Realignment of the county zoning office was approved by the Schuylkill County commissioners at their work session held Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville.

The position of a full time zoning officer, which was vacant since the retirement of Carole Syzdek, was not filled and a contract was entered with Alfred Benesch and Company to carry out the duties. Kyle Kehoe, of Saint Clair, a member of the company, will serve as the county zoning officer.

The firm will be paid on a per diem basis for applications reviewed and to avoid any conflict of interest any applications Benesch will submit on behalf of a client will be reviewed by Sue Smith, executive director of the Schuylkill County Planning Commission, who will serve as alternate zoning officer.

Real Estate Director Lisa Mahall explained the reason for the action was because for the past two years the number of applications for zoning permits have decreased greatly leaving little work for zoning officer and Benesch has expertise in reviewing applications and there will be a great cost saving to the county as they will be paid an hourly rate.

Helene Creasy, program director of Behavioral Health Services, Shenandoah, was appointed a member of the Schuylkill County MH/DS (Mental Health Development Service) advisory board for a three year period ending Feb. 19, 2016.

A contract with Capital Blue Cross for medical coverage for the inmates in the county prison was set at a rate of 14.4 percent per paid claim with an annual minimum of $5,000. The contract is for administrative services only and is for one year period ending Dec. 31, 2013. The administrative services applies to a inmate needed to be transported from the prison to a hospital to pay for the processing.

Other business

Contracts and other matters reviewed on which action will be taken at next Wednesday's public meeting were as follows:

A three year contract renewal with Trinity Services Group Inc., of Middletown, was reviewed to provide meals to the inmates in the county prison. The cost of meals for the first year of the contract is proposed at $1.248 per meal with the second and third years the price per meal will be based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) away from home index which averages between $1.80 to $3 per meal. The contract for the first year remains the same as the current contract.

Approval was sought to have Scott D. Cramer, a member of the 9-1-1 Emergency Management Staff, attend the Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) training at John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., in March. Scott Krater, director of 9-1-1, said the training is mandatory to obtain certification to be a telecommunicator. The cost of the class is $350 plus $120 lodging per day for three days and the costs to attend are tariff eligible.

The tax claim bureau sought permission to approve private sale of a property it holds as trustee for unpaid taxes. It received a bid of $20 from Delano Township for the property at 23 Trenton St., assessed to Robert Metro Kerrick.

Only one bid was received to provide cleaning services for the county's Human Service building located on North Centre Street, Pottsville.TKO Cleaning Services, Pottsville, submitted a three year bid. The cleaning cost for the first year and second year will be $33,600, and for the third year of the contract, $34,800. The total cost is $102,000. The bid will be reviewed and action taken at a future public meeting.

Personnel matters

Personnel matters reviewed were as follows:

Rest Haven Home - Seek the transfer of Jean Quinn, Pottsville, from part time to full time licensed practical nurse and the termination of Tonya Styke, Gilberton, as a part time nurse's aides.

Children and Youth Services seeks the promotion of Kaylee Moyer, Shenandoah, and Paige Nelson, Pottsville, from caseworker one to case worker two and Michelle Mikita, Shenandoah, from social services aides three to caseworker one and the resignation of Victoria Brink, Auburn, as clerk typist two.

District Attorney Karen Byrnes Noon informed the board she is appointing Attorney Thomas Pellish, Pottsville, as a part time assistant district attorney.

At the salary board work sessions the board reviewed the following proposals:

Salary of the part time assistant district attorney proposed at $22,061 per year.

The Tax Assessment Bureau is seeking to eliminate a clerk typist one position and create a clerk typist class two position, reclassify Christine Zimmerman, Frackville, from clerk typist one to clerk typist two at a proposed salary of $17.3027 per hour

Children and Youth Services Agency has proposed as salary for Michelle Mikita, who was promoted to case worker one, at $18.0100 per hour.