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, Jonas 30" Snowstorm 2016 , or the Summer Storm of 2018,
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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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:
Taking Action, Getting Results.
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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.
Lebanon County Commission for Women
Web site paid for by Jo Ellen Litz.
December 29, 2005
District Attorney Deirdre Eshleman tendered her resignation effective January 1, 2006. Mrs. Eshleman started her career with the County in 1987.
Elaine Ludwig presented two resolutions for approval:
¨ Certification for Maintenance of Effort, stating that Lebanon County did not use HAVA funds for general expenses; and
¨ Department of State resolution guaranteeing that Lebanon County will purchase new voting machines, provide education, training, and handicap accessibility for voters and personnel.
Commissioners signed an agreement reviewed by Solicitor Snelling. Beginning in January 2006, at a cost of $27,830, Delta Development Group will perform a Continuity Operations Plan for Lebanon County.
Directors were appointed to the Conservation District Board--Calvin Miller, farmer representative and Bob Arnold, public representative. Commissioner Litz was reappointed as the commissioner’s liaison to the Conservation District Board.
For a right-to-be-heard hearing from neighbors of farms slated for preservation, Brett Lentz and Charles Wertz presented the 105.087 acre Cowden Farm in Bethel and North Lebanon Townships; the 76.7952 acre Bomgardner Farm in South Annville; and the 83.7 acre Sellers farm in South Annville. No comments were heard. Funds to preserve these farms will be reimbursed to Lebanon County through the federal Farm and Ranch Land Preservation Program, which is part of the farm bill. At a future meeting, closing will take place, which will bring land preserved in Lebanon County to a total of 9,645 acres. In addition, with State funds, the Doris Bowman farm will be preserved bringing acres preserved to 9,856. A 300+ acre North Annville Township farm will most likely put Lebanon County’s preservation program past the 10,000 acre mark in 2006. This would be the largest farm preserved in the County to date.
Joined by Treasurer Sallie Neuin and the commissioners, Controller Mettley conducted a retirement board meeting. Dave Reichert from the Hay Group explained Lebanon’s choices to use the “aggregate” or “entry age” calculations to determine a 13 or 30-year arc respectively, which spreads out potential losses through equalized County contributions. Another way to dissolve any potential loss is a rise in portfolio value. At the beginning of 2005, the retirement fund stood at $71 million, but ended the year at $83.5 million. Because of an upswing in the market, commissioners chose to stay with the shorter “aggregate” calculation.
Other retirement board business conducted included paying 5.5% interest, adopting the 1/80th class, sending out statements at a cost of $1.75 each, and paying 90% of the COLA or 3.3%, which is equal to $801,600.
Finally, Commissioners adopted an $85,643,779 2006 budget by passing a 15.5 millage rate, which is the same rate as 2005. To view a summary, visit http://dsf.pacounties.org/lebanon/lib/lebanon/06_Budget_Report.pdf .
December 22, 2005
Commissioner Stohler requested a moment of silence to honor the passing of Judge John Walter.
Sallie Neuin presented the Treasurer’s report and Gary Robson and Melissa Light presented personnel and conference and seminar requests.
Kathy Snavely and Pam Tricamo distributed certificates to Commissioner Bill Carpenter and former Commissioner Rose Marie Swanger for starting the Women’s Commission. A certificate will also be presented to former Commissioner Ed Arnold. Then, certificates were awarded to the founding board. Further, Commissioner Litz received a certificate for researching and writing an article on the first women elected to office in Lebanon County. Finally, Tricamo distributed a form for nominations for inclusion in the Women’s History Project.
Earl Meyer, Michelle Brummer, and Betty Conner presented an update on the Comprehensive Plan.
Charles Blankenship, the new president of the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation and Mary Ann Paul requested approval to participate in REDDI--a Regional Economic Development District Initiative--with eight south-central counties. Most areas of the State already have a regional planning process.
Phil Hall received approval to submit a $66,784 2006 West Nile Virus grant application.
With a balance of $83,500,000, Archie Battistelli reported that the County’s retirement plan is at an all-time high. Since Advest left Lebanon, Archie also introduced Steve Greenhut from Ryan Beck & Co, which was founded in 1946. Commissioners, along with Treasurer Sallie Neuin and Controller Robert Mettley, moved to transfer the retirement fund to Ryan Beck who will maintain a presence in Lebanon County. Money Market funds are insured for up to $1.3 million. Existing managers like McQue, Sovereign, CS McKee, and American Century will be retained.
Because the State eliminated payment for travel time for providers, Administrator Wolgemuth presented MH/MR contract reductions totaling $55,642.
December 21, 2005
Census is at 487—432 males and 55 females. 168 are unsentenced and 28 are state-sentenced inmates.
In the coming weeks Commissioners will finalize the budget and prioritize Growing Greener II funds.
December 15, 2005
Jackie and Steve Grumbacher made a presentation about their concerns with the Diebold Voting System.
Sallie Neuin presented the Treasurer’s report. Gary Robson and Melissa Light presented personnel transactions. Of note, Chief Detective Paul Zechman will retire after 27 years of service to the County. Also, Clyde Flickinger retired as an accountant from MHMR with 16 years of service. It is with gratitude for their years of service that their resignations were approved.
Kevin Schrum, Melissa Heisey, Shem Heller, Brenda Mettley, and Carol Davies received approval on Phoenix contract modifications, which resulted when a home closed, and people had to be moved. Expenses were reduced by $88,504.
William Sullivan and Alicia Arnold reviewed the Gatekeeper program, which provides accountability and intervention for first-time non-violent juvenile offenders by assigning the youth to work with trained community panels like painting over graffiti in the City or tending the “Garden of Youth.” Since 1999, with an 80% success rate, over 450 juveniles have been given a second chance to start over without the encumbrance of a criminal record. For the grant, the State contributes $10,000 and the County $1112.
Susan Klarsch requested a waiver for Drug and Alcohol Continuum of Care until a contract can be worked out with White Deer Run. PA Counseling and Philhaven Hospital relinquished their license and no longer provide drug and alcohol treatment services.
Further, Susan presented contract amendments resulting in a reduction of $86,468 as well as treatment contracts, including an Amendment to the advanced Treatment Systems contract for the new methadone clinic.
Next, a Voting Machine Discussion took place. Rather than passing a resolution provided by the state to commit to the purchase of new machines, Commissioners Bill Carpenter and Larry Stohler made a decision to purchasing voting machines immediately. They chose Accupoll's Unisys machine. Commissioner Litz reminded her colleagues that more machines were to be approved by the federal and State governments in the near future. She also reviewed the pros and cons of the top four machines chosen by the public at the Town Meeting a few weeks ago.
December 8, 2005
Both Eric Wolfe and Carl Jarboe requested that the commissioners act individually or as a board to pass a resolution asking the City of Lebanon to table or withdraw their motion to terminate the Water Authority.
Cedar Haven bargaining unit employees were present when Commissioners passed the agreed upon 5-year union contract that provides for 3% annual increases in salary. For the first time, $200 individual and $400 family medical deductibles are incorporated into the contract. In 2009, deductibles will increase to $300 and $600 deductibles respectively. In 2006, co pays for prescriptions increase to $7/$15/$30; doctor visits $10; and emergency room visits $35. In 2009, those co pays increase correspondingly to $10/17/35 for prescriptions; $20 for doctor visits; and $50 for emergency room visits. In order to care for our seniors, Cedar Haven employees cover 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. With surrounding counties closing their "homes," we feel fortunate to have good employees and a well-run home who/that can continue to provide safe and efficient services to residents.
Commissioners passed the first reading of the 15.5 mill 2006 budget. Because employees help look for ways to keep department budgets trim, real estate tax revenue is up due to construction, interest rates are up, medical insurance dropped $1.5 million, no new positions were funded…, the $85,643,779 budget resulted in no tax increase. The County will enter 2006 with a $3.2 million reserve fund, which is 11% of the general fund. A reserve fund is necessary to cover payroll during the first three months of the year when tax revenue does not come in and for use in emergencies like flooding, a tornado, blizzard, or other disaster. Final reading of the budget will occur on December 29.
Lynn Snead received support for a $65,000 DCED grant request to complete repairs to the 3-story spiral staircase, chimney, stained glass windows, furnace, heating system, insulation, flooring, and kitchen of the Domestic Violence Intervention shelter, which is on the National Trust’s Listing of Historic Places.
Commissioners approved an alarm device connection for the Lebanon Valley Brethren Home.
Two proclamations were approved:
¨ Sam R. Snyder, eagle scout and
¨ The Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce in honor of their 90th anniversary.
A request from the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Authority was tabled until next week.
District Justice office leases were approved for Jonestown, Palmyra and Cleona.
At 11AM the Metropolitan Planning Organization convened.
Jon Fitzgee presented Hometown Streets and Safe Routes to Schools projects. When Penn DOT’s Terry Adams said that we will have half as much money as we thought we had, Jon was asked to prioritize requests from South Lebanon, Jonestown Borough, Bethel Township, Northern Lebanon School District, and Rails to Trails.
