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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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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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. 

Meeting Highlights

Votes taken by the Lebanon County Commissioners 2007:  Liaison Assignments  

December 27, 2007

The 2008 County budget passed as proposed on December 6 with no tax increase.  Mills will remain at 15.5.  The General Fund is $33,924,683 of a total $95,666,937 budget.

Hotel Tax Ordinance #35, which raises room taxes on the 40+ establishments in Lebanon County from 2 to 3% also passed final consideration, and will take effect on January 1, 2008.

The Repository of Unclaimed Property received three mobile homes from upset sales on December 10.  Park owners Steven Oliver and Eugene Martin bid $1 each on 47 My Way Dr., South Londonderry Township and both 7 and 31 Stone Hill Park, Annville.

With the exception of resignations from Chris Eisenhower and George Zimmerman, Children and Youth Advisory board members were reappointed.

The Retirement Board convened with the Commissioners, Controller Mettley and Treasurer Neuin.  Actions taken include:


A 5% interest rate payable to employees;


A 1/80th class retirement plan for 2008;


Printing of pension statements at a cost of $1.85 each by the Hay Group;


Granting of 90% of the 2.9% Consumer Price Index cost of living increase to retired members.  Total cost to the fund is $650,492;


Death benefits; and


Pensions for new retirees.

December 19, 2007

Cedar Haven

Commissioner Stohler was absent.


Census 313:  male 82, female 231


A Utilization Management Review or financial audit went well.


Sprinklers are moving ahead at a good rate.  Sprinkler heads were replaced, and work on 3D will begin Thursday.


Electrical work on the muffin monster is 99% complete.

With Wilson Consulting, Commissioners Carpenter and Litz reviewed the need for the Inwood Bridge, and voted to keep the bridge on our MPO replacement list with a completion date of 2010-2011:

  1. Flood Plain maps show Monroe Valley Road Bridge is impassible during a storm event;
  2. Old State Road in Swatara State Park is closing;
  3. Homes would be isolated;
  4. Emergency responders could not deliver services; and
  5. A time study adds three minutes to responses in non-flood events.

A vote also awarded repair of the Syner Road Bridge to Anskis at a cost of $51,000.  Swift Trucking will be reimbursing the County for repairs, which should be completed within 4-5 weeks.

Wilson also stated that the Wilhelm Avenue Bridge should be completed in July 2008.

Administrator Wolgemuth updated commissioners on continued electrical outages in Rexmont and north of Myerstown.

Prison Board

Census:  543—472 male, 71 female


Unsentenced 137


Work release 139


State sentenced 32


Parole/Probation Violators 244

December 20, 2007

Regular Meeting

Archie Battistelli, Stifel Nicolaus, recommended replacing McHugh Associates, our Large Cap Equity firm, with Rushmore Investment Advisors to protect the retirement fund on the downside.  The change involves $14,800,000 in investments.

CS McKee, Mark Ensimer and Rob Rossi, presented an update on the 50% of the retirement funds they invest for the County.  This year, the average return is 6.47%.  In addition to the sub-prime market problems, oil prices are at an all time high, and the value of the dollar is at an all time low.  To stabilize the portfolio, McKee invests heavily in government securities and callable agency bonds.  A normal turnover in a portfolio is 25%.  Going forward, we can expect 2-2.5% growth.  There is a 30% probability of a recession.  In the sub-prime market, the new focus will be on earnings.  Consumers will cut spending. 

Brett Lentz was present for a Right to be Heard hearing on the 81.98 acre Marlin and Martha Martin farm, which is a crop and dairy operation, located in Jackson Township near ELCO HS.  This is the first farm eligible for the new rate per acre.  The appraised value is $1650 per acre.

Pam Tricamo, director of Habitat for Humanity, provided an update on partnerships and activities for 2007:

  1. Habitat built the first handicap-accessible house sponsored by the UCC Churches of Lebanon County.
  2. Two properties on Church Street and one on South 5th Street were donated to Habitat, and gutted in preparation for construction.
  3. Community Development Block Grant and DCED funds helped with new construction.

In 2008, expect:

  1. A Mifflin street house to be completed by area churches.
  2. Completion of a 13th Street house purchased with ACT 137 funds from the County Commissioners.  Ironically, the house will go to a county employee.
  3. Between April and June, Lebanon County Builders Association and “Banking on Our Community” (LFCU, Northwest, Fredericksburg, JBT & and Commerce) will help build a 3rd Avenue house with handicap accessibility.
  4. The S. 5th St. house will go to a family of 9 as part of Thrivent Builds sponsored by Lutheran Churches.
  5. Completion of infrastructure on seven townhouses on Worden Street.
  6. Acquisition of more rehabs and securing another building lot.

A fulltime construction supervisor was hired to build five days per week.


Five college groups come to Lebanon over spring break to work on Habitat houses.  HACC and LVC also have students helping to build homes.


Woodswork in Maryland brings in 160 people to build three houses in eight days.

Kevin Schrum, Carol Davies, Melissa Herr, Shem Heller, and Brenda Mettley presented $158,868 in contract amendments for MHMR.

Barry Heckard was reappointed to the COLT board.

Metropolitan Planning Organization

A chart outlining a complete year of expenditures was reviewed and approved.

Tom Kotay reviewed an October 25 ruling concerning the 11th Avenue Railroad Crossing, which is on appeal in Commonwealth Court.  The current ruling is precedent-setting by imposing upkeep costs and utility costs on the City.

Earl Myer reviewed results of a wetland banking feasibility study.  No mature woodlands can be disturbed.  Vortex Environmental assisted with evaluation of twenty-one sites.  Lead sites include Middle Creek, expansion of the Quittie Wetlands near LCCTC, the banks of the Swatara and Little Swatara Creek jointure in Jonestown, and Snitz Creek recreation area off of Oak Street.

On the recommendation of Tom Kotay, Jon Fitzkee, Bob Taylor and Dennis Lebo, a Congestion Management Process Final Draft was adopted.  Penn DOT is interested in the spreadsheet used to evaluate projects for prioritization in Lebanon County.

Ruth Dietz stated that lives have been lost, and requested that a red-light be placed in Ono at Route 22. From East Hanover Township Supervisors, she was instructed to get a letter supporting her request, and staff will study the issue for inclusion and prioritization on the MPO’s long-range plan.

North Cornwall Township requested that the County take over a leadership role facilitating meetings with developers of 80 acres east of Cornwall Road.  Earl Meyer and Commissioner Carpenter would like to see cooperation move forward after current lawsuits are decided or withdrawn.

Assessment Board

Tom Harlan and Bill Kolovani were on hand for an appeal on the Farmer’s Market.  No professional assessment was provided.  They stated that $3.2 million in private and state funded improvements at 3-4% interest were completed to Mr. Kolovani’s high standards; their $2.9 million appraisal was based on potential, not actual, revenue; and thought the County’s $2.6 million appraised value was too high because the assessment went from $25,400 to $353,300.  Walls were not changed, and this is not a new build.  Staff said they looked at cost with depreciation and potential market sales, but focused on the income approach from rents as the best way to value the property--allowing for a 10% average vacancy.  Kolovani stated that his vacancy rate is 15-20%, and has a 15-year obligation during which time he cannot sell the property without having to pay back the grant.   At his request, in order to give Mr. Kolovani time to pull together his expenses, the hearing was continued until January 17, 2008.

Lebanon Valley Brethren Home representatives were on hand to request tax exemption of their Greenhouse project for skilled nursing care.  Upon the recommendation of Solicitor Snelling, because there is an appeal on the property, no vote took place.

Exempted were Fire Company properties in Cornwall and Fredericksburg as well as North Lebanon Township Lene Lenape Park; St. Sebastian Church Hall; and Jonestown Borough Boat Launch.  However, Briar Lake Home Owner’s Association was not exempted.

December 13, 2007

At no cost to the County, Heather Scales, Audrey Rakow, and Jamie Rokosky were approved for participation in the Pa Board of Probation and Parole’s Graduate Tuition Reimbursement Program, which is only available to Adult Probation officers.

Phil Hall received approval for a $75,774 West Nile Virus 2008 grant application, which includes a State recommended ATV to get to places he couldn’t get into with his truck to spray.  His mission is to “change behaviors of the public to manage their own properties with applications and cleanup of tires….”  Both the City of Lebanon and Palmyra Borough apply their own pesticides.  If everyone treated their own land, Phil could concentrate on public lands.  Two mosquito samples and one human tested positive for West Nile Virus in 2007.  Tire collections will occur at the EXPO on Friday, April 18, 2008.

Commissioners approved a service agreement with Official Payments Corporation for Treasurer Sally Neuin to accept credit card payments for tax bills.  Eventually other departments may be able to accept credit cards too.  Customers using credit cards are charged a 3% convenience fee.

Commissioners approved a contract modification for the Capital Area Behavioral Health Collaborative.  The five-county collaborative is responsible for administration of a Medical Assistance Program.

Dennis Grumbein was on hand for three actions:

  1. Advertising of Ordinance #35 to raise the Hotel Tax from 2 to 3%;
  2. A 30’ programmable sign, not to exceed $80,000.  The sign will inform passersby about upcoming events.  Funding will come from $170,000 in Industrial Development Authority funds transferred to the County upon dissolution of the IDA.
  3. A replacement resolution for $1,126,000 with West Cornwall Township Municipal Authority.  The bond will absorb debt from a previous addition and a new 23,500 square foot pole barn.  Since August, the EXPO has been trying to obtain an engineering review approval.  North Cornwall Township uses ABI, Ephrata.  Among other things, they’ve had to address firewall issues.  A block knee-wall will support the steel.  The structure will not be a free span or contain office space.  No final design is available, but footers will be poured next week.

Planning Director Earl Meyer; Michelle Brummer, Gannett Fleming; and Frank Chlebnikow, Rettew Associates, were on hand to hear testimony concerning the Comprehensive Plan.  A 45-day comment period has expired.  Of the more than three dozen attendees, the following people verbally supported the Plan:

  1. Jonestown Mayor George Kaufman is a Task Force member who would like to incorporate the County Plan into Jonestown’s Plan, and apply for grant funding to complete a Main Street beautification program.
  2. Neal Kinsey, DCED, classified the Plan as progressive, forward looking, and a viable guiding document.  He acknowledged State agency funding from DCED, DEP, DCNR, and PennDOT.
  3. Representative Mauree Gingrich described the work product and process as excellent.  She said that smart planning is the foundation for everything that we do right.  She saw the plan as a framework for local municipalities and a major resource.
  4. Don Heverling expressed North Londonderry Township’s appreciation for the innovative road map.
  5. Randy Hoffman, another Task Force member, wants to see the Plan continue through implementation.  He said the Task Force is working with Earl to create a prioritized list.
  6. Russ Gibble spoke favorably on behalf of West Cornwall Township.
  7. Chamber of Commerce CEO Larry Bowman spoke on behalf of 900+ business enterprises who want to partner with the County.  He believes the Plan will hold Lebanon County in good stead for years to come.
  8. Likewise, Susan Eberly, with the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation, said they stand ready to partner with the County.
  9. Sherri Grumbine chimed in with support from North Lebanon Township.
  10. Andy Marhevsky, wearing many hats, including one for the Task Force, hailed the coordination of diverse interests, and the opportunity for County leadership for this public-private partnership.
  11. Dennis Grumbein threw the support of the EXPO behind the Plan.
  12. Tom Buzby was impressed with the Plan’s responsible conservation tempered with responsible growth and development.
  13. Bob Sentz, assistant Planning Director, commended staff like Jon Fitzkee, Tom Kotay, and Kris Troop for their hard work on the Plan.
  14. Mayor Anspach thanked commissioners for their political leadership to combine urban, suburban, and rural issues into one cohesive document.
  15. Supervisor Rugh Henderson, also on the Task Force, relayed that South Londonderry Township will update and coordinate their Plan with the County’s.  He learned more about the County than he thought he would.
  16. Frank Chlebnikow  and Michelle Brummer stated that Lebanon’s Comp Plan is different than other county plans.  We dug into functional aspects.
  17. Hearing no further comments, Earl Meyer recommended conditional approval pending State Agency input.
  18. Commissioner Stohler thanked everyone for attending.
  19. Commissioner Carpenter outlined the County’s intent to provide $1 million in funding toward implementation.
  20. Commissioner Litz pointed out that no one spoke against the Plan, and commended the momentum generated by staff, the Task Force, and everyone in attendance, the open process toward consensus, and hopes that momentum will continue to grow as it rolls out into municipalities.

Commissioners unanimously adopted the Lebanon County Comprehensive plan. (For a one-page summary of the Comprehensive Plan, visit 2007 Lebanon County Year in Review .)

December 6, 2007

James Holtry received approval for Children and Youth:  IV-E Placement Maintenance $237,598.51; IV-E Adoption Assistance $43,281.02; Medicaid $847.04; and TANF $109,393.27; for a total of $391,119.84.

Without a tax increase, the 2008 budget was introduced for display and public comment.  Remaining at 15.5 mills, commissioners sought to ease burdens placed upon taxpayers due to shortfalls at the EIT Bureau, which is not a County department.

At $95,666,937, the total County Budget is increasing by $7,509,564 or 8.5% for 2008. 


1.     General Fund – up $2,757,033 or 8.8%

a.      Contribution to Employee Retirement Fund of $500,000

1.    Investments in the pension fund pay up to 10%;

2.    Investments in banks pay about one-half or 5%;

3.    Higher pension stock dividends also reduce the County contribution, even eliminate the necessity to make a contribution in some years; and

4.    A payment contribution was recommended by the CPA.

b.     Employee health and prescription insurance premiums are increasing by 6% maintaining an employee deductible of $200/single and $400/family.

         c.     Average employee increases will be 3.5%

d.     New departmental staffing for 2008 as follows:

·        5 FT Correctional Officers at L.C.C.F. where inmates have increased by half (400 to 600 inmates) in the last four years.

·        1 FT Clerk at L.C.C.F.

·        1 PT to FT Clerk at L.C.C.F.

·        1 FT  LPN at L.C.C.F.

·        1 FT Clerk in Sheriff’s Office

·        1 PT Secretary in Public defender’s Office

·        3 FT 911 Telecommunicators

·        1 FT Accountant in MH/MR

e.      General Fund support to agencies is increasing by 15.5% or $590,257(Area Agency on Aging, Cedar Haven, Children & Youth, Domestic Relations, Emergency Management, MH/MR, and Renova Center).

f.       Debt service payments increase by 6.3%, including initial payment for 2008 new borrowing.


1.     Real Estate tax collections are increasing by $744,664 or 4.15%.  The millage rate will continue at 15.5 mills, however, a millage increase is likely to be proposed for 2009. 

2.     Court costs and fines collections are going up by $257,350 or 14.4%. 

3.     $1,853,779 from cash and investments will be utilized to balance the General Fund budget. 

4.     County Hotel tax increasing from 2% to 3% (capped by legislation).

5.     Interest income on investments is going down for the 2nd year in a row by $68,524 due to fewer funds available for investment and anticipated drops in the interest rate.

