County Supervisors, facing millions of dollars in critical capital funding needs for both the school system and a developing economic development park, moved closer Tuesday to new financing packages to handle both.
School Superintendent John Wheeler presented a revised resolution that reduced the cost for funding a career collaboration program from $18.2 million to $14.5 million. Financial consultant Davenport & Company revised its recommendations for financing both the school program and plans for the Economic Development Center that would bring a real estate tax increase of 2 or 3 cents per $100 of valuation.
Previous recommendations from Davenport showed an increase of 5 cents or possibly more in future tax assessments.
The options offered Tuesday would require loans of up to 20 years by the county but would replace existing debts with reduced plans of interest of 2.5 or 3 percent.
The board received both plans for review with action planned in the coming months.
The revised outlines from the School Board and the financial consultants came on a long day of activities and actions in the first day of the new fiscal year that began on July 1.
The board met twice in closed door sessions to review candidates to fill an unexpired term on the Economic Development Board before naming Jim Newland of Floyd to the position.
Little River Supervisor Linda Kuchenbuch called the list of candidates “well qualified” and said the board had to decide among a good list.
In other actions affecting the school system, Supervisors approved a transfer of $212,973.44 from left-over fiscal year revenues into the Capital Improvement Fund. The board also approved a supplemental appropriation of $166,500.49 in additional federal and Medicare funds.
The board also discussed an upcoming joint meeting with Floyd Town Council and the Parks & Recreation Authority on the future of a group that voted in January to disband, requiring the county to establish a new park and recreation department for fiscal 2020 but now is reorganizing and wants to work with the county.
Kuchenbuch, who serves on the authority board as a supervisor representative, said the changes now require the county to hire a new recreation director.
The authority owns the recreational program property on Virginia Route 8 just south of the town of Floyd, sports equipment and other resources. The resolution passed by the authority board earlier this year called for dissolution of the authority but is now run by a new board chairman and with board members with plans for new plans for the coming year.
Supervisor Chairman Lauren Yoder said Tuesday that several questions need to be answered at the joint meeting on July 30 and Kuchenbuch said one of the considerations need to be on appointments to the new, revised board.
Changes to the county’s recreational needs were reflected Tuesday in the supervisors’ approval of a fiscal operating budget of $37,356,386, which includes a $155,000 budget to operate the new county recreational department for the coming year.
The board also received a proposed resolution drafted by County Administrator Terri Morris expressing opposition for including Floyd County into the Interstate 81 for improvement program, which required a gasoline tax hike that drove costs for gasoline up by 7.8 cents at gas station pumps within the county lines.
The board will review the resolution and may or may not make changes, with approval expected at a meeting later this month.
In other action Tuesday:
--David Clarke of the Virginia Department of Transportation told the board that bids for a long-planned $1 million-plus improvement project for the intersection of U.S. 221 and Virginia Route 8 at the town’s only stoplight were sent out last month and a contract should be awarded this fall with construction beginning with completion next year. The project came after a pedestrian died after being struck by a pickup turning left at the intersection;
--The board approved a $24,115 appropriation for replacement of heat pumps for the county public library;
--The Supervisors approved advertising for bids for a planned study of the county’s law enforcement and emergency radio system needs for the coming year.