A contract in amount of $68,321.25 was awarded to Biros Utilities Inc., Sheppton, East Union Township by Schuylkill County Commissioners Wednesday. The contract is to install 1,000 linear feet of 15-inch pipe for a storm sewer system on First Street, Oneida, East Union Township. It is part of the county's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

An agreement was entered with Washington Gas Energy Services for the purchase of electricity for the county courthouse, prison, and Rest Haven Home. The electric rate on Nov. 12 was $0.7030 per kilowatt.

Approval was given for submission of an application to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to obtain a grant of $67,050 to be used toward specialized behavioral health training for law enforcement and justice practitioners.

Under one bond

The commissioners approved the recommendation of county treasurer Jacqueline McGovern to place all local tax collectors under a master bond. She explained it would streamline the process by saving time and eliminating the filing of each individual bond.

The total bond coverage, covering the county, school districts, and municipalities amounts to $63,596,631. The county's portion is $89,286,445. The premium rate is $75,667 of which the county's obligation is 13 percent ($9,836.71) for the next four years.

A proclamation was adopted acknowledging the Salvation Army's, "Kick Off Red Kettle Days," campaign to raise funds to provide food, shelter, and clothing during times of disaster to those in need. This year's goal is to raise $90,000. Last year the Salvation Army in Pottsville served Thanksgiving Day meals to 176 people and distributed 266 food boxes and on Christmas distributed food and toys to 631 families.

The commissioners acknowledged the receipt of a Homeland Security Grant of $812,240 which will be utilized to support planning training, exercises, maintenance, and administrative functions of the East Central Task Force, which covers several counties including Schuylkill.

Coal land leases

On recommendation of Real Estate director and county engineer Lisa Mahall the commissioners approved a number of leases to mine coal on county-held land for which the county receives a $3 per ton royalty payment.

Three leases, held by Joe Kuperavage Coal Company, Joseph A. Kuperavage Sr. and Robert T. Kuperavage, principal owners, are for mining coal on land in Blythe Township. On the three leases to date the coal operators, over a period of years, have paid $674,281 to the county.

The commissioners approved a temporary property access lease license agreement with Gladfelter Pulp and Wood Company, Spring Grove. The license is for 90 days for the purpose of transporting chip wood and other related wood products harvested from an adjacent property not owned or held by the county.

Reappointed to the board of directors for the Schuylkill County Conservation District for three years ending Dec. 31, 2017, were Dottie Sterner, Orwigsburg, and F. Diane Wolfgang, Hegins. Appointed as a new members for a three-year term ending Dec. 31, 2017, were Eric Leiby, Walker Township, and Glenn Hetherington, Ringtown, as farm directors.

Retirement board

The Schuylkill County Employees Retirement Board held its monthly meeting following the commissioners' meeting.

The board reported the total market value of the retirement fund, which is managed by 11 financial firms, as of Wednesday, totaled $117,339,527.

During the month of October, one member received a rollover totaling $11,801; one member's spouse received a death annuity of $500,154; and two members received a pro rata pension totaling $811.