Gary DeBerry presented Transportation Enhancement Project modifications for approval: I-78 to the Schuylkill County line; $1 million increased costs to construct the 9th/10th Street bridges; $900,000 in increased costs for the Schaefferstown bypass; Main St. Annville to replace a PC box over a storm drain; and the Iron Master Road project adjoining Route 72 South.
Tom Kotay reviewed the Congested Corridor Improvements resolution to bring Palmyra and North and South Londonderry Townships into the Lebanon MPO.
Helping to establish priority for upgrades, traffic studies for railroad crossings at 11th Avenue and Ramona Road clearly showed that the 11th Avenue location is more heavily traveled—9433/1070.
For the next five months, Earl Meyer presented a summary of transportation activities such as:
December 1, 2005
Eric Wolfe addressed commissioners concerning the Lebanon Water Authority and World Aids Day.
Jim Holtry and Karen Alonzo received approval for Children and Youth first quarter invoices, including $76,253.63 for Adoption Assistance; $265,692.30 for Placement Maintenance; $98,060 for TANF; $79,815 for State Transition Grants; and $1881.02 for Medicade or a total of $521,701.95.
Holtry also received permission to pay invoices directly, then reimburse the General Fund.
Commissioners approved a proclamation recognizing Driving Under the Influence Victim’s Remembrance Day in Lebanon County.
In executive session, Attorney Scott Feeman answered questions concerning Cedar Haven’s union contract and Solicitor Snelling and Chief Assessor Dan Seaman discussed Assessment Appeals.
November 23, 2005
A special Safety Committee award presentation took place today. Out of 43 counties, the County Commissioner’s Association of Pennsylvania recognized Lebanon County’s Safety Committee for their stellar performance this past year: thorough minutes; ongoing inspections and incident reports; their ‘safety orange’ newsletter; newly updated fire evacuation maps locating exits, extinguishers, AEDs, even water and electrical shutoff valves…. The Commissioners thanked the entire committee for their dedication and leadership in making all County premises safer for both workers and visitors.
Administrator Wolgemuth reminded everyone about the Town Meeting at the Lebanon Valley EXPO Center on Tuesday, October 29 from 10AM-7PM. Help will be available to complete Medicare Part D pharmacy forms. Further, five of nine vendors have confirmed that they will bring sample electronic voting machines for people to try out, then fill in a survey for the Election Board, which will provide valuable feedback concerning purchases to which the Commissioners must commit by December 31.
Currently, Accupoll version 2.50, Danaher Control’s Electonic 1242, and Hart Intercivic’s eSlate voting systems have passed both federal and state scrutiny. According to Secretary Pedro Cortez, both Advanced WINNOTE and Diebold have been reviewed by the State and a stamp of approval is pending after federal certification. To read the reports, visit http://www.hava.state.pa.us/hava/cwp/view.asp?a=1283&Q=445840 .
November 16, 2005
Commissioners sat as the Board of Cedar Haven where 312 residents receive care. Administrator Schlegel requested that the 40 Medicare certified beds on 3F be increased to all 324 Medicare beds, which would allow patients to remain in the same room during a 100-day recovery period after hospitalization….
At a cost of $47,000, Kaylor Architects were approved to complete mechanical designs for sprinklers at Cedar Haven. Kaylor had previously handled the smoke detector/fire alarm systems, and is intimately familiar with the building. To eliminate the need for two sprinklers in each room, a decision must be made on whether or not to replace built-in closets with wardrobes and whether to use steel or PVC piping.
Monday night, Cedar Haven conducted their annual evacuation, which took two hours.
December 7 at 3:15, Commissioners will assist with awarding pins and on November 19 from 10AM-3PM is the Snowflake Bazaar.
Commissioners passed and signed a Farm City Week proclamation.
A $43,900 Delta Development Group contract for hazardous mitigation was approved.
Commissioners executed another contract requesting $72,528 in reimbursable salaries and benefits for EMA.
A $6281 painting contract was approved to eliminate or encapsulate lead-based paint at bridge house.
To satisfy grant requirements, a chimney needs replaced on the DVI shelter.
Prison Board: 464 inmates reside at the prison; including 154 unsentenced and 28 state-sentenced.
Michael Stuckey received approval to purchase self-contained urine testing cups at a cost of $10 each, which will provide results instantaneously, eliminating the need to ship the urine to labs and wait days for a report.
November 17, 2005
Sallie Neuin presented the Treasurer’s report, and Gary and Melissa presented personnel and training requests.
Archie Battistelli and Curt Muller reviewed the County’s Retirement fund. Meryl Lynch bought Advest, and it is uncertain if either or both of these gentlemen will continue with the firm.
Sallie Neuin then pulled 125 antler-less deer licenses (of which 25 are alternates) from 479 applications received to hunt in a special four-day hunt at Governor Dick.
Commissioners then met in Executive Session to discuss union negotiations with Attorney Scott Feeman.
At 1:30PM, Commissioners sat as the Board of Assessment Appeals to consider two residential appeals.
In addition, a disabled veteran was awarded property tax exemption.
Further, Dan Seaman reported that the Board of Realtors signed a $16,000 two-year agreement with the County for online assessment information.
At the request of Solicitor Snelling, Dan is also working on an online agreement to allow attorneys to complete research.
Finally, Dan is working on a fee schedule for custom exports of material.
November 10, 2005
Commissioner Carpenter was attending a funeral. Commissioners Stohler and Litz presided.
Commissioners approved and signed a letter endorsing Harrisburg Area Community College and the Chamber of Commerce to seek funding for an Early Child Professional Development course for daycare providers, which will result in Child Development Associate credentials.
Commissioners accepted a resignation from Lydia Flores from the Area Agency on Aging board.
Commissioners heard a health care presentation by the County Commissioners Association of PA and Riverside Health Care Program. The plan recommends self-insurance for medical coverage with Highmark and prescription drug coverage with Pharmacare. Lebanon County is currently self-insured for pharmaceuticals. Using a stop-loss maximum payment of $175,000, ten percent projected savings are possible over a three-year period. At a cost of $9041 per employee per year, savings are expected by eliminating profit, margin, and tax from our costs, as well as addition of a Personal Vitality Management Program that can result in savings of $1000 per employee times 1000 employees, or $1,000,000 annually, which is equivalent to one mill of tax. Both York and Chester counties were cited as examples of counties that are self-insured for 10 to 20 years. No self-insured counties are known to have stopped self-insurance.
November 3, 2005
Phyllis Holtry presented a $282,029 Community Services Block Grant for the Domestic Violence shelter to rehabilitate the roof, windows, and electrical fixtures. Another $199,832 will fund operations of the shelter, the remolding of the kitchen and installation of central air conditioning. Finally, $146,158 will fund Shelter Program staff positions for bridge house, HARP, Bridges, Employment Development and Hispanic outreach.
73,248 voters were certified for the upcoming election—21,025 Democrats, 42,989 Republicans, 404 Libertarians, 120 Green, 94 Constitution, and 8616 others.
Commissioners approved an alarm connection device.
Snowberger, Hoover, Marquet, Whitman, Heckard, and Rozario, all current members of the Children and Youth board, were reappointed for another term.
Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss medical insurance.
October 27, 2005
Melissa Light presented both Personnel transactions and Conference and Seminar Requests.
Kevin Schrum, Melissa Heisey, Shem Heller, Brenda Mettley, Carol Davies, and Sue Klarsch presented $4836 in Medical Assistance Realignment Contracts and $7500 in Children and Youth placements. Kevin Schrum and Jamie Wolgemuth received signatory authority.
Elaine Ludwig submitted $26,484 in HAVA reports to reimburse two landlords for Polling Place Accessibility projects already completed at the Lebanon Valley Brethren Home and St. Matthews Lutheran Church as well as to complete accessibility to Richland Neptune Fire Company. In March, there may be a special election on Act 72.
For $1, Dennis Firestone received approval to sell the final property out of Repository. The upset sale price was $1303 in September 2003, and the judicial upset sale price was $404.20 in December 2003. Jason Leedy was the successful bidder. This is the first time in recent history that there are no homes in the repository.
Bob Mettley requested approval of a $6000 Maximus contract to prorate internal charges for data processing services to various departments.
Jeff Achey reviewed a $55,000 grant agreement with DELTA to formulate a hazardous waste transportation plan that will become part of the County Comprehensive Plan. The 75/25-match requirement puts the County share of costs at $14,870. The professional service will make this plan consistent with other EMA plans. Municipalities will be included in the planning process, and both the County and the municipalities will be asked to adopt resolutions of support for the plan.
Signatory authority was granted to Earl Meyer for DEP sewage modules.
At a cost of $78,000 per year, the Auditing firm of Reinsel, Kuntz, and Lesher, from Wyomissing, received a three-year contract. This is a significant savings over the cost of previous year’s audits. Both Berks County and the County of Lebanon Transit Authority (COLT) satisfactorily use Reinsel.
October 16, 2005
Administrator Schlegel reported that a team of five-six people arrived from the Department of Health eight weeks early. DPH approved a plan of action for three minor deficiencies.
