The Schuylkill County Commissioners gace approval Wednesday to county engineer Lisa Mahall for contracts to work on county bridges.

A contract extension was granted to Barletta Materials and Construction Company to complete work on the county bridge carrying Black Creek Road as additional repairs are needed. Mahall reported the extent of repairs was greater than presented in the bid package. The contract was increased from $14,683,50 to $47,326.35.

The board also approved a supplemental cost of $11,250 for traffic planning and design for engineering services on the county bridge which carries Mahantongo Mountain Road over Mahantongo Creek.

Five leases with companies mining coal on county held land were renewed.

K&K Coal Company, Bernard J. and Florence Kuperavage, principal owners, on coal land in East Norwegian Township. They have made royalty payments of $3,984 for their current one year lease and total paid for life of the lease, $634,455.33.

Joe Kuperavage Coal Company, Joseph Kuperavage and Robert Kuperavage, principal owners, $5,472 on land in Blythe Township, paid on the current one year lease and $113,886 on the lifetime. On a second lease they hold on coal land in Blythe. On a second lease on land in Blythe Township, $17,760 paid on the current one year lease and $1,123,153.18 life of the lease.

Bell Corporation, Ronald J. and Judith A. Kuperavage, principal owners, on land in Schuylkill Township, $9,600 paid on the current one year lease and $140,122.32 on the life of the lease.

Locust Valley Culm, LLC, on land in Blythe Township, Steve Cotler, principal owner, $3,009 paid on the current lease and $17,806.96 on life of the lease.

The county receives $3 per ton in royalty payments for coal removed.

Gary Bender, director of the county Community Development Block Grant Program, informed the commissioners a public meeting will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 13, to receive input from municipalities which share in the county's CDBG grant to give their input on projects they seek the funds. The hearing will take place at the conclusion of the commissioners' meeting.

To continue to receive a discount from the U.S. Postal Service for presorting mail the county has engaged Mailroom Systems Company, of Reading, on a one month trial basis for pickup and sorting so the county could continue to reduce cost on mail being sent. The company will handle the mail by adding the bar code at no cost to the county as it is paid by the postal department. The county had been notified by the post office department that after January 2014 the county would not continue to receive the reduced rate for presorting mail.

Personnel matters

Action was taken on hirings in the various county departments.

Schuylkill County Soil Conservation Bureau - Jenna Fehr, Tremont, was hired as a conservation program coordinator, at a salary of $29,944 per year. The transfer of Christy Zulli, Wayne Township, from full time conservation program director to part time conservation technician at $12.2617 per hour.

Rest Haven Home - Renee Grube, Orwigsburg, hired as a per diem licensed practical nurse at $18 per hour; Cristal Wasel, Orwigsburg, part time licensed practical nurse, $15.99 per hour; Carol Sheffield, Palo Alto, and Kristen Todd, Pottsville, transferred from part time to full time nurse's aides at $11.72 per hour; Bobbie Jo Zamudio, Shenandoah, hired as a part time general practical nurse at $15.06 per hour; and Tia Burns, Douglasville, and Jaime Smith, Port Carbon, both part time nurse's aides, resigned.

Court Administration - Cynthia Wixted, Pottsville, judicial secretary assistant, resigned.

9-1-1 Communication Center - Deborah Margavage, Schuylkill Haven, resigned as a telecommunicator.

Veterans Department - David Fessler, East Norwegian Township, resigned as clerk typist.

Solicitor's Office - Attorney Robert Frycklund, Lehighton, resigned as per diem assistant county solicitor.

County Prison - Matthew Lindstrom, Orwigsburg, hired as correctional officer with rank of lieutenant at $50,325 per year and Brenton Eades, Minersville; Dennis Ney, Hegins, and Robert Ward, Pottsville, were hired as correctional officers at $17.0034 per hour.

Treasurer's Office - Megan Hayes, Branch Township, resigned as a clerk.

Commissioner Frank Staudenmeier reminded the public that there will be no commissioners meeting next week, and a work session will be held on Thursday, Nov. 7. Also, the courthouse will be closed Tuesday, Nov. 5, in observance of election day.