Funds for seven projects to be undertaken by the Schuylkill County Affordable Trust Fund were approved by the county commissioners at their public meeting held Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville.

The Schuylkill County Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program, awarded $10,000, to form a partnership between the county court system, county bar association and Schuylkill Community Action for financial and budget counseling and negotiation with lenders to avert mortgage foreclosure.

Bridge Housing Program, $13,000, to provide delivery costs which includes case management services, 24-hour site coverage, collaboration with referral agencies, and assistance in locating and transitioning clients.

Housing Rehabilitation Project, $15,000, for housing rehabilitation program targeting low-moderate income homeowners in Gilberton.

Schuylkill County Housing Counseling Program, $15,000, for comprehensive housing counseling services to lower-income persons supporting home buyer education, mortgage default, reverse mortgage, home improvement, homeless, etc.

Minersville High Rise Energy and American Disability Act (ADA) Improvements, $20,000, for replacing the non-energy efficient windows in the community room, install ADA compliant doors, improvements to cabinetry and provide accessibility.

Independence Square, Barefield Development Corporation, Pottsville, $25,000 for development of 20 rental units for low-income seniors aged 62 and older. The project will renovate a factory in Orwigsburg targeting households at 20, 50 and 60 percent standards.

Senior or Disabled Housing Repair Program, $60,000, to replace or repair major systems in homes of lower-income senior citizens and addressing the accessibility needs for physically disabled homeowners.

Approve contracts

Provider contracts were approved for a number of agencies.

Drug and Alcohol Agency - Bowling Green Brandywine, $20,000; Firetree, LTC, $95,852; Gaudenzia Inc., three contracts, inpatient, $50,000, outpatient, $50,000, and new destiny women's re-entry, $200,000; Pyramid Healthcare, $112,540; Treatment Trends Inc., $20,000; White Deer Run, $158,500; Lebanon Treatment Center, $50,000; Schuylkill Community Action, $51,716; Clinical Outcomes Group Inc., $100,000; Schuylkill Health Center for counseling, $145,000; Child and Family Support Services, $54,866.92; and Community Prevention Partnership of Berks County, doing business as Schuylkill Nurse Family Partnership, $257,522.

Human Services Office - A rate agreement with the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29 for medical assistance transportation services for counsel house participants at $16 per one-way trip for under 10 miles and $17 per one-way trip for over 10 miles; Philips Lifeline, Framingham, Mass., for personal emergency response systems services at $25 per consumer per month; NHS Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, for medical assistance transport at inservices for NHS clients at $14.50 per one-way trip for under 10 miles and $15.50 per one-way trip over 10 miles; Good Will Fire Company, Minersville, medical assistance transportation services at $40 per one-way trip, $2 per loaded mile and a $25 per hour sitting fee; and Schuylkill Transportation System (STS), for medical assistance transportation services at rates ranging from 50 cents for a child's bus ticket up to $87 per hour for in county urgent care services.

Children and Youth Services Agency: Penn Kashar Inc., Pottsville, answering service at a per unit rate of $90 for the first 100 calls and 45 cents per unit rate over 100 calls; ReDCO Group, Pottsville, for case management at a per unit rate of $16.56, monitoring at per unit rate of $8.50; Language Line Services, Monterey, Calif., for interpretation (Spanish) at a per unit rate of 75 cents, interpretation of all other languages at $1.10 per unit rate; Signature Family Services, West Reading, for intensive casework counseling at $58 per unit rate, Corollary Services at $32 per unit rate, and administrative fee at $25 per unit rate; Attorney Karen Rismiller, Pottsville, for legal services at $2,506.65 per unit rate and Department of Public Welfare hearings at $80 per unit rate; Attorney James Lewis, Schuylkill Haven, for legal services at $3,500 per unit rate; and Psychological Associates, Pottsville, for brief screening at $240 per unit rate, bonding evaluation, $80 per unit rate and Group Counseling at $35 per unit rate.

Office of Senior Services - Consolidated Training and Services, Pottsville, for senior employment, $66,004; Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries, Allentown, for senior center management, home meal delivery, prime time health care, apprise regional personal land training and volunteer home care, $1,018,154; Spectrum Senior Consultants of Tamaqua, for purchases of guardianship payee services and nursing home transition for $40 per hour; Preferred Meals Systems Inc., Berkeley, Ill., the purchase of 145,000 home delivered and congregate meals at $3.50 per meal for contract of $507,500; Home Health and Support Services, Schuylkill Haven, 12,000 hours of personal care services at $20 per hour for contract cap of $240,000; Aaron Healthcare Inc., Allentown, 8,000 hours of personal care services at $20.52 per hour for contract cap of $164,160; Maximum Care Inc., Whitehall, 20,000 hours of personal care services at $18 per hour with contract cap of $360,000; Lehigh Valley Visiting Nurses, Whitehall, for 2,000 hours of home health services at $40 per hour and 15 units of physical, occupational and speech therapy at $67 per hour for contract cap of $81,005.

