The annual county fall cleanup event will take place the last two weeks in September it was announced by the Schuylkill County Commissioners at their public meeting held Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville. Nine sites throughout the county will be set up to receive the recycling materials. The cleanup is open to all residents of the county. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is a partner in this event and reimburses the county 50 percent for most of the expenses incurred.

Action was taken to provide services to various agencies and departments.

A grant agreement of $61,733 of federal funds administered through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency was approved to cover the salaries and benefits of approved positions in he county's emergency management agency. Also approved was a hazardous material response fund of $15,208 created to provide fiscal assistance to the county to develop an integrated emergency response capability to the health hazards, dangers and risks which hazardous material releases pose to the general public and also approved a contract on behalf of East Central Task Force with Government Training Institute, Inc., of Meridian, Ohio, in the amount of $33,000 to provide law enforcement tactical operations for terrorist response. Funds for this program comes from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

On behalf of the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Program a contract was approved with First Step Rehabilitation Service LLC, to provide physical therapy for infants, toddlers and family at $31.76 per quarter hour and a contract with Right Start Children's Service, Inc. LLC, to provide for infants, toddlers and family speech therapy, physical therapy and occupation therapy at $31.76 per quarter hour and special instruction at $27.99 per quarter hour and a contract with Stepping Stones Rehabilitation Services, Inc, for infants, toddlers and families occupational therapy and speech pathology at $31.76 per quarter hour and special instruction at $27.99 per quarter hour.

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

Summit Academy for summit residential at $99.20 per diem; a diagnostic unit at $150.85 per diem and female residential at $190.35 per diem.

Alere Toxicology, Gretna, Louisiana, for orasure collection swaps at per unit cost of $3, confirmation per drug screen at per unit cost of $35 and witness testimony at per unit cost of $600.

Signature Family Services, Blandon, for administrative fee at a per unit cost of $25, corolly services at per unit cost of $31 and casework counseling at per unit cost of $49.

Access Service, Orwigsburg, for counseling services (Rebound Program) at per unit cost of $28,309.50, and for group session at per unit cost of $7.94, in-home program sessions at per unit cost of $21.17 and assessments at per unit cost of $368.

A program management agreement was entered with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for lthe emergency food assistance program. Under the agreement the Schuylkill Community Action Agency, Pottsville, will serve as the lead agency for the program.

Marie Beauchamp, Orwigsburg, was appointed to a three year term on the Office of Senior Services Advisory Board; Janet Daubert, Orwigsburg and Marsha Deforest, Pottsville, were appointed as members of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program for the Office of Senior Services.

Personnel matters

Antoinette Huntzinger, Pottsville, was promoted director of nursing at Rest Haven Home and Hospital and her salary set by the county salary board was $57,874 per year. Seven people were admitted to Rest Haven's nurses aide training program, Rachelle Butz, Pottsville; Alaina Kramer, Pine Grove; Laurie Lockmen, Schuylkill Haven; Carl Oliver, Cressona; Robert Sherman-Rosa, Mahanoy City and Brittany Webb and Rebecca Worth, Schuylkill Haven and they will be paid $7.70 per hour. Four employees were terminated at Rest Haven Home, Alison Grutza, Frackville; Heather Fischer, Tremont; Jasmine Flaim, Mahanoy City and Michelle Hummel, Saint Clair. Four employees resigned from Rest Haven, Louise Knoblauch, Orwigsburg; Kay Martin, Pottsville; Marie Casimir, Bernville and Diane Houser, Pottsville.

The commissioners gave approval for Rest Haven to enter into a contract with Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29 Area Vo-Tech School Operating Agency to use Rest Haven Nursing Home as a training site for the Licensed Practical Nurse Program.

The commissioners were also informed the court promoted Timothy Munley, West Mahanoy Township, from court related I to juvenile probation officer II and salary set at $23.31 per hour; Susan Farnsworth, Bethel, resigned as administrator for the drug and alcohol agency; Marjorie Lally, village of Lavelle, Butler Township, resigned as a court reporter; Paul Troutman, Gordon, who retired as a court reporter was re-hired on a per diem basis at $20.60 per hour and Denyce Weaver, New Tripoli, resigned as a clerk typist and Amanda Wright, Port Carbon, as a caseworker with the Children and Youth Services Agency.

Questions policy

At the public comment segment of the meeting, Jeffrey J. Dunkel, Mount Carbon, asked for an explanation why open positions were not advertised on the internet or in the press. Martina Chwastiak, director of Human Resources, explained the county policy was to post the job in-house to allow employees to apply, the second step is to review the applications on file for different jobs with the department heads and the third option is to advertise for persons to apply.