate a plan to the correct the situation of water leakage
and window deterioration. He noted that he fully expects that the roof at
Tye River Elementary will have to be replaced in its entirety but said that
the extent of the problem with windows at both schools is less apparent. Mr.
Hale said that he has a problem with always hiring outside firms to tell us
what we need to do. Supervisors voted 5-0 to approve the supplemental
appropriation not to exceed $40,825.

THOMAS JEFFERSON PLANNING DISTRICT COMMISSION REGIONAL BROADBAND INITIATIVE:
Mr. Steve Williams reviewed the regional proposal for infrastructure through
the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act being developed through
DigitalBridge Communications to provide WiMAX Wireless Broadband. He noted
that WiMAX is noted limited to line of sight nor hampered by foliage or
weather. He said that service is provided at up to 75 square miles per base
unit at speeds the same as or faster than DSL. Mr. Williams estimated that
it would take 25-50 base units to cover the region and that those units
would be mounted on towers. He said the plan is to utilize as many existing
private and public towers as possible to eliminate the expense of installing
new towers.

Mr. Williams said that homes and businesses would receive (at no cost) a
small antenna that would connect to a standard modem or router. Laptop users
would receive a USB card/antenna combo to allow the user to roam anywhere
within the region and receive service. He said that the expected cost would
be $25 to $35 per month per household or business. Mr. Williams reported
that the projected cost is $10-$12 million with second round applications
due mid-March and announcements of award due end of September. He said that
once all of the tower leases are committed, the project can be completed
within 12 months. After discussion, Supervisors voted 5-0 to direct staff to
develop a letter of support for the project.

ROSELAND WATERLINE EXTENSION AND RELATED CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS: The county
has been in discussions with DEQ who has offered $1.7 million in Federal
stimulus funds to extend the water line from the intersection of Rt. 151 &
Rt. 56 to Roseland to address contamination at two underground storage sites
at Fergusons Store and Roseland Rescue Squad. The Nelson County Service
Authority (NCSA) has indicated that the extension is not possible due to
water supply concerns. In addition, NCSA has said that they also need
upgrades to include a secondary water source and withdrawal from the Tye
River as well as a loop system to discharge into the Tye. The proposed new
lines would serve approximately 110-120 potential new customers and cost
about $9.3 million. Following the joint Supervisors/NCSA meeting on January
26th, NCSA said that they would be moving forward to locate funding of
approximately $7.7 million for the proposed project (after the $1.7 million
from DEQ).

Mr. Carter reported that during his conversation with DEQ, they said that
they are not willing to wait for the county to determine whether it can
obtain funding for the rest of the project before committing to the $1.7
million available now. Mr. Johnson said that he is one of the existing water
and sewer customers and he does not want to receive a bill for improvements
to the system. He said the county could begin the project and then stop if
the funding does not come through. Mr. Harvey said that the time will never
be better to get funding to extend the water line. Mr. Hale said that, given
the current budget situation, the county does not need to commit to this
kind of debt service. Ms. Brennan asked whether the county could accept the
$1.7 million and deal with just the problem of contamination. Mr. Carter
said that it could. He also noted that the DEQ will only wait until February
9th for a decision on the $1.7 million. Mr. Johnson said that adding a water
line extension though would add new residences and new customers. Mr.
Bruguiere said that the Board should vote on the project at the February 9th
meeting and stop discussing it. Further discussion tabled until the February
9th meeting.

PUBLIC COMMENT: Ms. Kim Cash, Montebello, said that she was amazed that the
county would consider committing taxpayers to $9 million for yet another
water line extension. She noted the current $86,000 a year debt service to
pay for Piney River 3 to benefit about 100 landowners to fix septic problems
that could have been fixed without any debt service. Ms. Cash pointed out
that one of the reasons given for burdening the taxpayers with the debt
service for Piney River 3 was to allow for more business growth in that
area, growth that has never materialized because the current system is now
nearing capacity and needs a couple of million dollars in upgrades. She said
that now the county is considering yet another extension to benefit another
100 landowners to fix a problem that was neither created by nor the
responsibility of Nelson County taxpayers. Ms. Cash said that the proposed
$9 million project includes upgrades to take care of capacity and discharge
issues that someone should have predicted when designing the Black Creek
system. She noted that putting this kind of debt service burden on taxpayers
in the name of increasing residential development to increase the real
estate tax base flies in the face of reality as residential growth never
pays for itself after the taxpayers provide police, fire & rescue, school
buses and the education of the children. Ms. Cash asked the Supervisors to
think before agreeing to yet another expensive benefit for a few to be paid
for out of the pockets of the many.

Meeting adjourned.

Copyright 2000-2010 by Rural Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Reports may
be reprinted or excerpted with attribution.

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Comments (1)

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  1. Bob Clary says:

    Perhaps we can get the Board of Supervisors to contact Google and try to get fiber for Nelson County? http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/think-big-with-gig-our-experimental.html

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