One out of every 25 residents of Schuylkill County participated in the annual Schuylkill Make A Difference Day last October 23, according to Janice Johnson, director of Community Volunteers In Action.

Johnson informed the county commissioners while accepting the proclamation adopted at Wednesday's board meeting held at the courthouse in Pottsville. The proclamation designated Saturday, Oct. 23, as this year's "Make A Difference Day" in the county.

The proclamation urges county residents to answer the call to improve the quality of life for everyone in this part of the world. Community Volunteers in Action, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of the county and Schuylkill Community Action are leading participants.

It also urges residents to step out of their personal comfort zone and dare to care about people who are homeless, hungry, lonely, sick, or in need of help.

Diakon Community Services for Seniors and Diakon Volunteer Home Care announced they will be collecting and donating holiday gift wrap for toys for tots recipients. The delivery will be made to the Pottsville Salvation Army on Oct. 23.

Contracts awarded

The commissioners approved a number of contracts to provide various services.

A contract was entered on behalf of Human Services Agency with NHS Human Services, of Lafayette, which has an office in Pottsville, to provide medical assistance transportation services to clients for the period Aug. 7 through June 30, 2011, at rates of $14 for a one-way trip under 10 miles and $15 for trips over 10 miles.

A fee for service contract on behalf of the Drug and Alcohol Agency was entered with Meadows Hospital, University Community Behavioral Health for the provision of after hours emergency services in amount of $10,000.

The county also approved a contract with Schuylkill Community Action for provision of recovery housing in amount of $38,644.

On behalf of the Election Bureau in preparation for the Nov. 2 General Election, 10 drivers were hired and fee set for delivery of the voting machines to the 125 precincts in the county.

Hired were, Karen Davison, Tamaqua, $200; Joseph Contrady, McAdoo, $200; Kurt Yoder, Hegins, $190; William Klinger, Frackville, $150; Joseph McElvaney, Saint Clair, $130; Shelly Smith-Moyer, Pottsville, $200; Edward Yeneshosky, Saint Clair, $210; Kenneth Eichenberg, Minersville, $160; and Kenneth Breisch, Schuylkill Haven, $200.

Two per diem employees were hired at the rate of $10 per hour as need to assist the staff at the election bureau in preparation for the election. They were, Frank Gengemi and Morris Brill, both of Pottsville.

A four man resolution board was hired to be present at the scene to oversee the unofficial vote count which is tabulated election night. Named were Edward Barket, Pottsville; Adam Pancake, Tremont; and Charles "Skip" Miller, Orwigsburg, each paid $100. Mark Scarbinsky, Saint Clair, no compensation, as he is a county employee, was also named.

A fee for service contract was entered on behalf of the Adult Probation Office with Allere Toxicology Services to provide adult probation department with drug testing supplies, laboratory testing, shipping, test confirmations and result reports.

A contract was approved with Electronic Monitoring Vendor Securetract for a three-year period to provide services for monitoring defendants placed under house arrest.

A contract with Larson Design Group was increased by $14,935.32 for engineering design repairs of the county bridge which carries Newswanger Road over Lower Little Swatara Creek in Washington Township, because of additional core borings.

A contract with Alfred Benesch Engineering Company was increased by $32,000 for the final design revision for county bridge which carries Mill Street in Port Carbon over the Schuylkill River.

Coal lands

On behalf of the Coal Lands Department a new surface mining lease between the county and Olde Buck Run Coal Company Inc. was approved setting the minimum monthly royalty payment at $524. The property to be leased consists of 131 acres in Cass Township.

A permit was approved for Locust Valley Culm Company, LLC, to perform as a contract miner on the Joseph Cromyak coal lease in Blythe Township under terms of the lease between the county and Cromyak.

A contract was entered on behalf of Rest Haven Home and Hospital with Nationwide Medical Staffing Inc., of Mechanicsburg, for the provision of temporary nurse staffing at the hospital with nurse's receiving $50 per hour and licensed practical nurses $30 per hour.

Personnel action

Janet Dagon, Pottsville, was hired as a full-time assistant director of nursing at Rest Haven Home at $52,835 per year; Carmella Mattera, New Philadelphia, hired as a part time licensed practical nurse at $15.99 per hour and Elizabeth Kattner, Schuylkill Haven, hired as a part time nurse's aide at $11.72 per hour to fill a vacancy caused by a termination.

Eight people who passed the nurse's aide training program were given a wage adjustment to $11.72 per hour. They are: Megan Whitehead, Quakake; Claudia Dampman, Schuylkill Haven; Holly Wagner, Wyomissing; Carissa Long, Orwigsburg; Catherine Dallago, Pine Grove; and Djeborah McCready, Anita Potts and Lori Wagner, Pottsville. Resigning as nurse's aides were, Laura Mannes, Tamaqua; Cheryl Heim, New Ringgold; and Lauren McGurl, Shamokin.

John Hammond, Pottsville, was promoted from caseworker 1 to caseworker 2 with the Children and Youth Services Agency and salary increased to $16.8419 per hour.

Michael Carney, Frackville, hired several months ago by the commissioner as an investigator, was given an extension. He is paid $35 per hour.

Robert J. Yutko Jr., Frackville, was appointed a probation officer aide with the Adult Probation Office at $13.08 per hour.

Diane Smith, Pottsville, resigned as an investigator with the coroner's office and Jessica Miscannon, Frackville, resigned as a clerk typist 2 with the Office of Senior Services.