BOARD OF SUPERVISORS/SCHOOL BOARD
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Supervisors present: Ms. Connie Brennan, Mr. Joe Dan Johnson, Mr. Tommy
Mr. Allen Hale and Mr. Tommy Harvey
School Board Members present: Ms. Jane Mays, Ms. Amy Snapp, Ms. Margaret
Ms. Mary Cunningham
Ms. Mays said that the schools will have significant funds that will not be
coming and that the School Board is concerned about losing programs that are
bringing Nelson students up. She said that the School Board knows there will
have to be cuts as they are potentially facing a $1.5 million shortfall.
Ms. Brennan said that the Supervisors are committed to the county children
as their top priority. She said that the Supervisors have not yet seen the
budget and that it is difficult to plan without final state numbers. Mr.
Harvey said that it is going to be a tough year and both boards have to be
ready to do what has to be done. He said that in the past, the county’s
revenue growth had been reasonable but not so now. Mr. Hale said that both
boards are going to have to look at possible cuts in all areas as both are
facing cuts of a serious magnitude. Mr. Bruguiere said that he can think of
ways to cut in the school system and still maintain the integrity. He said
that staff on both sides may need to go but the children come first. He said
that sports programs are the one area that should not be cut. Ms. Mays said
that the School Board knows there are going to be serious cuts and they will
have to work to maintain the standards of learning. Mr. Harvey said that the
county would have to work with what it has as there is no way he can support
a tax increase when so many taxpayers in the county are struggling.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS REGULAR MEETING
CLOSED SESSION: Supervisors met in closed session to consult with legal
counsel regarding litigation by the former sheriffs’ deputies.
ROSELAND WATERLINE EXTENSION: The county has been in discussions with DEQ
who has offered approximately $1.7 million in DEQ and Federal Stimulus funds
to extend the waterline from the intersection of Rt. 151/Rt. 56 to Roseland
to address contamination at two underground storage sites at Fergusons Store
(3 contaminated wells) and Roseland Rescue Squad (5 contaminated wells). The
Nelson Count y Service Authority (NCSA) had originally said that extension
was not possible due to water supply concerns and needed 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 new customers and cost about $9.3 million. At a
subsequent meeting, NCSA said that they could proceed with the extension to
deal with the 8 contaminated wells without the other projects being part of
the extension as long as they could review and approve any future
connections to the system (outside the 8 contaminated sites) to ensure
adequacy of potable water and sufficient wastewater treatment capacity.
NCSA staff noted that because of the length of the extension and the small
number of customers at the end of that extension, the county would have to
pay to flush the line as needed with those costs estimated at
$22,000-$31,000 per year but potentially has high was $60,000 per year.
Overall operations and maintenance costs for the extension are projected to
be $2,500-$5,000 per year conservatively. Mr. Carter noted that if the
county accepts the $1,687,940 offered by DEQ, it would still need to fund
approximately $219,280 to complete construction as well as the ongoing
flushing and operations and maintenance costs for the system. Mr. Carter
also presented a response from DEQ as to what would happen if the county
were to vote against the waterline extension. The DEQ representative, noting
that the responsible parties at both sites have been determined to be
financially incapable so it unclear what the final solution will be when
remediation funds run out.
Mr. Bruguiere said that if the county does not extend the waterline, it
would have to do something at Fergusons and Roseland Rescue Squad. Mr.
Carter said that it is not incumbent on the county to do anything, it is the
state’s problem. Mr. Harvey said that the funding and construction cost
climate will never be better but that he is not happy with the amount of
money DEQ is offering for the project given the ongoing expenses to the
Mr. Hale moved to not accept the $1,687,940 for the Roseland waterline
extension. Mr. Hale said that he has given this issue a lot of thought,
studied the engineering reports and had lengthy discussions with county and
NCSA staff. He said that he is in no way impugning NCSA but thinks that the
county is being lured into a project with high annual costs for 8 customers.
Adding additional line and additional customers will add to the project and
add costs totaling over $9 million. He said that there are pressing NCSA
issues but this project will not solve any of them and may exacerbate the
problems. Mr. Hale said that he thinks DEQ is trying to get the problems off
their hands and into the county’s hands. Mr. Johnson said that it is tough
to vote against water for anyone and he has no problem taking DEQ money and
putting it into our system for a soluti9on but $35,000 a year for
maintenance is difficult to vote for. Ms. Brennan said that she agrees with
Mr. Hale about not impugning NCSA but it is a difficult budget time and she
would have a hard time going forward with this project. She said that her
priority right now is the schools. She said that she would be in favor of
extending the line to Fergusons store if there is full funding available for
that but thinks that adding the Roseland line might push the county into the
new projects even sooner.
Supervisors voted 3-2 (Mr. Bruguiere and Mr. Johnson voting no) to not
accept the DEQ funds. Supervisors directed staff to draft a letter to DEQ
giving their reasons for not accepting the funds, in particular the required
county commitment to annual maintenance and flushing expenses. Mr. Bruguiere
said that turning down this money may affect funding of future projects.
FY11 BUDGET OVERVIEW: Ms. McCann presented a review of projected state
revenues with a potential decline of $552,933 (excluding grant funding).
Local revenues are projected to decline by $193,245. She noted that the
state budget has not been finalized so the actual impact on the county
budget is not yet known. Ms. McCann reviewed various potential increases and
decreases in State Senate and House versions of the budget. She also noted
potential school funding shortfalls ranging from $880,000 to $1,365,000.
Ms. McCann reported on proposed expenditures at level funding for
departments, agencies and schools but with a few anticipated expenditure
increases included in the budget, noting Virginia Retirement System, health
insurance, electric, rent, regional jail, Piney River Water/Sewer and E911
system expenses as some of those resulting in an approximate $172,050
increase in expenditures. Ms. McCann said that more detailed budget
information will be provided at the March 9th meeting.