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Local News

Thursday, December 22, 2011
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS

The Palmerton Lions Club met at the Fireline Hotel for its annual Christmas banquet with 40 people in attendance.

The first order of business was a vote to support the Veterans Memorial planned for the Palmerton park. President George Unangst said, following a favorable vote, that a check for $200 will be contributed.

Several members had health problems in the past year and thanked the club for the support they received.

Pastor John Hazel, during the invocation, asked God to "bless this meal and especially bless Claire Heiny" who is in the hospital.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Taxpayers in the borough of Nesquehoning won't have a tax increase for the upcoming year.

Councilman David Hawk said a total income of $1,441,343.47 has been accepted and approved for 2012. The total expense for the fire truck fund is $128,738.85. The Sports Complex has a total expense of $18,922.15. And the Sanitation Fund shows an expense of $335,292.57 with a net income of $39,500. The budget was adopted at Wednesday night's meeting.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Franklin Township approved the 2012 final budget on Tuesday night with only minor changes from the tentative budget. There will be no tax hike in Franklin Township for 2012. The minor change was in the sewage account and no other accounts totals were changed.

Residents will pay 6.3 mills for general purposes and .547 for the capital reserve building fund. Residents who live within 780 feet from a fire hydrant will continue to be assessed an additional .8 mills. One mill generates $15,901.60.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

At the work session Wednesday held by the Schuylkill County Commissioners three bids were received and opened for demolition. of a structure at 119 and 121 Greenwood Street, Coaldale.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The slowdown in economy also has an affect on work by the Schuylkill County Planning Commission. At its monthly meeting held Wednesday evening at the courthouse in Pottsville the board had no county subdivision plans to review as the building slump continues.

The slowdown was also reflected in the number of zoning permits issues. For the month of November only 25 permits were lifted to begin constructions, the lowest number recorded to date.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"He should be fired not given a raise," was the comment of Controller Melinda Kantner at a work session of the Schuylkill County Salary Board which was held Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville.

The comment was made after Martina Chwastiak, head of the Human Service Department, made a presentation of the salary increases approved by the Schuylkill County Prison Board for the administrative staff at the county prison.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Presiding at her final work session meeting at the courthouse in Pottsville on Wednesday, Commissioner Mantura Gallagher, the first woman to chair the Schuylkill County Board of Commissioners, reflected on her four year tenure as leader of the board which comes to an end December 31. She had not sought re-election.

Thursday, December 22, 2011
Elisa Delgreco

Santa's most active elves were doing their best to bring smiles to the residents of Blue Mountain Health Systems, The Summit, on Wednesday night.

The "elves" were Lehighton School District's support staff, a diverse group of employees, which includes secretaries, paraprofessionals, cafeteria staff and custodians. They delivered 244 personal items to residents at The Summit.

The smiles were worth it.

For Ann Rehrig, she and other residents at the center, had the opportunity to select two items –such as shampoo, creme rinse, body wash or lotion – as their gift.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Several residents residing in the Union Hill section of Franklin Township voiced their displeasure with a neighboring business and the township's failure to help them during Tuesday night's meeting of the Franklin Township board of supervisors.

Steve Sauchinitz, a neighbor of I & D Salvage, first asked township supervisors for help in July 2011. During that meeting Sauchinitz alerted supervisors to the constant noise, oil and antifreeze spills on the business' property at 430 State Road.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The 2012 budget for operating the county was adopted by the Schuylkill County Commissioners at Wednesday's work session held at the courthouse in Pottsville, calling for no increase in taxes. However, to balance the budget at the end of the year funds may be needed to be drawn from an unreserved county fund held in case of a catastrophe which could be as high as $3.3 million.