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Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
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204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575

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Supervisors to hear update on fire, EMS

Monday, October 21, 2013

By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin staff writer

The Henry County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will hear a six-month update on fire and Emergency Medical Services and consider recommendations from the Emergency Services Advisory Council (ESAC).

Public Safety Director Rodney Howell will present the update and recommendations from the council. He also will ask supervisors to endorse a federal grant application, with the proceeds used to hire additional fire/EMS career (paid) staff.

Supervisors created the ESAC and assigned it the initial tasks of developing a strategic plan for fire and EMS, including developing a common mission and vision; creating a reasonable apparatus (vehicle) list to adequately meet service delivery demands; making a comprehensive capital improvements plan; and developing county-wide standard operating procedures that include the minimum responder and officer standards.

Also at their 3 p.m. meeting in the Summerlin Meeting Room of the Henry County Administration Building, supervisors will:

• Consider items of consent that include confirming the minutes of meetings on Sept. 24 and 25; approving accounts payable; and approving a proclamation to establish October 2013 as “Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” as requested by Citizens Against Family Violence.

• Hear an update on activities of Piedmont Community Services by Jim Tobin, executive director.

• Consider an appeal of a Denied Dance Hall Permit from William Ray and Teresa Foster and the Bassett Moose Lodge.

County Administrator Tim Hall is authorized to issue dance hall permits, and on the advice of the sheriff’s office, Hall denied the application, according to board documents.

• Hear a report on delinquent tax collection efforts by County Treasurer Scott Grindstaff.

• Hear a monthly update from Mark Heath, president and CEO of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp.

• Consider an additional appropriation of $135,042 from the Virginia Department of Fire Programs Aid to Localities to pay for training, construction of training centers, firefighting equipment and protective clothing.

In the past, supervisors allocated the appropriation equally among the eight volunteer fire departments, which this year would result in each department receiving $16,880.25.

• Consider a resolution and award of contract related to the Virginia Locality Disability Program.

Legislation passed last year established the program to pay short- and long-term disability benefits to local government employees hired after Jan. 1, 2014. Localities are mandated to participate in the state-managed program, which is funded by the locality, or offer a comparable disability program that meets or exceeds the coverage required by law. In either case, the local entity is responsible for all costs of providing these benefits.

County staff evaluated various options to comply with the unfunded state mandate and concluded that it is in the county’s best interest to opt out of the state-managed program and enroll in an alternate program. After reviewing three programs, county staff recommend awarding the contract to the Virginia Association of Counties Risk Pool (VACoRP) for short-term disability benefits and long-term disability insurance coverage.

This will not impact employees hired before Jan. 1, 2014, but will require revisions to the personnel manual to reflect the changes.

The Public Service Authority (PSA) and the school board are also expected to approve the recommendations.

• Consider an additional appropriation of $141,813 to the schools’ nutrition budget for the fresh fruit and vegetable program at Axton, Campbell Court, Carver, Rich Acres, Sanville, and Stanleytown elementary schools. The appropriation is federal money from the Department of Education.

• Consider meeting in closed session to discuss appointees to the PSA, Patriot Centre Advisory Board and West Piedmont Planning District Commission; pending legal matters; the acquisition/disposal of real estate; as-yet unannounced industries; and special awards.


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