At Monday night's meeting of the Scott County Board of County Commissioners, the subject of the OPRV fee on Adventure Tourism roadways once again dominated the time spent holding the meeting.
With four commissioners absent (Cross, Chadwell, Russ, and Newman) the board took up the resolution that County Attorney John Beaty had drafted concerning the commissioners' request for local state legislature representatives Yager and Keisling to put forth an amendment to the state law or a Private Act on behalf of Scott County.
After reading the resolution the receiving the necessary motion, Beaty advised the commissioners of new information that he and County Clerk Pat Phillips had received concerning the state's law that goes into effect Jan. 1st. Beaty stated that based on the way the Wheel Tax was written, it would be triggered by the way the state law was written. They both agreed that this was confirmed by representatives of the state Department of Revenue.
Both he and Pat believe that legislatures did not fully consider how the law was written before it was adopted. He also pointed out during the discussion that straddled Off-road vehicles (ORVs) are defined in the law, but not included in either Class that will be subject to the state fee.
The main problem with the wheel tax being triggered is that any money collected would still go to the school building loan that the tax was passed to pay for.
Beaty then told commissioners that, in his opinion based on his research, that the commissioners could vote to amend the wheel tax to excluded ORVs. The board could also pass the resolution as written, if they so chose, as long as they could agree on a fee amount to place on the resolution.
His recommendation, when asked if it could all be included in one resolution, was that the two issues be addressed with two separate resolutions.
The commissioners present then voted unanimously to have Beaty draft a resolution for the November meeting that would exclude ORVs from the wheel tax. The ORV definition was used so that it would cover all ATVs, UTVs, low speed, and medium speed vehicles. This change would affect about 20 low/medium speed vehicles in the county currently subject to the wheel tax.
The discussion then returned to the resolution as read. Eventually, it was decided that there were still questions many commissioners had concerning this matter and they would put off a decision until next month's meeting. The motion and 2nd were withdrawn and the meeting continued on.
Items that the board did approve at the meeting included acceptance of Stacey Kidd's resignation from the Parks & Recreation committee and the Solid Waste Board; the Red Ribbon Week proclamation; a roadblock for Paint Rock VFD for October 22nd; budget amendments; and acceptance of the USDA/RD Facility grant with matching funds to come from the Capital Fund.
Another resolution tabled until next month was the Regulations Governing Use of County Right-Of-Way that was originally presented by Dick Sexton.
For those unfamiliar with this issue, the resolution is one that asks all utilities to notify the road department prior to their performing any work in the county road right-of-way. This is basically the reverse of the requirement (811) that the road department notify the utilities when they plan to do work so that lines can be identified.
It was Beaty's recommendation that the resolution may not be necessary to get open communication between the Utilities and the Road Department. He asked that the matter be held until next month so he had time to sit down with attorneys from the various utilities and representatives of the road department. Road Superintendent Sexton was in agreement with this request.
The commissioners will next meet in work sessions on Monday, November 7th, starting at 6 p.m.