In preparation for the general election on November 6 the Schuylkill County Commissioners at their public meeting held Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville acted on a number of issues.

A vacancy was filled on the Resolution Board which convenes election night at the county's STS building where an unofficial count is made of the votes cast and the board rules on damaged ballots and replaces them. Marybeth Dougherty, Girardville, was appointed to a vacancy on the board. Other members are George D. Moyer, Orwigsburg; Edward Barket, Pottsville and Mark Scarbinsky, the county administrator. The members are paid $100 for their service with the exception of Scarbinsky because he is a county employee.

Approval was given Election Director Frannie Brennan to purchase 20 electronic voting machines and two vote scanners at a cost of $36,226.75 with the monies coming from a federal fund. In the last year of President George Bush's terms the federal government established a Help Voter Act and the county in 2006 received $1.500 million. The funds were used to buy the electronic machines when the county switched from the paper ballot, scanners, install handicap ramps at voting sites, train personal in the operation of the machines.

Ten machine delivery drivers were hired to transport from the storage area approximately 400 voting machines to the 129 polling places. Hired were, Kenneth Breisch, Schuylkill Haven, $210; Joseph Contrady, McAdoo, $210; Kenneth Eichenberg, Minersville, $170; Jason Frantz, Girardville, $160; William Klinger, Frackville, $160; Thomas Kurtek, Pottsville, $140; Walter Leashefski, Orwigsburg, $220; Dennis Moyer, Pottsville, $210; Walter Taylor, Barnesville, $210 and Kurt Yoder, Hegins, $200. The payments are based on the number of machines and travel distance.

Director Brennan was also granted permission to hire six or more individuals to serve on the computing board which begins canvassing of the returns from the general election Friday, November 9 at 9 a.m. at the election bureau in Pottsville to make the official count of the votes cast. They are paid $70 per day. Brennan also reported there is a great demand for absentee ballots and to date has received 2,157 applications. Tuesday, October 30, is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot and the voted absentee ballots must be in the election bureau no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, November 2.

Rush Township project

A contract was awarded to Sikora Brothers Paving, Inc., of Shickshinny, for the sewer line project in Hometown, Rush Township, for $101,858. The project consists of installing 410 linear feet of pipe along Purnell Avenue and 249 linear feet of pipe on Delfront Street. The county will contribute $60,000 towards the project from its CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) Program.

A contract was awarded to Penn Earthworks Company, Hazle Township, Luzerne County, for the demolition project to raze the vacant building at 124 Hazle Street, Delano, for $9,730. The county's demolition department will pay 75 percent of the cost and the township supervisors 25 percent.

Assistant Public Defender Andrea Thompson received approval to travel for a legal visit to a prison Gouveneur, New York, to speak to a prisoner who will be brought to Schuylkill County to stand trial on criminal charges. Kevin Lamont Reshard, formerly of Pottsville, is charged by Patrolman Michael Stank, Pottsville Police, with having involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with person under 16 years of age. Benistar, a national firm, was named as the administrator of the prescription drug plan for county retirees at a monthly premium of $149.76 per person. Two MIS employees received approval to travel to the Intersystems Corporation Headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts for training on matters related to the operation of the department which is in charge of the county computer system. Also a training contract was approved with Oak Ridge Associated Universities in the amount of $25,245 to prove the Emergency Management Task Force with emergency training pertaining to treating radiation accident victims.

Personnel matters

Attorney Rebecca A. Elo, Orwigsburg, who also is an assistant district attorney, was appointed as a member of the Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board for a term of three years which ends September 30, 2015.

Ten persons were hired as part time nurse's aides at Rest Haven Home at $7.70 per hour. They are, Lianne Kleiner, Valley View;Melanie Sears, Jonelle Bohr, Kimberly Cook and Stephanie Mulhall, Pottsville; Courtney Ditzler, Port Carbon; Jessica Handwerk and Tiffany Black, Schuylkill Haven and Tonya Styka, Gilberton. Also hired at Rest Haven Home were Jacqueline Troy, Schuylkill Haven, as the trainee instructor at $24 per hour and Amanda Mosolino, Pottsville, as a part time nurses aide at $11.72 per hour and Eufernia Crishock, Minersville, was terminated as a part time nurse's aide.

Two people were hired as caseworkers with the Children and Youth Services Agency, Shawna Eberts, Rush Township and Rosemary Veach, North Manheim Township, at $16.7612 per hour. The board was informed Catherine Lewis, Walker Township, retired from her job as clerk in the Recorder of Deeds office and DeAnna Orlowsky, Pottsville, was promoted from fiscal officer to deputy director in the Office of Senior Service at $48,469 per year.

James Whalen, Mahanoy City, who retired as a security guard at the courthouse was named processing specialist in the central booking office on a per diem basis at $15 per hour and the county salary board in its meeting eliminated the security guard position.

Three employees resigned, Rachelle Butz, Pottsville, as part time nurse's aide and Gloria Wolfe, Frackville, as part time licensed practical nurse at Rest Haven Home and Tamara Yoder, Minersville, as social service aide with the Children and Youth Service Agency. All three commissioners were in attendants, Chairman Frank Staudenmeier and Commissioners George Halcovage and Gary Hess.

Retirement Board

The market value of the Schuylkill County Retirement Fund in the past week took a slight hit according to the report made to the board by Controller Cristy Joy, who serves at its secretary, at the monthly meeting held Wednesday following the commissioners' meeting.

The market value of the fund as of September 30 was $105,730.019 but as of this day ti was reported $105,413,732. Joy also reported during the month of September one member received annuities totaling $405,656.14, two members received refunds totaling $12,569.85 and two members passed away leaving pro rata for descendants totaling $393.64.

Four of the five members were present, Commissioners Staudenmeier, Halcovage and Hess and Controller Joy. Absent was Treasurer Jacqueline McGovern.