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Two public hearings set for Schuylkill grant applications

Published May 23. 2011 05:00PM

Two public hearings pertaining to application for grants have been scheduled by the Schuylkill County Commissioners in action taken at Wednesday's work session held at the courthouse in Pottsville.

A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 24, at 10 a.m. at the Team PA Career Link Center in Pottsville, to obtain public imput and comment prior to Schuylkill Transportation System (STS) finalizes its applilcation for an operating grant from PennDOT to allow the county to continue providing bus services to its residents.

A public meeting will be held on Friday, May 27, at 10 a.m. in the board room of the commissioners in the courthouse pertaining to applying for a grant regarding the 2011 Emergency Shelter Program for Gaudenzia Foundation Inc., the Schuylkill Women in Crisis (SWIC) and Schuylkill County Bridge Program.

Gaudenzia needs the funds to make needed masonry and pointing repairs on the exterior of its building and for their residential treatment program for families. Gary Bender, county grant writer, said this program serves homeless families where the female head of the household has substance abuse addictions and often other co-occuring disorders.

The SWIC seeks funding to continue renovations to its emergency shelter for homeless victims of domestic violence to ensure code compliance as well as to support continued operations of the shelter.

The bridge program seeks funding for operating expenses of Bridge House, a transitional housing facility for homeless individuals and families in the county.

Bender announced the county will also seek funds to support a homeless prevention activity which include providing financial assistance in the form of short term and medium term rental assistance as well as housing relocation and stabilization services to clients receiving rental assistance.

Willing to assist

Controller Melinda Kantner informed the commissioners she is ready and willilng to assist L.Samuel Deegan, certified public accountant hired by the commissioners last year to prepare audits of county finances. Last year Kantner and Deegan accused each other for delays in completing the audit.

Commissioner Francis McAndrew responded, "I'm glad to hear you are finally willilng to work with the auditor." County Solicitor Mica said under the county code a single audit is prepared for the Department of Community Economic Development of expenditues of grants received by the county and the controller has to file an audit with the county courts listing all the expenditures of county offices.

Treasurer's report

County Treasurer Jacqueline McGovern was pleased in the manner tax monies were being paid dispite many people unemployed.

She reported the balance at the beginning of the month in April was $43,908,259.64 and deposits made during the month were $17,104,874.13, expenditures, $11,041,706.58 and the ending balance was $49,971,427.19.

Real estate taxes paid during the month totaled $6,799,292.29, taxes on the funded debt, $333,614.38 and the $5 per capita tax on each adult totaled $103,600.46. Other revenue was from license sales, dog, $1,305.30; fish, $56, hunting, $8; to operate bingo games, $515 and small game of chance, $4,209.30. revenues from magisterial fees was $63,309.18; tariff on land phones for 9-1-1 were $77,376.91 and hotel tax, $13,947.36.

The Essential Management Solutions,LLC, of Pottsville, was hired to conduct consulting services for a narrow band compliance and also 9-1-1 wireless post deployment and accurancy testing at a cost of $218,000. The testing will be for a period of 12 months. The project is funded through state grants.

Approval was given to Willam Liptok, public works director, to seek bids to provide coal for the courthouse and prison for one, two or three years. Bids will be opened at the June 15 public meeting of the commissioners.

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