Life Safety will also issue their results within ten days. As a courtesy, the report will outline impacted areas that will be enforced in 2006.
Also completed is a 2003 audit.
Cedar Haven is at 98% occupancy rate with eight people on the waiting list.
The County’s disproportionate share and flu vaccines arrived. At a cost of $11 each, shots will take place on November 3 at the Municipal Building.
September 30, the number of inmates stood at 466--401 males and 65 females. 190 inmates are unsentenced, and 17 are state-sentenced inmates.
October 20, 2005
In support of the Chamber of Commerce and Business at the EXPO, Commissioners Stohler, Carpenter, and Litz issued a joint proclamation with the Mayor Anspach.
As the Board of Assessment, Commissioners approved a $244,000 assessment for Keystone Weaving Mills, which translates into a $1.52 million resale value. Chief Dan Seaman and Assessor Karl Stump also received approval for exoneration for a disabled veteran.
Lebanon Daily News reporter John Latimer asked about the projected $3 million shortfall in the 2006 budget. Approximately $870,000 of the deficit is attributable to Juvenile Probation, and another $218,607 will cover costs like software and training for newly mandated electronic voting machines. (The federal/state contribution towards voting machines is $626,379.43.) The balance includes a 3% pay increase for employees, and projected increases in fuel costs and towards medical insurance.
Commissioners met in executive session to discuss union negotiations with Attorney Feeman.
October 13, 2005
Carpenter and Litz sat as the board of commissioners today. Commissioner Stohler was absent.
Curtis Troutman and George and Carol Hollich presented a Lebanon County Community Concert Association calendar of culturally significant music programs:
To attend a single concert at 7:30 PM at Lebanon High School, cost is $20. Individuals can purchase season tickets at a reduced rate of $45 per adult or $10 per student. For more information, you can email LCCCA@comcast.net or pick up a brochure at Marty’s Music, Loser’s Music, or the Allan Theater.
Congratulations to Nicole Eisenhart (Courts), David Dresher (District Attorney’s office), and John Hamme (District Attorney’s office) who passed their bar exams.
Joe Lescisko presented a $207,504 PA Department of Aging Waiver Program request for people aged 60 and over who are both income eligible and nursing home eligible, but who wish to remain in their home. Funding pays for casework, staff wages and benefits, support staff, RN consultant costs, supplies and administration overhead (10%).
TOWN MEETINGS: FREE. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Register by calling 273-9262 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Commissioners accepted a $209,192 grant-in-aid award from the JCJC-Juvenile Crime and Justice Commission—for reimbursement of salary, benefits, and overhead in Juvenile Probation.
Commissioners also approved bond payments that are due tomorrow:
October 6, 2005
Commissioners convened in their regular weekly meeting.
At 1:30, Commissioners convened as the Board of Assessment Appeals where they heard 13 commercial appeals. This was the last week of hearings for 2005.
September 29, 2005
To make sure that all quotes for medical insurance are on a level playing field, while pertinent data may be shared, Gary Robson received authorization to amend a letter for CCAP authorization, which would not mandate sharing of renewal rates by Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Elaine Ludwig presented a sample November 8 ballot for approval. Further, she asked commissioners to consider whether to open the Municipal Building for the public to observe computations on Veterans' Day, Friday, November 11 as prescribed by law (P.S. 3154(a) or to convene as a board, then recess and reconvene on Monday, November 14 at 9AM. A decision will be made next week.
Tony Cek received a proclamation declaring October 2-8 Mental Health Week, which will help to remove any stigma or fear of seeking early intervention, effective treatment, and recovery of a mental illness. Cek emphasized personal responsibility to manage the illness. To learn more about the program, visit www.cspLebanon.org . Beginning at 9th and Cumberland Sts., an awareness walk is scheduled for October 7 at 5:30PM.
Because the Foster Care Kinship program exceeded the budget by $263,337, James Holtry presented a Children and Youth budget amendment. Residential requests are under budget, which will create an even exchange of funds.
Tom Harlan and Ray Bender received approval to ask the court to rule on whether or not to allow deer hunting at the Clarence Shock Memorial Park, which could provide temporary relief for a controlled hunt. Bender states that physical evidence like no under-story of saplings, droppings, and trail use supports the request. If the hunt is allowed, permits will be issued through Treasurer Sally Neuin, and the Game Commission will police the four-day hunt. Mr. Bender believes that once the deer realize there are hunters on the Governor Dick property, the deer will revert back to the State Game Lands. Over the course of a year, there are currently 20-28 deer per square mile, but because an infrared count is too expensive, the total number of deer is unknown.
Further, similar to an ordinance for Monument Park, commissioners agreed to advertise an ordinance that would allow enforcement for violating Clarence Schock Memorial Park rules prohibiting:
On October 16 between 9AM and 3PM, the Stony Creek trail will open for a drive between Highbridge Reservoir and Dauphin County.
Commissioners approved a letter of support for ColorTech’s $100,000 grant application for capital improvements, upgrades and additions, which should result in additional jobs.
Commissioners designated the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation as the local agency to receive and administer $44,873 for economic development in Lebanon County. Funding comes from DCED.
Commissioners accepted three grants:
Darla Ann Gettle and Diane L. Stoudt were appointed to the Women’s Commission. Letters of commendation will be sent to Josie Ames and Harriet Faren for their past service.
At a cost of $60,000, Commissioners approved the purchase of a 60-space parking lot from Lebanon County Christian Ministries.
Commissioners approved a bridge engineering contract for replacement of the 151’ long Inwood Bridge over Swatara Creek. Built in 1899, the iron structure stands at the gateway to Swatara State Park, and the current 5-ton weight limit is prohibitive. The $315,000 contract will be paid as follows: Lebanon County 5% or $15,750 from liquid fuels funds; Pennsylvania 15% or $47,250; and 80% or $252,000 will come from the federal government. Bridge design is not completed. Options may include repairing the pins and abutments, but this would not allow for widening of the structure to meet today’s codes or raising the road to meet with Route 72.
In addition, Mark Wilson was designated as the Lebanon County bridge inspector for our 14 county bridges and 82 municipal bridges. Since 2000, Mark has served the County in this capacity.
September 21, 2005
Cedar Haven: Census stood at 317—74 males and 243 females. Occupancy rate is at 98% while processing of the waiting list is completed.
The Fall Frolic netted about $9,000 profit.
Discussion ensued concerning the close or sale of Dauphin and Lancaster County nursing homes. At this time, Cedar Haven would not be able to accept more than two emergency admittances.
In honor of CLAs nomination of him as Business Person of the Year, Commissioners passed a resolution marking September 22 as Bill Kolovani Day in Lebanon County.
Prison Board: 488 inmates—428 males and 60 females. 165 unsentenced inmates and 16 state-sentenced inmates reside at the prison. The expansion project is approximately 65% complete.
September 22, 2005
Personnel Director Gary Robson received approval to create five part-time positions in central booking. The positions will increase the pool of available staff, but not increase hours worked within the allotted 96 hours per week.
Don Lesher, Dave Henise, and Troy Williams met with the Commissioners to receive a five-year appointment for Lebanon County Christian Ministries to serve as our facilitator to dispense Lebanon County's Department of Agricultural government surplus payment, which is $112,000 annually or about 10% of LCCM’s total budget. While LCCM distributes food, toiletries, clothing, and heating oil to needy families, the County allotment can only be used for food. Also, while Pennsylvania provides cash, the USDA actually provides surplus food for distribution. During this past year, LCCM identified distribution sites at Trinity Untied Methodist Church in Lickdale and at St. Paul’s UCC in Schaefferstown. Next year, a site should open in Palmyra.
In addition, LLCM discussed a sixty-space, 90 x 160’ County Parking lot expansion on the old Dutch Miss parking lot, which is adjacent to the existing north County lot. Commissioners are awaiting a second appraisal before proceeding with the $60,000 acquisition using 2003 Bond Issue funds.
In the afternoon, Commissioners sat as the Board of Assessment Appeals.
September 15, 2005
September 8, 2005
Assistant Public Defender Dave Arnold resigned his position with the County of Lebanon.
For Children and Youth, James Holtry presented $88,903 in TANF invoices and 4th quarter invoices totaling $324,360.64; 1st quarter supplemental invoices for $.38; 2nd Quarter Invoices for $2461.24; as well as 3rd quarter invoices for $34.45. Finally, at a daily rate of $104.17, commissioners approved Bowling Brook Prep School as a new provider for the Juvenile Probation Office. The new contract is for first and second time offenders, and the rates are sixty to seventy dollars per day cheaper that other providers. Next week, to continue efforts to reduce C&Y costs, Holtry will present a new two-year grant, which will bring in $200,000 annually from the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
Ken Bachem received approval to award a prison boiler bid to GF Bowman. Also approved were two alternates for a grand total of $43,366.
Administrator Wolgemuth presented documents for an intergovernmental transfer of funds. Commissioners executed the documents.
