In her annual appearance before the Schuylkill County Commissioners, Brenda Zechman, director of the county's Veterans Bureau, was granted authority at Wednesday's work session to seek bids for flags which are used to decorate graves of deceased veterans on Memorial Day. Zechman reported 900 county veterans died in 2010.

The flags are obtained on bids by a five county co-op group consisting of Luzerne, Lancaster, Montgomery, Schuylkill and Wyoming counties. The county's cost share is around $16,500. To be decorated in the county are 38,800 graves and the work is carried out by volunteers comprised of veterans and school children. The flags are inserted in holders which list the wars the veteran served.

Approval was given the Emergency Management Agency for a grant agreement under Hazardous Material Emergency Preparedness Program (HMEP) for $34,800 as authorized under the Hazardous Material Transportation Act of 1990 for fiscal year 2010. The purpose of the grant is to provide financial assistance to conduct funding for hazardous materials planning and for training within the county. The program is reimbursable with the federal government's share being 80 percent with the county providing 20 percent.

Approval was also given to a contract with Summit Station Fire Company Number One for use of their banquet hall in their building for a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training to be held April 14, 16 and 19.

The commissioners review purchase of service agreements for the Children and Youth Services Agency, contracts with Minersville Area School District, Sparton Loop of Ashland, Mahanoy Area School District and Clinical Outcomes Group of Pottsville to provide alternative activities for the youth by the Drug and Alcohol Agency.

The board reviewed a contract for providing temporary nursing staff for Rest Haven Home. Also reviewed was proposed agreements to construct an additional 400 feet extension for the Bartram Trail and bridge repair projects.

Contracts were reviewed for projects in Hegins Township, Mahanoy Township and Cass Township under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

The board reviewed settlements reached in court on real estate tax appeals to decrease the market value of an industrial warehouse facility on 41.52 acres in Tamaqua from $1,787,150 to $1,750,000 and to reduce the fair market value being an industrial warehouse, office and manufacturing facility on 9.6 acres of land in Ashland, from $1,786,220 to $1,500,000; and on an unfinished office and industrial warehouse on19.7 acres in Union Township, from $1,523,200 to $900,000.

Reviewed was a request from McAuliff Hauling and Recycling Services Inc. to be included in the county's solid waste program.

The commissioners will take action on all matters reviewed at next week's public meeting, which has been moved from Wednesday to Saint Patrick's Day. Thursday, March 17, and will be held at the Girardville Borough Hall at 10 a.m. The Schuylkill County Employees Retirement Board will hold its monthly meeting following the commissioners' meeting.

The commissioners also reviewed personnel matters.

The Office of Senior Services seeks approval of the promotion of Shandra Paulukonis, Mahanoy City, from Clerk Typist 2 to Clerk Typist 3 at hourly rate of $11.62 per hour; Planning and Zoning Commission seeks to re-assign Susan Smith, Pottsville, from her position in Geographical Information Service Department to fill the vacancy as planning and zoning director, held by Charles Ross who retired, at $43,064 per year.

Children and Youth Services Agency seeks approval of a lateral transfer of Marie Barber, Girardville, from Clerk 3 to fiscal technician at $16.3298 per hour and promotions of Sandra Palokas, Port Carbon, from legal assistant 2 to legal assistant 3 at $36,242 per year; Christine Lupo-Whalen, Schuylkill Haven, from caseworker 2 to casework supervisor at $37,447 per year; and Ann Kear, Coaldale, from caseworker 2 to caseworker 3 at $21.2793 per hour.

Rest Haven Home seeks approval of the appointment of Christine Hunter, Saint Clair, as full time assistant director of nursing for the 11 to 7 shift at $51,835 per year; appointment of Jill DeLong, Schuylkill Haven, and Brian Bohr, Wyomissing, as full time nurse's aides at $11.72 per hour.

Also, Alison Grutza, Frackville; Elizabeth Oliver, Orwigsburg; Ashley Castler, Barnesville; Laurie Lockman, Schuylkill Haven; Marissa Stessalavage, Pottsville; Shannon Grutza, Mahanoy City; Jenny Beach, Pottsville; Mandy Leymeister, Saint Clair; Aimee Wright, Hegins; and Titiana Moyer, Schuylkill Haven, as part time nurse's aide trainees at $7.70 per hour and Bernard Sagusky, Schuylkill Haven, as full time maintenance worker at $12.6690 per hour.

Commissioner Francis McAndrew chaired the meeting with Commissioner Frank Staudenmeier present. Commissioner Chairwoman Mantura Gallagher was absent.