Keeping an eye on savings costs the Schuylkill County commissioners approved a lighting upgrade project for three buildings and entered into an agreement with a consulting firm to find ways to reduce costs of the many maintenance agreements the county is involved, in action taken at the public meeting held Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville.

County Engineer Lisa Mahall informed the board a grant of $46,667 is available through NEPA and Appalachian Regional Commission requiring a county match of $56,667. The plan calls for lighting upgrade for the Human Services Building and 9-1-1 Center, both located on North Centre Street, Pottsville, and the Adult Probation Building, located on Third Street, Pottsville, all within two blocks of the courthouse.

Mahall reported 825 ligthting fixtures will be retrofitted with T-8 flourescent lamps and electronic ballasts and this reduces energy consumption wihtout sacrificing lumen output. The estimated electric savings is $14,848 plus an additional savings for PP&L rebates estimated at $15,000. The projected payback will be 2.81 percent a year.

An agreement was reached with M2R Development, Exton, Chester County, to reiview of a number of maintenance agreements which will take place over a three months period at a cost of $18,000. The monies are reimburse through Act 78. The commissioners reported the company specializes in finding ways to cut contract costs for public safety agencies. What triggered the action was the county's $300,000 contract with Motorola for upkeep of the 91-1- Center.

Fee for services

A large number of fee for service contracts were approved on behalf of the Office of Senior Services, which tends to the needs of senior citizens.

Aaron North, Allentown, 8,000 hours of personal care at $20.52 per hour, total $164,160; Addus Health Care, Palatine, Ill., 18,000 hours personal care at $17.72 per hour, total $318,960; All Care Home Care, Hazleton, 1,000 hours of skilled nursing services at $37.39 per hour and 15 hours of therapies at $77 per hour, total contract $38,550; Arn Inc., Hazleton, 2,000 hours of personal care at $18.28 per hour, total, $36,550.

Anthracite Personal Care Agency, Minersville, 3,000 hours of personal care at $20 per hour, total, $57,000; Compass Rose Care, Minersville,10,000 hours of personal care at $19 per hour, total, $57,000; Family Home Medical Support Services, Mount Carmel, 6,200 hours personal care at $18.12 per hour, total $112,344; Family Home Medical, Mount Carmel, 240 hours of skilled nursing at $38 per hour and 15 hours of therapies at $75 per hour, total contract $10.245.

Lori's Angels, Schuylkill Haven, 4,000 hours of personal care at $20 per hour, total, $80,000; Maximum Care Supportive Services, Whitehall, 1,500 hours of fiscal agent service at $15.20 per hour and 36 months of monthly coordination fee at $128.71 per month, total contract $27,434; Maximum Care, Whitehall, 20,000 hours personal care at $18 per hour, total.

Lehigh Valley Visiting Nurses, Whitehall, 2,000 hours of skilled nursing services at $40 per hour and 15 hours of therapies at $67 per hour, total contract, $81,005;

Tamaqua firms

United Disabililties Services and Independent Living Services, Tamaqua, 29,000 hours personal care at $19 per hour, total, $551,000; Tamaqua Area Adult Day Care, Tamaqua, 3,500 days of adult day care servcies at $50 per day and 5,000 meals at $3.34 per meal, total contract, $191,700. Spectrum Senior Consultants, Tamaqua, for representative payee administratioin at $28 per consumer per month; nursing home transitioin activities, $40 per hour; guardianship services, $56 per hour, total contract, $5,500.

Avenues, Pottsville, 3,480 days of adult day care services at $50 per day; 3,480 meals at $3.34 per meal; 85 hours of personal care at $14.40 per hour, total contract, $186,840. Catholic Charities, Allentown, 4,500 days of adult care care services at $50.12 per day and 4,500 meals at $3.34 per meal, total contract, $240,570. Golden Years Adult Center, Shenandoah, 2,500 days of adult day care services at $50 pe day and 2,500 meals at $3 per day, total contract $132,500.

The Redco Group, Pottsville, 5,300 days of adult day care services at $53,88 per day; 5,300 meals at $3.34 per day; 100 hours of personal care at $14 per hour, total contract, $304,645. Preferred Meal Systems, Berkeley, Ill.,186,250 congregate home delivered meals at $3.34 per meal, total, $622,075.

