New and renewed leases for coal companies were approved by the Schuylkill County Commissioners to strip mine on county held coal lands in several townships in action taken at Wednesday's public meeting held at the courthouse in Pottsville.

A new lease was entered with Gale Mining Company, Pottsvile, covering 10.7 acres in Schuylkill Township and the minimum monthly coal royalty payment was set at $175. The county receives $3 for each ton of coal removed. E. Job Suender, 141 Oak Road Pottsville, is the president of the coal company. A road access license was approved with Gale Coal Company to utilize only .09 of an acre as a driveway entrance to access lands owned by Tarcon Land Company. The driveway in located in Schuylkill Township on county held land.

Approval was given to change several coal land lease names as follows:

Three leases held by K&k Coal Company, two for removing coal in Blythe Township and one in East Norwegian Township, was changed to KK Coal, LLC. The address for KK Coal, LLC, is 1100 Mountain Road, Cumbola.

Lease transfer from K & K Coal Company to JJ&W Coal Company Inc., 121 New Philadellphia Road, Kaska, Blythe Township, was approved. The leased premises consist of 185 acres, located at or near Kaska. The partners of the new lease are Daniel Joy, 121 New Philadelphia Road, Kaska; Jason Joy, 127 New Philadelphia Road, Kaska, and Dennis Williams, 18 N. Valley St., New Philadelphia. The minimum monthly royalty payment will be $740.

Leases were renewed for the following:

Post Mining Company, principal owners, Wayne Postupack and Matthew Postupack, to continue mining in Reilly Township. They paid $7,094.97 in royalties for 2009 and the lease grand total is $28,605.52.

JJ&W Coal Company Inc., principal owners, Daniel Joy, Jason Joy and Dennis Willliams, to mine in Blythe Township. They paid royalties of $17,180 in 2009 and the lease grand total is $103,.9811.58.

White Pine Coal Company Inc., principal owner, Nancy Lindenmuth, to mine in Reilly Township. They paid $1,750 royalty in 2009, which represented the first year of the lease.

Increase costs

The WJP Engineers Company, Pottsville, was given an extension of its contract with the county to June 30, 2011, to continue to provide professional engineering services to review subdivision plans at Eagle Rock Resort in East Union Township on behalf of the Schuylill County Planning Commission. Also an agreement was approved with WJP Engineers to provide consistency reviews for subdivisions requiring such reviews.

At the request of County Engineer Lisa Mahall the commmssioners increased the fee schedule for the subdivision and land developmment ordinance to include NPDES/Stormwater consistency review at $300, noting tha the review fee will be at the actual cost and if cost is greater than $300, the applicant will have to pay the additional cost before the consistency letter is released.

Improve reception

An addendum was added to an existing master antenna tower contract with Jordan Realty Inc., of Pottsville, to add a 6GZ microwave dish at the Summit Station along SR183 site at a cost of $6,000 to improve reception.

Two contracts were approved for Rest Haven Home and Hospital. A contract was entered with Wood Company, an indirect subsidiary of Sodexo Operations , LLC, Gaithersburg, Md., for the provision of food and nutrition management services at a cost of $52,563. A contract was entered with Compassionate Care Hospice, Wyomissing, for provision of hospice and respite care services at no cost to the county as the residents' insurance will be billed.

Tax collections

The 2009 real estate and per capita annual tax collections report, as prepared by County Treasurer Jacqueline McGovern, was accepted. Real estate taxes collected in 2009 totaled $25,859,716.26 and per capita tax, $347,125. Percentage of real estate taxes collected was as follows:

Townships - Barry, 95 percent; Blythe, 80; Branch 94; Butler,.72; Cass, 82;Delano, 89; East Brunswick, 95; East Norwgian, 96; East Union, 40 (KOZ); Eldred, 98; Foster, 97; Fraily, 65 (KOZ); Hegins, 96; Hubley, 94; Kline, 94; Mahanoy, 94; New Castle, 62 (KOZ); North Manheim, 97 (KOZ); North Manheim, 95; North Union, 92; Norwegian, 95; Pine Grove, 92; Reilly, 90; Rush, 94; Schuylkilll, 93; South Manheim, 94; Tremont (KOZ) Union, 90; Upper Mahantongo, 96; Walker, 93; Washington, 95; Wayne, 94; West Brunswick, 93; West Mahanoy, 89 and West Penn, 95.

