A proposal to increase the private pay daily room and board rate at Rest Haven Home and Hospital was reviewed by the Schuylkill County Commissioners at their work session held Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville.

Service Access and Management Inc. (SAM), which was took over July 1 in managing the business office at the home has submitted a request to increase the private room from $250 per day to $325, a semi private three bedroom to $300, a four bed rooms to $275, and an alzheimer unit to $300 per day.

Commissioner Frank Staudenmeir questioned Jill Schaeffer, administrator of the home, how the rates compare to the 13 institutions in the county who provide similar care and was assured none of them have lower rates than Rest Haven Home and that rates proposed are comparable to those of other providers.

SAM runs the business office but the commissioners still control the home and do the hiring for all other departments. Those working the business office work for SAM. When SAM took over there were about 20 empty beds but this has been reduced to about 15. The last increase was in 2009.

Other business

Two weeks ago the board received only one bid to provide uniforms for county employees at the commissioners office. After reviewing the bid the commissioners voted to award the contract to the one bidder, Hess Embroidery and Uniforms Company, of West Reading, in the amount of $19,990.76.

The board also entered a contract with Reading Anthracite Company, Pottsville, to supply 1,000 tons of rice size coal to the courthouse and prison buildings for the period from Aug. 1, through July 31, 2013, at a cost of $169.50 per ton.

In other action the commissioners approved a change order in amount of $915 for Hahner Brothers Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc. for additional labor and materials necessary to complete the repairs to the roof above the commissioners complex at the courthouse.

Robert Carl, former county commissioner, was appointed a member of the Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board for a three year term ending Sept. 30, 2015.

The commissioners reviewed proposals submitted by Grant Writer Gary Bender.

He asked approval of a contract with the Schuylkill Community Action to administer the 2011 home contract in amount of $50,000. Bender reported this partnership program provides SCA with reasonable and necessary operating support to plan and develop affordable housing and community development activities.

He also asked the commissioners approve the Schuylkill County Section Three Plan which permits communities to participate in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and other programs of HUD ( Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Bender reported the requirements are to have a plan to outline how the community will provide an opportunity for disadvantaged businesses and low income residents to gain employment in contracting, procurement and employment opportunities.

Real Estate Director and County Engineer Lisa Mahall reviewed two coal leases the Premium Fine Coal Inc., also known as Jader Inc., whose principal owners are Michael S. Carsia Sr., Michael S. Carsia, Jr. and Jude Lonzetta seek to renew their leases for another year to mine coal on county held land in Blythe and Schuylkill townships.

Mahall reported they paid royalties on their current Blythe Township lease in amount of $18,864 and to date $1,281,880.40 and on the Schuylkill Township lease, $21,780 and total paid $1,489,188.14. The county receives a royalty payment of $3 for each ton mined.

Mahall also sought approval to enter into a lease with Saint John's United Church of Christ, Schuylkill Haven, for use as a senior center the church's "Fellowship Hall" which is located in the church basement. The lease is for a monthly rent of $880.

The commissioners also reviewed proposed service contracts for the drug and alcohol and children and youth services agencies and will act on the requests at next week's public meeting.

Personnel matters

Rest Haven home requested a transfer of Melanie Devs, Port Carbon, from part time nurse's aide to full time and Rose Nordall, Pine Grove, from full time nurse's aide to full time housekeeper. The request will be voted at next week's public meeting.

Sheriff Joseph G. Groody informed the commissioners he was appointing Gregory Allen Cress, Cressona, as an unpaid intern; Human Service Department reported Ronald Halupa, Shenandoah, was retiring as a part time office support and general mailroom employee; and Rest Haven Home was reporting the resignation of Sheena Witman, Orwigsburg, as a part time licensed practical nurse.