People Above Politics

Litz brings Local Government, Small Business, and Conservation Experience to the Table.

   Jo Ellen is a 5-term Lebanon County Commissioner who is the Boots on the Ground for local government implementing programs to Protect Children, Serve Families, Secure Justice, Manage Emergencies, and Safeguard Elections.  In short, Commissioner Litz Safeguards the Public Trust.

Whether it was the 2004 Campbelltown Tornado, Tropical Storm Lee in 2011, or the 30" 2016 Snowstorm Jonas,

I've been here for you.

Litz was elected by her peers from across the state of Pennsylvania to serve as the 2012 president and 2013 chairman of the Board for the statewide commissioner's association. 

Litz is about starting a conversation from public structures like roads and bridges, water and sewer, schools, and energy.  A sound infrastructure is the basis of a sound economy.  Litz believes we need these Economy Boosting Jobs to put money into the pockets of people so that they can buy homes, cars, and goods.  Litz supports a transportation plan to make our roads and bridges safe.  In this way, we will create good paying jobs, get people to these jobs, our goods to market, and children to schools. 

Jo Ellen served as the chair of the MPO (2012-15)--Metropolitan Planning Organization for Lebanon County--where she helps to prioritize local road and bridge projects with PennDOT and the Federal Highway Administration. 

Keep Litz doing the People's Business.


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County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz speaks to voters- Duration- 78 seconds


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Litz Co Commercial Rentals, 1.386 acre Property Available with established Rt 422 access & curb cuts.  Out of the flood plain.  Shovel ready with public water, sewer, electricity, gas & cable.  Zoned C2 General Commercial in N Lebanon Twp.  Another fast growing municipality, N Cornwall Twp is across Route 422.  Drone tour of subject site:


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Invest in my campaign for commissioner.  As a TEAM, we can overcome Big Money, and make this a People's Campaign.  Are you with me?

Each of us is at a different place in our life.  Some people can volunteer time.  Other people can provide financial support--$5, $50, or $500 a month.  Whatever your situation, your contribution of time and or money is gratefully appreciated.   

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Thank you for your help and support during this campaign.  Your unwavering commitment is the wind beneath my wings.

On election day, every vote matters.  You matter!  And I can't win this race without you.


Volunteer  today  Jo Ellen Litz


Thank you for your support and for all that you do.

Sincerely, Jo Ellen

People Above Politics

Team Litz:  Treasurer, Cathy Garrison

Honorary Chair:     Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll --a woman who broke the glass ceiling and contributed greatly to PA politics; born in 1930, died November 12, 2008.

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Web site paid for by Jo Ellen Litz. 

December 31, 2003

Today was the last full meeting of Commissioners Rose Marie Swanger and Ed Arnold.  We wish them both well in their future endeavors.

In addition, Dianne Rhoads gave her last treasurer's report at this meeting.  Happy trails to Dianne!

Claire Lundberg, a key leader representative for Communities that Care, reminded commissioners that their current $150,000 grant runs out in June 2004.  They have worked cooperatively with Gatekeeper Mentors, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Peer Review Board....  They meet the first Monday of each month at 2PM.  They are attempting to sustain funding.  Since Commissioner Swanger represented the commissioners on the board, Claire also requested that a replacement representative be named.

Commissioners certified that the coroner delivered his bond to the County.

$10,000 was appropriated from Liquid Fuels funds toward a $55,000 road project in Mt. Gretna--at Carriage and Gettysburg Streets.

December 24, 2003

Daniel Kauffman presented a $34,000 grant request for approval for Delta Development Group to complete an updated Lebanon County Emergency Preparedness Plan by June 15, 2004. Due to terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, an update is needed that will provide mobility to the incident command center if the municipal building were immobilized

Further, commissioners approved a $100,000 contract with Fred Schuler of Special Systems Services to oversee installation of the new EMA radio system, field coordination, bid specifications, education, problem analysis….

Two grants were accepted from the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency:

  1. $18,068 for the District Attorney’s Rapid Adjudication Program; and
  2. $15,956 for the District Attorney’s Victims of Juvenile Offenders Program.

An additional $4000 in Liquid Fuels funds were approved for Myerstown Borough.

Sally Barry, chief probation officer, was appointed to the Drug and Alcohol board.

Carla Hoke, Kristin Rovers, and Jessica Penchard were appointed to the board of the Area Agency on Aging.

Commissioners voted to approve an $82,757,391 budget, which included an increase in millage from 22.8 to 25 mills. The General Fund is $28,609,949 of the budget.

Controller Robert Mettley, Treasurer Diane Rhoads, and former Commissioner Tom Behney sat with Commissioners Arnold, Carpenter, and Swanger as the retirement board. The retirement fund is currently at $73,420,836, the highest balance since June 2001. It was voted to pay 5.5% interest to employees’ retirement accounts; to use the 1/80th class; and based on 90% of the cost of living index to donate $391,510 or 2.25% of the balance to the retirement fund. Finally, benefits statements will be printed by Hank Steele at a cost of $1.75 each.

December 18, 2003

bulletCommissioners signed a collective bargaining agreement for the EMA Telecommunicators.  Per the contract, Commissioners also increased the pay rates of Telecommunicators by 4% over their 2002 pay rates.
bulletCharles Wertz presented Patricia & Steve Walmer's 26.979 acre farm, in Newmanstown, Heidleberg Township, for a right-to-be-heard public comment hearing.  The Walmer's are donating the development rights worth $112,050, and placing the farm in the preservation program.  This is the sixth donated easement in this area bringing contiguous acres of preserved farms to  175 in Heidleberg, and a total of over 6,000 acres preserved in Lebanon County.  As a side note, Patricia is president of the Lebanon Valley Conservancy, and has shown that she takes her commitment to land preservation to heart.
bulletPat & Jessica Bross and the Lebanon County Dairy Royalty served peppermint flavored milkshakes and presented Commissioners with decorative mason jars containing a pasta meal.
bulletWilliam Sullivan and Alicia Fioravanti presented the 5th year Gatekeeper Grant, which by combining Alicia's position with the JCJC grant and making Alicia a probation officer, will reduce the County's share from $8160 to $2223.
bulletRuth Davis and Sally Barry presented a $58.600 supplemental grant for Renaissance Crossroads.
bulletJames Holtry and Karen Alonzo presented the $338,951.40 and $10,709 first quarter invoices for Children and Youth.
bulletDaniel Kauffman presented a $10.4 million contract with M/A-COM to purchase mobile, and portable phones and pagers as well as use of seven cel towers for approval and signatures.  This is a GE system that can interface both analog and digital data communications and communicate with the State Police's 'Open Sky' system.  The system should go live in 2005.

December 17, 2003

bulletKeith Campbell was appointed to the Workforce Investment Board.
bulletBrian Kreider and Don Bollinger were appointed to the Conservation District Board.
bulletLiquid Fuels Special Requests were entertained and approved:
bulletBethel $5000 towards Farmer's Drive;
bulletMt. Gretna $10,000 towards Carnegie and Gettysburg Streets;
bulletMyerstown $4000 towards West Stover and Washington Streets;
bulletNorth Lebanon $7500 towards Russel Road;
bulletNorth Londonderry $10,000 towards Eisenhower Road; and
bulletSouth Lebanon $30,000 towards a signal light at Lincoln Avenue and Evergreen Road.
bulletA letter was distributed from the County Commissioner's Association of PA outlining a change that takes effect immediately in the County pension law.  The act provides a limited window of one year from the effective date of the act for a county to adopt either of the new benefit levels--vesting after five years, down from the current eight.  The law makes the county consistent with federally regulated private plans, and with the State plan.    New benefit levels are 1/50 and 1/40--previously 1/120 and 1/60.  Employee contributions at the new levels are a maximum of 9%.  For more information visit .

December 11, 2003

Six layoffs in Buildings and Grounds--custodians and watchmen--are slated for  December 31.

Lynn Snead, Domestic Violence Intervention, presented sub-grant proposals:

bullet$85,391 for 48 energy efficient window replacements and restoration of 23 stained glass windows;
bullet$94,900 for operations--utilities and roof replacement, which is a priority.  Interior painting is also needed.

Shem Heller presented Commissioners Carpenter, Arnold, and Swanger with a Patriotic Support Award for the County's support of National Guardsmen who must take off from work for summer training and active duty.

COLT board reappointments include:

bulletTrisha Boltz, John Shenk, and Franklin Shearer

Commissioners discussed distribution of $50,000 in funding.  In case State funds are permanently cut, the money will be held to help operate the mandated Crisis Intervention Service at GSH.  Funding for this service comes from HSDF, Children and Youth, and Mental Health/Mental Retardation.  The Good Samaritan Hospital Homemakers Services will be cut to maintain Crisis Intervention.  However, Medical Assistance Transportation is an entitlement that is fully funded and was not cut by the State.

December 4, 2003

While giving the treasurer’s report, Dianne Rhoads was accompanied by treasurer-elect Sallie Neuin.