6.     A $2.8M fund balance would exist at the end of 2007 for the purpose of meeting payroll and expenditures in the first 3 months of 2008.  This is necessary simply because property tax collection begins in March.

 Capital Expenses

(New borrowing)


·        Completion of EMA Radio System (additional tower sites)

·        Management Information System(MIS) storage, backup, and network hardware

·        Farmland Preservation easement funding

·        County Comprehensive Plan Implementation funding

·        Roof replacement at MH/MR building

·        Replacement of original heat and A/C units at L.C.C.F.

·        Replacement of Court elevator at Courthouse (2006 Capital funding)


2008 Lebanon County Budget - $95,666,937

A General Fund $33,924,683   35.46% l
B Renova Center $2,368,002 q 2.48%  
C Area Agency on Aging $3,456,034 q 3.61%  
D Construction Funds $2,692,700   2.81% l
E Mental Health/Mental Retardation (MH/MR) $16,592,054 q 17.34%  
F Domestic Relations $1,938,879 q 2.03% l
G Human Services $1,533,884   1.60%  
H Liquid Fuels $329,900   0.34% l
I Drug and Alcohol $1,318,077   1.38%  
J Cedar Haven $25,798,387   26.97% l
K Crime Victims Program $117,347   0.12%  
L Children and Youth $7,659,339 q 8.01%  
M Emergency Management $2,325,387 q 2.43% l
  Less: General Fund support to agencies $4,387,736   4.59%  
  Total 2008 Budgeted Funds $95,666,937   100.00%  
l  = This fund is budgeted on a calendar year (2008) basis.  Funds not denoted as such are budgeted on
    a fiscal year (July 2007-June 2008) basis.        
q  = Includes support from the General Fund.        

Mark Chegwidden presented two farms for preservation at a public “right to be heard” hearing.

Joseph & Peggy Schott

57.16 acres


N Cornwall & Cornwall

Marvin, James, and Clyde Meyer

102.76 acres


N Annville

Mayor Robert Anspach, Councilman Jim Fick, Housing Director Bryan Hoffman, and Andy Marhevsky addressed the board concerning the 7th and Mifflin Street Development project.  The Authority offered to pay back 2% interest annually as well as 75% of net profits.  It was noted by Mayor Anspach that because of the new bridges scheduled for construction, 85 City families will need to relocate.  Each new home will be assessed around $15,500, and generate over $2000 in taxes annually.  A Carpenter/Litz motion passed to support the project, with Stohler opposed.

Both Brian Kreider and Donald Bollinger were reappointed to the Conservation District board.

Ken Bachem was on hand to verify compliance with specifications for trail widening on the Lebanon County Rail Trail, and commissioners awarded the contract to Country Boy Manufacturing at a cost of $12,780.

Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss personnel.

November 29, 2007 

Ken Bachem reported that low bidder Spotts Bros, Schuylkill Haven, met all requirements including posting a bond and insurance.  Commissioners then awarded the $19,450 contract to Spotts Bros to replace the roof on the Probation building.  At a cost of $2500, an option for a 50-year roof was also approved.

Further, Ken opened bids to widen two bridges near the Lancaster/Lebanon County line on the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail: 

  1. Patrick Brewer Carpentry, Cleona $20,800
  2. Country Boy Mfg., Lebanon $12,780
  3. Bertolet Construction, Wernersville $18,300
  4. Doug Lamb Construction, Elizabethtown $15,500
  5. Lobar, Dillsburg, $25,888

In addition to reappointments, new appointments of Valarie Grimes and Claire Lundberg were made to the Children and Youth Advisory Board.

November 21, 2007

Regular Meeting 9:30AM

Andrew Yavoich received approval to renew a $10,000 Gatekeeper Grant.  In effect since 1999, over 600 first time offenders between the ages of 10 and 17 have worked with volunteer panels to pay restitution, write letters of apology, and complete community volunteerism.  Successful completion of the program results in dismissed charges.  There is an 80% success rate.

Kenneth Bachem opened bids for a new roof on the Probation Office on Oak Street.


Spotts Bros, Schuylkill Haven bid $16,950


Mid-Penn Roofing, Lebanon bid $22,860, and


ABEL Roofing, Elizabethtown bid $16,985.

Treasurer Sallie Neuin presented requests for Record Improvement Funds to purchase hardware for imaging of records.  Lisa Arnold reported that her office collects between $10-12,000 annually.  She has a $5000 annual computer lease, and $40,000 in the Prothonotary's automation account.  She also needed a rolling file index.  The new program should go live in January.  Commissioners agreed to pay one-half of the requested $40,644.  Likewise, the Register of Wills will receive one-half of a requested $8920 for hardware.  Previous approvals covered software needs.

Fred Wolf’s office requested approval of a not to exceed $1,126,000 resolution for the EXPO board to refinance $400,000 and to fund construction of a 23,500 square foot multi purpose building, bleachers at the track, a poll barn, air conditioning, and rail trail parking.  Commissioner Litz requested drawings or blueprints of proposed construction.  There will be no impact on County ratings or borrowing capacity.

Administrator Wolgemuth updated commissioners on the Syner Road Bridge, which is north of Millard Quarry in North Annville Township across the Quittaphilla Creek.  From a tractor trailer, the stone three-arched bridge sustained damage to 75’ of the parapet wall.  In the interest of safety, an emergency declaration will allow Engineer Mark Wilson to move forward with repairs.  The County will pursue reimbursement from the trucking company's insurance company.

Cedar Haven 10:30AM


Residency stands at 97% occupancy or 313—81 male and 232 female.


The Snowflake Bazaar netted around $3,000 for residents.


The Department of Health revisited on December 12, and cleared two deficiencies.

Prison Board- noon

Population stood at 611—531 males and 80 females of which:


131 were unsentenced;


156 on work release;


35 State sentenced inmates; and


267 were parole violators.

November 15, 2007

Susan Klarsch and Melissa Heisey presented Tobacco and Treatment Contract Amendments and five Drug and Alcohol contracts for approval.

Bryan Hoffman presented a request to borrow $500,000 at 2% interest ($172,934) over 15 years to redevelop the 7th and Mifflin Street property, the site of a former textile plant that was demolished on a brown-field.  The loan would come from 1994 Act 137 Affordable Housing funds under the County’s control.  The fund balance stands at $2.2 million.  A private developer pulled out of the project.  Therefore the Housing and Redevelopment Authority was willing to step up to the plate.  The City would contribute the land valued at $65,000 and $100,000 in site improvements like curbs and sidewalks.  Low Income Tax credits in the amount of $2,775,858 would come from the PA Housing Finance Agency with the remainder, $1,394,618 from other sources.  Funding through PHFA is very competitive, and there are a small amount of tax credits available for Central PA.  Act 137 funds would make our application stand out for funding.  The 20-3 bedroom homes would be built to EnergyStar specifications.  Much of the older housing stock in the City do not have energy efficient doors and windows or insulation.

Commissioner Stohler and Carpenter voted to turn down the request.  Commissioner Litz voted to approve the request.

The nay opinion stated that the City was previously given $250,000 and $175,000, and that they wanted to give money to other areas of the County.  Further, the cost to develop the homes would be $200,000+, and they could be built for that price anywhere in the County.  Finally, some of the Act 137 Fund will be used to sprinkler Cedar Haven.

Bryan stated that the price includes recouping mitigation costs.  Site development may be cost prohibitive for volunteer groups like Habitat for Humanity.  Further, two units would be handicap accessible, including elevators to the second floor.

Commissioner Litz stated that:

1.      We have a chance to save farmland by developing 20 homes in the City.

2.      The City is the core of the County, and we need to invest in the City, which will benefit the County. 

3.      Homeowners tend to take pride in their properties, and keep them up. 

4.      In addition to interest, tax revenue would be generated from day one.

5.      A total of $18,000 ($100 per month) per home would be put into escrow towards the purchase price, which would be $35,000-$40,000 after fifteen years.  Therefore, the occupants would borrow approximately $20,000 in 2022.

6.      Previously, Habitat for Humanity surveyed the rest of the County for Affordable Homes to rehabilitate, but could not find any homes.  Traditionally, the abandoned homes are in the City of Lebanon.

Jeff Achey, EMA, and Tom Arminio, Delta Development Group, Inc. were present to update Commissioners on a Lebanon County Hazard Mitigation Plan.  Commissioner Stohler ordered the Plan to be redone.

Commissioners approved a contract amendment for Probation and Parole Grant in Aid and Supervision Funds.

Bev Heishman and Carey Boyer were appointed to the Commission for Women.

Dan Seaman and Carl Stumpf presented a Jackson Township mobile home for assessment appeals.  Allowing for age and depreciation, the assessment was set at $1800 with a fair market value of $13,500.

Commissioners then met in Executive Session to discuss personnel matters.

November 8, 2007 

Commissioner Litz attended the Governor’s Conference for Women.

Archie and Michael Battistelli of Stifel Nicolaus as well as Dan Dickherber, First VP, and David Lanson, VP President, of Consulting Services, presented a second and third quarter retirement fund report.

Earl Meyer and Stephanie Harmon presented a request to facilitate a $15,000 DCNR Strategic Planning grant for the Lower Susquehanna Center for Land and Water.  DCNR will provide 90% and local stakeholder organizations, 10 %.

November 1, 2007

On behalf of the County Commissioner’s Association, Commissioner Litz attended the Low Level Radioactive Waste Advisory Committee meeting in Harrisburg. 

Sally Barry, adult probation chief, presented a $46,583 project modification request extending the end date to June 30, 2008 for the Criminal Justice Advisory Board Planner/Grant coordinator position.

Sallie Neuin presented a request from the Record Improvement Committee to purchase a $69,060 scanner for the Sewage Enforcement Vehicle.  $38,700 is reimbursable through MPO/DEP.

Health Network Laboratories (HNL) was approved to provide clinical laboratory diagnostic testing for the Lebanon County Coroner.

For approval, Elizabeth Judd and David Arnold presented a $5000 forensic assistance grant to aid in gang and firearms cases.

Mike Kristovensky and Belva Ream presented a $15,247 Block Grant for the Area Agency on Aging.  Overall, this is a $34,317 decrease in funding while the budget increased by $15,347.  The reserve stands at $46,992 in federal and state program income.

October 25, 2007

Commissioners voted to adopt a revised non-union handbook, which becomes effective December 2, 2007.

James Holtry and Carolyn Reb requested approval of $17,438 plus $5000 for training for Avanco International, which will also host, support, and maintain a computerized Child Accounting and Profile System (CAPS).  As a result of this software, counties have seen a reduction in paperwork and reports are automatically generated.  Another benefit is the reduction in overtime costs, estimated to be $25,000.

Elaine Ludwig received approval on Help America Vote Act and Audio reports for the visually impaired.  $14,643.45 in Capital requests were submitted for polling place accessibility….

Commissioners ruled on five Assessment Appeal decisions from an August 23 hearing.  Since no appraisals or comparable sales were presented by the parties, commissioners voted to keep the assessments the same.

Dan Seaman and Carl Stump also reported that two decisions are on appeal:  Tyco and Bev Fortram.

Metropolitan Planning Organization

Transportation Improvement Modifications include:

  1. Adding the Annville Main Street culvert project and phases to the TIP;
  2. Adding the construction phase of the Greble Road Bridge project to the TIP for $1,989,195 with 100% state funds;
  3. Adding the Allentown Boulevard 3 (Route 22 east to the County line) project to the TIP;
  4. Transferring federal earmark funds of $960,000 from the right of way phase and final design phases to the construction phase for the Schaefferstown Bypass (2009); and
  5. Transferring $293,000 to the Lickdale South project….

The MPO reviewed Act 44 Transportation funding to preserve existing roads.

A Regional Operations Plan was approved.  Some of the objectives include Lebanon County ITS Deployment, which would improve surveillance, detection, verification and notification of incidents and emergencies along the region’s highways; expansion of Unified Incident Command training; contracts with heavy tow truck operators for service patrols; establishment of a goods movement forum….

Providing all municipalities come to agreement, Jon Fitzkee received approval for a letter of support for a PA Route 419 Byway.  South Lebanon and Heidleberg Townships have already voted to support the Byway.  West Cornwall, Cornwall Borough, and Millcreek still have to decide.  No additional regulations are attached.  Instead, additional funding may become available for both road repairs and improvements to facilities along the byway.

In the afternoon, commissioners completed the final day of Budget Hearings with the courts.  A $1,234,130 deficit remains.

October 17, 2007

Cedar Haven

Census:  321:  84 males and 237 females

A $7500 reimbursement check for storm water damage arrived from Pcorp, our insurance carrier.

After being on site for five weeks, auditors reviewing 2005 books left finding no problems.

DPW did come back to review a fracture, but there were no problems with this event.

In-service records are being revised.

After a rash of deaths, the occupancy rate stands at 97.2%.  The six to eight empty beds are slotted for new residents.

CMS started charging nursing homes $2200 for revisits, or $168 to review records when not physically returning to a site.

Administrator Schlegel clarified that Cedar Haven does not fall under OSHA.  Even so, a wooden ladder on the roof was replaced.  Also, rope boundaries were placed around the edges of the roof as an added safety precaution.

Mark from Buchart Horn presented bids for the grinder pump (muffin monster) at Cedar Haven.  Mark’s Contracting came in at $98,000, and GF Bowman at $107,600.  BH required complete installation within 90 days from a notice to proceed.  If we choose not to use shop drawings because we are purchasing standard equipment, we can reduce the installation time by three to four weeks and save $500-$600 in engineering fees.  It’s been five years since the County completed any emergency repairs.  A motion to proceed passed unanimously.

Upon the understanding that no awards will occur for the municipality next year, $30,000 in Liquid fuels was awarded to Jackson Township to complete two bridges over Creamery Road that leads to the Whitmoyer Recreation Area. 

Health Care premiums will rise 5.8% next year and the real estate market slowed down, which will impact revenue and expenses for 2008.

Prison Board

Census stood at 566:  503 males and 63 females

Unsentenced inmates totaled 160; on work release, 151; state sentenced, 37; parole/probation violators, 270.

October 18, 2007

Susan Klarsch, Carol Davies, and Melissa Heisey presented an $80,298.67 Tobacco Prevention, Cessation and Enforcement contract for approval.  A regional approach is being implemented for thirteen counties.  Acting locally, compliance checks reduced illegal purchases from 25% to 12%.  Klarsh shared that 100% compliance is not probable.

Judge Eby presented a $500,000 check from his supervision fund, which he receives for probation supervision costs paid to the judge.

Budget hearings will be conducted next week.

October 11, 2007

Prior to today’s meeting, commissioners met in executive session with president Judge Eby to discuss personnel.

Stephanie Harmon, Lebanon County Conservation District Watershed Specialist, announced three opportunities for citizens:

bulletThursday, October 18, Lantern Lodge, Myerstown, 5:30 PM—Annual Awards Banquet;
bulletSaturday, October 27, Quentin Riding Club, Route 72 South of Lebanon, 9AM-noon—Watershed Forum;
bulletThursday, November 8, LV Ag Center, 2120 Cornwall Rd., Lebanon, 1-1:45PM--Public Drinking Water:  Source Water Protection Solutions

Dan Kaufman provided a PEMA request to amend our contract for Act 147 funds.  The initial grant of $9294 will receive a $4626 supplement to prepare for nuclear disasters.