Also, Watwo Inc., DBA Family Home Medical Inc., Mount Carmel, for 6,202 hours of personal care services at $18.12 per hour for total contract of $112,3721; Lifeline Systems Company, Framington, Mass., purchase of personal emergency response systems installation and monitoring services at $25 per month for contract cap of $4,000; Accessing Independence Living Services, Lancaster, 20,505 hours of personal care services at $17.72 per hour for total contract of $363,357; Arn Inc., Hazleton, 5,200 hours of personal care services at $18.28 per hour for total contract of $38,550; Care Givers American, LTC, Clark Summit, 2,000 hours of personal care services at $17.72 per hour for total contract of $320,005; Focus Health, LLC, Sunbury, 1,000 hours personal care service at $17.72 per hour for total contract of $17,720; Addus Healthcare Inc., Palatine, Ill., 18,059 hours of personal care services at $17.72 per hour for total contract of $17,720; Home Care of Eastern Pennsylvania Inc., doing business as Home Instead Senior Care of Pottsville, 4,000 hours of personal care services at $17.72 per hour for total contract of $70,880; Compass Rose Care, LTD, Minersville, 10,000 hours of personal care services at $20 per hour for total contract of $200,000; Catholic Charities and Holy Family Day Care Center, Allentown, for 3,959 days of adult day care at $51.62 per day and 3,959 meals at $3.50 per meal for total contract of $218,223.

And, Tamaqua Adult Day Care, 3,500 days of adult day care at $51.50 per day and 5,000 meals at $3.60 per meal for contract of $197,750; Berks Center for Independent Living, Reading, personal care assistance services for 12,000 hours at $15.20 per hour for total contract of $182,400; Advocacy Alliance, Scranton, for 323 per month per consumer, caregiver check cutting at $2.85 per check; guardianship, $75 per hour and guardianship support at $30 per hour, nursing home transition, $40 per hour with mileage reimbursement at 45 cents per mile, personal assistance services at $15.20 per hour and financial monitoring at $77 per month for total contract of $86,790; Anthracite Regional Center for Independent Living, Hazleton, for the management of the aging and disability resources center program, $39,500.

Emergency Management Agency - A training agreement with A-T Solution Inc., for $44,959.79 to provide the task force with advanced threat assessment training.

Coal leases

One year lease renewals were approved for coal companies as follows:

KK Coal Company, LLC., Bernard Kuperavage, principal owner, lease on county held coal lands in Blythe and East Norwegian townships, royalty payments for past year, $20,624.50, lifetime of lease, $1,275,754.50; and second lease for local land in Blythe Township, royalty payments for past year, $19,154.84 and lifetime of lease, $1,478,624.90.

Kuperavage Enterprises Inc., trading as Tuscarora Coal Company, David Kuperavage, principal owner, lease on coal land in Blythe Township, royalties paid for past year, $11,1097.02 and lifetime of lease, $34,672.56.

Jett Contracting Company, Joseph and Dorothy Cromyak, principal owners, coal land in Blythe Township, royalty payment for current lease $10,269.32 and lifetime of lease, $76,809.52.

Whitey Wash Enterprises, Russell White, principal owner, coal land in Reilly Township, royalties paid on current lease, $2,464 and lifetime, $9,408.

Other business

On behalf of the Human Resources Office the commissioners entered into an employee assistance program agreement with Inroads At Family Guidance Center. The county will pay an administrative fee of $10 per covered employee and an additional fee of $70 for each authorized counseling session. The cost to the county for 754 employees will be $7,540 plus the cost of counseling sessions.

Gary Bender, county grant writer, and Mark Scarbinsky, county administrator, were reappointed as members of the Schuylkill County Affordable Housing Trust Fund Board for two years ending July 1, 2015.

An extension of terms were approved on the Sweet Arrow Lake Park Board. They were John Babinshak, Shenandoah; Gary Slutter, Friedensburg; Forrest Shadle, Lavelle, Butler Township; Earl Matz, Pine Grove; and Bruce Schneck, Tower City.

Action taken on personnel matters were:

Solicitor's Office - Lois Lebo, Branchdale, Branch Township, hired as a paralegal at $29,944 per year and Attorney Robert Frycklund, Lehighton, as per diem assistant county solicitor at $28,784 per year.

Rest Haven Home - Patricia Mullen, Reading, terminated as per diem licensed practical nurse and Brandon Hoffman, Schuylkill Haven, hired as part time housekeeper, floor care technician and laundry aide, at $18 per hour. Ashley Spittler, Pine Grove, resigned as a per diem nurse's aide; and Rose Ulicny, Shenandoah, as a part time nurse's aide trainee.

Office of Senior Services - Gretchin Deffley, Mahanoy City, retired as aging care manager.

Court Administration - Laurence O'Rourke, Orwigsburg, hired as a per diem court attendant at $9.1094 per hour.

Public Defender Office - Ashley Yagielinskie, Frackville, hired as an unpaid intern.

Adult Probation Department - Zachary Broomell, Mahanoy City; Samantha Henninger, Pottsville; and Simon Dallago, Marlin, Norwegian Township, hired as unpaid interns.

District Attorney's Office - Jesselyn Heaps, Pottsville, hired as a clerk 1 at $11.17 per hour.

Office of Senior Services - Brenda Rutko, Eldred Township, resigned as a clerk typist.