Melissa Light presented personnel transactions.

Raymond Bender, Mel Kaplan, and Sue Bowman reviewed a $97,371 DCED Brownfield application, and received approval for submittal from the commissioners. For families of two with income up to $38,000 per year or families of three with up to $42,900 per year, who live in a structure that is free from major structural defects and have children under the age of six, a risk assessment can assist their landlords with obtaining 75% reimbursement up to $10,000 for interim lead reduction threats like painting over old paint inside the home; capping lead paint outside the home; and replacing windows and doors. Studies show that the majority of threats from old lead-based paint produced up until 1976 include chipping, peeling, and dust, which can be ingested.

A memorandum of understanding was signed with Berks County for implementation of routing 911 calls to appropriate county.

Commissioners approved a proclamation for the December 11 opening of Home Depot.

Finally, for display, commissioners approved an $82,757,391 budget, which reflects a 2.2 mill increase to the 25 mill maximum allowed by law.  Because they are at the ceiling, the $2.5 reserve or carryover account is less than the recommended 10% of budget.  Twenty six positions were cut to part-time or eliminated.  Next year, you will most likely see the assessment ratio go from 50% to 100% of market value (more on this soon).

November 20, 2003

Commissioner Carpenter announced that a two-year, 4% wage increase agreement was reached with the EMA Telecommunicators.

Probation will handle supervision fees collected and turned over to the State for the commissioners and president judge.

Archie Battistelli and Kurt Muller, Advest, presented the third quarter employees retirement fund update.  The ending value is $69,107,000, which reflects a 12% increase for 2003.

November 13, 2003

Marc Hess, Keith Shields, Edgar Miller, and Sue Werner were reappointed to the Children and Youth advisory Board.

Kevin Schrum, Carol Davies, and Brenda Mettley from MHMR and Susan Klarsch from Drug and Alcohol presented contract amendments totaling $2,192 with CSG, EARS, Friendship, Halcyon, Phoenix, Area Agency on Aging, Cathy Roscoe, LL IU#13, Arc, Supportive Concepts, and Tyler Associates.

PA requested a new position--Early Intervention Support Coordinator.  This is an entitlement program requiring a $2000 county match.

Ken Bachem, Donald Fellenbaum, and Robert Beers opened bids for expansion of the Ag Center.  Base bids were received from eleven firms.  Providing the low bidders meet all of the bid specifications, contracts will be awarded at the next commissioner's meeting.

Smith & Smith, Pottsville $724,690 Woodland, Lebanon $579,282 Lobar, Dillsburg $776,156
Sponaugle, State College $675,000 ECI, Dillsburg $677,781 VL Rendina, Lancaster $840,000
Buckwalter, Newmanstown $642,500 Arthur Funk, Lebanon $664,332 TL Rowe, Millersburg $774,177
Bognet, Hazelton $793,260 EF Martzall, Reinholdsburg $698,742  

Mechanical and Electrical Bids were also opened for the project.

Shannon Smith, Myerstown $150,000 Shannon Smith, Myerstown $176,385
AH Moyer, Myerstown $179,980 JB Electric, Minersville $159,490
Bognet, Hazelton $199,993 Reidenbaugh, Lititz $162,920
Landmark, Myerstown $no bid Stoner, Lebanon $108,194
BK Engineers, Harrisburg $170,190 Blatt & Myers, Myerstown $152,500

November 6, 2003

Dennis Firestone requested and received exoneration for seven depreciated and abandoned mobile homes, mostly in the Palmyra area.

Robert McNary received approval for Tax Increment Financing of the Palmyra Hillwood project that requires local match of $2 million for right-of-way acquisition. Under the TIF program, the business pays full taxes, but a portion goes into a fund for ten years toward infrastructure improvements—roads, water, sewer, bridges, red lights…. Otherwise, municipalities might have to front the entire cost of infrastructure improvements to encourage businesses to locate in their area. However, in this case, the $1 million saved on Hershey Park Drive may be applied to the local match. The Jackson Township Industrial Authority will receive the funds. Interest is invested by Fulton Trustees, then reinvested in the building. The LVEDC receives $30-$50,000 in administration fees.

Contracts for the $90,633 Supportive Work Program and $128,418 Housing Assistance programs (Bridge House and MATP; as well as $8170 for GSH Homemakers were approved pending budget discussions.

Jeffrey Imboden, chief of Adult Probation, tendered his resignation effective November 14, 2003.

October 30, 2003

Dan Seaman presented four commercial assessments from Lebanon Plaza Associates, Alcoa, Twin Oaks Nursing Home in Campbelltown, and Bayer.  All were denied lower assessments.

To aid in collecting evidence for trial, Deirdre Eshleman presented a one-time $9,978 Project Safe Neighborhoods Mini-Grant to purchase digital cameras, software, Global Positioning Systems, and color printers for county police departments.

October 23, 2003

John and Marie Wengert were on hand to help dedicate lampposts that they purchased March 31, 1999 The original columns that stood in front of the 1800's court house on Cumberland St. were acquired at an auction in East Hanover Township, and donated to Lebanon County in honor of their parents.  Steve Mendoff, president of the Lebanon Hook & Ladder Fire Company #1, was also on hand to dedicate the bell from the old courthouse.

October 16, 2003

Deputy EMA Director Annette Smith retired after 17 years of dedicated service.

Lynn Snead reviewed the Domestic Violence Intervention program and requested a waiver to allow DVI to directly receive $49,506 in grant funds, which would be used for a strategic plan and computer equipment and software. DVI served 1,665 clients through phone consultations, group sessions, and shelter.

Bob McNary, Lebanon Valley Economic and Development Corporation, presented a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) project for Hillwood Investment Property that spans the Lebanon and Dauphin County Lines between North Londonderry and Derry Townships. Fifty percent of new taxes, not existing taxes, will go into infrastructure improvements where Lingle Avenue meets Route 422. If Penn DOT improved the project, there would be a 20% match for items like right of way acquisition required from Palmyra Borough. Employee traffic from the new plant is expected to overwhelm this intersection. While the overall project will cost $8,228,000, about $2 million will come from the TIF, which represents ten years worth of tax contributions from the impacted municipalities and respective school district. Sherry Capello, Palmyra Borough manager, spoke in favor of the proposal. Ron Fouche, N Londonderry Township Supervisor spoke against the project stating that Penn DOT had promised this improvement prior to the new plant locating here. He felt that Penn DOT was going back on a promise to pay for the entire upgrade.

October 9, 2003

Melvyn Kaplan and Betsy Bowman presented a $97,300 HOME Program Grant for the Housing and Redevelopment Authority.  Funds are used in Section 8 properties for removal of lead paint in urban areas.  Commissioners also applied for $500,000 in federal match for CDBG funds authorized by Act 137, the Affordable Housing Program that helps first time home buyers.  To date, over a ten year period, 271 people financed their first home.  The average home sells for $78,000.

October 2, 2003

Susan Klarsh presented contracts for Drug and Alcohol Abuse with the Annville Township Police Department for tobacco compliance checks, and Joy Blankley received a proclamation for Red Ribbon Week.

Judge Eby, Commissioners Sanger and Arnold sat as the board of elections to approve the ballot layout provided by Chief Election Clerk Elaine Ludwig.  In addition, because of demolition at the Lebanon Plaza, North Cornwall South's polling place was moved to the Bible Fellowship Church, 1635 Mill St., between Rocherty and Colebrook Roads

Bryan John Cooper was admitted to Renova Center.

September 25, 2003

Fifteen year old Eagle Scout Jeremy Schott was honored with a proclamation. Jeremy belongs to troop 401, Schaefferstown, and has earned 25 merit badges.

Kim Umble and Vicki DeLoatch of Lebanon Family Health Services also received a proclamation congratulating them for their 30th anniversary.

A third proclamation for ARC of Dauphin & Lebanon Counties was issued, which recognized their 50th year of providing services and support to people with mental retardation and other disabilities.  .

Finally, a proclamation for Valerie Stokes, General Manager of Kapp Advertising, was adopted.

James Holtry and Karen Alonzo presented fourth quarter invoices totaling $7,112,658 for Children and Youth to cover adoption services, day care, protective service for child abuse, emergency shelter, foster family dependents, juvenile detention….

Michael Kristovensky and Carol Levengood presented Employ the Older Worker citations for Bayer (large employer) and the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority (small employer). Mary Anspach and Roberta DeSantos accepted the awards. Further Bill Brandt, a 43 year employee of Brenner Machine was accompanied by Charles Lantz and president Jan Herschkowicz as he accepted his award for older employee of the year. He was representative of older workers for their production, efficiency, loyalty, and low absenteeism. Commissioners declared 9/25-9/29 Employ the Older Worker Week.

Jamie Wolgemuth presented a $19,791,798 intergovernmental transfer of funds for approval that covers requirements for a tax revenue anticipation note to match federal funds for nursing homes. A general certificate authorizing the draw down secures medical assistance dollars. The County of Lebanon receives a $15,000 administration fee for the draw.