Beginning at 10AM, both Lebanon Emergency Management Agency and Cedar Haven are holding events this Saturday. LEMA will have an open house where you can learn more about emergency services in the community. LEMA is located in Station 50, which is across the street from the City garage behind the Municipal Building. Cedar Haven will hold a Fall Frolic where resident’s crafts are sold to support their activities.
September 1, 2005
Ted Anspach received support for raising $12,000 to send bolognas to over 4,000 troops for Christmas. He will approach the Chamber of Commerce to request assistance to coordinate the project. Funds will be deposited in the Lebanon Valley Farmers Bank. Residents of Lebanon will also be asked to write a hand written note to a soldier.
Janet Frick and parents of children who committed suicide were present for a proclamation declaring September as suicide prevention month. They will distribute yellow ribbon wallet sized cards for students to hand to someone if they need help. The 15,000 cards contain instructions and phone numbers like 1-800-suicide. The Greater Harrisburg Foundation provided $1750 to print the cards. According to Frick, every 18 minutes someone in the United States commits suicide, and sixty percent of suicides involve guns.
Elaine Ludwig requested signatures on various Help America Vote Act agreements.
Ken Bachem and Chris Troop reported that Landis Deck would not fine-tune their $126,980 storm water detention basin bid to reflect work already completed. Therefore, commissioners voted to reject the bid. Also, Ken opened a $41,396 bid from George Bowman to replace a duel fuel boiler/burner at the Lebanon County Correctional Facility. If gas or oil prices rise or the temperature drops below 15 degrees, the boiler has the ability to switch from gas to oil and back again. Ken will review the contract and report back to commissioners next week.
An executive session followed the regular meeting to discuss personnel issues.
In the afternoon, Commissioners Carpenter and Stohler sat as the Board of Assessment Appeals while Commissioner Litz represented Lebanon at an emergency meeting of the South Central Employment Corporation.
August 25, 2005
Susan Klarsch, Carol Davies, and Melissa Heisey presented a 4th quarter Drug and Alcohol Expenditure report. In addition, Commissioners approved contract amendments: $839.23 for the Lebanon Family Health smoking cessation classes, White Deer Run New Perspective rates that dropped to $28, and Gateway at $84.
Chamber President Harriet Faren, Randy Folmer, Ken Phelps, and Bud Katzman, all members of the Chamber of Commerce Small Business Committee, asked Commissioners for their cooperation in working with high school students for the 2006 Apprentice Challenge. Commissioners accepted the “challenge.” The LVC Foundation funds the Apprentice Challenge, and each team is given an expense budget. Direction for this year’s Challenge is to ask students to share their ideas about continuing to make Lebanon County a viable place to live, work, learn, and do business. Student teams will create specific recommendations to stimulate countywide economic development through a combination of attracting new business, expansion of existing businesses, and addressing quality of life issues and tourism. Students will do research, create a written plan (including marketing objectives and strategies, media and communications plans), and present their plans and recommendations orally to a panel of judges. Finally, each student must answer this question, “What would it take for me to want to build my own future in Lebanon County once my education is completed?”
Brenda Keefer and District Attorney Dierdre Eshleman presented both the $53,011 RASA and $32,320 Victims Of Juvenile Offenses continuation grants for approval.
Earl Meyer, Mandy Eisenhower, Lori Books, and Sheila Wartluft updated Commissioners on the Sewage Management pilot program in North Lebanon Township and administered by the Planning Department. Only four properties need to respond for 100% participation and compliance with the mandated Act 537 plan. PA reimburses 85% of the program, and a $10 per property charge covers the administrative fee. East Hanover, North Londonderry, and West Cornwall Townships are also interested in the County run program. Within two years, these additional townships should be on board.
Phyllis Holtry presented $283,052 in Human Services Development Fund and $268,074 Medical Assistance Transportation Program 4th Quarter Contracts for approval.
Commissioners approved a contract with Crisis Intervention at Philhaven Hospital.
Phil Hall phoned in a report that Southern Lebanon County confirmed a positive human case of West Nile Virus.
Commissioners met in executive session to discuss a personnel issue, union contracts, litigation, and insurance with David P. Wuenschel of the Benecon Group.
August 17, 2005
Cedar Haven: 309 residents, including 235 female and 74 male.
For Cedar Haven, Commissioners passed a resolution establishing private pay rates for facility and therapeutic leave days on “ 3F" (the Medicare Certified Unit) at $225 per day and all other units at $190 per day.
The Fall Frolic is scheduled for September 10.
Prison Board: 473 inmates including 416 males and 60 females. 180 inmates are unsentenced inmates; 118 are on work release; and 19 are state sentenced. At a cost of $1.29 per person per day, the prison served inmates 275,907 meals so far this year.
August 18, 2005
Clyde Flickinger, Julie, Barb Audi, and Victoria Williams presented commissioners with tshirts and reviewed Bowl for Kids Sake, a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters. The $9,130 raised will stay in Lebanon to support the 150 matches, and a new “Bigs” program in schools. A golf outing is scheduled for Pine Meadows, and followed by a steak dinner at Pine Meadows.
Ken Bachem and Kris Troup opened bids for a Jonestown storm water detention basin. Looking for a bid equivalent to a bond held for incomplete work by a bankrupt contractor (around $40,000), this is the third time commissioners requested bids. The first time, no bids were received; during round two, Landis Deck from Bernville bid $126,980. Commissioners received the only bid from the same contractor at the same price in today’s third round. Ken verified that a clay liner is installed, which lessons the scope of the project, but that work is not deducted out of the bid price. Commissioners will make a decision next week. Commissioner Litz questioned the technical aspects of the job, and whether or not the County could contract with Jonestown Borough staff, provided they have the time and equipment necessary to complete the installation.
Joe Seibert and Eric Forkner, KPMG Peat Marwick, reviewed findings of the County’s 2004 audit. On the up side, there was an increase in property tax revenues of $1.5 million; an investment and note receivable for the Ag Center in the amount of $1 million; a $9.5 million radio upgrade; and $300,000 in savings by refinancing a $7 million bond. However, due mainly to depreciation and a $1.9 million unfunded pension obligation (interest rates were down, and are expected to recover), net assets were reduced by $5.8 million and the General Fund cash balance declined by $3.8 million. A reserve of $7,419,853 will allow the County to operate for 36 days. Joe said that this year’s audit cost $143,500. Commissioners budgeted $129,000.
Commissioners appointed Leroy Leach to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority board and Frank Kocher to the Workforce Investment Board.
Commissioners Carpenter and Stohler commented on District Attorney Deirdre Eshleman’s action that turned over an investigation of a contaminated spring to the PA Attorney General.
In the afternoon, commissioners sat as the Assessment Appeal Board where they heard one residential appeal.
August 11, 2005
Mr. Barondik addressed the commissioners concerning the Clarence Shock Memorial Park, known for years as Governor Dick. He thinks the Shock will should be upheld, and is opposed to thinning the deer herd. Sico and the commissioners each appoint three members of the board that requested a judge’s decision on whether or not to allow thinning of the deer herd.
Kevin Schrum and Carol Davies requested and received approval for a provider contract amendment of $157 with Exact Communications and $30,099 with Phoenix Services. Both requests are within the Mental Health Mental Retardation budget.
Archie Battistelli and Kurt Muler, Advest financial advisors, reported on the County’s retirement fund, which stands at $81,500,000. The County has a conservative portfolio that currently contains 33% in fixed income and 67% in equity investments. Managers include CS McKee, McHugh Associates, Sovereign Asset Management, ABN Amro (value oriented), American Century Equity Income (large cap), Royce Total Return (small cap), and Kensington Investment Group.
Deborah Harchuska, Mary Ann Reppert, Gary Robson, Melissa Light, and Shem Heller updated commissioners on wellness committee activities. They held two seminars where 50 employees learned about a walking program and body composition analysis. Afterwards, pedometer kits were sold. RV Goodman is offering healthy choices in vending machines. A Health Awareness Week is scheduled for October 17 though 21.
James Holtry and Bill Sullivan presented the Juvenile Probation and Children and Youth budget. The implementation budget is $8,139,011 of which the County share is $2,076,435.
Ken Bachem reported disqualification of the low bidder who is not a certified rubber roof installer for a new Cedar Haven roof. Without certification, we would have no warranty. Therefore commissioners approved a $48,748 re-roofing contract with Banes Roofing, Telford PA.
Commissioners then joined Chamber of Commerce president Harriet Faren and Mayor Bob Anspach who jointly sat as the Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Jon Fitzgee and Tom Kotay presented a PowerPoint overview
of ongoing project/program initiatives.
Responding to safety concerns at highway and rail grade
crossings with an automated horn system that sounds downward toward the roadway
at intersections. There are eleven ungated crossings in Lebanon County.
Finally, commissioners sat as the Board of Assessment Appeals where they heard 16 residential appeals.
August 4, 2005
Today’s commissioner’s meeting took place at the Lebanon Valley Exposition Center on Rocherty Road.
Commissioners approved an agreement with H. Ed Black Associates allowing Rick Bolt to perform inspections for the Lebanon County Planning Department.
Commissioners appointed Doris Bergman, Lucy Fletcha, Robert Devers, Cindy Weaver, Tom Fisher, and Jessica Penchard to the Area Agency on Aging advisory board.