Using ‘records improvement funds,’ Commissioners signed a $28,000 contract with Vanguard imaging to scan documents for the courts.

Administrator Wolgemuth received permission to move funds to pay for debt service:

bullet$957,358.75 from the General Fund to the 2003A General Obligation Bond fund at Fulton Bank;
bullet$512,434.38 from the General Fund to the 2004 General Obligation Bond fund at Fulton Bank;
bullet$34,452.32 from the General Fund to the 2006 Loan Fund at Wachovia to pay interest; and
bullet$30,979.43 to Jonestown Bank to pay on the loan for the new Community Action Partnership (CAP) building on Oak Street.

October 4, 2007

Phyllis Holtry, Community Action Partnership, presented grant contracts for $112,168; MATP $328,227; Human Services Development Fund $282,756; Supported work engagement $170,427.

Elaine Ludwig and Nick Yingst presented a revision, correcting a math error of $10,680 annually, to the ES&S voting machine warranty contract.  Individually, prices were listed correctly.

Tammy Hartman Hankins presented RASA, STOP and VOCA grant modifications necessary to restructure monitoring and eliminate duplication.  She clarified that court accompaniment will fall under RASA while other interviews will fall under VOCA.  PCCD droped the grant by $3,750, which means the 24-hour on-call advocate from SARCC and DVI were reduced.

Board of Elections:  Judges Eby and Tylwalk and Administrator Wolgemuth approved the ballot layout.  Seven retention questions are on the ballot.

Later in the day, the commissioners, as the Board of Assessment Appeals, heard seven appeals.


September 28, 2007

Dan Kauffman presented an $1116 monthly Comcast Tower Site Agreement for Millcreek for approval.  Further, Commissioners approved a PEMA application for re-certification of the hazardous materials response team.

James Holtry presented invoices, year-end reports and budget amendments.  Fourth Quarter Invoices total $301,150.17; supplemental invoices $9,362.71; and State transitional grant $39,512 split between Children and Youth and Juvenile probation.

Earl Meyer and Michelle Brummer, Gannet Fleming, presented a Comprehensive Plan update.  Draft copies of the plan were given to commissioners for review.  By October 5, PDF files will be placed on the county website for public review.  Adoption of the final plan will occur December 13 or 20.

Kevin Schrum presented $33,866 in contract amendments.

Ray Bender, Joe Conner, and Todd Thomas recommended award of Cedar haven Sprinkler bids.  Comunale, $498,888 sprinkler installation; PDG $4900 asbestos removal; Uhrig $291,490 general construction.  F wing has limited sprinklers.  Heads only will be replaced in this area.  320 patients will experience disruption by temporarily being moved to a sunroom--up to two days.  Cedar Haven will budget an additional $200,000 to complete the sprinkler project.

Chuck Allwein said that five transects were inspected, and regeneration is occurring.  Therefore, there is no need for a deer hunt at Governor Dick this year.  Further, at an average 18.3 deer, we are under the minimum number of deer considered a super threat (21 deer per square mile).  The highest count was next to hunting clubs and developments where deer are fed.  There are two more years left on the court window for hunts.  Another DCNR workshop was requested for spring 2008.

Ray Bender received approval on a $539,432 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), as wells as administrative fees.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cedar Haven


Assistant Administrator Marsha Krause presented the business of the day.


Census stood at 319 with 84 males and 235 females.


Stone masonry repairs were completed at the entrance to Cedar Haven.


A Life Safety inspection on August 16 and 17 netted no major problems.


Trash carrier quotes were requested for a compactor owned by the hauler, a 40 yard roll-off, a one-yard dumpster for glass, and a six-yard dumpster to recycle cardboard.


Southeast school requested and received permission to use the front lawn of Cedar Haven for an activity during construction.  A certificate of insurance is necessary.


The Fall Frolic netted approximately $8500 profit for residents.


Private pay rates are currently $210 per day.

Kevin Schrum presented a request for MHMR psychiatric services to be administered by TW Ponessa, Manheim.  They will locate in Lebanon County.  Because a current contractor requested termination at the end of their 11/30/07 contract, there is an urgency to move ahead.  Preferring that the County hire a doctor, Commissioner Stohler opposed the proposal.  (No doctor was available.  In addition to providing scheduling and space, The County could pay Civil Service wages between $136,972-$150,000 annually.  The County would also have to purchase malpractice insurance.  If the doctor were sick, on vacation…, a backup service would be sought.)

Concerned with both the time factor and the ability of one doctor to address children, men, women, non-bilingual individuals,…the motion to contract with TW Ponessa carried with a Litz/Carpenter vote.  Carol Davies’ analysis predicts a savings of $200,000 per year; staff will no longer have to schedule for the doctors; and needed space will be freed up at MHMR.

Prison Board

Census stood at 581 with 517 males and 63 females.  There were 239 unsentenced inmates, 138 on work release, 42 state sentenced, 4 out-of-county, and 269 parole/probation violators.

Medical reports that the methadone clinic training is complete, and a start date of October 1, 2007 is anticipated.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Regular Meeting

Because of an increased caseload, Public Defender Charlie Jones requested that a part-time position vacated by Jason Guirintano be made fulltime. 

EMA requested approval of a $778 Emergency Health Services Federation 50/50 grant application for infant/child defibrillators, glucose packs, activated charcoal, and six jumpsuits. 

Leigh Beamesderfer informed Commissioners that fourteen spray blocks covering 8,134 acres of forest meet or exceed ten egg masses on a tree and are in need of spraying for gypsy moth in 2008.  This is three times the 2006 spray acreage.  Cost for spraying will be $17 per acre.  For several reasons, all gypsy moths will not be eradicated:  only private lands are sprayed, but not all public lands with infestation are sprayed; and the hatch has increased from one to three weeks, and the spray is only effective for one week.   Penn State is analyzing if fhe increased hatch is due to either warmer weather or an adaptation by the moths to the spray.  The “good news” is that gypsy moths appear in a cyclical manner, and in about three years should drop off naturally.

Commissioners issued a proclamation for Sherwin Williams acknowledging their voluntary OSHA program.

Assessment Appeals

Commissioners were scheduled to hear sixteen residential appeals.

September 13, 2007

Mark Chegwidden and Brett Lentz presented the Cowden, Kreider, Brandt and Halteman farms for Farmland Preservation Hearings.  No comments were heard from the public.  Funds will be paid from both the Federal Farm and Ranchland Protection Program and County funds at a rate of $1500 per acre, with the exception of the Cowden farm, which is being donated by the family.   Amounts in excess of easement payment per acre may be tax deductible.  Adding these 408.96 acres to the previous 12,198 acres will bring the total acres preserved to 12,607.




Total Cost, includes closing


Dale & Patsy Brandt




S Londonderry & Mt Joy

Floyd & Geraldine Halteman





Ralph Kreider




S Annville

Robert Cowden & Anita Cowden Haulman




N Lebanon

Votes to accept these farms for preservation will take place next week.

Redevelopment Authority Director Ray Bender and Todd Thomas and Joe Conner from Kaylor Architects opened re-bids for the Cedar Haven Sprinkler system.





BOGNET, Hazleton


$327,000 +$189,301


SA Comunale, West Lawn

$498,888 (Did Stevens Towers)



Power Component Sys, Harrisburg



$8,000 + $200, $30, $50

Kings Fire Protection, Mechanicsburg




PDG, Drums (Did Stevens Towers)



$3,368 + $10 per tile, $24/linear’ of pipe, and $48 elbow

Crest Environmental, Reading



$4,900 +$25, $20, $50

Uhrig Const, Reading


$291,490 +$9,500


Sallie Neuin presented project recommendations from the Records Improvement Committee.  Payment will come from the Records Improvement Fund.

bulletElaine Ludwig to digitize and store 1938-2005 voting records on CD to preserve our election history--$2000.
bulletCarolyn Reb to scan and index documents for Domestic Relations, Prothonotary, and Register of Wills--$36,000.
bulletSallie Neuin to accept online and in-house tax payments by credit card--$600.  The user will pay a 3% transaction fee.
bulletBob Metley to convert and distribute data from the i525 in both Excel and PDF formats--$5441.

Commissioners met in executive session discuss personnel issues in the Public Defender’s Office.

In the afternoon, Commissioners sat as the Assessment Appeals Board to hear eight commercial appeals.

Commissioner passed proclamations for Eagle Scout Clayton Snyder of troop 481 and for CLA Business Person of the Year, Bernie Buzgon.

September 6, 2007

Senior County Auditor and Budget guru Nicholas Yingst will be tapped to be the next Chief of Voter Registration.  In addition to his duties in the Controller’s office, Mr. Yingst has served as a rover to trouble shoot voting machines for the County, and has a wealth of technical skills, which should serve the County and voters equally well.  He will transfer to Voter Registration later in September, and work side-by-side with current Chief Elaine Ludwig through the fall election.

Execution authorization for a $13,700,000 intergovernmental transfer occurred today.  The transfer will actually take place on September 24.

Commissioners accepted PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency Stop Grant awards in the amount of $10,000 and $83,744. 

Further, administered at the Veterans Administration Hospital, a $704,846 Renaissance Crossroads grant was accepted.

Jim Holtry, Bill Sullivan, Kevin Schrum, Sue Klarsch, and Shem Heller received approval on their Integrated Children’s Service Plan, which outlines well-established interagency cooperation, but acknowledges there is always room to improve.  Department Heads have a good working relationship, and partner with families to deliver support and care.  Jim Holtry receives the majority of referrals—1600 child neglect cases annually—then communicates to and coordinates with other agencies to provide care for children.  While struggling to finance current agencies, a single-point of entry into the system is accomplished without a formally designated office.

August 30, 2007

Sallie Neuin received approval and signatures for a bank resolution to transfer funds from Sovereign Bank to the General Fund or payroll fund.

William Sullivan presented a $209,192 State Grant-in-Aid Application to cover six positions in probation.  The only change in this year’s grant is that funds must be invested in an interest bearing account, with proceeds applied to the grant.

Susan Klarsch, Carol Davies, and Melissa Herr presented:


A $1,372,618 year-end expenditure report;


Three Contract Amendments;


A proclamation for National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery month;


Advisory Board appointments for approval:  William White and Donna Gathright;


Donna Dinutovic explained the RACE—Recovery Advocacy Service and Empowerment projectInformation on a new 12-step program for youth recovering from drugs or alcohol:  Beginning September 10, a peer support group will take place at juvenile probation, 508 Oak St., Lebanon on Monday evenings between 4:30 and 5:30PM.  While Jodi Hoffman, an adult facilitator, will be available for guidance, the youth will “run” the program.  Juvenile Probation may require some youth to attend.  Further, unless a youth decides to reveal his or her identity, participation may be anonymous, and any youth in the community may attend

A proclamation passed for the Eastern Division of the Youth Soccer Association in honor of Soccer month and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness.

Commissioners appointed the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Authority as their official designee to receive $46,823 in State funding to cover operations and marketing through the DCED.

Commissioners approved a $20,000 Communities That Care Sustainability grant.

Commissioners also approved a $115,836 grant for the Advocate/Victim Witness Coordinator.

Further, a $3,165 DARE grant received approval for the Detectives to administer a program in the Northern Lebanon School District.

Also, a $71,640 EMA grant with the PA Emergency Management Agency will reimburse the County for 50% of two positions.

Commissioners approved a $35,795 annual ES&S maintenance agreement. The total of the three-year contract is $107,385.

August 23, 2007

The County received additional State funding for an Outreach Worker position with the Community Action Partnership Program.  Because the position is 100% funded, commissioners voted to approve the position.

July 26, 2006--Upon a State recommendation, with letters of support from the heads of various departments—the Court Administrator, MHMR, Drug and Alcohol, the Prison…, Sally Barry, Chief of Adult Probation, presented a request to submit a grant application to help form a Criminal Justice Advisory Board for Lebanon County.  The board will communicate in solving joint problems among municipalities and agencies.  A grant writer will help to seek funding to implement identified projects such as a juvenile detention center.  Noting that there is no cost or liability to the County for at least one year, and the County can discontinue the grant writer if successful grants are not written, Commissioners Carpenter and Litz voted yes.  Commissioner Stohler voted no. 

Today, all Commissioners voted to accept PA Crime and Delinquency funding for a temporary grants coordinator in Adult Probation.  Commissioners hired Catherine Miller to fill this four-month position.  It is anticipated that Justice Advisory Board grants will be sought.  Lebanon County is required to form a JAB in order to receive other State funding. 

Mark Tesh, MA/COM, provided an EMA Radio System Update. 

bulletThe Cornwall site is completed.  Four additional channels were purchased.
bulletAfter looking at costs associated with placing a tower on an LVC building in Annville, Commissioners tentatively approved using a new tower at the Annville Cleona High School.  This tower would be more cost efficient to utilize, and provide desired service.  Providing the school board gives their permission, a price will be received within two weeks, and service could begin in six months.
bulletA contract with Comcast is within days of signing for the Millcreek site.  The Comcast tower is a perfect fit, and could go online within four months.
bulletSince no additional channels need purchased, radios are in the process of programming for distribution to EMS.  Test radios with police will need reprogrammed.  Fire companies will then receive their radios.

Brenda Wurges was appointed to the COLT board.

Jessie Pugh and Matt Hogg resigned from the Drug and Alcohol Board.

Commissioners voted to accept a $175,000 pass through for a DCED Emergency shelter grant at Domestic Violence Intervention.  Fund will be used for emergency renovations providing the Redevelopment Authority has oversight.  2.5% or $4375 is allowed for administration of the project.

DCNR awarded funding for a City/County parks peer-to-peer review, which was put on hold until after the Comprehensive Plan is completed.  Because time on this grant is running out, Commissioners voted to utilize the funding for a review of Governor Dick operations.  DCNR stated that additional funding is available for the City/County review upon completion of the Comprehensive Plan.  A new grant would also bring a new timeline for completion of the City/County process.

August 15, 2007

Cedar Haven

Census stood at 319; 84 males and 236 females. 

A $1300 tree removal storm cleanup invoice came in, and a window that blew out was repaired.  Estimates are being sought to repair the entrance sign.

A UMR inspection yielded zero deficiencies.

The Department of Health also inspected, and wants a bed rail inspection and cooler climate in the warehouse.

The fourth quarter intergovernmental transfer payment and 3rd quarter pay for performance were received.

The Fall Frolic is scheduled for September 8 from 10AM-3PM.

Representatives of the YMCA addressed the Board.

Commissioners discussed defamation of a voting machine, board of viewers rule of court, parking at Probation, the GLRA, and SB 862.