Carol Levengood was reappointed to a three year term as a member of the South Central Workforce Investment Board.

September 18, 2003

Kevin Schrum, director of MHMR & D&A, was appointed interim acting director of Renova Center. This position is in addition to his other position(s).

Phyllis Holtry presented Human Service plans for approval:

bullet2002-03 $209,599 Revised Expenditure Plan, which is up from $134,599, but reimbursed 100%.
bullet2003-2004 Expenditure Plan, which matches the revised $209,599 spent in the previous year. While serving 553 clients, the increase occurred for several supply and demand reasons including: new methadone patients, taxicabs, eligibility determinations for the Housing Authority….
bulletAn HSDF DPW $279,829 Plan was approved for crisis intervention…including $2700 for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and $139,910 for the Supportive Work Program, which placed 50 clients in jobs.

Commissioners provided Jim Holtry with signatory authority.

September 11, 2003

Chief Detective Paul Zechman presented continuation grants for approval:

bulletRapid Adjudication Program (RAP), in its second year, requires a 50% match of $18,067 to cover salaries, training & supplies.  This program expedites cases through the criminal justice system.

Elder Abuse Grant also at a 50% match of $26,044 for an assistant district attorney, accountant….  The Elder Crimes Unit investigates and prosecutes cases involving abuse against the elderly, including financial crimes, physical abuse and neglect.

bulletJuvenile Prosecutor Grant in its final year requires a 75% match of $7391, again for an ADA, training, and supplies.

When there are time overruns to review subdivision plans, William Kurtz received permission to charge additional engineering review fees over the basic fee.

A $35,000 pass-through grant was approved for Lynn Sneed at Domestic Violence Intervention.

Lori Kinney was appointed to the Area Agency on Aging board to fill an unexpired term.

Michael Kristovensky, Joe Lecisko, and Deb Shaver reviewed the Area Agency on Aging Budget and Initiatives. In short, their budget was cut $153,016, down from $3,392,474 in 2003 to $3,238,848 in 2004. They’ve eliminated computer phone lines; downsized three elder care centers to two, which reduces the need for substitutes; started to purchase meals at a cost of $3.85 each from Canteens Corporation; increased suggested daily donations for COLT bus rides, elder care and meals; not approved cost of living rate increases for site rentals; and eliminated delivery of meals to out-of-county residents. In addition, personal care may be bid to independent contractors, which will ensure bookkeeping such as 1099’s are properly administered.

Michael Kristovensky also received signatory authority for approved grants.

September 4, 2003

Ken Bachem, John Wengert, and Tod Dissiner were present for the awarding of phase 3 for 1.5 miles of the Rails to Trails project.  At a total bid of $284,259, low bidder Rogele, Inc of Harrisburg received the Commissioner's nod.

After an executive session on union negotiations, Commissioners joined other members of the Metropolitan Planning Organization to discuss bridge projects submitted by North Annville and Annville Townships; administrative projects costing less than $1 million;...and a goal of reducing 1% or 7000 cars per day on roads in the Capital region, which would relieve 22 miles of traffic.  This goal can help alleviate the need to build more roads and is attainable if businesses join the effort by installing bicycle racks, preferred car pool parking, and of course, if gas continues to rise in price their will be an economic incentive for workers to car pool.

August 28, 2003

Dan Kauffman was hired as the new EMA director.

Kevin Schrum, Shem Heller, Dave Hartman, Brenda Mettley and Melissa Heisey presented the 2004-05 $623,000 Mental Health Plan that they hope the State approves and funds:

bulletTransition services from hospitals back to the community for ages 15-21 will be improved--a fulltime contracted nurse to respond to difficult to manage individuals who won't take medications..., a part time support psychiatrist, and a part time team leader with a master's or PhD.
bulletRespite care service for adults will be improved--including training of both staff and first responders to help them better understand MH situations.  Also, MHMR will seek more or expanded respite beds through another provider.
bulletExpanded employment services for independent living clients.

Next, Kevin reviewed contract modifications totaling $124,581.

Then, HealthChoices contract modifications that will have no financial impact on the County were reviewed:

bulletconcerning the balanced budget act
bulletperformance standards/requirements on documents

Susan Klarsch and Carol Davies of Drug and Alcohol presented fourth quarter expenditure reports and contract amendments for Eagleville Hospital and White Deer Run.  In addition, because of the volume/bulk of contracts to transport, commissioners gave their signatory authority to Susan to sign contracts on their behalf.  This move is consistent with other departments like Children and Youth and MHMR.

Commissioners approved a resolution supporting the expansion of the Swatara Water Trail north through Swatara State Park.  The lead organization for this project is the Swatara Creek Watershed Association.

August 20, 2003

Commissioners met as both the Boards of Cedar Haven and the County Prison.  Cedar Haven's Fall Frolic will take place September 13 from 10AM-3PM.

August 21, 2003

Carol Copeland presented a $47,994 RASA and $31,912 VOJO grant application for signatory approval.

Chief Detective Paul Zechman was present to receive a $3409 DARE State grant for drug education in schools. The funding was cut for kindergarten through fourth grade.

Ken Bachem opened bids for Phase 3 of the Rail Trail. Rail trail members John, Mark, and Todd were present to witness the process. Rogele Inc from Harrisburg bid $284,251; Handwerk Contractors from Hummelstown bid $659,127.20; and JD Eckman Inc from Atglen bid $367,727.85. Later, commissioners will award a contract to the lowest qualified bidder.

Melissa Coomer and Ann Marie Fink-Shindel were present from "Helping Hands" to request that September 6 be declared John Vucetic Day. Administrator Woglemuth read a proclamation signed by the commissioners. Melissa passed out sponsor sheets for a walk-a-thon that will raise funds to help expand the house so Johnny can sleep in a bedroom rather than on a couch and purchase an electric scooter for Johnny to finish school. Johnny is 17 and has a cancerous brain tumor that has left his left side paralyzed. The 4-mile walk will start at Lebanon Valley Farmers bank at 1PM.

August 14, 2003

With regret, Commissioners accepted the resignation of Stacy Clauss as Director of Renova Center.

The following people were appointed to the Management Information System (MIS) Steering Committee:  Lisa Arnold, JoEtta Shultz, and Winifred McGee.

Archie Battistelli and Kurt Muller of Advest as well as Norm Allen from CS McKee presented the second quarter Employee's Retirement fund report.

William Sullivan, James Holtry and Karen Alonzo  received approval for a Needs-Based Plan for Children and Youth and Juvenile Justice Services.  2003 budgeted $7,112,658; estimated $6,619,112; 2004 budgeted $7,288,816; 2005 budgeted $7,492,560.  Corresponding county share is $1,509,968; $1,669,440; $1,519,541; and $7,492,560.

$1315.76 for IV-E Placement Maintenance, Adoption Assistance, and Medicaid invoices were also approved for Children and Youth.

A Hazardous Material Emergency Response Preparedness Assessment was also approved.

Further, commissioners approved a $19,791,798 Intergovernmental Transfer for the nursing home.

Finally, a $30,000 Stop Fund Pass Through agreement for the Sexual Assault Resource and Counseling Center and Domestic Violence Intervention were approved for submission to the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

August 6, 2003

In the absence of Commissioner Carpenter, Commissioner's Arnold and Swanger conducted the basic business of treasurer's report, personnel matters, and training requests.

In preparation for their Eagle Scout requirements, dozens of scouts from Camp Baeshore were present to learn about budgets and county meetings.  Commissioner Swanger patiently explained many aspects of county government to the scouts.

July 31, 2003

Commissioners held their weekly meeting at the Lebanon EXPO today.

Diane Rhoads and Gary Robson presented the Treasurer’s and Personnel Transactions reports.

Chuck Wertz reviewed the farmland preservation program. In 2002, 1,074.1 acres were preserved bringing total preserved Lebanon County farmland to 6,522.73 on 64 farms.

Further, everyone was invited to a Lebanon Valley Conservancy tour on September 21. Participants will visit a wolf sanctuary, Hopeland Farms (Coleman heritage), LCCTC manmade wetlands, and Vince Faucci’s windmill that aerates his farm pond.

Leigh Beamsederfer announced a teenage Ag Camp that will concentrate on fiber to fashion. Teens will visit sheep to shawl, leather, and other animal related businesses.

Recreation study commission appointments included: Scott Aungst, Leigh Beamesderfer, Chris Fidler, Mayor George Kaufman, Carol McLaughlin, Russell Light Jr., Joan Losiewicz, and from the City of Lebanon, Paul Topping, and Robert Bowman Jr.

Richard Kreider, president of the Lebanon Valley Expo Board and Lebanon Area Fair, introduced Dennis Grumbine, Harry Bachman, and Sharon, his secretary. Richard reviewed the 70 acre 1968 partnership with the commissioners that accommodates our youth, especially 4H and FFA activities and now a soccer field and BMX track on the south end.

