A lease agreement with Tamaqua Borough for office space for Magisterial District Judge Stephen J. Bayer was renewed by the Schuylkill County Commissioners in action taken at Wednesday's public meeting held at the courthouse in Pottsville.

The lease is for five years commencing Jan. 1, 2013, and expiring Dec. 31, 2018, at a rental fee for 2013 at $1,875.87 per month or $10.75 per square foot. The office space for the magisterial court is approximately 2,094 square feet within a building to the rear of the borough hall located at 320 E. Broad St.

Other business

Approval was granted for extension of an agreement until Dec. 31, 2013, with Alfred Benesch and Company for the engineering design for repairs to a county bridge which carries Black Creek Road over Mahanoy Creek in Barry Township. The current expiration date was Oct. 21, 2012.

Also, a second agreement with Benesch was approved granting an extension to make an investigation what repairs are needed for the county bridge which carries Maple Avenue over the West Branch of the Schuylkill River in Norwegian Township in the vicinity of the IU29 South Campus building.

On behalf of the Office of Senior Service the commissioners approved a contract with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging for the Senior Community Services Employment Program grant for the period of July 1 through June 30, 2014.

The board also filled vacancies on the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Advisory Council. Appointed to serve a three year term were Janice Johnston and Rae Thompson, Pottsville; Debra Herring, Orwigsburg; Marie Fuss, Cumbola; and Joanne Plaxo, Auburn. Loretta Zienkiewicz, Shenandoah, was hired to fill the unexpired term brought about by the resignation of Jill Salmon. The term ends Dec. 31, 2013.

Service agreements for the Children and Youth Services Agency were approved with the following:

United Methodist Home for Children, Mechanicsburg, for community based residential at $190.35 per day; Lutheran Children and Family Services, Philadelphia, for intensive permanency at $78 per day; The Impact Project, Emmaus, for specialized foster care 1 at $64.154 per day; mother and child foster care at $116.28 per day; and competency development interventions at $1,500 per day and Pennsylvania Forensic Associates, Reading, for transportation at $30 per unit; clinical polygraph at $289 per unit and comprehensive evaluation at $1,500 per unit.

Ms. Rose Marteslo, Minersville, was reappointed to serve as a member of the Schuylkill County Housing Authority for a period of five years ending Dec. 15, 2017.

Budget adjustments

With the year coming to a close budgets in most departments are nearly used up and to meet certain costs transfers from one account to another has to be made. Under a policy adopted by the county commissioners in 2003 the departments must first receive approval before making any transfers.

The commissioners approved budget adjustments for Administration Office, $115,000 from the general fund to meet to meet unanticipated expenses which occurred; $1,043 to pay for the cost of advertising the recent bond issue floated by the commissioners; and $25,000 to pay for unemployment and solvency fees for the past year.

Adult Probation Department, $200 to cover taxable meal reimbursements; Recycling Program, $192.13 to cover expenses for temporary cost of fuel; Liquid Fuels Account, $4,037 to cover maximum expenses for traffic lights; and Maintenance Department, $762 for purchase of a computer.

Back in 2002 the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Department over spent its budget by several million dollars which brought about the change worked out by Controller Gary Hornberger and the commissioners. The commissioners, Frank Shadle, Frank Staudenmeier, and Edward Barket initiated the new policy which has since prevented budget over expenditures.

Personnel matters

Action taken on personnel matter were:

Layoffs at Rest Haven Home, Amber Chernewski, Shenandoah, social casework intern; Dawn M. Williams, New Philadelphia; Erica Fritzinger, Tamaqua, and Tiffany Kiehl, Butler Township, clerks; and James Bankes, Frackville, care manager.

According to Human Resource Director Martina Chwastiak the layoffs are due to reduction of funds and the disenrollment of the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare's Waiver Program. The layoffs are effective Dec. 28.

Other action pertaining to Rest Haven Home, Jane O'Reilly, Pottsville, was transferred from part time ward clerk to part time switchboard operator at $9 per hour; Susan Carr, Pottsville, hired as part time activity aide at $9.50 per hour; Margaret Frantz, Tamaqua, resigned as a full time nurse's aide; and Lianne Kleiner, Valley View, was transferred from part time nurse's aide to fill Frantz's position at $11.72 per hour. Stacy Roberts, Port Carbon, resigned as a part time housekeeper; and Linda Correll, Orwigsburg, as a full time nurse's aide.

Clerk of Courts, Janice Boychak, Frackville, retired as a clerk.

Human Resources Department: Kelly McAlonis, Pottsville, hired as a office support and secretary at $22.8611 per hour.

9-1-1 Communications, Seth Lowe, Frackville, resigned as a telecommunicator.