Approval was given by the Schuylkill County Commissioners to advertise for engineering services in West Penn Township and Pine Grove to carry out projects under funds received from the state through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, in action taken at the work session held Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville.

West Penn Township, because of an increase in its population, now qualifies to make its own application for funds from the CDBG program instead of applying for funds received by the county, however, it has engaged the county personnel, who are more expertise in administration to handle details for this program. West Penn Township, because communities are scattered over a large area of land, plans to install community septic systems instead of one township wide system to handle the sewage disposal problem.

Other business

The commissioners reviewed a grant of $14,882 from the state under Act 165 which is earmarked for use to develop an integrated emergency response capability to the health hazards, dangers and risks which hazardous materials released through accidents on highways by trucks carrying the material which would harm the public. The fund will be managed by the county's Emergency Management Agency.

A service agreement from Alere Toxicology Services was reviewed which would provide the adult probation department with drug testing supplies, laboratory testing, shipping, and confirmations of test results. The agreement is for one year.

A proposal received from PennDOT to acquire a parcel containing 0.95 of an acre as a right-of-way, 0.05 of an acre as a private access easement, and 0.24 of an acre for construction easement in the area of a county bridge being rebuilt in West Brunswick Township was reviewed.

Reviewed were applications for lease renewals by two coal companies to continue to strip mine for coal on county held land in Barry, Foster, Reilly and Tremont townships. The applications were made by Mountaintop Coal Company Inc. and Blackwood Mining Company.

The commissioners reviewed approved personnel matters on which they will vote on at next week's public meeting which has been moved from the courthouse to McAdoo Borough Hall.

The Children and Youth Service Agency seeks to hire Crystal Moser, West Penn Township, as a social services aide 2; and the Office of Senior Service seeks to transfer Travis Yeager, Pottsville, from caseworker 1 with the Children and Youth Service Agency to become aging case manger 1. Also, announced was the retirement of George Seiler, Auburn, as deputy director. The agency also announced the resignations of two case workers, Zachary Lynde and Leigh Reed, both of Orwigsburg.

Clerk of Courts Stephen Lukach Jr. seeks to promote Clerk Stacy Stoppie, Pottsville, from Clerk III to Second Deputy; District Attorney Karen Byrnes Noon seeks to appoint Attorney Keith Hoppes, Tower City, to fill a vacancy as a part time assistant district attorney.

Honor champs

Prior to the start of the work session the commissioners welcomed and congratulated members of the Pottsville Babe Ruth Baseball Team which this year won the state championship and advanced to the semifinal round in the regional championship before becoming eliminated. The team is made up of players from all over the county of ages up to 13 years.