Jamie Wolgemuth shared plans for a 6200 square foot expansion of the Agricultural Center, which would increase the current 10,700 square feet by over 50%. The project will cost the county $300,000, one-half of the total expenses. A green building is planned with pervious parking areas to help control storm water runoff. Current occupants of the building include: NRCS. Farm Service Agency, the Conservation District, Penn State Cooperative Extension, The new quarters will add the Rural Development Agency, a division of USDA. A five-year lease at $17 per square foot includes all utilities.

Robert McNary received a resolution for the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation to form an $8 million TIF District on about 140 acres in Palmyra, which will divert approximately $2 million in local tax dollars for infrastructure improvements like collection and dispensing of storm water to nearby quarries.  The former Bethlehem Mines property is sinkhole laden.  By removing approximately 30% of Palmyra's storm water from this property, LVEDC hopes to stabilize the ground for industrial and manufacturing development.

LVEDC was also designated the lead agency to accept $37,671 in LEDA grants to assist both existing and new businesses.

Resolution 73101 amends resolution 42403 to revise a time line to 7/1/03 for two previously approved KOZ’s at 300 N 4th Street and 305 N 2nd Street in the City of Lebanon.

Commissioners accepted award of $20,000 in Crime and Delinquency grant funds. The Stop Grant Funds are used for violence against women.

An easement approximately 3680' long paralleling Pinch Road was granted to Verizon to run and maintain telephone lines to Governor Dick.

July 24, 2003

Commissioner Carpenter announced that the public may no longer ask questions during the Commissioner’s meeting. The public may address the commissioners for five minutes at the beginning of each meeting.

Edward Schlegel presented a proposal to close 18 beds or one wing at Cedar Haven, the County Nursing Home. The ten people who currently staff that wing are temporary employees, so no full-time employees would lose their jobs. A benefit resulting from closure of these beds includes savings to the County in wages. However, under the current system, once these beds are decertified, it is difficult, if not impossible, to recertify beds. Reasons given for the drop in demand for beds includes: more discharges, more acute cases admitted resulting in shorter stays due to death, more personal care homes in the County, and more care given in the potential client’s home, i.e. Hospice. This brings the total capacity of Cedar Haven to 324 beds. Use of the abandoned wing will change to storage for patient records.

Cedar Haven opened in 1964 with 360 beds; completed an addition of 40 beds in 1991; and closed other beds in the past. Currently, there are 8-10 people on the waiting list at any given time. The current census is 303, so even with the closure of 18 beds, these 10 applicants can fill vacant beds as soon as all of their paperwork is complete.

A new position was created in County Planning. A GIS specialist will accommodate the Metropolitan Planning Organization and Comprehensive Plan.

A $32,548 "clean-up" contract was approved for MHMR for Supportive Concept Services.

Commissioners accepted a $61,629 grant for personnel wages in the District Attorney's office to support victims of crime.

A ‘waiver of local match’ was signed for COLT to request a certificate of undo financial burden, which would excuse the County for matching dollars to the bus transportation system.

Board members were appointed to the Area Agency on Aging: Anna Fink, Joan Norman, Doug Stump, Vivian Ezell, Janet Yingst, Karl Wolf Jr., Glenn Hassinger, and Lydia Flores.

Frank Eichler was reappointed as SICO's representative to the Governor Dick board.

The next meeting of the commissioners will be held at the Lebanon County Fair Exposition Center.

July 17, 2003

In the absence of Commissioner Carpenter, Commissioner's Arnold and Swanger conducted the basic business of treasurer's report, personnel matters, and training requests.

July 10, 2003

Dianne Rhoads and Gary Robson presented the Treasurer's and Personnel transactions.

Susan Klarsch, Joy, and Melissa Heisey  presented two science based programs totaling $150,000 for approval:

bulletALERT -prevention curriculum for middle-school students (11-14), which dramatically reduces both the onset and regular use of substances.  A 2-year, 14-lesson program focuses on substances most likely used--alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and inhalants.
bulletTND -Towards No Drugs- an interactive program to help high school youth (14-19) resist substance use.  Consists of twelve 40-50 minute based lessons that include motivational activities, social skills training, and decision making components delivered through group discussions, games, role-playing exercise, videos, and worksheets.  Teaches participants increased coping and self-control skills.

Further, the team from Drug and Alcohol presented $74,877 in Tobacco Contracts with the American Lung Association, Annville Cleona HS, Cleona Police, Community Health Council, Cornwall Lebanon SD, Eastern Lebanon CO, Good Samaritan Family Practice, Good Samaritan Hospital, Heidelberg Police, Lebanon Catholic S, Lebanon City Police, Lebanon Family Health Services, Lebanon SD, YMCA, LVC, North Cornwall Police, North Lebanon Police, Northern Lebanon SD, Palmyra ASD, Palmyra Police, Richland Police, South Annville Police, South Lebanon Police, and South Londonderry Police. Treatment Provide Contracts with Penn Foundation, Gaudenzia, and Valley Forge Medical Center were also approved.

Phyllis Holtry presented HAP-the Homeless Assistance Program for approval.  $15,823 are designated for rent and $172,823 are designated for other services.  In addition, the $17,823 SWP-Supported Work Program received approval to provide interim employment at minimum wage.

Stacy Clauss presented Day Program Contracts like EARS and ABLE for approval.  In addition, Gerta Balthaser was appointed to the Renova Center Advisory Board.

Jeff Imboden presented a $293,997 grant-in-aid application for reimbursement of five positions in the Lebanon County Adult Probation Department.

Cleona Borough will receive $1421 in Liquid Fuels taxes.

A proclamation declaring July 11 David Phelps day was approved.  David is a member of the Gaither Vocal Band who has performed in the Bryce Jordan Center and Carnegie Hall; has appeared on national television; and was invited to sing for President Bush at the White House.

July 3, 2003

Ken Bachem and Attorney Tom Harlan were present with a recommendation on bid award for the Governor Dick education center. General Construction was awarded to Woodland Contractors at a cost of $396,217. Plumbing Construction was awarded to AH Moyer at $9470; HVAC Construction to AH Moyer at $25,500; and Electrical Construction to West End Electric at $37,028. The septic system was awarded to Long’s Excavating at $9800. Additional funding will be sought to cover additional items like a wood floor, fire place, ceramic tile, and carpeting.

In addition, paving at Cedar Haven was awarded to Pennsy Supply, Hummelstown at $27,735. Because it did not meet all of the bid criteria, the lowest bid from Keystone Paving was rejected

Commissioners voted to reject retroactive leave of absence approvals from Cedar Haven. Commissioners felt that they needed the option of questioning requests before an effective date.

A $100,000 recycling grant was accepted from DEP for the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority. $79,582 will purchase processing equipment, a turf grinder, and the balance used for public education about composting, letters, signs….

A $7500 grant was also accepted from DCNR for the County to complete a peer-to-peer recreation report that will serve as a road map or master plan to develop County recreation. Commissioners will accept resumes until July 28 from persons interested in serving on an advisory committee that may turn into a park and recreation board. The City requested two spots of 7 to 9 members. The County will pay the entire $750 match.

June 26, 2003

Susan Klarsch presented drug and alcohol provider contract rates for approval. While sixty agency’s rates were approved, the main provider is White Deer Run with an office in Lebanon. In addition, thirty personal contract rates were approved.

Ken Bachem opened bids to repave the Cedar Haven parking lot. Burkholder Paving, Ephrata bid $43,513; BR Kreider & Son, Manheim bid $43,462; Handwerk, Hummelstown bid $36,975.25; Pennsy Supply, Hummelstown $27,735; and Keystone Paving, Lititz $25,800.

James Holtry, presented Children and Youth provider contracts for approval. $395,923.66 will cover third quarter invoices for IV-E Placement Maintenance, IV-E Adoption Assistance, TANF, and Medicaid.

Paul Zechman presented a $33,117 Department of Transportation grant to cover officer’s overtime to run the sobriety check points (cops in shops and underage drinking program) and roving patrols. No financial match is required on this grant.

Michael Kristovensky presented a $2,161,559 Block Grant for the Area Agency on Aging. Staff worked hard to increase revenue and drop costs by $206,000 by keeping rents paid at Senior Centers the same, eliminating respid care, not purchasing a car….

A $454,588 grant for the Renaissance program run at the VA was accepted by commissioners.

Liquid Fuels funds were approved for Annville in the amount of $3204 and West Cornwall $1363.

A resolution was requested and received by Ed Schlegel for Cedar Haven to change the current $160 per day private pay rate to $170 per day, which is still the lowest per day rate in the County. The medical assistance reimbursement rate is $156.58, but that figure is expected to rise, and private pay rates must be higher than reimbursement rates. Skilled care rates will remain the same--$200 per day.

Elaine Ludwig received approval to submit a HAVA grant request to the Department of State to train poll workers concerning access for the disabled, to develop a pool of qualified workers that can fill in at any location, and to develop an educational brochure. The ACT 150 distribution by the State is expected to be $3500.