Attorney Robert Lipkin, Pottsville, and Attorney Joseph Nahas, Frackville, 125 hours of legal services at $90 per hour, total $11,250 for each contract. Program funded contract with Mid Penn Legal Services, Harrisburg, for ombudsman services, $179,450, Jevs Support For Independence, Philadelphia, 1,500 hours fiscal agent services at $15.20 per hour and 36 months of monthly coordination fee at $128.71 per month, total contract, $27,434. United Disabilities Services, Lancaster, 4,000 hours of fiscal agent services at $15.20 per hour; 500 hours of attendant care at $18.08 per hour; 50 months of monthly coordination at $128.71 per month and 50 months of financial management at $75 per month, total contract, $80,026.

Abilities In Motion, Reading, 8,646 hours of fiscal agent services at $15.20 per hour, total $131,419; Helpmates Payroll Services, Ridgeway, 1,000 hours of fiscal agent services at $15.20 per hour and 50 months of monthly coordination fee at $128.711 per consumer per month, total contract, $21,636; Cynthia Reidler, Pine Grove, 50 hours of occupational therapy services at $65 per hour, total, $43,250; Consolidated Training and Services, Pottsville, management of senior employment program, $103,022; The Redco Group, Pottsville, transportation services, $69,234; Lifeline Systems Company, Framingham, Me., installation and monitoring of personal emergency response system, $25 per consumer, total, $1,500.

Advocacy Alliance, Scranton, for representative payee administration at $28 per consumer per month; processing family caregiver checks, $2.50 per check; nursing home transition activities, $40 per hour plus 45 cents per mile reimbursement; fiscal agent services, $15.20 per hour; financial monitoring fee, $75 per consumer per month and monthly coordination fee at $128.71 per consumer, total contract, $88,000.

Commend stateprisons

A proclamation was adopted commending the state correctiional institutions in Ryan and Mahanoy townships for promoting and participating in the inmate community work program, chiefly picking up litter along state highways. Non-violent inmates are pre-screened for acceptance and are accompanied by prison labor foremen to the work site. Boroughs and townships can apply to help clean area after communuty events, parks, cemeteries and public roads.

A purchase of service agreement was approved on behalf of Children and Youth Service Agency with Hoffman Homes, Gettysburg, for psychiatric services at $243.76 per day. Also, the board accepted the resignation of Jessica Simkulet as a member of the agency advisory board.

A five year agreement was entered on behalf of the Drug and Alcohol Agency with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs, for the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan for combating drugs and alcohol abuse at a cost of $6,056.629.

A contract was entered with Quest Diagnostics, Wyomissing, for Rest Haven Home and Hospital for provision of laboratory services for its residents for $20,000.

A new recyclable materials supply agreement was entered with Weiner Iron and Metal Corporation, Pottsville, for the continued marketing of all cardboard, paper and cans collected by the drop-off recycling program.

Personnel matter

Two appointments were made in the Children and Youth Services Agency to fill vacancies. Brandon Craig, Pottsville, and Sarah Snyder, Gordon, were hired as county caseworkers at $15.6468 per hour; and Bobbie Marie Piekarski, Shenandoah, hired as a clerk typist 2 in the Human Services Department at $9.56 per hour.

Five appointments were made at Rest Haven Home and Hospital. Luann Wampler, Auburn, part time licensed practical nurse, $15.99 per hour and Doreen Houseknecht, New Ringgold; Donata Martin, Pottsville; Jennifer Stabinsky, Pottsville, and Janelle Andreas, Stowe, as part time nurse's aides at $11.72 per hour.

Treasurer's office announced the appointment of Meagan Hayes, Branch Township, as temporary clerk at $7.50 per hour. The Juvenile Probation Department reported the transfer of Kasey Baldwin, Pottsville, from secretary to a district justice to secretary 11 position in the office at $13.63 per hour.

Fund takes hit

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

Controller Melinda Kantner, secretary of the board, reported the market value as of Wednesday was $83,870,546, dropping about $6 million.