Prison Board

Census stood at 559; 498 males and 61 females.  There are 157 unsentenced inmates, 136 inmates on work release, 22 state-sentenced inmates, and 267 parole violators

August 16, 2007

Regular Meeting

Elaine Ludwig presented a third quarter Help America Vote Act (HAVA) report for approval.  There was no activity, but a report is required.  In addition, she prepared a Title II $2379.07 grant request for additional training, accessibility education, and access and participation for individuals.

Daily News reporter John Latimer asked about verifiable paper trails on the voting machines.  Elaine said that the federal government is talking about a mandate, but there are no PA paper ballots that are readable by vision impaired voters, therefore no paper trail is approved.

Myra Kitchen and Paula Dohney were appointed to the Women’s Commission.

David Arnold requested approval to submit a $150,000 Law Enforcement grant for an additional detective and assistant to investigate organized crime and illegal gambling operations. New county detective Dominic Visconti, formerly of Troop H in Harrisburg, as well as a former intelligence unit supervisor, has experience with gambling enforcement.  He said that with slots at Penn National, studies predict an increase in laundering of money at the casino and loan sharks.  Penn National, with 17.5 acres in Lebanon County, is scheduled to open in December 2007 or January 2008.  If the grant is successful, Visconti would most likely move into this position.

Chief Detective John Leahy presented a $37,325 Federal Highway grant to conduct sobriety checkpoints for approval.

August 9, 2007

Commissioner Carpenter was on vacation.

Gary Robson presented a request from Adult Probation Officer David Zinda to participate in the PBPP Graduate Tuition Reimbursement Program beginning August 2007.  There is no cost to the County.  This Tuition Reimbursement Program is available for Adult Probation Officers only.

Proclamations were passed honoring Retired Brigadier General Richard H. Houser who founded Jonestown Park as well as for Jonestown, honoring their Spirit of Jonestown parade.

Commissioners approved a $23,576 inter-municipal agreement with the City of Lebanon.  The Byrne Justice grant will be split 50/50 between the County and City.  The County share will be used for Central Booking equipment and training by the District Attorney's office.

Archie and Michael Battistelli were on hand to review commercial real estate holdings in the retirement fund.  Paul Gray, chief investment officer at Kensington, joined the conversation by conference call.  Eight percent or $7 million is invested in commercial real estate in the top twenty geographically diverse counties across the country:


19.5% in retail


16.5% in malls


13.8% in apartments


13.2% in offices


7% in suburban


9% diversified


5% each in health care, hotels, and storage

The retirement fund peeked on July 19, and currently stands at $92.7 million.

August 2, 2007

Matthew Boyer, Congressman Holden’s office, presented a proclamation to the Fair Board and EXPO on their 50th Anniversary.  Likewise, County Commissioners issued a proclamation for the occasion.  Fair Queen Gretta Heagy, whose family owns Honey Bear Orchards, received the proclamations, and after the meeting, took elected officials including the commissioners, Treasurer Sallie Neuin, Controller Robert Mettley, and Solicitor Snelling on a tour of the fairgrounds.

James Holtry and William Sullivan presented a revised Implementation Plan and revised Needs Based Plan and budget for approval.  Because of a change in mandated reports, from the complainant appearing in person to the requirement to investigate upon a verbal complaint, one additional caseworker will bring the level to three child abuse investigators.

The $29,634 State TANF grant is now treated as a separate grant.  New procedures resulted in a loss of Title IV-E Administrative funding of approximately $142,000 for one year, which increases county share to $142,000.  Net increase to the county amounts to $201,424. 

The board of elections consisting of Judges Eby and Tylwalk along with Administrator Jamie Wogelmuth sat as the Board of Elections to move Fifth Ward West to a new location—from Lebanon Middle School to 410 N 9th St.

Troy Williams presented a 2007 request for reimbursement of $2,124.47, which is eleven cents per pound for 19,313.4 pounds of food.  Of a $147,746 total allotment, 35% of funding is earmarked for the Free Noon Meal Program, and 57% of the budget is earmarked to purchase commodities for the Food Bank, which leaves 8% for administrative costs.  Satellite offices are housed at Lickdale Trinity UMC and Schaefferstown.  Further, LCCM opted not to purchase from Kareta’s Foods using the State contract.  Rather, LCCM is able to purchase required quantities of desired goods from local suppliers.  When needed goods are available, approximately 5% of food is purchased from the Central PA Food Bank at a cost of eighteen cents per pound.  Troy also announced a block party celebrating LCCM’s 25th anniversary.  The party will be held at 7th and Locust Streets on August 11.

Dennis Grumbein gave a Tourist Promotion Agency update stating that, TPA receipts are up for the last three years in room tax—that’s heads in beds.  Rental revenue is up 47% too.  After two pole barns are removed, a large enclosed building expansion is planned to the SE corner of the current facility.  However, building permits may have to wait until October when North Cornwall plans to readopt their ordinance.

Administrator Wolgemuth reported that a HAVA grant report is “static” with no activity since the last report.  Of $4,134.13, $1,319.39 remains for new poll workers and training.

A proclamation was passed for the Perseverance Band who will celebrate their 50th anniversary on August 5 at Coleman Memorial Park amphitheater.

Finally, a resolution passed to support the rural Farm Credit bill.

July 26, 2007

Michael Kristovensky and Joe Lecisko presented the Area Agency on Aging budget for approval.  AAA previously held a hearing to answer questions concerning price increases in most services.  These adjustments will help to balance their budget.  Suggested rates for services include:  Personal Care, $7 per hour; Home Support $7 per hour; Adult Day Care $20 per day; Lifeline $18 per unit, Meals on Wheels $4.50 per meal, and Center Meals $4.50 per meal.

Sally Barry presented the Adult Probation Grants-in-Aid Continuing program for approval.  The PA Board of Probation and Parole is charged with awarding Grant-in-Aid to any county that provides additional probation and parole personnel for pre-sentence investigations and for improved adult probation and parole supervision and programming.  Lebanon County has participated in the Program for 34 years and has received a total of $1,592,366 during that time.  In the current fiscal year, Lebanon received an award of $70,123.  Sally also reported that employee retention was 100% in the last fiscal period.

Kevin Schrum, Brenda Mettley and Dawn Wolf presented a $38,208 Hope Springs Farm contract change for approval.  In addition, Commissioners recognized Dawn for her excellent work, which resulted in the State declaring 100% compliance of incident management.

At 11AM, Commissioners settled with Jonestown Bank on the Community Action Partnership Office building.  The interest rate on the borrowed $252,000 is 4.65%.  Scott with Eckert Seamans Cherin and Mellot also facilitated settlement.

Resolution 7262007 authorizes an intergovernmental transfer of a tax anticipation note to accommodate a federal government obligation on matching funds, which benefits Cedar Haven.  Two draws of $6,850,000 will occur this year.  These are same day transactions that net the County $15,800 per draw.

July 25, 2008 Commissioners held an executive session.

July 18-19, 2007

Cedar Haven


Census:  98%, 320—81 male, 239 female


Sprinkler bids will go out in September.


Qunique is completing pre-surveys in anticipation of the Department of Health’s visit expected in August.


An Omnicell (pharmacy refrigerator) is stocked and connected to a computer for inventory control. 


90% Alert Charting eliminates redundancy by keeping doctor’s orders, nurses’ notes…in one file.  It’s free, and everybody likes the system, which flags tags active charts.


CPR training will resume in the fall upon the return of the trainer who was out due to surgery.


Roman Shahay presented a renewable service contract agreement for Project Able.  The unit of service changed by the state went to a 15-minute service unit, which increases the day program form $11.50 to $12.80 per hour, or an 11% increase.  Transportation increased form $15.92 to $26.58 roundtrip per resident per day, or a 67% increase. 

Prison Board


Census:  530—477 male, 53 female


There were 151 unsentenced inmates, 124 on work release, and 21 on detail. 23 inmates were state sentenced, 4 out-of-county inmates, and 137 probation/parole violators.


Mr. Jarboe requested that the prison board meetings be moved from the prison.  He was not permitted to bring his camera into the prison.  Commissioner Litz pointed out that there are advantages to meeting in the prison.  The board gets to inspect the physical condition of parts of the prison, see the food being fed to prisoners….  Further, pictures could intentionally or unintentionally aid escapes.


The 1997 pre-trial strip search policy is being updated to emulate a CCAP model.


Certified interpreters will used by the Courts.


To help keep the prison population at a manageable level, planning priorities include keeping the paper trail flowing, arranging for fines and costs payment plans with District Judges.…

Regular Meeting

Commissioner Carpenter was on vacation.

For the purpose of issuing antlerless deer licenses according to State regulations, the County Treasurer’s staff was approved for up to 40 hours of pay per week between August 13 and September 14.

Elaine Ludwig presented amended Help America Vote Act reports--a Maintenance of Effort as well as quarterly reports requesting $10,000-- for signatures.  Elaine stated that the County is also waiting on $100,000 in Title II reimbursement for the iVotronic voting machines.  All 102 funds were received.

Steve Shirk was appointed to the Area Agency on Aging board.

Assessment Board


Disabled veterans Dennis Fields and John Blair were approved for tax exemption.


For their transition house , Jubilee Ministries met the five-part non-profit test consisting of:

  1. Advancing a charitable purpose like poverty or religion;

  2. Being free of a profit motive by having a 501c3 status, applying any revenue to advance their charitable purpose…;

  3. Providing community service;

  4. Showing charity to all persons, not just one class of citizens;

  5. Relieving government of some of it’s services.


Jackson Township Authority received tax exemption for their sewage treatment plant.


The County’s new property at 503 Oak St received tax exemption.


The American Legion in Union Township received tax exemption.


A City property at 318 N Partridge Street was tabled for further documentation that it meets requirements for a parking lot.


An unimproved South Lebanon Township park property at 68 Moravian Street was denied tax exemption.


Court appeals were reviewed:  Kmart was settled at $6.2 million for 2007 and $6.25 million for 2008.  Other appeals are in various stages of discovery, appraisals, or awaiting the outcome of Supreme Court decisions.

July 12, 2007

Commissioner Stohler was on vacation.

Under public comment, Mrs. Jarboe presented a GSH ‘imaging report’ for a County inmate.  In light of HIPPA regulations, Commissioner Litz questioned whether it was appropriate to share another person’s medical record in a public meeting. 

Gary Robson presented personnel transactions.  Thirty-three year veteran County employee Elaine Ludwig, our voter registrar, submitted her retirement notice.  Her last day of work will be January 4, 2008.  Elaine guided the County through the purchase and implementation of the new iVotronic voting machines.  Other duties included registering voters, training personnel, distributing petition packets, preparing the ballot, programming the PEBs for the voting machines, certification of elections, establishing voting sites….  Elaine will be sorely missed.

Melissa Light presented training requests.  In order to inquire if our Management Information Services Department has someone to provide internal training, a request for a PowerPoint seminar was tabled.

Because of the content of one of the seminars offered, Mr. and Mrs. Jarboe objected to the attendance of 12 County employees at a Cultural Diversity Workshop at Lebanon Valley College.  Director Kevin Schrum submitted the request for Mental Health/Mental Retardation employees.  Cultural Diversity Workshops are highly recommended by the state offices that fund our programs, and would help to satisfy the requirement for Early Intervention staff to have 24-hours of training each year.  Commissioners approved the request.

Susan Klarsch presented a $50,000 Drug and Alcohol Abuse contract amendment, which will reimburse trainers for expenses incurred relative to various “Train the Trainer” events, regional training institutes, and other training events associated with the gambling initiative within the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs.  To facilitate the grant, Lebanon County will function as a ‘pass-through’ for the state.

There being no further business, Commissioners adjourned the meeting.

July 5, 2007

Commissioner Stohler was on vacation.

In order to meet new federal and state regulations on child placement, Commissioners approved a Children and Youth Caseworker Position.  C&Y funds will cover the cost of the position.

Based on Director Kauffman’s documentation, EMAs training request was approved.

Administrator Wolgemuth presented Mental Health/Mental Retardation contract changes for approval.  Based on usage, SpeechCare services increased from $64,693 to $82,706.  Early Intervention funds will cover the increased expenditures.  Because ambulance transportation for involuntary inpatient commitments increased, First Aid and Safety Patrol went from $15,700 to $42,824.

EARS provides adult training services for ten residents of Renova Center.  A unit of service changed from a half-day basis to a 15-minute service.  Fulltime consists of a 6-hour maximum day at a rate of $40.56.  Part-time is equivalent to a three-hour day at a rate of $20.28.  Overall, an $8.29 per hour increase was acknowledged.

Eugene Mavretic was appointed to the COLTransit Authority.

June 28, 2007

Gary Robson presented personnel transactions.  As the salary board, commissioners voted to award a 7-4 grade and scale for Mindy Miller to take on accounting duties for CAP in addition to her duties at EMA.  Controller Mettley voted no.

Melissa Light presented conference and seminar requests.  An EMA request to send three staff members to the APCO 73rd Annual Conference & Exposition in Baltimore was tabled.

Michael Kristovensky and Joe Lecisko presented an Area Agency on Aging 2006-07 $3,233,062 Block Grant Amendment and a 2007-08 $3,420,546 Block Grant Budget for approval.  Because state funds dropped 46% or $80,318, AAA used reserves to balance their budget, leaving a $37 reserve balance.

July 17, a hearing will take place concerning rate increases to help cover next year’s budget.  AAA will also look for ways to make services more efficient.  If services must be cut, a waiting list will most likely be established.

James Holtry presented 69 Provider Contracts for 2007-08 with 474 separate services and an average increase of 2.2% to cover health care costs, fuel….  Children and Youth used $1,106,106 and at Juvenile Probation, $25,574 in placement services, which were funded through Medical Assistance.

Kenneth Bachem and Ray Bender reported that there were no bids for the Cedar Haven Sprinkler system.  Nine vendors were contacted; five attended the pre-board meeting; and two said they were going to bid.  However, one bidder sited asbestos as a reason a bid was not submitted.  Commissioners authorized a rebid that breaks out asbestos removal.  It will also be made clear that the work can be done in the winter when construction is slower.

Klarsh presented three months worth of tobacco contracts for Drug and Alcohol.  After three months, the State will start regional contracting.

Phyllis Holtry, Human Services, presented a $205,611 Homeless Assistance Budget, program transition status, and a new name for her department—the Community Action Partnership (CAP)—to coincide with the state association’s 501c3 status.  The association is providing four laptops and a docking station for CAP.  Beginning July 1, CAP’s phone number will be 273-0328.  July 9, the 503 Oak Street office will open officially.  The Housing Authority is assisting with services through July 9.

Joseph Pierce, from Eckert Seamans, Cherin and Mellot, received approval to close on 503 Oak Street on Friday, per Ordinance 34, which will allow the County of Lebanon to borrow up to $260,000.  CAP will reimburse the County $31,875 annually.  There is no mortgage or lien on the property.  This loan is based on the County’s credit rating and promise to repay the amount over a 10-year period.  Jonestown Bank provided the best rate—4.65%. 

Commissioners passed a resolution for Eagle Scout Alex Bailor.