June 19, 2003

Kevin Schrum and staff presented MHMR provider contracts. Provider rates are the same for the third straight year. Commissioners voted to give signatory authority to Kevin Schrum to sign the numerous contracts after commissioner approval.

A proclamation was issued recognizing the 200th Anniversary of Station 10 in Jonestown and the 81st Firemen’s Convention.

Ken Bachem was present to open the new bids on the Governor Dick Environmental Center: Woodland Contractors submitted a base bid of $396,217 and Arthur Funk & Sons submitted a base bid of $427,704.

Liquid fuels funds were approved for Myerstown, $2,438 and Mt. Gretna, $346.

June 12, 2003

Barbara Kauffman, Donna Lehman-Eberly and Harriet Faren, as well as William Kauffman, Kathy Snavely, Chris Straka, and Josie Ames were present. Commissioners appointed the Lebanon County Commissioner for Women: Josie Ames, Marianne Bartley, Lori Brandt, Mary Burchik, Carol Checket, Joyce Dissinger, Harriet Faren, Representative Mauree Gingrich, Cindy Heisey, Bridget Hoffman, Barbara Kauffman, Susan Funk Klarsch, Donna Eberly-Lehman, Donna Moyer, Karin Right-Nolan, Jenny Murphy Shifflet, Dawn Shultz, Kathy Snavely, Pam Tricamo, Kathy Verna, and Brigadier General Jessica Wright.

John Wengert and Mark Wilson received signed plans for Phase 3 of the Rail Trail. DCNR is providing $273,000 for the project that will repair the two-mile stretch of the rail bed between Route 72 and Zinns Mill Road, Cornwall.

Michael Kristovensky and Dean Mease, presented commissioners with a Farmer’s Market Voucher program for the Area Agency on Aging. The program will provide eligible seniors with the opportunity to purchase PA produce at participating farmers markets.

Kevin Schrum and Brenda Mettley presented a PA Department of Public Welfare plan for approval. The program will target individuals in either the Emergency or Critical Priority Urgency Need Services Category of MHMR.

A $23,721.24 grant request was submitted to PEMA, the Hazardous Material Response Fund.

The fourth amendment totaling $738,793 was approved for the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) extension for the Human Services Agency.

Jonestown Borough received $945 and Richland Borough $939 in liquid fuels funds.

June 5, 2003

Commissioners approved back pay for Annette Smith in the amount of $6100.  Annette was acting EMA Director for 21 weeks during Clyde's absence.  Then, commissioners approved a temporary increase in her salary until a new director is hired.

June 8 Florence Henise turns 100 years old.  She was active in local politics for most of her life, and commissioners honored her by naming 'Florence Henise week' in Lebanon County.

Earl Buffenmeyer worked for the County for 36 years as a draftsman in the Assessment Office.  His knowledge and people skills did not go unnoticed.  Commissioner's presented Earl with a proclamation.

Commissioners approved a $205,418 draw-down for the Area Agency on Aging 2003 waiver from a 5-year grant.

Liquid Fuels Fund Allocations:

bulletCity of Lebanon $21,000
bulletHeidelberg Township $4694
bulletNorth Cornwall $3335
bulletPalmyra $4862
bulletSouth Annville $2036
bulletSouth Lebanon $7614
bulletSouth Londonderry $3527
bulletEast Hanover $4717

May 29, 2003

Fixed Allocation Liquid Fuels funds were approved for North Lebanon $6489 and Swatara $3695.

Because part of Lebanon County is in the "TMI zone," Commissioners were able to submit a $9302 EMA grant to PEMA for equipment like meters and Geiger counters from the radiation emergency response funds.

Cold Spring Township has no governing body.  Therefore, Commissioners prepared and approved a resolution outlining an emergency operations plan for the municipality.

Jim Holtry presented contracts for Family Services, namely foster care at a base rate of $33.75 per day with children needing more services for medical and behavioral challenges at $62.50 per day.  Lester Morris, a Visitation Coordinator for foster care, was also approved at the rate of $7 per hour.

May 22, 2003

With thanks for a job well done, Commissioners accepted Clyde Miller's retirement from EMA effective July 26, 2003.

The Recorder of Deeds received approval for one additional hour per day for staff through August 2003.  In addition, a part-time General Clerk C was hired to help handle the increased workload (created by the low interest rates) that has resulted from mass refinancing of properties.

Richard Rhoade, president of the former United Steelworkers and now '445 Foundation,' and Marlene Keating of Children's Miracle Network, received a proclamation for Miracle Child Week June 7-9, 2003.  Efforts of thousands of volunteers, contributors, research and enhancement of pediatrics services are provided to thousands of children each year at Hershey Medical Center.  Lives of premature children and those children born with serious birth defects or illnesses are greatly enhanced by these contributions and sometimes enable children to live normal lives.  The event is broadcast on WGAL TV 8.  Members of 445 Foundation were also excited about a 'Cruzin for Kids' car show that will be held September 28.  Old style gas pump trophies will be awarded.

Archie Battistelli and Kurt Muller of Advest presented the first quarter Retirement Fund update.

Fixed Allocation Liquid Fuels funds were approved for Union $3555; Cornwall $3044; West Lebanon $3083; North Annville $3695; North Londonderry $2910; Bethel $4861; and Jackson $5112.

May 21, 2002

Edward Schlegel and Marcia Krause updated Commissioners on Cedar Haven transactions.

A $220,229 Master Grant Agreement with the Department of Transportation for work performed in accordance with Lebanon County's Unified Planning Work Program was approved and signed.

May 15, 2003

An $82,954 contract award by DCED was accepted by the Commissioners.  The Brownfields money will be used to remove lead-based paint from ten homes in Section 8 housing, which is in the older areas of our City and boroughs.

A $5188 PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency grant for the DARE program at Northern Lebanon High School was requested by the County Detectives who administer the program.

Kevin Schrum requested a letter of support for ARC of Dauphin County to support customer driven projects for persons with mental health conditions.  The document will be submitted to the County Commissioners Association of PA for funding consideration that will provide consultation and technical assistance to continue to change the mental retardation service system to meet and be more responsive to individual needs.

While the footprint will remain the same, Ray Bender and Ken Bacham requested that the Governor Dick education center 'General and Electrical Construction' be rebid to allow for numerous changed specifications that will reduce the cost of construction.  For example, log kits and instead of tiles in the bath rooms and entry foyer, there will be vinyl floors.  Previous bidders are entitled to a free set of new specs.  The building should still be completed this year.  The Plumbing and HVAC bids were acceptable, and will not be rebid.

May 8, 2003

James Holtry presented Purchase of Service Agreements for Independent Living contracts with Donna Becker in the amount of $20,859. The county’s share is $3225. These funds are used to assist youth during a twelve-week transition/orientation from foster care. The twelve-year-old program costs significantly less than foster care.

Further, an agreement was signed with Cornell Wilson to complete court-ordered custody and visitation home studies at the rate of $12 per hour with a cap of $136 per study. Home studies are necessary during contested divorce proceedings.

Relief House parent contracts were signed at a rate of $8.50 per hour for Donna Becker, Julius Shouse, Jennifer Berger.

An $874 Drug and Alcohol addendum was approved for tobacco education services to the Good Samaritan Family Practice.  To avoid a conflict of interest, Commissioner Carpenter abstained.

May 1, 2003

Harriet Faren, Donna Eberly, and Barbara Kauffman were present to explain the process to apply for a board position with the Commission for Women:  along with a letter of intent, submit your resume by May 15 to the Chamber of Commerce.  Names will be drawn from a hat of qualified applicants.

Jeffrey Imboden, Adult Probation and Susan Klarsch, Drub and Alcohol, presented changes to the Renaissance Crossroads Program, which were necessitated by a cut in State funds.  Jeff emphasized that the quality of the program will remain in tact.  The new budget will receive $458,488 from the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency and require a $20,085 county match that will be taken from reserves.  The original budget was $704,846.  In the new budget, positions were cut, the work release phase was increased, and clients are required to pay 22% of the cost of the program.

A proclamation honoring the 25th anniversary of Probe, which supports families in crisis with emotional and economic support and helps them gain independence, was passed.

Likewise, the Swatara Creek Watershed Association received a proclamation honoring fifteen years of canoe and litter cleanups of the Swatara Creek, a source of drinking water for many Lebanon County residents.

April 24, 2003

As a part of Youth Government day, each county commissioner had a student shadow them, as did Administrator Jamie Wogelmuth, and other elected officials.  As the office-holders looked on, students made motions and voted upon them--essentially running the entire meeting.

bulletDaniel Wenger ELCO for Commissioner Carpenter
bulletAmanda Bickel NLHS for Commissioner Swanger
bulletWilliam Verdon Palmyra for Commissioner Arnold
bulletJosh Shepps CCHS for Jamie Wolgemuth
bulletGwen Dove ACHS for Treasurer Rhoads
bulletTony Bowers NLHS for Human Resources Director Robson
bulletColin Lenton Lebanon for Mayor Anspach

Barb Charles was present, and received a proclamation for child care week.