Chuck Wertz introduced Ken and Miriam Kreider and their children. The Kreiders raise sheep, and theirs is the second farm that the commissioners preserved in South Londonderry Township. 9,379.163 acres on 90 farms are now preserved in Lebanon County.
Phil Hall presented a West Nile virus update. In addition to the tire collection program, preventative treatment with BTI and methoprene seem to have helped to reduce the number of incidents in 2005. Two sites that received preventative treatment measures include the Quittie Wetland and a Myerstown wetland at Mill and Quarry Roads.
Dennis Grumbine updated commissioners on the Tourist Promotion Agency: 50,000 guide books are distributed at 54 locations; 10,000 monthly hits are received on the www.visitlebanoncounty.com web site; an ambassador program greeted 10,000 visitors to an international event—Horse Progress Days; a “Taste of the Lebanon Valley” introduced visitors to localy produced food like trout from Limestone Springs, pies from Country Fair, dressings from Strawberry Patch, Wertz’s Candies; and of course Lebanon Bologna; a kiosk in the lobby of the EXPO houses brochures from Lebanon Valley businesses; rest rooms and a picnic area are available to visitors; and a breakfast for the Hershey Partnership based in Derry Township took place on site this morning. In 2006, two international woodworking events should be held at the EXPO.
35,000 visitors are expected to attend the 2005 Lebanon Area Fair. After the meeting, commissioners toured the fairgrounds.
July 28, 2005
Abigail and Carl Jarboe inquired about letters that they sent.
In preparation for preservation, Chuck Wertz presented
Ken & Miriam Kreider’s South Londonderry farm for a Right-to-be-Heard
hearing. In 2001, the Kreider’s applied for preservation of their 119 acre
farm. They also grow corn, barley, beans, and wheat for straw. Additionally,
the Kreider’s have layer chickens and sheep. Appraising at $3,630 per acre,
sixty acres are in Class II and twenty-five acres are in Class III soils.
Ken Bachem opened bids to re-roof “C” Wing at Cedar Haven. Barnes Roofing, Telford bid $48,748; Richard Sensenig, Ephrata bid $59,980; Keystone Structures, Ephrata bid $48,020; and Johnson Services, Mechanicsburg bid $59,990. Commissioners will award a contract at next week’s meeting.
County Commissioner Association of PA representative Rich Brookes introduced Dave Chisholm and Jim DiGuiseppe of Riverside Public Sector Benefit Services, CCAP consultants for a healthcare pool. Essentially they are recommending that any county with 500 or more employees should self insure, which would provide numerous cost saving benefits:
July 20, 2005
Commissioners Stohler and Litz met as the Board of Cedar Haven. Commissioner Carpenter was on vacation. Administrators Schlegel and Krause reported that of 309 residents, 235 were female and 74 were male, which is a 97.4% occupancy rate.
Commissioners Stohler and Litz also met with Sheriff DeLeo and Controller Mettley as the prison board. Warden Karnes and staff reported that as of June 30, 457 inmates occupied the prison—402 males, and 55 females. 162 were unsentenced, 118 on work release, and 24 were state-sentenced inmates.
July 21, 2005
Commissioners Stohler and Litz met to conduct county business. Commissioner Carpenter was on vacation. Administrator Wolgemuth was also on vacation. Kathy Kirby helped to administer the meeting.
Eric Wolfe asked questions concerning distribution of funds from Penn National.
Sally Barry received signatures on a Grant-In-Aid application, which will provide additional probation and parole personnel for pre-sentence investigations and for improved adult probation and parole supervision and programming.
Jim Holtry received approval for the appointment of Amy Shumaker to the Children and Youth Advisory Board.
July 14, 2005
Pam Tricamo received approval for $20,000 in Housing Funds (which do not come from the general fund but from fees paid when a deed is recorded) to help purchase two properties for Habitat for Humanity.
Commissioners accepted $250,000 from DCED for the Home Program and $265,262 from DCED for a Community Services Block Grant to cover costs associated with Medical Assistance Transportation, HARP, educational services, child care, crisis intervention, and Hispanic outreach.
Earl Meyer requested an additional staff person to provide a new service for South Londonderry Township officials by administering the Building Code for that municipality. Expected revenue of $75,000 would cover costs to the County, and pending agreeable terms, commissioners approved the position.
Judge John Tylwalk, Judge Brad Charles, James Holtry, William Sullivan, and Karen Alonzo addressed commissioners concerning the children and youth and juvenile probation budget. Funding was not restored at the State level, which may result in a significant over-budget to place Lebanon County juvenile offenders. Commissioner Carpenter restated that we have a fiscally tight budget approved by Judge Eby. If we run out of money, commissioners may have to take out a tax anticipation note to cover costs. Unfortunately, that means that taxes would have to be raised next year. Judges are not using county dollars for therapeutic purposes or to enforce rules of probation. Rather, dollars are spent to protect the community from dangerous juveniles (approximately 13% or 77 of the 573 cases). Because it is difficult to place fourteen sex offenders, they use up 1/3 of our placement dollars. While the Gatekeeper Program is 80% effective in eliminating recidivism for first time offenders, Commissioner Litz requested that we also develop a long-term plan. Today’s actions were only short-term solutions that, if extended, could set us up for bankruptcy. More specifically, the crime report suggested a juvenile placement center. Recognizing that different types of offenders require different levels of placement, Litz asked that we review restrictions on using existing vacant buildings like those found at Fort Indiantown gap and the VA Medical Center, then work to remove roadblocks to taking care of our own—specifically for those hard to place offenders. Further, she suggested approaching the state or federal source to request a revised formula for use by Domestic Relations to calculate “client” share of costs.
July 7, 2005
James Holtry and Karen Alonzo from Children and Youth, as well as William Sullivan from Juvenile Probation, presented budget projections that could require up to an additional $509,468 from the County general fund—if the State budget eliminates retention reimbursements…. After an opportunity to review the new State budget, next week commissioners will provide direction for budgeting.
Troy Williams, Director of Lebanon County Christian Ministries, reviewed the organization's overall $272,319.33 cash budget, which includes free noon meals, energy assistance, prescription assistance, temporary emergency food assistance, and emergency transportation. Actual food donations are not calculated in this budget. Commissioners designate LCCM as the official Lebanon County distribution agency for State funds. Today, per conditions of the contract, commissioners assured that 25% of the State allocation, approximately $37,000 of the $112,000, would be spent with the state allocated vendor in Reading.
Pam Tricamo, Habitat for Humanity, and Ray Bender, Housing and Redevelopment Authority, requested $20,000, from Act 137 Affordable Housing funds, for the purchase of a fourth home for restoration in 2005.
At next week's meeting, commissioners will make a decision on the request.
Beers and Hoffman representative Jack Hauck was present when Commissioners awarded a $454,217 contract to low bidder Woodland Contractors to construct a methadone clinic. Our experience with Woodland Contractors has been stellar. With staff to complete earth-moving, electrical work, even roofing, they tend to complete projects on time and on budget. Other contractors have to rely upon busy sub-contractors for some of these services. Construction should be completed by November 2, 2005. Commissioner Carpenter voted no. Lebanon County residents will receive priority treatment. A groundbreaking will take place next Thursday at 3PM.
$745 in Fixed Liquid fuels funds were awarded to Jonestown Borough toward street repairs and $4862 to Palmyra Borough for a wearing course on streets.
Commissioners accepted a $40,288 one-time PA Crime and Delinquency grant, which requires no match, for the District Attorney. Funds from the Safe Neighborhoods grant will be used for two evidence control/management bar code systems and a laminating unit to produce community outreach materials.
Commissioners approved an Intergovernmental Transfer for a Tax Revenue Anticipation Note to match federal dollars to draw down Medical Assistance reimbursement for nursing homes. The electronic transfer will take place during the first week in October and net the County $20,000.
June 30, 2005
To help celebrate a ribbon cutting for a building expansion at their grand opening, Commissioners held their June 30th meeting at the Ag Center, 2120 Cornwall Rd., Lebanon. The Conservation District, Ag Extension Agency, USDA, and other farm related services unite federal, state, and local agencies at a common location.
For his farm operation, Harold Kreider asked for help in resolving an access problem onto Tunnel Hill Road. North Lebanon Township and Lebanon County Planning will meet simultaneously with Mr. Kreider to see if a resolution can be worked out.
Earl Meyer, Michelle Brummer, and Supervisor Tom Donmoyer presented an update on the Comprehensive Plan, and announced that the next meeting of the task force will take place on August 16 at the Ag Center. The public is invited.
Architect Bob Hoffman helped to open bids for the Methadone Clinic. At $454,217, Woodland Contractors submitted the lowest bid. Other bidders included high bidder Wickersham Contractors, Lancaster at $574,400; Nauman, Lancaster; and Arthur Funck & Sons, Lebanon. The contract includes 200 cubic yards of bulk rock excavation. The building will be 4350 square feet.
Commissioners presented Mrs. Bennetch with a ceremonial $1 check for the preservation of her 80.5-acre farm. Corn and soybeans are the primary crops grown on the farm, which contains 82% prime soils.