June 20, 2007

Cedar Haven:

Commissioners passed a resolution raising daily private pay rates for Cedar Haven to $210.  Previously, rates were $200 per day.  A resident’s bed (if they so choose) will be reserved during hospitalization at a rate of $105 per day.

June 11 a pre-bid session was held for four companies interested in bidding on the sprinkler system.  Bid opening will take place next week.

Administrator Schlegel reported on HB1367, which provides an assessment for nursing homes, but previously excluded counties.  Schlegel hopes counties will be included in future transactions.

Next year, Cedar Haven will have an added expense to meet new educational requirements for RNs who will need thirty credits every other year.  In-house training is seen as a way to keep costs under control.

Cedar Haven will unveil a formal recycling program for paper, card board, aluminum, plastic, glass, and bi-metal cans.

On behalf of the Assessment Office, Commissioners accepted a $32,518 DCED grant award for the Tax Payer Relief Act.

Paid from the Record Improvement funds, Commissioners approved a software maintenance agreement for Donna Lutz, Recorder of Deeds. 

Further, at a rate of $19.50 per hour or a $30 per day minimum charge, Commissioners approved an EARS contract with DB Fisher bus to transport Renova Center clients on demand for appointments.  Roman Shahay negotiated the agreement.

An agreement with Dr. Yocum to provide LCCF services will tie increases to non-union county employee increases, but will not exceed 5% annually.

Kevin Schrum reviewed psychiatric services at MHMR.

PMAs Glenda Shreffler and Joshua Linsey reviewed our Worker’s Compensation claims history.

Prison Board:

Warden Karnes met with Deputy Secretary of Administration William Sprinkle and his assistant Nelson Sellinger on May 15 to conduct a tour of the Lebanon County Correctional Facility.


Census stood at 486—432 males and 54 females.

Unsentenced inmates totaled 167.


Inmates on work release totaled 128.


Ten were State sentenced inmates.


Three were out of county inmates.


122 were parole/probation violators.


June 21, 2007

Regular Meeting:

Sallie Neuin presented the Treasurer’s report.

Chairman Stohler instructed Gary Robson to place a personnel request for MHMR on hold.

On behalf of Gannett Fleming, at no additional cost, Earl Meyer requested an endorsement for a contract extension for the Comprehensive Plan.

Kevin Schrum received approval on provider contract amendments.

Brian Hoffman, Housing Authority, received approval for $42,000 in Act137 funds over three years to leverage $394,000 in HUD funds for the purpose of assisting homeless mentally ill clients to set up housekeeping, find and hold down a job.  The Housing Authority provided matching funds for their first grant, but since their budget was cut by 26%, they asked for help.  Clients are screened, and no one with a criminal record is accepted into the program.  During the first period, twenty people received assistance, with five people “graduating” from the program and becoming independent.

John Ward announced the official beginning of the Corridor II passenger rail with a feasibility study, which will begin the second week in July.  Short term, using cooperative agreements, COLT bus service may be improved to Harrisburg.  Passenger rail would target a start date of 2017.  Mr. Ward said that no County tax dollars are used to operate rail.  A passenger car holds 90 people, and most passenger trains are two to three cars long, which allows them to clear an intersection quickly.  Following a commuter schedule, the train would run on peak hours, perhaps between 6AM and 9:30AM and between 4PM and 7PM each weekday. 

For Corridor 1, Lancaster County did donate $25,000 and the City of Harrisburg provides in-kind services to acquire federal grants.  Starting with a one-car train, Corridor I will be up and running in approximately two years, and compliment Amtrak, an inner city rail hybrid that runs hourly.

Commissioners approved proclamations for Jim Ruffner, the Chamber of Commerce Leon Hoover Entrepreneurial Spirit Award recipient, and Josie and Bill Ames, Small Business owners of the Year, for presentation on Friday evening.

Commissioners affirmed the Clarence Shock board of director’s appointment of Dave Eichler to the Governor Dick board, and submitted the name of Tom Harlan to continue as the Commissioner’s appointment to the board.  Both terms will end June 30, 2010.

Commissioners went into an Executive Session on personnel.

Assessment Appeals:

Because there were no appeals, the board did not convene. 

June 14, 2007


Kristopher Powers is the last hire for the Human Services Department.  Kris will serve as both a Medical Assistance Transition Officer and maintenance technician.


James Holtry and Karen Alonzo presented $268,014.93 in Children and Youth invoices for approval:  IV-E Placement Maintenance, IV-E Adoption Assistance, and Medicaid.  The County share will be reduced by $5,128.43.


Elaine Ludwig presented Help America Vote Act (HAVA) reports including a certification of maintenance effort and a final performance note requesting the last ten percent or $41,886.98 for reimbursement of the recently purchased iVotronic voting machines.


Commissioners approved a letter of support for the GLRA’s methane recovery/green energy project.


Commissioners issued a proclamation for Eagle Scout Andrew Henning, Troop 425.

June 7, 2007

Gary Robson presented names of six individuals to staff Phyllis Holtry’s Human Services Department:  Donna Gathright, Evelyn Diaz, Susan Killinger, Nathan Wentling, Lillian Morales, and Jeanne McNamme.  One position remains open.

Faye Bingaman received a proclamation for her 27 years of service to the County.  What does her job entail?  The job is more than just answering the phone.  People want to talk to a real live person.  They don’t deal with the municipal building everyday.  They need help when they call.

¨      Elections

¨      Homestead Exemption

¨      Wrong numbers

¨      Information when someone else directed caller incorrectly to municipal building

¨      Radio announcements

¨      News media

¨      Court calls

¨      Jury duty

¨      Hearings

¨      Bomb threats

¨      Passports

¨      Weather related—floods, snow

¨      Time and/or date requested

¨      Reporting stray dogs and cats

¨      Highway garage for leaf pickup

¨      Immigration referral

¨      Holiday hours

¨      How to reach a person rather than voice mail in Domestic Relations

¨      Where do you get a job application for the municipal building

¨      Careerlink number

¨      Directions

¨      Hours of business

¨      COLT schedule

¨      Legal aid number

¨      District Justice numbers

¨      Earned income tax number--not a County department, but a creation of school districts

¨      Prison number

¨      Welfare number

¨      Probation number

¨      How many people are employed in the municipal building?

¨      Names of the commissioners

¨      Spelling of names

¨      Names of department heads

Jeff Achey and Matt Clements requested approval for a $21,000 Act 165 Hazardous Material Response Fund grant application.  Included in the request is $9,600 for a John Deer Gator for off-road response.

Remember to provide your input at the Comprehensive Plan Open Houses:  June 11 @ ELCO Middle School Cafeteria; June 12 @ NLHS Cafeteria; June 13 @ CCHS LGI Room; June 14 @ AC Elementary All Purpose Room; and the wrap-up on June 20 @ HACC.  Five stations:  Land Use,/Utilities; Transportation; Housing and Energy; Historic and Economic; Natural Resources, Open Space and Recreation; Plan implementation.  Contact Lee Meyer at 228-4444 for more information.

May 31, 2007

At the weekly meeting of the County Commissioners, Ranae Lemke provided the treasurer’s report for Treasurer Neuin.
After decades of service to the County, Faye will retire as the telephone operator.  Please wish her well.

Kevin Schrum and Brenda Mettley received approval for a Mental Retardation Plan to serve the community and individuals on the waiting list.  16 individuals will receive a PFDS waiver; three life-share services; one will receive 24-hour living arrangements with supervision; one residential facility; and a request for an administrative staff position.

Dr. Jeffrey Yocum received permission to apply for a $3000 education grant to support the Avian Flu Task Force.

Jim Schucker presented a request to support purchase of an additional three acres to the west of the entrance to the north portal of the Union Canal.  A 92’ strip paralleling the existing road will lead to a larger section of land.

Jonestown Borough will receive $945 in Liquid Fuels Funds.

For debt compliance, Jo Pierce, Eckert Seamans, submitted a “not to exceed” $300,000 Reimbursement Resolution for the Habecker property on Oak Street.  Resolution 53107 will reimburse the $237,500 purchase price and the cost of the appraisal to the County.

May 24, 2007

Carolyn Reb, the new MIS director, presented a recommendation to upgrade the IBM iSeries 810 to the i5.525 model for a three year lease to replace the current hardware with a system that has three times the system processing power, two times the disk space, additional memory and a new tape drive at a total cost of $133,812, which is $170 per month less than the current lease fee.

Rick Rhoade and Lynn Basselgia, 445 Foundation president, received a proclamation for Children’s Miracle Network.  Rick stated that for the 17th year, Lebanon County is still the only county in the State to provide a proclamation and exposure for Children’s Miracle Network--June 2 & 3 on WGAL TV8.

Judges Eby and Tylwalk as well as Administrator Wolgemuth certified and signed election results.

Archie Batistelli presented the first quarter retirement fund status, which for the first time exceeded $94 million. 

Phyllis Holtry presented a revised Human Services Development Fund budget to reflect an increase of $17,123 that will be used for phone systems and computer connections.  Also, the Human Services Development Fund allocation of $231,389 will be used for Adult Day Care (AAA), Assistance Programs (D&S), Social Rehabilitation Services (MHMR), Crisis Intervention, and Life Skills Education (examples include budgeting, parenting, and balancing check books).

Dan Kauffman received a Proclamation adopting the National Incident Management System, which also qualifies Lebanon County for grant funding.  NIMS provides a consistent nationwide approach for Federal, state, local, and tribal governments to work together more effectively to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents regardless of cause, size or complexity.  As a result, standardized terminology, structures, personnel qualification standards, training, exercises…are utilized.

Fixed Allocation of Liquid Fuels funds were approved for North Cornwall ($3335) and Annville ($3204).

May 16,2007

Cedar Haven

The census stood at 98% occupancy or 321 residents—84 male and 237 female.

IGT ‘Pay for Performance,’ Disproportionate share; and reimbursements were reviewed.

New rates will be $185.89 per day.

A new union representative is on board.

Medicare inspections are taking place.  Four boxes of information were provided for review.

Commissioners listened to five residents of the Beechwood sewer line.  To supplement 500’ of line installed in 2006, Jon Swisher presented a proposal to replace the remaining 800+ feet of aging 8” terracotta line with 10” pvc line to the 24” main trunk line.  Because there were no guarantees that the new installation would prevent further backups, Commissioners voted to install a muffin monster (huge grinder pump) at Cedar Haven.  Design work will begin immediately.  It was noted that Cedar Haven’s use has gone down from 400 beds in 1975 to 324 beds in 2003; new development hooked onto the line; to help prevent backup, check valves could be installed on the line to each home; and Beechwood is gravity flow.  Basic cleanup has been completed.  Beers promised to flush the line each week until the improvements are made, and residents can submit bills for consideration by the Sewer Authority’s insurance carrier. 

Prison Board

The census stood at 525—460 males and 65 females.  180 inmates were unsentenced; 125 on work release; and 30 state sentenced inmates.

May 17, 2007

Regular Meeting

Kevin Schrum, Brenda Mettley, Shem Heller, Melissa Heisey, and Carol Davies presented $8,828,960 in Provider contracts for approval.  While the County share remains about the same ($533,217), a $3,472,176 increase will add more programs.  The County helps 500 mental retardation clients while 200 people are on a waiting list for services.  There are around 1200 Mental Health clients, and there is no waiting list for these services.

Liquid Fuels Fixed funds were allocated to South Lebanon, $7,614; East Hanover, $4,717; and South Annville, $2,036.

A $261,205 Human Services grant was approved to cover salaries, MATP, Crisis Intervention, Homeless Assistance….

Property acquisition is proceeding for a 2300 square foot building at 5030 Oak St., Lebanon from Habecker Family Limited Partnership.  Settlement will occur by the end of June.  Purchase price is $266,000, but the County will have a cash outlay of $237,500 with the balance received by way of a charitable contribution.  Human Services will pay rent equal to the cost of a mortgage.

Registration Commission

Commissioners certified 75,534 qualified voters in Lebanon County.

Assessment Board

One residential appeal was heard.  The Izaak Walton League was awarded tax exempt status.

May 10, 2007

Jack Stouffer reported that the Swatara Sojourn netted 192 tires and nine cubic yards of trash over thirty miles on a two-day weekend--May 5 & 6.

Melissa Light presented personnel transactions and conference/seminar requests,  including payment of overtime for four full-time LPN's at the Prison for hours worked on the weekend under the new rotating schedule (approximately eight to ten hours per weekend, depending upon new commitments).

At the request of Chief Sally Barry, Commissioners passed a master agreement for a grant-in-aid application for Adult Probation.  Last year, the aid brought in $76,000.  Further, a supervision fee fund agreement, which reimburses 50% of collect revenues from the parole board.

Commissioners certified Intermediate and Restrictive punishment in use:  Intermediate includes Drug and Alcohol treatment, community service, drug testing, fines, and victim restitution.  Restrictive includes:  electronic monitoring, house arrest, intensive supervision, and residential inpatient drug and alcohol treatment.

Based on Solicitor Snelling's recommendation, Commissioners adopted  a seven-year amortization and payback schedule with CRC.

Jon Fitzgee provided a resolution giving signatory authority to the chairman of the MPO for the PennDOT 2007-08 Unified Work Program.

A $9,294 TMI radiation emergency response work plan grant will provide a plotter, personal care and identity kits, and command and safety vests,

Commissioners approved a revised $18.74 rate for EARS contract with Renova Center.  The rate is nine cents per day half day than anticipated.

Heniretta Steiner request a proclamation raising awareness and safety for drivers sharing the roadways with motorcycles.  

Shorty Fields will receive a proclamation for a lifetime of service to MHMR.

Commissioners met in executive session to discuss real estate.
May 3, 2007

Carolyn J. Reb was hired as the Director of Management Information Systems, and Jay Nelson was promoted to Assistant Director of this computer department.

Mindful of the daily population at the Lebanon County Correctional Facility while assuring the protection of the public, the courts will more aggressively utilize the option of house arrest with electronic monitoring as an incarceration alternative.  Therefore, Judge Eby requested another Adult Probation Officer position to handle the increased numbers of probationers on Electronic Monitoring.

Jessica Nee, Brian Klunk, and Patrick Salmon presented the Honeywell energy audit.  In 2006, net savings over the cost of installing energy saving devices totaled $17,923.  Overall, the energy contract has netted $41,504 in savings.

Solicitor Adrienne Snelling and Sue Klarsch, the director of Drug and Alcohol, presented a lease amendment with CRC Group, which would set monthly rent at $5,325.  Spreadsheets will be provided for study.

Tom Brandt tendered his resignation from the COLT board.  Commissioners accepted his letter with thanks for his fourteen years of service.

April 26, 2007

As part of Student Government Day, commissioners and other department heads had a student shadow their day by accompanying them to and participating in meetings, courtrooms….  Ashley Gruber, Jared Motter, and Mike Batz shadowed Commissioners Litz, Carpenter, and Stohler respectively.  Ashlee Kreiser shadowed Administrator Wolgemuth.

Charissa Blouch, along with Treasurer Sallie Neuin, presented the treasurer’s report for approval.

