Contracts were entered by the Schuylkill County commissioners to save cost on electricity and provide rehabilitation assistance to lower income households in the county, in actions taken at the work session held Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville.

A two-year contract agreement was approved with PPL Energy Plus of Allentown to cover the electricity for the Emergency Management 9-1-1 building in Pottsville and the tower sites located along the Burma Road, Keffers Mountain, Blue Mountain, Pine Grove and Park Place.

A cooperation agreement was entered with Schuylkill Community Action for the administration of the 2010 home grant contract of $500,000 to provide housing rehabilitation assistance to approximately 22 lower income households in the county.

The commissioners adopted a resolution designating the week of May 6-12 as "Corrections Employee Week," to call attention to the vital role correction officers play in ensuring the effective operation of our correctional system in the interest of public safety.

The proclamation points out there are 26 state correctional institutions, a training academy, 14 community correction centers, 39 contract facilities, a motivational boot camp, 63 county prisons and jails and 15 federal institutions which house more than 100,000 inmates. The county prison population ranges between 250 and 275 inmates.

The commissioners reviewed a number of contracts on which they will take action next week.

Other business

John Richmond, head of the adult probation department, sought approval of an internship agreement with Bloomsburg University to allow the county to offer credit-bearing internships to Bloomsburg University students. The agreement is for five years.

He also requested approval of a standard referral agreement between the county and the probation department to facilitate continuity of care treatment services and timely transfer of information for individuals referred to the Schuylkill Health Counseling Center. The agreement is for one year.

Another request by Richmond was approval of a grant-in-aid funds agreement with the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole to continue to receive these funds which help pay the salaries of probation officers and parole personnel. The contract is for five years.

And last, approval of a supervision funds agreement with the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole whereby the county will continue to collect a monthly supervision fee from persons the courts place on probation and remits to the PBPP which returns the funds to the county. The agreement is for five years.

Richmond told the board there is a state budget proposal which would allow the county to keep the funds instead of remitting them to the state but it hasn't yet been approved by the legislature.

The commissioners were reviewing an application to submit on behalf of the Solid Waste Department to the Department of Environmental Protection for funds to defray the cost to update the county's solid waste plan. It has to be updated every 10 years.

The county also is reviewing bids received by three firms to perform the update, Nestor Resources Inc., Valencia, Butler County; Midatlantic Solid Waste Consultants, LLC., New Market, Md.; and Barton and Loguidice, P.C., Camp Hill, Dauphin County.

The board has received a request from Redner's Warehouse Market to remove the recycling bins at the Midway Supermarket in Hegins. Redner's had acquired Midway.

Personnel matters

The commissioners reviewed proposals of hirings, transfers and resignations of personnel and will take action next week.

District Attorney Karen Byrnes Noon announced she is appointing attorney Robert Reedy, Schuylkill Haven, as assistant district attorney; Conservation District seeks to appoint Cataia Ives, Pottsville, as a per diem boat rental clerk; Office of Solid Waste seeks the appointment of Thomas E. Strope, Shenandoah, as per diem collection driver; and the coroner's office seeks the appointment of Tara Dolzani, East Union Township, as a per diem deputy coroner and investigator.