An update report on the Schuylkill County Airport was presented to the county commissioners who held their public meeting Wednesday at the airport site located in Foster Township, located just off Interstate 81 Exit 116.

"Welcome to Schuylkill County's business gateway and port of commerce," remarked Dale Shoenaman, chairman of the Schuylkill County Airport Authority. He and Craig Shields and Joseph Mazzuca, members of the airport authority, were present at the meeting.

William Willard, airport manager, gave a brief history of the airport.

It was built in 1959. It has two runways. A hard surface runaway 4,679 feet long by 75 feet wide. Willard said they would like to extend the main runway about 500 feet although corporate jets have no difficulty landing and the extra length would be an additional safety measure.

Currently there are 28 aircraft based but many more corporate, military and medevac helicopters frequent the airport on a daily basis. There are 16 older T-hangers, five new T-hangers, eight spaces for octagon hangers, six private hangers and the main hanger. Also located at the airport is the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29 adult education program for commercial drivers licensing program and heavy equipment training program. The Highride Industrial Park is located two miles south with several large and widely known corporations and a number of these corporations use the airport for their aircraft.

There is 24 hour services, including a courtesy car, ground power, deice device ( to free of accumulated ice), catering service, rental car, little to no ground delays, long taxi lines, easy loading and unloading of baggage and cargo.

Other business

The commissioners approved a contract with Encore Rehabilitation Services, of Independence, Ohio, for the provision of occupational physical speech therapy. The contract is for $820,000.

The commissioners are seeking bids for cleaning of the courthouse complex. All bids received will be opened Nov. 2. An extension of a contract was granted to Fidler Brothers for stream debris removal at two county bridges in Tremont. The contractor claims recent heavy rains and flooding prevented work from being started.

A proclamation was adopted proclaiming Saturday, Oct. 22 as "Make A Difference Day" in the county urging citizens to answer the call to improve the quality of life for everyone in this part of the world, especially those who are homeless, hungry, lonely, sick or in need of help.

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

Friendship House, of Scranton, for group home at $173.31 per day and one on one supervision at a group home at $20 per hour; Bethany Home Inc., Womelsdorf, for foster care at $90 per day, short term treatment at $164 per day and shelter area at $192.35 per day; Psychological Associates of Schuylkill County, Pottsville, for group counseling at $35 per unit, bonding evaluation at $80 per unit and sexual history/polygraph test a $300 per unit; Therapeutic Center at Fox Chase AKA The Bridge, Philadelphia, for community residential at $255.23 per day and Hermitage House Youth Services, Edinboro, for boys supervision at $97.45 per day and female group home emergency shelter at $220 per day.

On behalf of the Human Services Agency a contract was entered with Aaron Healthcare Inc., Allentown, for homemaker and personal care services at $17.78 per hour and $26.64 per holiday hour.

Action taken concerning personnel matters were as follows:

Cristine Niculae, Pottsville, hired as a court reporter at $18.59 per hour; Cindy Close, Schuylkill Haven, hired as part time licensed practical nurse at $15.99 per hour; and Robin Korrubin, Pottsville, hired as per diem licensed practical nurse at $18 per hour at Rest Haven Home and Hospital. Amanda Aungst, Palo Alto. was promoted from caseworker 1 to caseworker 2 with Children and Youth Services Agency at $17.4314 per hour.