Mayor Robert Anspach presented a request for a Keystone Opportunity Zone at a GE site north of the railroad between second and fourth streets in Lebanon.  The KOZ would relieve about $7000 in City, County, and School taxes.  As the sixth KOZ, the Mayor believes that in the long-run, payroll taxes from new jobs will make up for lost real estate taxes.  The KOZ, passed unanimously by Commissioners Carpenter, Swanger, and Arnold, will extend for 10-12 years.  Previous KOZ's were blighted properties, but this site contains a viable building, which sets a precedent in Lebanon County, but not PA.  The current owner has agreed to continue paying taxes until such time as a new business occupies the premises. (Plots 05-551b-03   & 05-551b-01)

A $7500 DCNR grant request was submitted jointly by the County and City through a peer-to-peer program to do a management assessment of current parks.  DCNR maintains a list and will choose a park professional from that list to complete the study.  Eventually, commissioners hope to fund a coordinator's position through hotel taxes.  The 2003 budget contains $20,000 for recreation.

Phyllis Holtry presented $260,262 in Human Services Community Block Grants.  All clients must be at or below 125% of the federal poverty level.

Commissioners approved an $875 lease with Ken Reist to farm ten acres of county land near the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center.

Commissioners approved a proclamation celebrating the twentieth anniversary of SARCC who provides 24 hours of care, 7 days a week with 45 volunteers who man a hotline, advocate with systems for survivors, provide counseling, and educate the public on the issues of sexual violence.

Connie Hoffer and Betty Conner were reappointed as directors to the Lebanon County Conservation District.

April 16, 2003

The PA Department of Education visited Cedar Haven to evaluate the Nursing Assistant Education Program.  No deficiencies were cited.

Five visitor parking spaces were added in front of Cedar Haven.

A privacy policy was adopted for residents to meet the requirements of HIPAA-Health Insurance Portability and Accountability act.

At a $15,337 annual rent, a 45 month office lease agreement was signed to provide 980 square feet of space for Senator Brightbill.

April 17, 2003

A $30,219 Gatekeeper grant award was accepted by the Commissioners.

Dan Seaman was present, and the Commissioners also sat as the assessment board to hear a real estate assessment appeal by Mrs. Manbeck who represented herself and won her appeal.

April 10, 2003

Representatives from Philhaven, Good Samaritan and the Veteran's Administration Hospitals were on hand for proclamations proclaiming both National Healthcare Week and Nurse's Week.  Mayor Anspach was also present.

Chuck Wertz and Tim Sheffy outlined a farmland preservation easement donated by Lynwood & Anne Hyle in Heidelberg Township.

Kevin Schrum, Carol Davies, Melissa Heisey, Shem Heller, and Brenda Mettley presented a provider contract list that reduced expenses by another $97,500, which is necessary to meet reduced funding.  Also helping in reducing expenses is increased staff retention, which translates into less training costs.

$210,000 was moved from the General Fund to pay the 1985 Bond Coupon account principle and interest to Lebanon Valley Farmers Bank.  Likewise, $190,928.13 was moved to pay 1999 principle and expenses.

April 3, 2002

Donna Lutz received permission for her staff to work one additional hour each day over the next four weeks to relieve a backlog of mail in the Recorder of Deeds Office.

Chuck Wertz was present for a public hearing concerning the Lynwood Hyle Easement Donation of 17.815 acres of farmland in Heidelberg Township--139 Michters Road, Newmanstown.  Value of the donated easement was placed at $3850 per acre or $68,530.  This increases contiguous acres of preserved farm land to 150 acres over five farms.  There will be a one dollar honorary transaction at the next commissioner's meeting.  Neighbors were notified, and can comment up until next Thursday.

At the request of Lee Myer, commissioners passed a resolution turning over signatory authority to her for the Management Planning Organization to submit applications and execute contracts with Penn DOT.

Gregory George was admitted to Renova Center.  There is one vacancy remaining.

March 27, 2003

Earl Buffenmyer will retire June 6, after many years of service to the County.

Susan Klarsch, Joy Blankley, and Melissa Heisey presented a $10,000 Drug and Alcohol contract amendment with Nuestra Cinica for assessments for Spanish speaking clients. In addition, they presented contracts totaling $32,274 utilizing tobacco settlement dollars: Lebanon Valley College and the Shroyer Health Center for nicotine replacement facilitators training materials; Community Health Council care of the Lebanon Family Health Services for Healthy Kids Day, the Under 20 Festival, and Healthy Lifestyles; and the Lebanon Valley Family YMCA for advertising, T-shirts, memberships, and staff and facility.

Jamie Wogelmuth, Raymond Bender, and architect Phil Johnson opened bids for the Clarence Schock Memorial Park at Governor Dick. Bids for the General Construction of an Environmental Center included:

bulletE Hertzog, Denver $599,455; Woodland Contractors, Lebanon $396,217; Buckwalter, Linglestown $437,000; LR Costanzo, Scranton $437,000; Conawago Enterprises, Hanover $455,438; Arthur Funck and Sons, Lebanon $428,748; and TL Rowe Associates, Millersburg $450,849. All bids came in higher than expected. Within the 60-day bid window, by altering material requirements like museum grade lighting, the team will attempt to negotiate a price with the lowest bidder to under $350,000. The building is to include a park office, education center, museum, meeting rooms, and public toilets.  If unsuccessful, the Center will have to be rebid.  Law precedent prevents Commissioners form mandating precut log kits.
bulletPlumbing construction bids were received as follows: Fry Lutz, Lancaster $18,998; Houser Construction, Lebanon $21,150; AH Moyer, Myerstown $9250; Shannon Smith, Myerstown $33,065; and EH Hertzog, Denver $9800.
bulletHVAC Construction bids received included: Fry Lutz, Lancaster $32,740; Houser Construction, Lebanon $33,400; AH Moyer, Myerstown $25,500; Shannon Smith, Myerstown $37,997; EH Hertzog, Denver $34,400; and Stotts Brothers, Schuylkill Haven $28,976.
bulletElectrical Construction bids: West End Electric, Hegins $36,933; Shannon Smith, Myerstown $43,100; EH Hertzog, Denver $68,650; CM High, Myerstown $46,597; Joyce Electric, Lancaster $49,400; JB Electric Corporation, Minersville $39,950.

The low bid for the Cedar Haven Call system was approved.

James Holtry presented 2nd quarter invoices totaling $411,931.22: supplemental $5273.76; TANIF $164,840.22; Placement $213,545.77…. Daily rates for Juvenile Placement Contracts relating to Foster Care were approved for $186.30, $144.90, and $121.10.

Elaine Ludwig presented three alternatives for the Primary Ballot Layout. The lever machines are limited to 40 spaces. Therefore, a "stacking" arrangement was chosen, which will accommodate judge and school board offices that cross-file. County row offices will all appear on one row. Reporters asked if electronic machines would have lever limitations. Elaine responded no—electronic machines have no space limitations. Another question surfaced concerning bilingual ballots. Elaine explained that before a bilingual ballot is required, based on a ten-year census, a five-percent attainment of all countywide voters must be Spanish speaking.

Mary Louise Sherk was reappointed to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority board.

On behalf of SARCC, Jenny Murphy Shifflet received approval for a $120,00 Stop Grant to provide law enforcement with prosecution and victim services.

Kenneth Gingrich was appointed to the Renova Center board.

Phyllis Holtry received approval for a $64,704 Housing Authority Supportive grant for staff time over three years.

A $21,879 Block grant was received for TANIF in Juvenile Probation.

A $41,169 PA Crime and Delinquency victim witness coordinator grant was also received.

March 20, 2003

Barbara Kauffman, Harriet Faren, Dawn Shultz, Josie Ames, Mauree Gingrich, and Dawn Eberly requested and received both official status and $3000 in funding to form the Lebanon County Women’s Commission to assist women in achieving economic self-sufficiency in order to improve their status in the community.  As it strives to implement its vision and mission, the Lebanon County Commission for women will serve as a link between the Lebanon County Commissioners and women’s organizations whose shared goal is that of enhancing the status of women in our community.  Also in attendance were Loren and Christopher Oblinsky.

Ken Bachem recommended the award of a bid to complete interior renovations to the MH/MR building to Mid-State, Inc. of Harrisburg at the lowest bid price of $41,928 and a Mechanical and Electrical Contract to Shannon Smith of Myerstown at the low bid of $30,990. Bids were also opened for a new Nurse Call System for F wing on the 4th floor of Cedar Haven, the County Home. Milton H. Eshelman, Co., Harrisburg bid $22,470.

Jeffrey Imboden presented a Renaissance Crossroads $704,846 grant, to continue rehabilitation of criminals dependent upon drugs or alcohol. In fact, a success rate of 60% appears to be a better investment for our tax dollars than incarceration. The Crossroads program uses the VA Hospital to house and monitor participants for 22 months, incorporates urine and blood tests, and a graduation ceremony. As a condition of release from the VA, participants are required to find and hold a job and wear an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet during the next twelve months.

