Complaints were aired at the Schuylkill County Commissioner's work session Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville concerning late payment of bills and the holdup was blamed on Controller Melinda Kantner.

Register of Wills Michael McCord asked if the commissioners had changed their policy of making payments of bills. Fiscal Administrator Mark Scarbinsky assured him there was no change but that the controller was responsibile for the holdup. Kantner's contention was she has to check out every bill to make sure it is proper as she has experienced double payments in the past. Assistant County Solicitor Edward Brennan explained to her she has the right to be careful in her checks and install any procedure but bills have to be paid on time because the county is experiencing surcharges.

Commissioner Francis McAndrew produced a letter from the Pottsville 108 LLC, Souderton, owners of a building in Pottsville housing the mental health and drug and alcohol agencies, in whcih a complaint was lodged of late payment on a monthly rental fee and the company was placing a $456 surcharge. McAndrew told Kantner the surcharge is coming out of her budget and said its costing taxpayers additional payments which are unwarranted. Kantner countered that agencies have been slow in turning in bills. She said she has instituted a policy of paying checks twice a month which few controllers do to make sure payments are on time and asked the commissioners to instruct agencies to be more prompt.

Following the meeting Kantner released the following statement:

The rent invoice submitted by MH/MR was not processed by my office until September 29. The invoice had no billing date and no due date, it only read 'Rent payment for October 2009, $4,561.66' along with the address for mailing." Kantner added, “Today's show at the commissioners meeting was pre-arranged and contrived."

Other actions

The commisisioners approved a contract with Alfred Benesch and Company, Pottsville, to perform two legal descriptions of Clubhouse Road, located in Washington and Pine Grove townships and leads into the county's newest recreation park, Sweet Arrow Lake Park. Robert Evanchak, of Parks and Recreation Department, said the plan is to turn over maintenance of the new road to the two townships.

The commissioners gave William Liptok, public works director, permission to seek bids to supply heating oil to county facilities for the period Nov. 25 to Nov. 24, 2010.

At the request of Ms. Elaine Schaeffer, director of Rest Haven Home and Hospital, the commissioners approved the promotion of three employees from parttime nurse's aides to fulltime and set their salary at $12.0716 per hour.

Two seniors from the Government Class at Marian High School, John Damaiter and Samantha Heine, sat in on the work session, the prison board meeting and made a tour of the courthouse and prison.