Conservation District Manager Chuck Wertz also presented a new scratch and sniff brochure to the Commissioners. To help educate the public about life in the country, the brochure lets city dwellers smell the odor of manure that is applied to fields as fertilizer. Even though farming preceded housing developments in an area, neighbors often don’t anticipate the distinguishable odor, which results in complaints to local authorities. Seeking a scenic view or open space brings with it what we like to call “fresh country air.”
Kevin Schrum, Carol Davies, Melissa Heisey, and Brenda Mettley presented provider contracts for MHMR. Director Schrum pointed out that regional rates apply to provided contracts. The County’s share of the budget for services is $872,312, which includes a $479,134 deficit.
Susan Klarsch presented contracts for Drug and Alcohol.
James Holtry presented Medical Assistance contracts for Children and Youth Services. All of these services are reimbursable.
Elaine Ludwig presented an accessibility survey and referendum certification for commissioner’s signatures. Of 55 polling places only three need improvements. Richland and Mt. Gretna are awaiting a funding grant, and the 5th Ward East is not accessible. According to Department of Justice letters, this polling place may have to be moved by January 1, 2006.
Commissioners accepted a $704,846 award notice on behalf of the Renaissance Crossroads program managed by Sally Barry in Adult Probation.
At an 18% administration rate, the Redevelopment Authority also received approval to manage Community Development Block Grant funds for the County.
June 23, 2005
Gary Robson presented personnel requests for approval. Commissioners denied a resignation in MHMR, pending the results of an investigation.
Joe Armstrong, who handles loss and risk control for PMA, our workman’s compensation carrier, presented a Special Award to Marsha Krause who accepted a plaque--recognizing 585,000 hours without lost time injuries--on behalf of all workers at Cedar Haven.
Karen Hess presented the Title IV-D cooperative agreement negotiated by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania for commissioner’s signatures. The program ensures effectiveness of the Child Support Enforcement Program in securing financial and medical support for minor children, establishment of paternity, determination of parents’ ability to pay support and provide health insurance, and staff and resources to insure that these functions are properly, efficiently, and effectively carried out. From the State, the County receives 66% reimbursement, approximately $400,000 annually. Changes in the negotiated contract include increased time (5 to 20 business days) for response; increased use of electronic transfers; and 15% incentive monies for improvement projects. 95% of saved premiums benefit the State.
Commissioners certified $50,400 in COLT funds as a local match for federal dollars. To avoid a financial burden on the County, the contract waives an increase in County funding.
Commissioners approved a $19,297 Rapid Adjudication Program for the District Attorney to handle non-violent misdemeanor offenses on a fast-track. The County share is $14,472.75 and $4824.25 is reimbursed from the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
Commissioners also approved a $26,229 Elder Abuse Program that investigates financial crimes committed against the elderly. A forensic accountant pieces together the complex financial case prior to trial as well as courtroom testimony by the expert. The County’s share is $19,571.75, and $6557.25 is reimbursed by the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
June 15, 2005
Sitting as the Board of Cedar Haven commissioners learned that the current census is 307 (72 male and 239 female).
Commissioners Carpenter and Litz met to conduct business. Commissioner Stohler was on vacation.
No deficiencies were reported in a UMR inspection.
Because of new guidelines for life safety, sprinklers for Cedar Haven will have to move to the front burner. By May 2007 we must either place smoke detectors in every room or install the sprinklers. Smoke detectors would be more like a Band-Aid if we would still be required to sprinkler by 2009. It would also increase overall cost. It was noted that our CDBG funds were restored for this year. If they would not be restored for two years running, we would need to take out a bond issue to cover the second year’s payment.
Ed Schlegel reported that the state would no longer use a case mix index for reimbursements of county nursing homes. Instead, everyone will be equal by regions.
Since we don’t know what the Medicaid cuts are, Schlegel could not answer questions about how the cuts will impact Cedar Haven.
Roman Shahay presented Renova Center contracts for renewal: First, at $10.36 per hour for adult services and $15.92 per day for transportation, Project Able, a day program, will stay the same; EARS Day Program costs will drop to $5.35 per hour for a work activity center; Living Unlimited will provide music therapy for one person at $50 per hour: and the First Aid and Safety Patrol will provide service at no change. Finally, for consistency and to piggyback on a contract with Cedar Haven, Renova changed to Enduracare.
Guaranteeing that improvements will be completed, Commissioners signed a $2.9 million storm sewer bond for Annville Cleona School District.
In order to benefit from economies of scale, Administrator Wolgemuth is pursuing the possibility of joint purchasing with municipalities.
Since a quorum was not present to conduct business, no meeting took place at Prison Board.
June 16, 2005
During their regularly scheduled weekly meeting, Commissioners Carpenter and Litz met to conduct business. Commissioner Stohler was on vacation.
Gary Robson presented personnel transactions, which included a request from Prothonotary Lisa Arnold for approximately 320 hours of staff overtime between June 20th and July 1st to catch up on data entries. Wages will be paid from the Automation Account.
Melissa Light presented conference and seminar requests including a re-request for Taser instructor training for a Deputy Sheriff. Commissioners learned that Tasers are not in the county budget, but deputies usually purchase their own weapons. Further, chapter 20, section 1 of the court related employee contract states, “Deputy Sheriffs shall be permitted to attend up to sixteen (16) hours of training in addition to the mandated training every two years. All training programs will be chosen at the direction of the Deputy Sheriff and approved by the Sheriff prior to registration for the course.” All requests were approved.
Chuck Wertz and Mark Chedwiggen were present for a Right-to-be-Heard hearing on 80.5 acres of Eva Bennetch’s farm, which is scheduled for preservation. Located in Millcreek Township, the Bennetch farm adjoins three other preserved farms—Lester Martin (120 acres), Mervin Horst, and Malcom Sonnan (136 acres). While her land appraised at $2900 per acre, Eva accepted $1500/acre for an easement that prohibits development of the farm. She will be able to take a tax write off on the donated portion of the easement. For easement payment, $33,100 will come from a USDA reimbursement and $87,650 from a County bond issue. 90.7% of the land is in crop production, and 82% of the acreage is prime farmland.
Dan Kauffman presented an E911 agreement creating a transfer account and providing county certification of compliance, which will award $552,164.27 from PEMA for a new CAD system, training, and related items that will allow dispatchers to trace 911 calls. Since for the first time cell phone calls will exceed land line calls, this is an important step in emergency services. However, with this system, computer based Voiceover IP calls are not traceable.
Wolgemuth presented an update on the Comtec pagers. The company admitted that problems stemmed from their pagers, not our transmission system. However, they are hesitating on replacing, without charge, the problematic pagers with requested Davis Com Bravos that were successfully field-tested.
Kauffman also announced that the radio system has been in use for several weeks. Contractors are in the process of changing FCC frequencies and adjusting the satellite dishes. Completion of all activity is anticipated for mid July. All emergency services—fire, police, and ambulance—are using the new radio system.
Kauffman also discussed an EMP grant statement of work/performance audit.
Phyllis Holtry presented a $265,262 Community Service Block Grant (CSBG), $192,901 Homeless Assistance Program (HAP), and $78,704 Housing and Urban Development (HUD) supported housing program contracts for approval.
Ken Bachem, Mike Kristovensky, Joe Lecisko, Dennis Hopkins, and Stephanie Capkovic explained the 1983 competitive procurement policy in the Older Americans Act. In 1998 the Center for Medicaid Services prioritized consumer choice and cost savings while bidding for multiple vendors, which the State believes will be healthy competition. Hopkins said the federal Act supersedes the County Code that requires awarding of bids to the lowest qualified bidder. In essence, the State Department of Aging considers all levels of care as a professional service, not just state licensed individuals like RNs and LPNs. Therefore, the contracts can be awarded to more than the lowest bid. In many cases, the Department of Aging will not pay vendors who are not Medicare certified. Because consumers help to pay the bill through cost sharing, the theory is that they will choose the lowest qualified bidder. However, with a large employee turnover rate, there is built in redundancy by approving multiple vendors. Since 1998, the State did not know that Lebanon County was not using the procurement process. Failure to comply at this point could impair federal funding, and leave 125 clients at risk without services. Representative Mauree Gingrich attended the meeting, and offered her appreciation for the dialogue between the State and County officials.
As a result of the discussion, Personal Care Hour bids were awarded to Hands On Nursing at $15.92; Caring Companion at $16.74; and tied for third place were Your Home Care at $17.00 and Global Healthcare at $17. Further, Home Health Aide Hours were awarded to the only bidder, Global Healthcare at $17.00 per hour. Because of confusion over the Medicaid Services requirement, the remaining categories, including PAS Agency Model Hour, PAS Consumer Hour, LPN Hour, and RN Hour will be rebid.
John Weidman was confirmed as a board member of the Clarence Shock Memorial/Governor Dick board.
Youth representative Ashley Keiper was appointed to the Drug and Alcohol commission.
Commissioners awarded $6363 in Liquid Fuels funds to West Cornwall Township for drainage ditches, catch basins….
