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Meeting for block grant funds set for West Penn Township

Published May 25. 2013 09:02AM

Approval to advertise for a public meeting to be held in West Penn Township was made by the Schuylkill County commissioners in action taken at a public meeting Thursday at the courthouse in Pottsville.

The township has qualified to receive directly a grant from the state's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, instead of having to apply to the county for a share of a grant the county receives for municipalities which do not qualify to receive direct grants. The grants are based on population, and the last U.S. Census report showed the township's population has increased to the status of qualifying for its own grant.

The township, however, has requested Gary Bender, director of the county's CDBG program, to administer the program for the township because of his expertise.

The public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, June 3 in the township's municipal building for the public to give input on projects which could be funded by the grant. The township is expected to receive around $80,000.

Other actions

Although the temperature outdoors was in the 80s, the commissioners acted on preparing for the winter months.

A three-year contract was approved with Guers Topsoil and Mulch Products Inc., New Philadelphia, for snow and ice removal, salting and cindering at Schuylkill County facilities based on hourly rate basis.

Election Director Frannie Brennan was given approval to hire six people to serve on the computing board to make the official count of votes cast in Tuesday's primary election. They will be paid $70 per day.

Approval was given for grant writer Gary Bender to submit an application to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime for a grant to compensate victims of crimes committed by juveniles.

Approval was given for submission of a financial assistance application to the state Department of Transportation for the Schuylkill Transportation System (STS) for its fixed route and shared ride programs.

An agreement was entered with Green Communications of Pottsville to continue to service the 9-1-1 phone system at a cost of $274,023.24. Funds to defray the cost are eligible to be received from Act 56 and 76, which places a tariff on land and cell phones. Green Communications installed the system in 2007.

Julia Kubick, Minersville, and Rose Kern, Mahanoy City, were reappointed to the Office of Senior Services Advisory Board for three year terms ending May 31, 2016.

Adopt proclamation

A proclamation was adopted to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Schuylkill County Vision organization which serves nine partnerships, the Interfaith Health Network, Diabetes Task Force, Suicide Prevention Task Force, Schuylkill on the Move, Mental Health Committee, Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, Immunization Coalition, Diversity Council, and Block of Art.

The commissioners approved contracts for four county school districts for their participation in promoting preventive alternative activities to combat drug and alcohol. Pottsville Area received a payment of $2,000 under the contract, Minersville Area, $1,770, North Schuylkill, $1,060, and Mahanoy Area, $1,450.

The commissioners approved tax relief for a building in Minersville which the borough has acquired with plans to demolish. The borough acquired the property at 203 Spruce Street, when the owner, Timothy Youngblood, turned over the deed after the borough ruled the property was uninhabitable and dangerous. The borough was able to procure federal CDBG funds for the demolition. The unpaid taxes total $2,514.01 owed to the county, Minersville Area School District, and Minersville Borough. The county waived collection so that the borough could proceed with demolition.

A change order was approved for Lightspeed Technologies in the amount of $5,910.81 for additional telephone and cabling required in updating the courthouse telephone and computer system. A contract was entered with Inservco Insurance Services to provide third party workers' compensation services to the county at an annual fee of $13,000.

President Judge William E. Baldwin, from a supervision account, has turned over to the adult probation department $63,552, the commissioners were informed by Fiscal Officer Paul Buber.

He announced $60,000 will be used for purchase of a 2013 passenger vehicle and a 2013 utility police vehicle; $3,552 will go to funding for the purchase of two mobile radios to property equip the vehicles.

The supervision account was created under Act 35 of 1999 directing the county courts to collect, as a condition of supervision, a monthly supervision fee on any offender placed on probation, parole, Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program, probation without verdict, or Intermediate Punishment Program.

Personnel matters

Action taken on personnel matters were as follows:

Election Board: Deborah Danchak, Coaldale, a clerk, has retired.

Coroner's Office: Christian Weiser, Schuylkill Haven, hired as a deputy coroner and investigator on a per diem rate.

Children and Youth Services Agency: Stephanie Crawford, Butler Township, promoted to caseworker II at $18.0415 per hour.

Rest Haven: Kellie Garrett, Schuylkill Haven, hired as full time nurse's aide at $11.72 per hour; Amanda Sterner, New Ringgold, resigned as a part time nurse's aide; Lianne Kleiner, Valley View, resigned as full time nurse's aide; Elaine Hozella, Pottsville, resigned as part time licensed practical nurse; and Anna Hornberger, Shenandoah, was terminated as a full-time nurse's aide

The commissioners were informed that District Attorney Karen Byrnes Noon promoted Amanda Wessner, Wayne Township, to secretary lll at $13.08 per hour; Judge Baldwin appointed Mary Ann Cadden, Allentown, as a court reporter at $18.59 per hour; the public defender's officer appointed Paul Domalakes, Frackville, as an unpaid intern; and the emergency management department named Shelby Sattizahn, Pine Grove Township, an unpaid intern.

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