Two resolutions were adopted by the Schuylkill County Commissioners at Wednesday's public meeting held at the courthouse in Pottsville.
One resolution authorized and designated the county as a recovery zone.
The second resolution authorized and directed the designation of Schuylkill County Industrial Development Authority (SCIDA) as the issuer of recovery zone bonds within the recovery zone, pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Under this act each state and counties and large municipalities within each state may issue Recovery Zone Bonds. The action is taken because the county has suffered from significant unemployment, the rate of which has increased over the past year, significant home foreclosures and is experiencing general economic distress.
The second resolution names SCIDA as the agent for the issuance of the Recovery Zone Bonds. SCIDA was formed under the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Act of 1967 and is an instrumentality of the county.
By taking this action the commissioners set the goal for millions of dollars to be funneled into development projects this year and the action also makes the county eligible for $4.8 million in bonds for private projects and $3.2 million for public projects. The bonds will be tax free and good rates for the bonds is anticipated from banks.
A proclamation was adopted fixing March as American Red Cross Month throughout the county to recognize and celebrate the proud history and many accomplishments of local chapter, East Northumberland County Chapter, and to encourage every resident of Schuylkill and Eastern Northumberland counties to get involved and support this worthy organization.
A number of service contracts were approved for various agencies.
Office Of Senior Services - A contract was entered with Phillip McArdle, of Andreas, West Penn Township, for home modifications with a cap set on the contract at $1,049.
Children and Youth Services - Impact Project, Emmaus, for supervised apartment living at $53.21 per diem; foster care at $83.98 per diem; and sex offender step down, $134.83 per diem.
Common Sense Adoption, Mechanicsburg, foster care level, $54.50 per diem; Level B, $69 pe diem and Level C, $86.25 per diem.
Hermitage House Youth Services, Edinboro, for boys supervised independent living, $97.45 per diem; girls supervised independent living, $135 per diem and group home and emergency shelter, $220 per diem.
Childfirst Services, Bethlehem, for baby foster care, $50 per diem; specialized group, $204 per diem special rate, $337 per diem.
Friendship House, Scranton, for foster care, $40;30 per diem; mother/baby foster care, $63.30 per diem and residential, $151 per diem.
Pyrmaid Healthcare, Duncansville, for skyline lodge group, $169 per diem; Green Tree Village Group Home, $182 per diem and Quakertown D/A short term, $216 per diem. Redco Group, Pottsville, transitional living program room and board, $27.19 per diem.
Rest Haven Home - General Healthcare Resources, Plymouth Meeting, for provision of fee for temporary nursing staffing, RN, $48.50 to $53.50 per hour; LPN, $38.75 to $41.72 per hour and CNA, $23.50 to $25.50 per hour.
The commissioners approved a request to permit Michael Coal Company to perform as a contract miner on lease of Premium Fine Coal Company in Schuylkill Township. This action is permitted under the county's surface coal mine lease.
A new policy and proecedure regarding safety first electrical equipment inspection was adopted. Inspectors must go through the security check point and be escorted to the area of inspection by a county employee.
A contract was awarded to Donohue Excavating and Paving Company, Schuylkill Haven, to install a stormwaster improvements system on Walnut Street, MaryD, Schuylkill Township, at a cost of $15,493. The project is under the county's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
At the request of Election Director Frannie Brennan the commissioners gave approval to hire 14 rovers at the rate of $10 per hour and 50 cents per mile traveled expense on election day, May 18.
Action taken on personnel matters were as follows:
Melanie Radzievich, Pottsville, retired as programs technician in the tax assessment office and Craig Morgan, Wayne township, retired as director of the Schuylkill Conservation District Department.
Jennifer Witcofsky, Schuylkill Haven, was hired as a first assistant director of nursing, seven to three shift, at Rest Haven Home; and Elizabeth Rennick, Pottsville, hired as clerk typist 2 with Office of Senior Services.
Michael Purcell, Minersville, received a promotion from juvenile probation officer II to supervisor.
Four people quit their jobs at Rest Haven Home, Stephanie Quinter, Scuylkill Haven; Helen McCready, Auburn; and Richard Dietz, Schuylkill Haven, who were part time nurses aides; and Amanda Fox, Schuylkill Haven, fulltime nurses aide.
The county salary board met and set the salary of the people hired as follows: Ms. Witcofsky at $51,835 per year and Ms Rennick at $9.86 per hour. Purcell received a pay hike to $27.16 per hour. The board eliminated the position of title searcher in the real estate department and changed the position of title searcher from a full time to a part time job.
The market value of the Schuylkill County Employees Retirement Board keeps creeping upwards and as of the date of the report the market value was at $87,773.470. Its height was $95 million before the recession and dropped to $76 million during the recession. During the month three members received refunds totaling $14,942 and one retiree passed away with a remaining annuity of $350.55.