Lauren Gibson, Melissa Light and Gary Robson presented personnel and training requests.

John Kline, maintenance supervisor, received sincere thanks and congratulations for his keen observation that boiler temperatures were set higher than necessary.  By spending $1200 to have the loop temperature calibrated down 25 degrees, UGI bills were literally cut in half—from $14,500 down to $7,900 per month.

Patricia Berdom, Kathy Andrews, and Shem Heller were on hand to celebrate the Community Health Council’s Healthy Lifestyles events and receive a proclamation for “Get out and Walk” week. Media Day is scheduled for April 30 at 1PM, and a health walk in cooperation with Capital Blue Cross…will start on May 4 at noon.  An updated guide of hiking paths in Lebanon County is available at Kapp Advertising, schools, the YMCA, fitness centers, and the Lebanon Daily News.

Elizabeth Smith, with counterpart Jim Holtry, presented a $22,878 independent living grant for approval.  Among other things, the grant supports teaching of life skills, assistance in obtaining higher education, location of permanent housing, and budgeting to young people between the ages of 16 and 21.

Tammy Hartman-Hankins, Lebanon County Victim Witness Services, received a proclamation for national Crime Victims’ Rights Week.  “All victims deserve respect, resources, restoration, and justice.”

Liquid Fuels grant applications were awarded to:  North Annville $3,083; City of Lebanon $36,000; North Londonderry $2910; Palmyra $4862; and Richland $939.

South Lebanon Township supervisors, Ron Johnson and his road crew, James Loser and the office staff, will receive a proclamation thanking them for their service to the community by providing equipment and manpower to create a wheelchair trail for Renova Center residents at Cedar Haven. 

Jesse Northridge, accompanied by Tax Claim Director Dennis Firestone, presented two repository properties, both mobile homes, for sale.  The sale of these two properties clears the Repository.

At 11AM commissioners and their counterparts met with other members of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to discuss Congestion Management Air Quality (CMAQ) funding; the scope of changes for the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail bridge over Wilhem Avenue (an historic bridge would cost approximately $500,000 to refurbish and transport while a new bridge will cost around $250,000 for a 14’6” high, 105’ long, and 12’ wide bridge.); an update on the boundary expansion paper that would include South Londonderry and Palmyra into the Lebanon County MPO (They’re currently in the Harrisburg Area Transit (HATS); an air quality memorandum of understanding (MOA) and resolution; as well as a Congestion Management Plan study for Route 72 and Cornwall Road.  Brandy Heilman made a PowerPoint presentation concerning a regional effort to reduce single occupancy vehicles, thus reducing congestion.  Up to four times per year, emergency rides home are offered to people who register (3200 to date).  She said that, “we can’t build our way out of increasing traffic.”  The next LebCo MPO meeting is scheduled for June 28.

Cedar Haven - April 18, 2007

The census stood at 315, a 97.84% occupancy rate.

Nurse’s week activities were reviewed.

During the Spring Fling, Diane Kline raised $1100 selling food.  The money is used for entertainment for the residents.

Commissioners reviewed a real estate appraisal report.

Doris and Vivian requested assistance to pave the Senior Center parking lot. 

For the 2005 audit, Reinsel Kuntz and Lesher completed an exit interview.  The 2006 audit will start this week.

Prison Board

Census stood at 510, 451 males and 59 females.

178 inmates were unsentenced, and 114 were on work release.  Stuckey reviewed an expedited process to get inmates on work release within a week.

206 inmates were parole/probation violators.   While there were zero federal inmates, there were 33 state sentenced inmates at LCCF.

John Latimer inquired about the State’s final report on their evaluation of the prison.

A new GED instructor was hired.

District Attorney Arnold introduced Kristine Verna, a student interested in becoming an attorney.

Regular Meeting - April 19, 2007

During public comment, Dennis Grumbine requested help to ensure that public sewer is extended from Sheetz to the Ag Center and Expo where on-lot sewage curently accommodates thousands of visitors.  He agreed to provide a copy of the $500,000 DCED grant that is in jeopardy of being lost if sales tax revenues do not meet a certain level of expectation for the State.  Only a 501 C3 can receive these funds.  Realizing that development follows infrastructure, Grumbine made assurances that the line would stop at the Expo.

After 35 years of service in Management Information Systems for the County of Lebanon, James Earnshaw tendered his retirement notice.

Since caseload has gone up 20% from 1,840 to 2,347 between 2004 and 2006, and stating that his office would pay for the salary differential in 2006, DA Arnold requested that the County hire part-time ADA John Ditzler as a fulltime Assistant District Attorney.  The fact that Arnold does not plea bargain gun cases is part of the reason for the caseload increase.

Earl and Lee Meyer presented Draft Documents of the Natural Resources Profile for the Comprehensive Plan; an update on the status of the plan; and a summary sheet of Principles for Growth and Resource Conservation.  Follow the Comprehensive Plan online.  Further, Municipal Workshops and Public Open House events were announced from 7-9PM:

Municipal Workshops:


May 22 AC @ Annville Elementary All Purpose Room


May 23 Palmyra @ Middle School Caf


May 30 @ ELCO Middle School Caf


June 4 @ NL High School Caf


June 5 CL & City Workshop @ CCHS, LGI Room

State Agency partners will meet May 9 from 10AM-noon

Public Open House:


June 11 @ ELCO Middle School cab


June 12 @ NLHS caf


June 13 CL & City @ CCHS, LGI room


June 14 AC & Palmyra @ Annville Elem all purpose room

Wrap-Up Open House


June 20 @ HACC multipurpose room

Meyer confirmed that, while surrounded by farmland to the south and east, the Expo is in a proposed development zone in the Comprehensive Plan.

Jenny Murphy Shifflet and Kathleen Dugan received a proclamation in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  Hero pins were presented to commissioners to "step in and stop abuse."

Kevin Schrum, Brenda Mettley and Shem Heller presented an operating agreement to update the existing MH/MR plan to meet the needs of clients.

Fixed Liquid Fuels funds were awarded to municipalities:


West Cornwall $1363


Myerstown $2438


South Londonderry $3527


Heidleberg $4694


Mt. Gretna $346


West Lebanon $796


Union $3559


Millcreek $3695


Swatara $3695


Cornwall $3044


Bethel $4861


Jackson $5112


North Lebanon $6489

As the Registration Commission, commissioners certified voter registration statistics for the State:  Republicans 43,852; Democrats 21,610; Libertarian 456; Green 132; Constitutional 92; Other 9063.

Commissioners signed a proclamation for the 2007 Sertoma recipient.

Commissioners met in Executive Session to discuss personnel.

Election Board

President Judge Bob Eby and Judge John Tylwalk, as well as Administrator Wolgemuth sat as the election board.  Voter Registrar Elaine Ludwig requested and received approval to move the 5th ward East polling place from P&P Cycle three blocks east to 519 N 2nd Ave., a beautiful, bright, accessible steel foundry building with off-street parking.  Similar to North Londonderry and the Municipal Building hosting nearby polls, the 5th ward poll will be hosted just across the district boundary.

Assessment Board

Two residential appeals were heard, and a totally disabled veteran and a church were given exemptions.

April 12, 2007

Phyllis Holtry presented a $78,704 Supported Housing Program renewal application.  This US Housing and Urban Development grant funds operations and staffing for the three transitional houses in the City of Lebanon.

Phyllis Holtry also shared her desire to fulfill a state mandated mission for the County to take care of the indigent by administering $1.6 million in Social Services in house.  These services are currently administered by the Housing Authority.  No vote was taken.  The contract expires on June 30.  Discussion:

bulletThe Housing Authority subsidized this program for many years, and the County is grateful for their service.
bulletStaff is encouraged to apply for the County positions.
bulletPhyllis will continue to work with the Housing Authority for a seamless transition.
bulletThe Housing Authority has offered to extend the contract on a month-to-month bases as needed.
bulletA grant for office equipment and other "start up" costs will be sought.
bulletA new office housing all services will be established.

It is conservatively estimated that $75,000 per year will be saved in administrative costs, which can be used to serve those in need at HARP, MATP, Employment Development, Hispanic Outreach, Supported Work, and Bridges.  The 2005-06 administrative charges totaled $20,155.57; 2006-07 $103,077; and 2007-08 $128,563.

Commissioners made bond obligation payments of $287,358.75 from the General Fund to the 2003 Bond and Coupon Account at Fulton Bank and $112,434.38 from the General Fund to the 2004 Bond and Coupon Account at Fulton Bank as well as $125,976.18 from the General Fund to the 2006 loan obligation at Wachovia Bank.

Letters of support for DCNR grants were provided for the Lebanon Valley Conservancy to purchase a $19,000 parcel to expand Quittie Creek Nature Park and Jonestown Borough to improve a donated $125,000 parcel from Twin Creeks.

April 5, 2007

Patrick Reilly voiced his support for the Sheriff’s Department to obtain AR15 rifles and attend training.

Proclamations were presented for Hospital and Nurses Week to representatives of the Good Samaritan, Philhaven, and Veteran’s Administration Hospitals, all in Lebanon County.  Each Hospital has a theme:  GSH-“Caring and Counting on People you can Trust”; Philhaven-“Take Time” where caregivers will receive massages and smoothies in a beach setting; and the VA sounded like a 50s theme with root beer floats.

Earl Meyer received approval for a Regional Action Plan Resolution for the south-central caucus of counties.  Sample regional projects may include the PA Highlands, Swatara Watershed, a workforce-training center, or the I-81 corridor.

John Leahy, from the District Attorney’s office, received approval to submit a $3165 grant, which will cover an officer’s salary to conduct a DARE program for approximately 225 fifth graders in Northern Lebanon School District.

Phyllis Holtry presented a $261,205 DCED Community Services Block Grant to administer childcare, transportation, GED classes, case management, Hispanic outreach, and rental assistance.  This is a drop of $10,884 from last year’s funding of $272,089.  A funding breakdown follows:  Human Services, $79,519; HARP $20,000; Transportation $10,000; Bridges $15,600; Client eligibility $34,893; Hispanic outreach $39,436; Childcare $40,000; and Bridge house $21,757.

Clem Falk received a proclamation for his service to the County of Lebanon.  Clem started as the County’s Weights and Measures inspector, and will retire from County Planning as a building code inspector.  He plans to enjoy retirement as Papa to his grandchildren.

At a cost of $1150 per month, formal approval was given for Myerstown Family Practice to serve as Renova Center’s medical director.

Katie Beckhardt, Rob Kale, and Peter Greco were appointed to the Advisory Council of the Area Agency on Aging.  Glenn Hassinger, Carla Hoke, Lori Kinney, and Janet Yingst were reappointed to the Council too.

Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss personnel issues.

March 29, 2007

Sally Neuin confirmed that fishing licenses are on sale in her office for $21 and fishermen can add a $9 trout stamp.  Trout season opens this Saturday.

Gary Robson presented the names of Suzanne Miller, Deb Zechman, Jenny Miller, Tim Higgins, Jodie Little, and Brenda Silva who were approved to work overtime for the remainder of 2007 in order to clean up over 3,700 dockets in a timely fashion.  17 to 40 hours per pay period are expected.

Sheriff DeLeo presented a request to send Kirk Juliani to a Law Enforcement Armorer Course to learn how to repair weapons.  For his deputies, Sheriff DeLeo plans to purchase 20 AR15s at a cost of $25 each.  Resale value is normally $800 each.  As the chief law enforcement officers for the County, the sheriff feels his staff should have weapons capable of defending citizens from a terrorist attack.  Juliani’s $300 training will eliminate the need to send weapons outside of the department to an Armorer for repair.  (19 Section 2 of the deputy’s contract states, “Deputy Sheriffs shall be permitted to attend up to ten (10) hours of training, in addition to the mandated training, every calendar year.  Such training can be cumulative, not to exceed 20 hours in two consecutive 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.”)

James Holtry, Chris Shaak and Bob Swanson presented a Youth Advocate Program for truancy referrals, which went from 18 students in 2005 to 35 so far this year.  Commissioners approved $26.05 per hour as payment for advocates to work with families for approximately 11.5 hours weekly.  The program is a partnership with parents, the community, and individuals.  85% of students successfully complete the program.  An advocate’s support is not punitive, but supportive, even accompanying a student to school.  Parents have a support group that helps to empower them.  “Smart Moves,” created by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, is available for students.  The pilot program with six families will run through the end of this school year. 

Holtry also presented a $275.50 daily Juvenile Probation contract for Lancaster County Youth Intervention Detention Program. 

Commissioners recessed while Judges Eby and Tylwalk and Administrator Wolgemuth sat as the election board.  Chief Clerk Elaine Ludwig presented a military absentee ballot layout for approval.  Further, a school ballot question was approved.

Michael Kristovensky and Joe Lecisko presented a $3,199 Block Grant Agreement amendment for Myerstown.  The funding will cover carpeting, painting, and a dehumidifier. 

Commissioners voted to act as a pass-through for a $23,436 Sexual Assault Resource and Counseling Center grant.

Commissioners signed an “assurance of compliance” with requirements of the MATP-- Medical Assistance Transportation Program.

The County’s tire collection will be held Friday, March 30, 2007 at the EXPO.

March 21, 2007

Cedar Haven


At 312, Cedar Haven is at 99% occupancy-83 males and 229 females.


Using a smoke machine, on March 12, Cedar Haven conducted a surprise evacuation drill.  Everything went well.  One policy may be changed.


A dining room enhancement project is underway.  Cabinets will be replaced, glass table tops acquired, courtesy of the fair committee.  Cedar Haven has set a goal of getting more residents to the dining room.


Ed Schlegel may reinstitute smoking cessation classes.


Commissioners authorized appeal of an arbitration case.


For consideration, Scott Suhring, CEO of Capital Area Behavioral Health Collaborative, and Sue Klarsch presented a self-insured model for the five-county (Cumberland, Perry, Dauphin, Lancaster, and Lebanon) collaborative.  Previously, HealthAmerica provided:  1) insurance to operate, 2) equity, and 3) a solvency guaranty for Medicaid members receiving drug and alcohol services.   Partner, Community Eagle Health Care, built up a $17 million risk reserve, which protects their risk.  The County does not have to be licensed by the State to self insure.  The collaborative would establish a $23.5-$27 million reserve (90 days of claims); $7.6 in equity; and $18 million in a Letter of Credit for insolvency coverage.  Money will first be paid from the claims account, then the Incentive/Withdrawal, R&C, Equity and Letter of Credit, respectively.  Initially, we will realize a $1.6-$1.75 million savings in administrative costs.  A 120-day notice is required to terminate HealthAmerica services.  Summary:  Although the relationship with HASPA was essential to enter the HealthChoices arena, its purpose and need has run its course, and is now a liability to the future success of our program.  The Counties can retain full risk of the HCs contract while assuring full protection of the general fund and County assets from any liability that could arise from the program.  The above risk coverage structure will assure that Counties meet their contractual obligation while leveraging the success of the program to assure continued participation for years to come. 
Phyllis Holtry made a presentation on Housing services.

