Transit services to stay on the right road
Carbon County is making sure that transportation is available to people who need a ride.
During the county commissioners meeting on Thursday, the board voted on four items that would guarantee that the Carbon County Community Transit services would be in place for 2013. The actions included adopting a local match certification resolution for fiscal year 2012-2013, section 1513 in the amount of $29,258; adopt the 2013 local match operating resolution certifying operating assistance of $200,931 and listing matching funds of no less than $29,258; ratify the acceptance of federal fiscal year 2012 certifications and assurances for federal transit administration assistance programs; and ratify the acceptance of special sections 5333(b) warranty for application to the Small Urban and Rural Program Labor Provisions Assurance form.
Commissioner William O'Gurek explained that the actions by the board were to ensure that the shared ride and Lynx bus services, operated and managed by Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA), would continue in Carbon County.
Currently, the county's transportation budget is $2.7 million, which is made up of $37,000 in county funds, with the rest by state and federal funding through the Pennsylvania Lottery, Area Agency on Aging, Department of Public Welfare, and grants for persons with disabilities.
"This is an opportunity for us to enable people in the county, who otherwise do not have transportation, to get to places they need to be," O'Gurek said, adding that the programs are dependent if the person meets requirements to receive the services for free or if they will pay a minimal fee for the ride.
CCCT offers Carbon County residents public transportation within the county and to several points outside of the county, including areas such as Frackville, Hazleton, Walnutport, and the Lehigh Valley Mall in Lehigh County.
Services are provided Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Customers must apply before being able to use the service. For more information on times of services or reserving a ride, call the Easton Coach Company in Nesquehoning at (570) 669-6380 or visit www.carboncounty.com/transport.htm.
In other matters, Peter Salerno of Lehighton, who is in favor of the voter ID law, provided the board with information regarding how residents could obtain a free ID.
According to a release by the Pennsylvania Department of State, Salerno said, voters that were identified as not having a PennDOT ID ill be contacted by letter this summer.
He added that after speaking with a representative at the driver's license center in Lehighton, he found out that residents can only obtain non-driver IDs on Fridays between 9 a.m. and 3:15 p.m., but they could also get IDs in Hazleton on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Salerno also said that the raised seal on the birth certificate is also not required anymore to obtain a voter ID card.
According to the PennDOT website, "If they do not have a birth certificate with a raised seal and are a Pennsylvania native; and do not have one of the acceptable, alternative forms of photo identification to vote; and will provide a signed oath/affirmation form, when visiting the PennDOT driver's license center, they must tell the PennDOT customer service representative they are a Pennsylvania native who needs a photo ID for voting purposes, and do not have a certified copy of their birth certificate; sign an oath/affirmation that they do not have an acceptable form of ID for voting purposes and the photo ID is needed for voting purposes; show a Social Security card and two proofs of residence, such as a deed, lease, tax bill, or utility bill; fill out a DL-54A form requesting a non-driver photo ID and; complete the HD01564F (Request for Certification of Birth Record for Voter ID Purposes Only) form, which collects information such as birth name, mother and father's name and place of birth. This Department of Health form is available at all Driver Licensing Centers.
"PennDOT will then forward the completed form to the Department of Health, which maintains birth records. After verifying the birth record is on file, the Department of Health will securely transmit this information to PennDOT. PennDOT will then notify them by letter that their birth record has been confirmed. They may then return to any driver's license center, with the above noted documentation, to receive your free photo ID for voting purposes. This verification process will take about 10 days and does not require the payment of a fee."
Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard said that he is in favor of the new law, but had a problem with the process with obtaining an ID. For a complete list of requirements on the law, go to www.dmv.state.pa.us/voter/voteridlaw.shtml.
The commissioners also acted on the following items:
• Approve the 2012-2013 grant-in-aid application to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole for the improvement of adult probation services through the reimbursement of eligible salaries of professional staff. Estimated revenue is $65,000.
• Approve the 2012-2013 renewal of the State Offender Supervision Fee five-year agreement, which commenced July 1, and ends June 30, 2017.
• Appoint August Long of Jim Thorpe as a representative of Ametek Industry to the Local Emergency Planning Committee.
• Approve change order 1 in the amount of $8,920.92, to Spotts Brothers Inc. of Schuylkill Haven for the courthouse chimney repairs. The extra cost is for replacing the chimney cap.
• Ratify the submission of a budget revision to the Homeless Prevention Rapid Rehousing program grant contract for the period of 2009 to 2012. The action moves funds from the data collection and evaluation tab and financial assistance tab to the housing relocation and stabilization tab. The grant remains unchanged at $304,447.
• Gerhard thanked a number of residents for help with the Carbon County Animal Shelter, including Larry Rogers for donating a new Dell computer system to the shelter; and Hunter and Hailey Diehl of Kunkletown who are holding a clothing drive as their senior project. The proceeds of the drive will be given to the shelter.
• Gerhard also thanked Ronald Sheehan and Jim Trainer from the Jim Thorpe Lions Club for their efforts with the club's new community service project, which will replace the American flags on utility poles in Jim Thorpe. The club is looking for donations for the project.