Reverend Bill Litman was appointed to the Drug and Alcohol Board.

Commissioners approved a $100 bid from Lester Cassel Jr. for a mobile home in Union Township that was in the Repository for Unclaimed Property.

At a cost of $697.50, Trans World Systems was approved on a trial basis to process fifty collections for the prison. Trans World guarantees a minimum of a double return or they will pay the difference.

March 19, 2003

The Cedar Haven Volunteer Banquet will be held on April 28 at 12:30PM.

March 13, 2003

Chief County Detective Paul Zechman presented Commissioners with a $318,453 budget to implement a Central Booking System at the County Prison. The project hinges on a one-time $236,261 grant from the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency. In addition to five full time and five part time staffers, the project would include video conferencing units linking central booking to the District Justice Offices and the Court of Common Pleas. Future operation would be funded through a $250 processing fee (some counties charge $500) assessed each convicted defendant as a court cost or fine after final disposition of the case. Yearly, there are approximately 2500 adult and juvenile convictions. Central Processing would ensure consistent, timely processing; utilize new fingerprinting and photographing technology; increase the speed that fingerprints, images, and other data are included in the Central Repository; build PA’s Central Photo Imaging Network; reduce the amount of time police officers spend booking criminals; and reduce manpower to transport suspects.

Commissioner Swanger caught a mathematical error that was corrected prior to passage. Commissioner Swanger also abstained from voting on the Central Booking project.

An alarm connection device was approved for Ken and Jean Royer.

EMA will receive a $34,927 grant to formally update their emergency operation plan to improve continuity of government in case of a Homeland Security incident, develop a public information and education program to promote Citizen Corps Council activites within the County, incorporate an Incident Command System component into the Couty EOP, or develop a Critical Infrastructure Assessment of the County.

March 6, 2003

Susan Parry was introduced to the Commissioners. Susan is the new (RC&D) Resource Conservation and Development District Director for south-central Pennsylvania. Susan informed commissioners they would receive a survey and invitation to aid in strategic planning to establish priorities for the new RC&D program.

Melvyn Kaplan and Raymond Bender, Housing and Redevelopment Authority presented a $444,409 - 2003 (CDBG) State Community Development Block Grant, which provides funds to implement the first-time home-buyers program; HARP; sewer and water hookups; and the removal of architectural barriers. The City of Lebanon and South Lebanon also receive CDBG funds. Resolution 3-6-03 passed for South Lebanon Township to receive CDBF funds.   When Daily News reporter John Latimer asked why other municipalities don’t receive CDBG funds, it was explained that per a 1983 Entitlement, Act 179, South Lebanon receives an economic benefit by housing low-income citizens at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, Cedar Haven, Renova Center, and the County prison.

Kenneth Bachem and Melissa Heisey opened sealed bids for (MHMR) Mental Health/Mental Retardation Building Renovations.

General Contract #1:

bulletSmith & Smith $54,615
bulletWoodland Contractors, Lebanon $64,188
bulletLobar Associates $49,703
bulletIra Stickler, Lebanon $49,600
bulletMid-State Inc. $41,928
bulletBerkey Construction $68,949
bulletBuckwalter Construction $62,700
bulletArthur Funk & Sons, Lebanon $51,980

Contract #2: Shannon Smith, Myerstown $30,990

In preparation for the 101st annual Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon March 16-22, William Sholley, Dave Gassert, and Frank Deamer were presented with a proclamation for the Tall Cedars of Lebanon of North America.

James Holtry presented contracts for approval for Children and Youth—Tioga County Maintenance and The Academy for Juvenile Probation at $88 per day; Drug and Alcohol $140; and Diagnostic/Sanction $120.

Carol Copeland and District Attorney Deirdre Eshleman presented a $77,037 (VOCA) Victims of Crime Act grant, which will help meet the emotional and physical needs of victims, for approval.

Attorney Keith Kilgor presented a request for Commissioners to eliminate a right-of-way in the parking lot of the old Ames Department Store, which would clear the way for more parking for Home Depot. Commissioners voted to allow Home Depot to file a Quit Claim Deed for the right-of-way.

Harold Leeder was admitted to Cedar Haven.

Kevin Schrum presented the collaborative health care agreement for an amendment, which would allow Fulton and Franklin to join the established coalition. Since Fulton and Franklin Counties have no sweat equity in establishing the coalition, and their involvement could change the dynamics or upset the balance of the coalition, this would be a trial period, providing their liability, board representation, and financial impact is favorable.

February 27, 2003

James Tricolli and Joseph Pierce were present, and Commissioners approved a $16.5 million bond issue over 20 years.  Ordinance 28 passed, and will provide the following funds:

bullet$10.5 million for 911 phone system upgrade;
bullet$2 million for farmland preservation;
bullet$1 million for prison expansion-after County funds are matched with State funds, an undetermined number of prefab modules will be purchased;
bullet$600,000 to upgrade and computerize the Assessment office record system;
bullet$400,000 for the comprehensive plan;
bullet$260,000 to upgrade Cedar Haven's equipment;
bullet$300,000 to expand the Ag Center.

This will bring the County of Lebanon's total debt to around $25 million.  When compared to other counties, Lebanon has a low debt load.  However, it will rise from $90 per capita in 2001 to $213 per capita in 2002.

Phil Hall received approval to accept a $67,005.78 West Nile Virus Grant and a $9626 Tire Collection grant, which will be executed April 2 and allow collection of 170 tires per municipality.  Townships and Boroughs can contribute additional funds to accept more tires for their municipality.  Funding represents approximately $14,000 more than last year's allocation.

Stephanie Lynn Hersh was admitted to Renova Center.

Marilyn Noltee, Drew Eisenhower, and Chris Shaak were appointed to the board of Drug and Alcohol.

The Planning Department received notification of an award of $97,500 from DCED for a comprehensive plan contract.

Closing documents were signed for a South Lebanon Tax Increment Financing project for Shott Pharmaceutical.

John Latimer, from the Lebanon Daily News, asked whether commissioners investigated using New Morgan Academy, an abandoned private prison, to house mental health prisoners.

February 20, 2003

Occupancy at Cedar Haven is at 93%.

February 20, 2003

Diane Rhoads presented the Treasurer's Report.  Gary Robson presented personnel transactions, and received Commissioner's signatures on an employee group health privacy policy reviewed by Solicitor Snelling.  The document brings the County into compliance with HIPA-the Health Insurance Privacy Act.

Walt Haber was appointed to the Library Board.

Tim Sheffy, Richard Moore, and Eugene Martin were reappointed to the Farm Preservation Board.

February 13, 2003

The 4H Club Seeing Eye Puppy Club was present to promote their program to raise seeing eye dogs.  Pat Bross told about the Club's fifteen hear history, and introduced members Jessica Bross, Rachel & Joyce Fisher, and Cameron Burke with their dogs Zina, Morla, and Marty, respectively.

Norm Allen reviewed C.S. McKee's portion of the County Retirement Fund investments.

The Lebanon County Historical Society was designated Lebanon County's official historical society, which makes it eligible to receive grants from the State Historical and Museum Commission.  In addition, the Society will receive $16,000 in general operating support from Lebanon County.

At 11AM, the Lebanon County Metropolitan Planning Organization convened in the Commissioner's office.

Carl Jarboe and Art Gould were concerned about a public telephone removed from the third floor by the phone company.  There is one remaining public phone on the first floor, but it is not handicap accessible.  In light of the Weavertown Road collapse, Jarboe was also concerned about other surface mining along major roads, especially Route 422 west of Annville.

February 6, 2003

Commissioners expressed appreciation for Ray Dilger who retired after 35 years of service as a Registered Nurse at Cedar Haven. 

A SAMS program will pay for laptop computers and training for use in the field by Area Agency on Aging staff.

Elaine Ludwig presented coming changes to Elections:  PA ACT 150, SURE (statewide Unifromed Registry of elecotrs, and the federal predecessor HAVA-Help America Vote Act--allows the following changes:

bulletStudents aged 17+ may work as machine inspectors or clerks at the polls.
bulletHalf days are allowed for nonelected election workers.
bulletWithin five days of an election, Counties may fill vacancies from a pool of trained workers who may work outside their voting precinct.
bulletInstead of the Court of Common Pleas issuing court orders, they will now issue provisional ballots to individuals who claim they are duly registered voters, but do not appear on the record.  Their sealed ballot will be certified for opening at the official counting of the ballots the Friday after the election.
bulletFirst time voters in a precinct must present identification.
bulletApproximately $4000 per precinct will be available to purchase machines to accommodate handicap voters.  Compliance must occur by 2006.
bulletHowever, it was uncertain whether there is a requirement to eliminate lever machines.
bulletThe system must accommodate a manual audit capacity.
bulletAlternate language ballots are required when 5% of a minority population participate in the electoral process.
bulletAt a cost of $1.8 million, a Central Voter Registration System-SURE-will be implemented by the State Of PA over the next eleven months.  As a result, the entire database of voters will be maintained in Harrisburg.