Prison Board


Census stood at 503-443 males and 60 females.  168 inmates were unsentenced; 21 state sentenced; and 175 parole/probation violators.


Warden Karnes reported that factors identified and procedures attributing to the increased prison population in a 3-year study indicated that a higher volume of people were prosecuted with an average 3-month stay in our County prison.  In another study, the South Central PA Workforce Investment Board Reentry Project is in its infancy stages to fund resources necessary to address the issues of employment and the correlation to prison recidivism.


It was noted that work release participants dropped from 118 in 2006 to 80 in 2007. 


A 4 to 2 vote passed to allow prisoners to finish detoxification from methadone by administering methadone for up to 21 days while in the Lebanon County Correctional Facility.  Arnold, DeLeo, Litz, and Stohler voted yes while Carpenter and Mettley voted no.  Over a period of several months all questions were answered concerning the change in policy:

Is there any case law?  A 1979 US District Court for the Eastern District of PA ordered that prisoners, "currently enrolled and participating in legally authorized methadone maintenance or detoxification program to have access to a proper methadone detoxification program as soon as practicable upon admission."


Will our risk increase?  Both the corporate counsel and reinsurance broker for the County Commissioner's Association of PA said that they, "have no problem with what the county is proposing. The policy seems reasonable as you want to avoid anything which would seem to be deliberate indifference to the medical needs of inmates.  We believe as long as the nurses follow the proper distribution set by the physicians the liability is not any different than in distributing any medication."  Therefore PCoRP would continue to provide insurance.


Do other counties administer methadone in prisons?  Since 1979, Chester County used methadone as a form of treatment.  Beginning January 2007, Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton also started using methadone for treatment.


Did anyone ever die from not completing detoxification using methadone?  Yes.  The most cited case involves two prisoners in Orange County, Florida.


March 22, 2007
Regular Meeting


Gary Robson received permission to fill a Code Administrators position in the Planning Department.


Earl Meyer reviewed a regional action plan proposal, which involves south-central PA counties.  Commissioners voted to support a collaborative approach to find solutions to regional problems.


Chuck Wertz and Stephanie Harmon were reappointed to the Capital Resource Conservation and Development Council.


Bill Litman resigned, and Kay Litman was appointed to the Drug and Alcohol board.


Commissioner Litz inquired if there was interest in the County reserving their right to create wetland banks, a linear trail, or park by implementing a $1 annual lease on the Union Canal Canoe Rental property.  This arrangement would qualify the Swatara Creek Watershed Association to leverage matching funds from the PA Fish and Boat Commission to purchase the Union Canal Canoe Rental property. 


Finally, Commissioner Litz asked for nominations to sit on the board of the Modern Transit Partnership, which will embark upon a study around April 2007.  Rights-of-way along the existing Norfolk Southern tracks may accommodate a Corridor II passenger train. 


In executive session, commissioners discussed an unfunded mandate to license approximately ten court interpreters at a cost of $150 each.  Because the training falls on weekends, overtime will need to be authorized.

March 15, 2007

Melissa Light received approval for the Human Resource Department to take steps that would change the County's CPBRA administrator from Ceridian to the Benefits Coordinators Corporation (BCC) through the Northern County Cooperative.


James Holtry presented and received approval for a House Parent contract that would pay Amy Meiser $8.25 per hour.


Further, Holtry presented invoices for approval:  1st quarter supplemental invoices for IV-E Adoption Assistance $218.44; IV-E Placement Maintenance $1,972.51; and Medicaid $33.78; for a total of $2,224.73.


Finally, 2nd Quarter invoices for IV-e Adoption Assistance in the amount of $42,540.65; IV-e Placement Maintenance totaling $236,376.98; Medicaid in the amount of $812.04; and TANF for $78,247.37; totaling $357,977.04.


Also noted is that all TANF funds are expended.  The final $133,000 payment for federal TANF funds was the last time we will receive funding for foster care counseling, and prior to that, detention.

Phil Haul received approval for a $67,299 grant application, which will match up to $12,000 for tire collections.  Individuals residing in Lebanon County may dispose of up to 12 auto tires free of charge or two over-sized tires.  After that, there is a $2/$15 charge, respectively.  Collecting almost 5,000 tires, 2004 was the peak year for the program.  In 2006, slightly less than 4,000 tires were collected.  Likewise, almost 600 people participated in 2004, while a little less than 400 people participated in 2006.  Does that mean the number of tires stored in people's garages has gone down, or they don't like waiting in line-even after pre-registration at the Penn State Ag Extension Agency?  Let's hope for a reduced number of tires.

Tammy Hankins, co-coordinator for the $93,744 STOP (Stop Violence Against Women) Continuation Grant, reported that this is the eleventh year the PA Center for Crime and Delinquency funded the program.  A $23,435 pass-through contract agreement for DVI was also approved.

Charles Blankenship was on hand to receive a congratulatory proclamation for the 50th Anniversary of the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation.

Administrator Jamie Wolgemuth presented a property located at 5 David Dr., which is in the repository of unclaimed properties.  Donna Brightbill bid $1, and received approval for purchase.  The property was previously offered at Sheriff and upset property sales for $1,065 and $483.69, but did not sell.

Kevin Shrum, Brenda Mettley, and Jessica Creter reviewed services provided by Phoenix.  Of 80 people in group homes, 24 are placed with Phoenix upon family request.  For years, Commissioners have had a contentious relationship with Phoenix.  As recently as June 2006, Commissioners approved withholding a $20,000 payment when staff discovered Phoenix personnel stole money from clients.  The money was returned to clients.  In fact, staff reviewed a history dating back to 1999.  Only the State has the authority to revoke Phoenix's license.  In 2006, it was made clear that if the County had a choice, they would not do business with Phoenix which would have averted an unfortunate incident with a retarded man receiving substandard care in a family living setting.

Commissioner Litz requested that a date be set for an exit interview with the auditors.

At 11AM, Judge Tylwalk and Administrator Wolgemuth, assisted by Elaine Ludwig and Sharon Long, oversaw drawing of ballot positions for the upcoming primary election.

At 1:30PM, Commissioners heard two cases-one residential and one commercial-as the Board of Assessment Appeals.  Further, applications from veterans with 100% disability were exempted from paying real estate taxes.

March 8, 2007

Barry Hartman received permission to work extra hours at time and one half to uninstall, install, and connect a new computer server with the Municipal Building system computer over the weekend, which will ensure MHMR doesn’t have to turn off all the computers during the workday.  Rick Stouffer is the consultant.

Sally Barry and Craig Cook presented a $704,846 Crossroads Drug and Alcohol grant application.  The program, run out of the VA Hospital, has been in operation since 2001.  Each year, the County receives the same dollar amount.  80 people have gone through the program.  24 were unsuccessful in completing the program. 

Ray Bender and Betsy Bowman presented Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) requests--$151,850 for South Lebanon and $484,722 for other municipalities.

James Holtry and Vicki DeLoatch presented contracts for Juvenile Probation--$298.74 per day at Berks County Detention Center and a $20,000 Communities That Care Sustainability Grant, which is in its seventh year.  There is no County match.  The goal is to improve prevention, assess risk factors….

Because consumer’s needs have changed, Kevin Schrum, Carol Davies, and Jessica presented MHMR contract modifications--$303,261 (Lakeview Neurorehabilitation Center and Sharp Visions).

Ken Bachem stated that low bidder Bill Anskis Co., Elysburg met all criteria with their $38,390 bid to repair and mitigate the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail.  Commissioners approved Anskis to perform the work, with $29,950 available from the County using State and Federal flood and highway funds.  It is up to LVRT to provide the balance or prioritize repairs.

Commissioners signed file copy emergency declarations for snow, flood, and other disasters.

Commissioners approved a $16,000 contract with Keystone Multi List Network for access to Assessment property information online.  Approximately one time per month, the contract also requires a $300 payment for updated files.  On behalf of the commissioners, Solicitor Snelling negotiated and reviewed the contract over a one-year period.

Cedar Haven received approval for a Corporate Compliance Plan, which includes a mission statement, statement of values, code of conduct, family information…as recommended by PACA.

Commissioners signed a contract with Helicopter Applicators Inc for the spraying of gypsy moth at the point the hatch begins.

Commissioners passed a proclamation declaring March 10 Mental Retardation awareness day in Lebanon County.  The proclamation will be presented to ARC at the Lebanon Valley Mall, noon on Saturday.

11AM:  Commissioners received an update on the Tourist Promotion Agency at the Lebanon EXPO.  Successes highlighted included the Ambassador and Taste of the Lebanon Valley at Horse Progress Days and the Gospel Concert; Central Penn Business Journal and National Geographic articles; a DVD, web site, and 2 books annually; bus tours; a TPA Tapline to update 200 businesses about 100 community activities and attractions; and a 15-member volunteer steering committee.  The EXPO does not charge any membership or administration fee.  Ads are sold in the Tourist Guidebook.  All hotel tax received is put into program.

Elaine Ludwig informed commissioners that the election board for the 2007 primary and general elections will be Judges Eby and Tylwalk and Administrator Wolgemuth.

March 1, 2007

Elaine Ludwig presented Help America Vote Act (HAVA) amendments that will have no difference in the net value.

Tammy Hartman-Hankins received approval for a Victim-Witness (VOCA) grant to cover the wages of two employees who helped 3,463 adults plus juveniles by explaining the process, accompanying them to court, informing them of their rights, show them how to recoup losses, even providing transportation when needed.

The Lebanon County Historical Society was reappointed Lebanon County’s official historical society.  This designation qualifies them for a $20,000 State grant.

Commissioners voted to provide a proclamation to Ace Aluminum for 60 years of service to the community.  March 4 will be Ace Aluminum day in Lebanon County.

Ken Bachem opened bids for Rails to Trails repairs to Eckert Road, Lawn Road, SR 241, SR 117,a Sewer Access Road, Butler Road, and SR72.  Our target bid was $30,000.  Kresge Excavating bid $60,858.96 and Bill Anskis Co. bid $38,390.  We will have to decrease the scope of the project to match the available dollars.  $19,000 of the available funds come from FEMA and PEMA.

February 21, 2007

Cedar Haven


97% occupancy with 83 males and 229 females for a total of 312.


Schlegel said that “sprinklers are ready to go, but the permit was not issued.”


There were no major problems with the recent snowstorm.


The Auditor General left after five weeks on site.  Three minor adjustments totaling $1300 were all that was required.


Bill Sullivan and Jim Holtry discussed the status of Juvenile placement and detention.  Two boys consume 16% of available dollars.  Budget dollars are exhausted, and the fiscal year ends June 30.  Because fifteen clients are for sex related incidents, many of the 40 placements are long-term.  In long-term cases, the only way that clients are removed from the roles is when they are certified into adult court.

Prison Board

Inmates:  460 males and 66 females for a total of 526.

Bruno retired, and Rocco, a Belgian Malinois will take over duties as the “drug dog” at  the Lebanon County Correctional Facility.

A preliminary State inspection report gave LCCF a 98%, a considerable increase from previous years.  The hierarchy turned over, and new inspectors not only have a better attitude, they take into consideration the funding necessary to complete repairs.  No State dollars are contributed to the County to run the prison.

February 23, 2007

Regular Meeting

Kevin Schrum, Carol Davies, Shem Heller, Melissa Heisey, and Brenda Mettley presented contract modifications for MHMR.  While budget neutral to our providers and us, using the “Maximus factor,” breakdown rates for services helped to allocate funding to the appropriate funding stream--either the federal or state government.  Some ineligible services are now eligible, and some rates went down.   The only impact on the county is that there is a one-time increase in paperwork.  These year-end amendments, justifications and allocations will save the State $250,000.

John Latimer, from the Lebanon Daily News, asked about the Stephen Marinkov Jr. case where Attorney General Corbit investigated an MHMR employee.  Schrum explained that when a school was shut down and Marinkov submitted time for visiting a client at the school that day, MHMR was tipped off that something was wrong.  An investigation into all submitted time commenced (2002-2005), and resulted in the return of $34,946 to the State.   In turn, Lebanon County will seek funds from Marinkov.  MHMR alerted commissioners of the situation; Marinkov was released without pay; the State received reimbursement for these charges; and all investigative data was turned over to the Attorney General’s office.  Also, MHMR established firm policies for internal review.  This was an isolated case.  In short, MHMR staff acted professionally and timely to address the situation at hand.

At a cost of $600, Sally Neuin and Lisa Arnold presented a request to microfilm voter records.  The PA Historical Archive dictates that records are microfilmed rather than scanned and placed on CDs.  However, the microfilmed data can then be placed on a CD to make it searchable.  A price for this service is forthcoming.

Commissioners passed a proclamation for Bobbi Gehrhart recognizing him for winning the ARCA 200 race five times at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida.  He and his #5 Lucas Oil Chevrolet are the first to attain this milestone.

MPO-Metropolitan Planning Organization


Jamie Wolgemuth was reappointed as chairman of the technical committee; Tom Watson, vice chairman; and Jon Fitzgee, secretary.


Commissioner Carpenter was re-elected as chairman; Commissioner Stohler vice chairman; and Commissioner Litz secretary of the MPO.


Kotay presented a five-year business plan for Lebanon County.


COLT will be purchasing a new Hybrid diesel/electric bus.  At a cost of $550,850, $440,680 will come from federal CMAQ funds and $110,170 from MPO funds.


At a cost of $215,000, the Ramona Road Grade railroad crossing will install automatic warning devices.


Fitzgee presented a Central Goods Movement study for eight counties, including Lebanon.  $1.3 trillion worth of goods move through south central PA.


Kotay highlighted ITS-intelligent transportation systems—that communicate between key stakeholders-- police, municipalities, EMA, and the public.


Cornwall resident Dennis Louwerse, chair of the PA State Transportation Commission and a former United Methodist minister, reviews and approves twelve-year plans.  Dennis said, “the needs are great, and the resources are limited.”  Further, “we need to determine our priorities and speak with one voice.”  It is our job to move “people to jobs, goods to markets, and make the economy grow.”


He believes the key to avoiding gridlock is to learn from the mistakes of others.  In Lebanon County, two full-time transportation planners are studying the Route 422 corridor.  Park and Ride for “reverse commute to businesses” is one system that allows workers to board buses, which helps to eliminate traffic on congested corridors.

February 15, 2007

Elaine Ludwig presented a HAVA report.  At a cost of $592, brail instructional books were purchased.  We are waiting on $60,000, and the final 10% of the HAVA grant, which is only reimbursed after all funds are spent--$3,000 remains available.

Archie Battistelli, Ryan Beck, Inc., presented the 4th Quarter Retirement Account, which stands at $92.5 million dollars, an 11.1% gain for 2006.  The County Retirement Account covers 350 retirees.  Archie predicts that the fund may reach $100 million in 2007.  In 2003 when Ryan Beck took over management of the account for the County of Lebanon, the fund stood at $62 million.  Further, Stifel Nicholas will merge with Ryan Beck, closing on February 28.  There is no overlap of any offices, but the territory will extend into the Midwest. 

