Paul Raymond Russell, a member of Boy Scout Troop Number 615, New Ringgold, who had passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review, was honored by the Schuylkill County Commissioners at their public meeting Thursday in the Schuylkill County Courthouse.

A proclamation was presented to him for his Eagle Scout recognition. The resolution stated, "Paul's Eagle Scout project was planning and developing a mediation garden at the Cloud Home Youth Center in Pottsville. Eagle Scout recognition is given only to those young men who have proven themselves worthy and have displayed the true meaning of being a Boy Scout.

"It has been proven that three out of four of our great leaders in business, religion and politics were Scouts. We join his family, friends and fellow Scouts in wishing him continued success in all his future endeavors."

The proclamation was read by Commissioner Chairwoman Mantura Gallagher. Russell led the pledge of allegiance in opening the meeting.

A second proclamation was adopted promoting and supporting the nationwide efforts of the Armed Forces Community Covenant Program established to encourage community support of veterans, armed forces and their families thorugh employers, educators, civic and business leaders, and citizens.

Award Contracts

Avenues, Pottsville, was awarded a contract for courthouse cleaning maintenance for the period of Jan. 1, 2010 through Dec. 31, 2010 at a cost of $97,466.88, which is an increase of $2,838 from this year. Avenues was the only bidder.

Purchase service agreements on behalf of Children and Youth Service Agency were approved with Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Services, Inc., Lancaster, for housing in the Manos House at $95.11 per day and supervised independent living program at $122.60 per day. Safeguards Specialized Foster Care Program, Reading, daily maintenance, $111.49; specialized placement, $140.45 per day and risk assessment, $158.70 per day. United Methodist Home For Children, Mechanicsburg, emergency shelter, $170.56 per day.

GTS-Welco, Reading, to furnish and deliver medical oxygen to Rest Haven Home at an estimated cost of $22,000 from Dec. 1, 2009 to Nov. 30, 2010. Crest Environmental Company for renoval of hazardous material located in the 1912 building at Rest Haven Home at a cost of $11,80.

The lease agreement with the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese, Allentown, for the premises at 912 Howard Ave., Pottsville, used by the drug and alcohol agency, is terminated because of state funding cuts.

An agreement was renewed with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for the black fly program at a cost of $9,057 for 2010. This program is an annual insect monitoring and spray program conducted by DEP, and was recommended by the county conservation district.

New Audit Program

Fiscal Administrator Mark Scarbinsky informed the commissioners for the purposes of ensuring full compliance and implementation of Act 32 of 2008, which mandates the consolidation of the collection of Earned Income Tax on a countywide basis, he has receive four bids for the annual single audit of this fund from Maher Duessel, PIttsburgh; Zelnkofske Axelrod, LLC, Harrisburg; L. Samuel Deegan, CPA, Pottsville and Maillie, Falconiero and Company, LLP, Mont Clare.

Scarbinsky said the proposals will be internally reviewed with a recommendation presented to the commissioners at a later meeting.

At Scarbinsky's request the commissioners established an Ad Hoc Audit Committee to review proposals received and for assisting him in making a recomemendation to the board. Appointed were attorney Thomas Campion Jr., CPA; Edwin H. Ebling, CPA and Paul Buber, CPA.

The commissioners approved an Intergovernmental Agreement between the County of Schuylkill and the Schuylkill Tax Collection District to provide financial suppport as necessary in the form of a loan advance payments of bills and invoices for expenses incurred for the period of Oct. 29, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2011.

The county is making a loan not to exceed $10,000 for the initial period ending Dec. 31, 2010 or $20,000 total over the full term of the agreement and the monies shall be fully repaid to the county no later than Jan. 31, 2012.

Retirement Board

The Schuylkill County Employees Retirement Board held its monthly meeting following the commissioners meeting.

Controller Melinda Kantner reported the market value of the fund as of that day was $85,016,958.43, which is slowly regaining the great losses it suffered during the year's market meltdown.

The board has 14 financial firms managing the fund. Kantner reported refunds were granted to six people who left county employment totaling $22,160.45.