Both a $199,832 DCED Emergency Shelter pass-through grant for Domestic Violence Intervention and a $608,874 Community Development Block Grant contact were approved.
The commissioners then sat as the Board of Elections.
¨ Russ Diamond disputed last week’s ruling siteing the McIntyre verses Ohio case, which he thought compared apples and oranges concerning charges of bribery by passing out rulers at an election.
¨ Larry and Colleen Wolfe expressed their feelings concerning a Union Township inquiry. After fact-finding conducted with poll workers in executive session, commissioners concluded there was no wrongdoing.
Both parties have the option of appealing the Election Board decision to the Court of Common Pleas. Larry Wolfe said that he does not intend to take his inquiry any further.
Commissioners also verified the results of a ballot question on Growing Greener II.
Sitting as the Board of Assessment Appeals, Commissioners Carpenter and Litz heard four residential appeals and discussed litigation on commercial appeals.
June 9, 2005
At 9:30 AM, commissioners convened their regularly scheduled meeting. Gary Robson presented personnel transactions, and Melissa Light presented conference and seminar requests. Commissioners Carpenter and Litz voted to send the District Attorney and both a first ADA and senior Deputy DA to an annual meeting. Commissioner Stohler voted no.
Then in the Prothonotary’s office, Commissioners Stohler and Carpenter voted not to send a 1st and 2nd Deputy to a conference where seminars and networking with peers take place. The Prothonotary and Clerk of Courts host two first deputies, but one of the first deputies was unable to attend. The second deputy was a surrogate to bring back information on new State policies and procedures.
Further, a deputy sheriff was not allowed to attend Taser Instructor Training in York. Commission Litz had requested that the motion be tabled to verify whether or not the Sheriff had plans to purchase Tasers.
Commissioner’s philosophies differed on training requests. Not sending staff to meetings may save $1000 or more in the short-term, but all requests were budgeted, and depth is important in an office. Without trained personnel to step in when a department head goes on vacation, gets ill, or moves on, we could jeopardize long-term public service and quality. Further, mistakes could cost more than the price of the initial training.
Kevin Schrum presented a $1,231,251 Mental Health/Mental Retardation Plan (Stage 1).
Ken Bachem, Mike Kristovensky and Joe Lecisko opened bids for in-home personal care to serve 170 Area Agency on Aging clients. Awarding of this bid will mark a change by allowing clients to choose one of three service providers for in-home service, which will take effect July 1. Since 1976, the Good Samaritan was the sole provider of these services. Bids came in from Caring Companion, Reading; Global Healthcare, Harrisburg; Hands on Nursing, Lebanon; Home Helpers, Lebanon; Just Like Family, Lebanon; Your Home Care, Annville; and Abilities in Motion, Reading. Based on income, clients pay a portion of the cost for services. The balance of the payment comes from a state grant administered by the County of Lebanon, not the county general fund.
Ray Bender was reappointed to the Governor Dick board.
Tara Ruhl Bowers, an MHMR employee; Nori Fisher, Career Link director; and Dena Rivera of the South Central Employment Corporation were all appointed to the Women’s Commission.
Commissioners approved a request to submit a grant requesting $13,199.50 in Act 165 PEMA matching funds on collected chemical fees. Lebanon Emergency Management Agency will utilize the funds to pay for physicals, improved decontamination procedures, and rescue equipment.
Commissioners also authorized a contract from Sally Barry for an intermediate punishment program for crime and delinquency.
Proclamations were issued for Engineer Jeff Steckbeck who will receive the Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Person of the Year award and for Stacy Pennington of Resource Island who will receive the Chamber’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.
Next, to discuss potential litigation in the Annville/Cleona School Board race, Cleona Borough commissioner’s race, and the Union Township supervisor’s race, Commissioners met in executive session as the Election Board.
The Metropolitan Planning Organization met at 11AM.
The Election Board then convened to publicly discuss the Annville/Cleona School Board race.
Because a $250 spending threshold was not met, no expense report was due. As proof, Ben Dohner provided copies of his expenses for rulers and signs. The rulers cost pennies each, which according to Solicitor Snelling, is diminimus.
In the Cleona Borough case, even if one vote was added (to adjust for a vote from a previous race) to the six valid write in votes, they would not total the ten required votes equal to petition signatures for a township commissioner spot on the November ballot. Further, this complaint was received after the deadline to report a discrepancy and after certification of the ballot.
In the Union Township Case, commissioners requested an executive session to conduct a fact-finding session with poll workers. A decision on this case will be rendered at next week’s meeting.
June 2, 2005
Lebanon County Dairy Royalty—Princess Zimmerman, Alternate Erin Williams, Little Miss Melanie Showers, and Dairy Maid Katie Bross--shared their experiences and served orange creamsicle milk shakes to commissioners and visitors.
Chuck Wertz and the Struphar’s were present for the check presentation to preserve the County’s 87th farm. Stuphar shared that they first applied to the program in 1999. Their farm is three miles north of Annville west of Route 934 in Bellgrove.
Kevin Schrum presented $204,478 in Cost of Living Adjustments to Mental Health/Mental Retardation providers.
Ken Bachem was present for the awarding of an Elder Care contract to Avenues at a rate of $46.08 per day.
Commissioners signed an $83,860 EMA performance grant for PEMA reimbursement of three positions.
Commissioners signed a proclamation for Carl L. Wolf Jr. who served on the board of Housing and Redevelopment since 1978.
Commissioners also passed a resolution for DCNR that certified completion of the Rexmont Dam grant.
May 26, 2005
Gary Robson, presented personnel requests as well as a request to accept and sign an updated personnel agreement for Lebanon County Drug and Alcohol with the Department of Health.
Further, for 4.5 hours per day during an eight-week period, commissioners approved a Temp Force position during the absence of two individuals in County Planning.
Rick Rhoade, who lost a daughter, was once part of a Miracle Family. In her honor, he spearheads the Children’s Miracle Network drive for Lebanon County. Mike, a miracle child, was on hand for a proclamation proclaiming the week of May 30 through June 5, 2005 as ‘MIRACLE CHILD WEEK’ in Lebanon County. June 4 & 5, a telethon is aired on WGAL TV Channel 8. Since commissioners from Lebanon County are the only commissioners to issue such a proclamation, Rick expressed his sincere appreciation.
Chuck Wertz was on hand for a farm preservation Right-to-be-Heard hearing on the 138.76 acre Struphar Dairy Farm in North Annville Township. $100,000 of the $208,140 development rights will come from the farm bill, and the rest will come from a 2003 two million dollar County bond issue. Appraised value was $1715 per acre, but Struphar will accept the Lebanon County standard $1500 per acre. Preservation of the Struphar farm will make 87 preserved farms totaling 9097.183 acres in Lebanon County.
Ken Bachem, Mike Kristovensky, and Joe Lecisco opened a bid from Avenues for 5700 adult day care units at Eldercare and Lebanon Valley Brethren Home. Adult day care is open 7:30AM-5PM weekdays for persons 60+ in need of socialization, help with daily medicines, and meals. The program relieves and assists families who need a break or must work. Peter Keisock and Marsha Kocher were on hand for the bid opening. While charges to families are based on total household income at an average cost of $23 per day, the one-year, $46.08 per unit, $262,655 contract can be renewed up to two times. Each center has a capacity of 21 clients. Currently, there are ten clients per day at LV Brethern and 13 clients per day at Eldercare. If families from neighboring counties use Lebanon facilities, they must reimburse Lebanon County.
Kevin Schrum and Shem Heller presented a Mental Health/Mental Retardation Plan for Lebanon County. MHMR serves 900 adults with mental illness. According to Kevin, even though everything is not implemented, the plan is a good exercise to educate, communicate, and receive public input on this $12.7 million budget. $9 million of the budget operates group homes for 300 clients in the MR program, which also has 200 people on a waiting list.
James Holtry received approval for $492,300.58 in Children and Youth invoices for the TANF, IV-E Placement Maintenance, IV-E Adoption Assistance, and Medicaid programs. Commissioners also approved Greg Heverling as a summer houseparent aid at $8.75 per hour.
Approval was given for the Lebanon County Health Facilities Authority to refinance Pleasant View Retirement Community. A better rate is sought for the original 1997 $33 million bond for the Manheim facility.
For each of two years, commissioners forgave $121.98 in taxes to Friends of Light’s Fort, a non-profit agency. Likewise, the City forgave their portion of the taxes, and the school board will consider the request in June.
On behalf of Northern Lebanon High School, the District Attorney’s office received approval for submittal of a $2,583 DARE grant to the PA Drug Education and Law Enforcement Agency.
Because portions of Lebanon County fall in the TMI 10-mile radiation zone, EMA will receive $9323 in Act 147 funds. The money will be used for amateur radio equipment—base units, antennas, and ground communications--$6574 RACES, $2464 decon kits, and $300 TMI exercise expenses.
May 18, 2005
Commissioners met as both the board of Cedar Haven and with the Prison Board.