Boroughs - Ashland, 83 percent; Auburn, 94; Coaldale, 82; Cressona, 90; Deer Lake, 95; Frackville, 87; Gilberton, 77; Girardville, 77; Gordon, 86; Landingville, 92; Mahanoy City, 76; McAdoo, 90; Mechanicsville, 93; Middleport, 85; Minersville, 89; Mount Carbon, 78; New Philadelphia, 87; New Ringgold, 94; Orwigsburg, 96; Palo Alto, 88; Pine Grove, 94; Port Carbon, 88; Port Clinton, 93; Ringtown, 83; Saint Clair, 91; Schuylkill Haven, 92; Shenandoah, 83; Tamaqua, 83; Tower City, 91;Tremont, 91, and Pottsville, 88.

Proclamation

A proclamation was adopted proclaiming March 15 through March 20 as "Daffodil Days" in Schuylkill County and encourage citizens to join in suporting the American Cancer Society Daffodil Days Campaign to find a cure for cancer. The goal is to sell 77,445 boquets.

Purchase service agreements were entered on behalf of Children and Youth Services Agency with the following:

Family Care for Children and Youth, Milton, for emergency foster care at $31.66 per diem; foster care under age three at $56.42 per diem and kinship care home study at a unit cost of $688.50.

Catholic Social Services, Hazleton, infant respite care, $30 per diem; respite foster care, $40 per diem, and foster care, $50 per diem.

Open Door, Orlando, Fla., traditional foster care, $40 per diem; specialized foster care, $66 and mother/child foster care, $92 per diem.

NHS Youth Services, Harrisburg, shelter care, $222.34 per diem and Empire sex offender, $275 per diem.

Chor Youth and Family, Reading, for traditional foster care, $45.11 per diem; adolescent treatment center-diagnotic, $298.72 per diem and residential treatment facility , $323.02 per diem.

George Junior Republic, regular residential, $136.65 per diem; diagnostic, $206.50 and special needs, $233.85 per diem.

Catholic Charities, Allentown, regular foster care, $31.20 per diem; specialized II, $90 per diem and teen mother, $94.15 per diem.

The commissioners appointed Emory Geist, Mahanoy City, and Margaret (Peg) Rejent, Auburn, to three year terms as members of the Schuylkill County Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board ending March 1, 2013.

Personnel matter

Melissa Hanlon, Barnesville, was promoted from caseworker 2 to casework supevisor with the Children and Youth Services Agency and salary set at $39,727 per year and Sharyn Wetzel, Frackville, was promoted from caseworker 2 to casework supervisor and her salary set at $36,353 per year.

Christine A. Rennick, Saint Clair, announced her retirement from the Domestic Relation Bureau effective March 3. She held the position of clerk III.

President Judge William E. Baldwin appeared at the salary board and announced in keeping with the county's tight budget the position was being eliminated and the work will be distributed among other clerks.

Christina Guy, Tamaqua, was hired as aging care mangager 2 with the Office of Senior Services at $13.41 per hour.

Three employees resigned at Rest Haven Home and Hospital, Jodi Hill, Schuylkill Haven, first assistant director of nursing; Brandon Miller, Cressona, full time housekeeper and floor care technician, and Ashley Sinko, Minersville, full time nurse's aide.

The new policy adopted with the tight budget is that all travel expenses must be approved by the commissioners. Two adult probation officers requested permission to travel to Tennessee to return an absconder who is currently in custody in that state and bring him back to Schuylkill County on an outstanding warrant. They will travel by car and request overnight lodging and meals. The request was granted.