In the afternoon, Commissioners sat as the Board of Assessment Appeals.  The Salvation Army received tax-exempt status for the unclaimed freight building purchased for use as a thrift store on 422 east.

February 8, 2007

Commissioner Litz requested a resolution of support for the Swatara Creek Watershed Association to purchase the Union Canal Canoe Rentals,  a 33.69-acre parcel along the Swatara Creek at 1929 Blacks Bridge Road, Annville (East Hanover Township, Lebanon County PA).  In addition to a boat access, the site adjoins two historic Union Canal locks; a 960 square foot pavilion; a 240 square foot stilted office with both a 200 Amp electrical service and a 120 square foot porch anchored on 3’6” concrete pilings below the frost line; an approved public water source with a flow rate of 25 gallons per minute at the pump house; an 18-hole chip and putt golf course; camping; and a riparian buffer that shades and cools the Swatara, slows evaporation, and limits runoff and erosion.  Because we start or end our sojourn and River cleanup at this site each year, SCWA considers this site an essential hub in the wheel of the Water Trail to the county, State, and nation.  A long-term goal is to become part of an inter-county trail system that could link to the proposed north-south rail-trail and east-west rail-trail linking Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon, and Schuylkill counties.  Commissioner Carpenter moved, and Commissioner Stohler seconded a motion to provide a supportive resolution.  The motion carried with Commissioner Litz abstaining.

Per pension law, at a cost of 27,852, Controller Mettley requested approval of actuarial services from the Hay Group to provide an estimate of funding requirements for the ensuing year, funding requirements for cost-of-living increases, individual benefit statements to employees at a cost of $1.85 each….

Dr. and Coroner Jeffrey Yocum presented a State of the Coroner’s Office Address.  Along with three deputies, the Coroner’s office responded to 123 natural deaths as well as accidental deaths including:  3 murders, 2 in the City and 1 in Jonestown; 1 undetermined; 10 suicides; 7 gun related; 1 carbon monoxide; 2 hangings; 1 industrial at United Rentals; 1 train accident; 10 motor vehicle accidents where the passenger died at the scene; 2 helicopters; and 8 overdoes—3 heroin, 1 cocaine, 1 ecstasy, and the rest multiple prescription drug interactions.  Of approximately 1000 deaths in Lebanon County last year, 358 people were cremated.

February 1, 2007

Andrew Yavoich and Bill Sullivan presented the Gatekeeper Grant for renewal.  The $10,000 grant requires a 10% or $1112 County match to support community panels who provide accountability and intervention for first-time non-violent offenders.  542 juveniles have been given a second chance to start over without the encumbrance of a criminal record.  The success rate is approximately 80%.  A Garden of Youth Project helps juveniles value working and reaping their benefits.  Additionally, clients paint over identified graffiti in the city.

Based upon 5% of the highest vote cast in the last primary or general election, which was for Congressman Holden or 1154 votes, Elaine Ludwig presented political parties for certification.  Parties certified by commissioners include Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, and Green.

Further, Elaine announced the mandatory retirement of District Judge Arnold who will turn 70 this year.  She is waiting upon a ruling by the Department of State concerning the length of the term (4 or 6 years) to finish out the term or for an entire term.  Beginning February 13, petitions for the office can be circulated.

Ray Bender presented the Rehab/First Time Homebuyer Program, which provides low interest loans.  Commissioners increased available loan funds per applicant from $99,000 to $140,000. There are 25 homes listed in the new range, of which seven are townhouses.  To obtain the maximum loan, a homebuyer’s household income should be $40,000 annually.  County assistance will remain at $17,000 on the higher loans.

$358,232.75 in Liquid fuels expenditures were approved:  $99,599.91 in Maintenance and Repair, $653.12 in administrative costs, and $257,979.72 in grants to political subdivisions within the County.

Board Appointments included:


Housing and Redevelopment—Leroy Leach through 2012


Ag Preservation—G. Kreiser, G. Lentz, M. Horst


MHMR—Edith Krohn, Evelyn Lane, John Johnson

A 10-acre farm lease on Fox Road near the Lebanon County Career and Technical Center was renewed at a cost of $875 annually with Reist.

Commissioners awarded a proclamation for Scout Expo Week February 4-10.  This year’s theme is, “Discover the Principles of Scouting.”

January 27, 2007

For authorization, Gary Robson presented a 2007 Civil Service Compensation plan pertaining to Children and Youth, MH/MR, AAA and Drug and Alcohol.

Scot Wails and Todd Stell requested and received a resolution for the PA Highlands Coalition.  Montgomery, Northampton, and Lehigh Counties previously provided a resolution.  A total of ten PA counties will be approached to support this multi-state—PA, CT, NY, MD, and NJ--effort.  Implementation of the Highlands Conservation Act will help to preserve our quality of life by bringing federal dollars to PA for water, agriculture, woodlands, biodiversity, and historical and cultural resources like Middle Creek Wildlife Sanctuary and Furnace Hills through easements and purchase of land tracts.  Passed in 2004, the US Congressional Act provides $100 million over ten years as well as $10 million from the US Forest Service.

Mark Tesh and Dan Kaufman reviewed the MA/COM emergency radio system.  As of about two weeks ago, Simulcast from eight towers went live for police squads.  The West Cornwall tower was included in the original contract, but Annville, with it’s seven channels to cover a depression of 80-100’, and Millcreek towers, with three channels similar to Cornwall, will be an additional cost.  A simulcast technician will be onsite for thirty days to monitor the system by testing signal strength, circuit merits….  Coverage is limited by maximum transmitter power allowed by FCC license.  Where possible, the County will avoid sharing antennas with the LMR system, install separate, dedicated antennas for the paging transmitters, and tune each transmitter for maximum allowable power.  Consideration will be requested to modify the FCC license to increase allowed power to 500W.

Further, Dan Kaufman requested approval of a $7420 grant through PA Emergency Management Association for a Transcaer Exercise, which trains first responders about rail car accidents.  Funds originate from the federal government, and represent 80% of the costs for the program.  The County can use a “soft match” of labor to meet the grant requirements.

Leigh Beamesderfer presented the Gypsy Moth contract to spray 2832 acres at a cost of $25 per acre for a total of $70,800. 

Per Section 1902 of the Commonwealth Procurement Contract law, Ken Bachem requested a resolution for a purchasing agreement with the PA Capitol City Automotive and Equipment Consortium.

Through 2010, Hernley and Cordero were reappointed to the Renova Center board.

Commissioners certified $605,025 in farmland preservation funds that are eligible for a match by the PA Department of Agriculture.  $150,000 will come from the County General Fund; and the Conservation District solicited $409,925 from the federal Farm and Ranch Protection Program; $17,000 from South Annville; $10,000 from North Lebanon Township; $6000 from South Londonderry; $5000 from South Lebanon and Bethel Townships; $5,000 from the Conservation District; $1000 from Mt. Gretna Boro; and $100 from Annville Township.  Further, Commissioner’s requested additional farm preservation funding from their Growing Greener II allocation.

Prison Board:

Board members Sheriff DeLeo, District Attorney Arnold, Controller Mettley, and Commissioners Carpenter, Litz, and Stohler discussed the possibility of Methadone treatments for pregnant women and a 21-day detox program for inmates.  Currently, three to four inmates per month would qualify for detox.  Warden Karnes and prison management were also in attendance to answer questions.  If the program were implemented:

Dr. Yocum would order the doses, which are administered orally.  Cold turkey can result in death, and Yocum says that we've been fortunate not to have this occur to date.

According to Yocum, a more controlled detox will also result in a prisoner who is less of a threat to staff.

While awaiting trial and sentencing, a thirty-day window usually allows detox to start at the Methadone clinic, but may need to extend into incarceration.   

While the vote was tabled, there was no objection from the Board concerning pregnant women with an innocent fetus to consider.  However, Administrator Wolgemuth will consult with our insurance carrier and Solicitor Snelling concerning any additional liability.  In the interim, no methadone may be administered.  Also at issue is whether or not the service should be bid.  Law does not require bidding for professional services.  Even though the State pays for the treatments, Litz asked if there are local firms other than CRC, who are capable of administering the methadone.  Because Dr. Yocum serves both the prison and CRC, the State would allow the program at the Lebanon County Correctional Facility.  A change in doctors between facilities would need State approval.  Finally, we would need to determine whether prison nurses or CRC would administer doses.

January 17, 2007

Cedar Haven:  Census 318:  80 males and 238 females

Marcia Krause distributed Lebanon’s Corporate Compliance Plan as required by the Department of Public Welfare for entities receiving at least $5-million in annual Medicaid payments.  Attorney Snelling will also review the document.

Prison Board:  Postponed until Thursday, January 25, 2007

Board of Assessment Appeals:  none

January 18, 2007

Donna Lutz attended part of the meeting with her career “shadow” from Cedar Crest, Ryan.

On behalf of Domestic Violence Intervention, Lynn Snead presented a request for submission of a $228,565 DCED Emergency Shelter Grant for their 1890 Victorian Mansion, which is on the National Trust’s Listing of Historic Places.  Funding will be used for blowing insulation into the structure, utilities, exterior repairs and painting, three zoned air conditioning systems, and an 80-gallon hot water heater.  Former grants replaced windows and a slate roof.  During the past year, 209 women and children spent 4,814 days in the shelter.  Capacity is 25.  17 people are in the shelter today.  The average stay is 19 days.  Men are housed in hotels.

Additionally, Snead reviewed a transitional housing unit program.  Currently six units are complete, and another two units are under construction. 

James Holtry presented Children and Youth contracts for Riegler and Shienvold Associates as well as for Bethanna.

David Lasky introduced Rocky Powell, Clear Creeks Consulting, who requested that Lebanon County, the largest landowner of a proposed priority wetland mitigation site, grant permission for implementation along Chestnut Street to remove sediment, phosphorus and nitrogen from the Quittapahilla and Brandywine Creeks.  $400,000 will be sought from Growing Greener funds for the 5.59 acre wet pond with a 4.23-acre permanent pool at a maximum depth of three feet.  The proposed storage volume is 8.72 acre-feet.  Terry Longenecker, Skelly and Loy; Earl Meyer; Tom Kotay; and Stephanie Harmon also answered questions concerning the proposed best management practice recommendation.  The project, one of nine targeted areas, would complement recommendations by Penn DOT and the Metropolitan Planning Organization toward a wetland "bank."  When full of sediment, perhaps annually, sediment will be removed.  Sediment may be used as cover material at the Greater Lebanon Landfill Authority.

For approval, Michael Kristovensky and Carol Levengood presented a $235,648 PA Department of Aging Contract Waiver and an Emergency Energy Assistance update.  Help from agencies includes:


LIHEAP 273-1641


Lebanon County Christian Ministries 272-4400


Salvation Army 273-2655


Jubilee Ministries 274-7528


American Red Cross 273-2671


HARP (Homeless Assistance) 273-9328


Redevelopment Authority 273-9326


Met-Ed 1-800-545-7741 (customer service)


UGI 270-2521 (customer service)


$ Energy Fund


Weatherization 1-800-732-3554

Further, Fay Fox reviewed the Medicare Part D Open Enrollment figures.  185 people attended events.  65 people changed plans.  In addition, AAA will help seniors file for a flat 20% property tax or rent rebate.

Also, signatory authority was given to Michael Kristovensky to sign minor amendments to contracts, which are approved by commissioners.

Commissioners granted Lickdale Fire Company exoneration for lot 24, parcel 101A, a rental unit providing 18% of the Fire Company budget.

Boltz, Shearer, and Shenk were reappointed to 3-year terms on the COLT board.

Commissioners approved submittal of a PEMA emergency management performance grant for $81,111.02 in reimbursement of salaries for certain EMA positions.

Commissioners also certified successful compliance with National Incident Management Systems training and certification of elected officials throughout Lebanon County.

On behalf of the District Attorney Juvenile Victim Services, Commissioners accepted a PA Crime and Delinquency “letter of award” of $15,999 annually for three years.

January 11, 2007

Because consumers may choose any licensed provider, and one person is in family living with Phoenix, Kevin Schrum, MHMR, requested contract approval for Phoenix Services—even though they were recently reprimanded by the State.  The decision has been appealed by Phoenix.

Commissioners approved the sale of three trailers from the repository of unclaimed property.  Two of the trailers, located in Palm City Trailer Court, were sold to manager Larry King for $l each.  Likewise, a trailer at 10 Big Boulder Park was sold to Ron Taggert for $1.

January 4, 2007

Sallie Neuin presented the Treasurer’s report for approval.

At today’s reorganizational meeting of the County Commissioners, Larry Stohler was elected chairman; Bill Carpenter, vice-chairman; and Jo Ellen Litz, secretary.

Jamie Wolgemuth was reappointed as Administrator and Adrienne Snelling as Solicitor.  With Judge Robert Eby, Controller Mettley, Treasurer Neuin, Recorder of Deeds Lutz, and Register of Wills Resanovich on hand to move for their respective departments, all employees on the County payroll were reappointed to their respective positions.  A schedule of meetings was approved for posting and advertising in accordance with the law.

Commissioners approved the depository banks for the year.

Liaison Appointments were made:




Area Agency on Aging

Ag Extension Agency


Children & Youth

Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development

Building & Grounds

Drug & Alcohol


City of Lebanon

Emergency Management

Conservation District


Mental Health/Retardation

Housing & Redevelopment

Management Information

Tourist Promotion Agency

Southcentral Employment


Renova Center

United Way

Veterans Affairs


Stohler was appointed chairman and Carpenter vice-chairman to the Salary Board.


Carpenter was appointed chairman and Stohler vice-chairman to the Board of Elections and Registration Commission.


Carpenter was appointed chairman and Litz vice-chairman to the Board of Assessment Revision of Taxes.

Gary Robson and Melissa Light presented Personnel Transactions, position requests, and conference and seminar requests.

Phil Hall summarized the 2006 West Nile Virus program, and received approval to submit a $67,299-2007 West Nile Virus grant.  A discussion of why Lyme disease and Avian flu are not included in Hall’s duties while retrieving birds for testing of West Nile virus ensued.  Lyme disease is carried by deer ticks and mice; Avian flu by migratory waterfowl (geese and ducks) and poultry; and West Nile virus by mosquitoes, which can kill birds, horses, and people

Lyme disease may fall under the Game Commission.  “Pennsylvania led the United States in lyme disease in 2003. We were 27 percent of all the cases in the United States. Pennsylvania vehicle collisions with deer average 12 deaths per year. This is an enormous cost to our society.“  Avian flu is regulated by the Department of Agriculture, and West Nile virus is regulated by DEP (mosquitoes breed in standing water, especially after floods, and in tires).  Hall attributed a drop in the number of mosquitoes per nest to successful attempts to dispose of tires, standing water and the use of pesticides.

Administrator Wolgemuth presented a PEMA required Resolution in order to disperse $42,719 received for the June flood event.  Funding will pay for damaged areas of rails to trails, roads, and bridges.

Commissioners also approved dissolution of the Industrial Development Authority.  The 1960’s charter expires, and the $171,000 balance reverts to the County in exchange for indemnification of any outstanding bills.