Commissioners appointed Richard Fields, Myrna Miller, and Charlotte Tumilty to the MHMR board.

William Williams was approved for admission to Cedar Haven.

404 Human Services clients were served by MATransportation Program at a cost of $84,461.

Commissioners approved a proclamation honoring Redith Snoberger as a recipient of the J. Robert Ladd Community Service Award.

January 30, 2003

Jennifer Brown will receive overtime for extra hours of work in the absence of Myrna Garcia.

Jeffrey Geesaman, Jeffrey Bussard, and Robert Yates of the Boy Scouts of America received a proclamation from the commissioners.   Scouts have served over 70,000,000 youth and adults learning character, citizenship, and fitness.

Commissioners sold a property located at 9 Twin Maples Park for $1 to Weber Properties from the Repository for Unsold Properties.

James Holtry and Karen Alonzo presented Amendment #3 to a Purchase of Service Agreement #6-2000 with Berks County Youth Center reflecting per diem rates of $224 for youths in their Detention Center and $255 per day for youths in their Shelter Care Facility.  In addition, an Agreement was signed with Dr. Sharon J. Wafel to do contract counseling and psychological evaluations at $70 per session hour and $500 per psychological evaluation.  Further, Cornell Wilson was hired as a relief houseparent at $8.50 per hour up to $136 per 16-hour shift for two group home programs.   Finally, at a rate of $12 per hour, Greg Heverling was hired to perform court ordered home studies.  Revisions to the third quarter totaled $62.69 and to the 4th quarter, $2251.78.  First quarter invoices totaled $349,228.74.

A night meeting is scheduled for February 18, 2003, 7PM, Municipal Building auditorium to discuss the 911 upgrade.  Fire companies, municipalities, and the public are invited.

In order to obtain State matching funds, Charles Wertz received approval to allocate $1,300,000 for Farmland Preservation.

William Kurtz and Mareena Meyer, County Planning, presented the following individuals for approval as voting members of the Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Board:  William Carpenter, Rose Marie Swanger, Edward Arnold, Robert Anspach, Harriet Faren, Thomas Kotay, Barry Hoffman, Paul Fetter, Donald Neiswender, Spencer Stevens, Larry Budney.  In addition, the Technical Planning Committee voting members are:  Jamie Wolgemuth, William Kurtz, M. Lee Meyer, Jonathan Beers, Jon Ellsworth, Robert McNary, Dan Walston, Terry Adams, Ed Brensinger, Tom Smith, and Clyde Deck.  Non Voting members on the Technical Committee include:  Spencer Stevens, Larry Budney, Keith Lynch, Cherie Prentice-Brown, Jeffrey Werner, Kaj Skov, Jody Kasperowicz, John Wengert, and an EMA staff member.  An $80,000 grant application to DEP was approved for submittal to aid in preparation of a new Comprehensive Plan.  A multi-disciplined team of planning professionals will work with County Planning for three years to cover all aspects of community planning--land, transportation, natural resources--using a holistic approach.  Data will be added to our GIS.  A water resources plan is included to evaluate surface and ground water impacts from development.

Commissioners submitted a request for $154,624.11 in Liquid Fuels Taxes to Penn DOT.

A JNET Criminal History Access Agreement with PA was approved for Commonwealth Law Enforcement Assistance Network (CLEAN).

January 23, 2003

Pharmacy Services at Cedar Haven are now under a contract. As a result, three casual and part-time pharmacists were scheduled for lay-off.

Susan Klarsch and Joy Blankley presented Tobacco and Drug and Alcohol contracts for approval.  $79,199 will service seven area school districts as well as the American Lung Association and Kaleidoscope Creative Services.  School programs include an Under 20 Festival, Teens Against Tobacco Use, Learning Labs, National Kick Butt Day....  Another $25,000 will be used at Eagleville Hospital, Valley Forge Medical Center, and Emy C. Kanewske for rehab and detox services.

After 30 years of service, Janet Grun retired from Children and Youth.

Commissioner Carpenter announced the dismissal of a lawsuit by Judge Sylvia Rambo.  The suit was filed by Arthur Gould.

January 15, 2003

Cedar Haven's occupancy rate in 2002 was 93.6%.

A $136,459 Fiscal Status Report for CSBG-Community Services Block Grant was approved.

January 16, 2003

bulletCommissioners signed a State Civil Service Comprehensive Plan for the Area Agency on Aging, Children and Youth, Drug and Alcohol, and Mental Health/Mental Retardaion.
bulletOn behalf of the District Attorney’s Office, Commissioners accepted a $49,497 grant from PA to combat Elder Crime.
bulletCommissioners appointed Al Freed to the COLT board.

    Dan Seaman and Dr. Robert Barr (21st Century Appraisals in Middletown) presented a contract to modernize the Assessment Office. The plan will digitize approximately 50,000 property record cards and place the information online within one year. The current paper system is plagued with smudge marks and erasures. Eventually, the new system will include pictures of each property and allow property owners to view their record, then email corrections to staff. The user-friendly system will allow people to prepare assessment appeals more easily by sorting, retrieving, and analyzing records in seconds. Property comparison will be more effective, fair, and defendable. A joint management council consisting of three people from the county and three from 21st Century will review internal policies and develop guides and manuals. The committee will seek input from the community; be available to speak at meetings; and answer questions. Eventually the service will be a total integration of GIS, deeds…, for a total land records management system.

    In addition, the system will add new entities like Lebanon’s 65 cel towers and active mineral extraction (coal, limestone, and water). Because there are currently no court cases or PA statutes governing them, in the future billboards may be considered.

    To build credibility, the service is offered free to the public for one year. Total cost for the project will range from $315,000 to $500,000. Approximately $384,000 in tax revenue will be generated yearly--$316,000 for school districts, $51,500 for the County, and $16,500 for municipalities.

January 9, 2003

Commissioners agreed to sign an easement along Pinch Road to the Education Center with First Energy to provide electricity to Governor Dick.

Davis S. Wingert, of Watsontown, placed a $10 bid on a vacant lot in Fredericksburg. The lot was on the repository of unclaimed property in the Tax Claim Bureau, which means no one bought it at the Sheriff Sale.  Commissioners accepted Wingert's bid.

Disaster proclamations for snow emergencies, manmade or natural disasters, were approved and placed on file with EMA

A line of succession in the event of a nuclear attack or other manmade or natural disaster follows:  chairman of the commissioners; vice chair; secretary; county administrator.  If non of these individuals are available, the president judge will appoint someone to be in charge.

A $14,192 Continuation of Subgrant Award for the Drug Control and System Improvement Program aiding the Juvenile Prosecutor was signed. 

A $309,900 Philhaven for Crisis Intervention and Information Services contract was signed.

January 2, 2003

Summary of reorganization of the Board of Commissioners:

bulletWilliam Carpenter, Chairman
bulletRose Marie Swanger, Vice Chairman
bulletEdward Arnold, Secretary
bulletJamie Wogelmuth, County Administrator
bulletAdrienne Snelling, Solicitor
bulletAll employees on the County payroll were reappointed to their respective positions.
bulletWeekly Meetings will be held each Thursday in Room 207 of the Municipal Building, Lebanon PA at 9:30AM.  If a holiday falls on Thursday, then the meeting will be held the preceding Wednesday.
bulletOn the third Wednesday of each month, a meeting is held at Cedar Haven beginning at 10:30AM.
bulletCommissioners may also meet on Wednesdays at 9:30AM in Room 207 of the Municipal Building.
bulletTo receive priority and avoid unnecessary delay, call (274-2801, extension 2202) in advance and ask to be placed on the agenda.
bulletThe salary board also meets during the Commissioners Thursday meetings.

Liaison assignments for the Commissioners follow:

Carpenter Swanger Arnold
Area Agency on Aging Children & Youth Ag Extension
Assessment Chair City of Lebanon Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Corporation
Building & Grounds Conservation District County of Lebanon (COLT)
Emergency Management Agency Election Board & Registration Committee, Chair Mental Health/Mental Retardation
Housing & Redevelopment Drug & Alcohol Tourist Bureau
Planing Management Information Systems South-central Employment Corporation
Veterans Affairs United Way Renova Center

All three Commissioners sit on the Assessment, Salary & Retirement, Elections (Unless running for office), Cedar Haven, and Prison Boards.

The following depository banks were reapproved for 2003:

bulletFirst National Bank of Fredericksburg
bulletFirst Union
bulletJonestown Bank & Trust Company
bulletLebanon Valley Farmers Bank

COLT reappointments approved by the Commissioners:  Lionel Lee, Tom Brandt, and Linda Jackson.

Drug and Alcohol student appointment:  Lea Hertzog replaces Kinsy Holtry.

An alarm connection device was approved for Mary Louise Sherk on Quentin Road.

A $31,949 grant award was received from the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency to administer the Victim Witness program relating to Juvenile Offenders.