May 19, 2005
Personnel Director Gary Robson received approval and signatures on a “Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve.” Commissioners recognize the National Guard and Reserve as essential to the strength of our nation and the well being of our community. In the highest American tradition, the patriotic men and women of the Guard and Reserve serve voluntarily in an honorable and vital profession. They train to respond to their community and their country in time of need. They deserve the support of every segment of our society. Therefore we pledge that: Employment will not be denied because of service in the Guard or Reserve; Employee job and career opportunities will not be limited or reduced because of service in the Guard or Reserve; Employees will be granted leaves of absence for military service in the Guard or Reserve, consistent with existing laws, without sacrifice of vacation; and this agreement will be made known throughout the County.
Kevin Schrum presented MHMR provider contract changes totaling $340,738, but the County’s contribution does not change. Kevin also received approval to apply for a County Commissioner Association of Pennsylvania grant that continues a self-determination project through the Arc of Dauphin County.
Susan Klarsch submitted minor changes to Tobacco Contracts that do not require an additional County contribution.
Commissioners approved Fixed Liquid Fuels allocations for: Heidelberg, South Annville, Swatara, Union, and Mount Gretna. Commissioners also approved special allocations for Heidleberg’s $25,000 Distillery Road project and $30,000 for South Annville.
Elaine Ludwig shared the results of statistics and comments provided by 345 people who cast a mock ballot on one of three sample WinNote electronic voting machines at Cornwall, Jackson West, or the Municipal Building. 79% of people thought the machine was very easy to use, 13% easy, 8% thought it was OK, and statistically 0% (3 people) thought the machines were difficult. 90% said they would prefer to vote on the electronic model over the current lever models. Even so, commissioners have not committed to the purchase of any specific machine or company. They are awaiting State certification of machines. Further, the County may hold a voter fair and invite the public to try out certified machines.
Next, Commissioner Carpenter moved to both expand the comprehensive plan task force and appoint George Christianson, Andy Marhevsky, and Tom Seigel. The motion was defeated.
Commissioner Litz stated that we want everybody’s confidence in this process, and as a point of order, she believes that we first need to expand the size of the committee of 15 that we established on October 7, 2004. Therefore, she moved to expand the task force by three people, and open up the process, establish a new deadline to accept and consider additional appointments for nomination, including the fine candidates just presented, as well as other interested people, and those who were not appointed on December 16, 2004. Commissioner Stohler voted “no” stating that he believes 15 is adequate, and Commissioner Carpenter abstained believing that we did not need to open up the application process. (All Task Force meetings are advertised and open to the public. Three of four meetings took place on March 15, April 19, and May 17, and several members of the public attended these meetings.)
In addition to listening to Assessment Appeals at 1:30PM, Commissioners approved tax exemption for two disabled veterans; reviewed cases on appeal to the Court of Common Pleas; and discussed the status of an online search for realtors.
Official computation of the ballot, which is open to the public, will take place at 9AM Friday.
May 12, 2005
Proclamations for Eagle Scouts Stefan Heck and Curtis Fuhrman of Troop 17, Schaefferstown were approved. Heck’s project involved landscaping the Schaefferstown water fountain, and Furhman’s project organized a Red Cross blood drive.
County aid for Liquid Fuels taxes were approved for multiple municipalities: Bethel, East Hanover, Jackson, Millcreek, North Annville, North Londonderry, South Lebanon, City of Lebanon, Cornwall, and West Lebanon.
Phyllis Holtry received approval for a $19,578 state DPW supplement to assist in Medical Assistance Transportation.
Advest’s Archie Battistelli and Kurt Muller presented a first quarter Retirement Fund update.
A court ruling stated that while EMA responds to hazardous materials and other emergencies, they do not qualify as firefighters.
May 6, 2005
Prior to today’s meeting, commissioners sat in on a statewide conference call concerning the May 17 ballot referendum on Growing Greener II, which would approve a $625 million environmental bond initiative. Growing Greener supports farmland preservation, park acquisition and improvement, water trails, installation of best management practices on farms, and other conservation programs. Lebanon County has benefited greatly from Growing Greener funds.
Commissioners signed a letter granting permission to David Wuenschel and the Benecon Group to explore a county health insurance joint purchasing cooperative with Schuylkill, Franklin, and Northumberland counties. Traditional insurance carriers like Blue Cross and Blue Shield would be sought to equal or exceed existing insurance coverage. Other pools in which the commissioners participate include consortiums for: energy as well as for liability and property insurance. These successful pools have benefited the County and taxpayers financially.
They also voted, effective July 3, to change the on-call payment for Social Service non-union employees from $140 per week to $185 per week.
Michael Pavelek and Amy Mazella DiBosco updated the commissioners on Lebanon County’s successful recycling program, which reduces land filled garbage by 48% or 50,000 tons. Some of the award winning municipal recyclers include North Lebanon and West Lebanon Townships. 19 municipalities currently recycle, and Amy is working with five more municipalities. Amy received recognition for her ten years of service to the GLRA and the recycling program.
Approval for a HAVA quarterly report was provided to Elaine Ludwig for the $10,000 in overtime received by the County of Lebanon.
Administrator Jamie Wolgemuth reviewed a mistake in the phone book instructions in case of a TMI incident. People should report to the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center for evaluation.
Swatara Sojourn May 6 & 7:
Lebanon County Commissioners issued a proclamation.
Sojourn events include:
brochures were distributed for Horse Progress Days July 1 & 2 –a
national event expected to reach 10,000 in attendance
at the EXPO, 80 Rocherty Road., Lebanon. Events will include:
After a County Commissioner Association of PA class on Homeland Readiness held at Hotel Hershey on November 25, 2003, which was before taking office, Commissioner Litz sat down with Commissioner Carpenter and Commissioner Elect Stohler and proposed an emergency services manual for Lebanon County. She was encouraged to do the legwork for the booklet. In March 2004, she learned of a way to produce the booklet at no cost to the County of Lebanon. Last month, April 2005 at a Cedar Haven meeting, Atlantic Communications made a presentation to commissioners. After over a year of research into the project, today Commissioner Litz proposed a Comprehensive Municipal booklet. Adds would be sold to vendors of municipal services to offset printing costs for 5000 booklets, which would be distributed to municipalities and the public. Samples of booklets completed for other counties were available for inspection. The booklet would:
· Highlight municipalities and emergency services;
1) With pictures of municipal buildings and the ability to highlight our emergency response units—fire and police departments and EMA, I believe that the handbook is far more focused and extensive than either the Chamber of Commerce or Expo/Tourism books. If similar were a deterrent, neither of those two books would have ever been published for it was the League of Women Voters who first put out “Know Your County.”
· Direct people around the County, contain a map, and be available during emergencies like the Campbelltown tornado or a nuclear incident.
2) Because vendors who provide services to municipalities would be contacted, for the most part, the letters mailed to prospective advertisers would not conflict with advertisers in either the Chamber or EXPO books.
3) We were also asked to sign a letter for use in acquiring advertising. For various reasons, at Cedar Haven Mr. Carpenter said that he could not sign such a letter, but that Larry and I could do this if we saw merit in the project.
The motion died for lack of a second.
Proclamations were presented for:
Nurses Week May 6-12. On hand were Stephanie Thompson, Connie Shaffer, Audrey Althouse, Joyce McKinsey, Karen Geiser, and Debby Arndt.
Health Care Week. Accepting the proclamation was Debby Arndt for Philhaven, Terry Gerrick for the Veteran’s Administration, and Stephanie Thompson and Fred Davis for the Good Samaritan Hospital.
April 28, 2005
Today is “Student Government Day,” and each elected official, as well as many department heads, had student interns who sat close by to learn the intricacies of government.
James Holtry presented a $22,275 Independent Living Grant for Children and Youth services. Youths age 16 & 17 learn life skills prior to receiving independent living arrangements at age 18. While the County does provide in-kind services as a match for this grant, there is no cash outlay.
Claire Lundberg received approval for submittal of a $49,987 Community Health Council Sustainable Communities Grant. Again, the County is not required to match any dollar amount for this grant. Funding will facilitate academic enrichment programs in county schools; after school mentoring and homework assistance; Big Brothers/Big Sisters; peer mediation; and community mentoring for first-time, nonviolent juvenile offenders.
Commissioners also appointed Claire to the Drug and Alcohol Committee board.
Shem Heller received a proclamation for “Lebanon County Workout Week” May 1-7. Activities include a Rails-to-Trails walk, Golden Sneaker walk, Healthy Kids Zone, Downtown Business District walk, and Lebanon Valley Mall Walkers.
To encourage everyone to walk for their health, student government protégés declared Friday as “sneaker day.”
Elaine Ludwig received permission to move the polling place for North Lebanon East from the Weavertown Fire Company to Blue Max Bingo Hall, which is also owned by the Fire Company. Reasons for the move included: the voting machines were in the fire truck bay and sirens could go off during election hours.
Controller Mettley reported that today is the first day for 300 employees to receive their paychecks by direct deposit to their bank accounts.
The PA Bureau of Forestry advised that since there was rain this past week, a moisture layer has developed on the ground, and a burn ban is not necessary.