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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As We Ignite our Generation 2015 - Duration- 3 minutes, 59 seconds

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

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Meeting Highlights

bulletGet Updates: Demand open government and transparency, like her 24/7 access to YouTube videos of meetings Local Government 2 - Playlist... To receive email or text alerts, send your contact information to Jo Ellen at Litz@mbcomp.com or text 717.644-4698 .

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uv_DZAQniR8&t=3s

LitzOnLebanon

My Blog on the Lebanon Daily News site: http://blogs.ldnews.com/peopleabovepolitics/

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LINKED IN Jo Ellen Litz

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YouTube posts by Commissioner Litz: http://www.youtube.com/user/joellenlitz  

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Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo_Ellen_Litz

Taking Action, Getting Results.

Lebanon PA  17046

644-4698

NEED HELP?  Try one of these resources:

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Human Services 2015 Directory

bullet "No Wrong Door"-2016 Lebanon County Resource Guide
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Community Resource Manual  http://joellenlitz.com/EMA/CommResourceGuide11,28MB.pdf

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Public Officials Directory prepared by LC Planning Department 

http://lebcounty.org/Planning/Documents/2017%20Public%20Officials%20Directory.pdf

to Team Litz  using PayPal

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

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

Your early and monthly donation will help Jo Ellen to get elected by printing literature, reserving media buys, ordering signs….  

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

On election day, every vote matters.  You matter!  And I can't win this race without you.
 
Volunteer  today  Jo Ellen Litz
 
Thank you for your support and for all that you do.

Sincerely, Jo Ellen

People Above Politics

Team Litz:  Treasurer, Cathy Garrison

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

Jo Ellen Litz Campaign Video
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[TRANSLATED] Jo Ellen Litz Campaign Video

 http://lebcounty.org/Pages/default.aspx

Swatara Watershed Association

 

 

www.nlrotary.com 

 

ABWA Homepage link

American Business Women's Association

Lebanon County Commission for Women

https://www.facebook.com/LCC4W

 

Women's Democratic Club of Lebanon Valley

https://www.facebook.com/WomensDemocraticClubOfLebanonValley

Woman's Club of Lebanon

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Womans-Club-of-Lebanon/290765664321590

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Web site paid for by Jo Ellen Litz. 

Meeting Highlights

Votes taken by the Lebanon County Commissioners 2008:

December 31, 2008

Treasurer Sallie Neuin reported that we closed the year in the black with a balance of $386,045.75.   $255,000 came in from the state for Children and Youth and $175,000 for Renaissance Crossroads.

Melissa Light presented personnel transactions and conference and seminar requests.  Filling of three vacant part-time Central Booking Agent positions were approved.

Jane Tremaine and Anne Haul presented an ICMA (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)  $56,823 grant application for the Lebanon Community Library to purchase 31 additional laptop computers and to hire a computer instructor and technician.  The current 63 computers distributed throughout the six libraries in Lebanon County are at maximum use.  One-half hour limits are enforced.  Consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, by providing instructions on use of the computer, the application also addresses workforce development as the computers will supplement and enhance Careerlink’s assistance with job searches.  In the current economic climate, use of the computers for job searches has risen dramatically.

Here are some statistics on Lebanon County's library system:

Six libraries, six directors:
        Annville, Dee Neff, 867-1802
        Lebanon, Jayne Tremaine, 273-7624
        Matthews in Fredericksburg, Sheila Redcay, 865-5523        
        Myerstown, Linda Manwiller, 866-2800
        Palmyra, Karla Marsteller, 838-4939
        Richland, Amy Davis, 864-4939

2007 (followed by 5-year growth)
        Visits 414,959 (12%)
        Circulation 744,802 (14%)
        Patrons 86,458 (8%)
        Items 300,812 (12%)
        Items/capita 2.5 (14%)
        Circulation/capita 6.2 (14%)
        Computer use 216,064 (109%)
        # of computers 63 (13%)
Total funding $1,473,880
        United Way provides $61,500 (4%)
        Municipalities provide $157,209 (11%)
        County provided $155,000 (11% in 2008)
        PA provided $400,010
        Library generated $700,161 (47%)

Local spending on libraries Per Capita
        State $7.66
        Lebanon $2.55

A Retirement Board meeting took place.  In addition to Commissioners Carpenter, Stohler and Litz, Treasurer Neuin and Controller Mettley comprise the Retirement Board. 

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5.5% will continue to be paid as interest on employee contributions.

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At a cost of $1.85 each, Hay Benefits will create pension statements.

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The County will remain in the 1/80th class.

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At a cost of $1.356 million, COLA for retires will be paid at 4.3%.  Believing that the fund needs a year to stabilize, Commissioner Litz cast a dissenting vote.

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The board approved refunds to former employees; death benefits; and 2008 employee pensions.

Consistent with a new law that goes into effect on January 1, 2009, Administrator Wolgemuth presented a Right-to-Know policy for approval.  Wolgemuth was appointed as the Right-to-Know officer for the county.  He will work with department heads and the solicitor to provide requested information that is not protected by HIPPA….  Generally, there is a cost of 25 cents per copy.  However, exceptions do exist--in the Recorder of Deeds office, where copies are 50 cents each by statute and GIS maps are examples.  The Right to Know policy and forms to request information are posted on the web.  Requests exceeding $100 must be prepaid. 

A special reorganizational meeting will be held on Monday, January 5, 2009 at 11AM in Room 207 of the Municipal Building, 400 S 8th St., Lebanon. 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

December 23, 2008

Since bids came in over $25,000 for an Emergency Management Agency building at Annville Cleona High School, Dennis Firestone opened two bid amendments reflecting prevailing wage provided by Arthur Funk & Sons and Balton Construction.  Funk added $6286 to their previous $34,000 bid for a total of $40,286; while Balton Construction said there would be no change in their $49,960 bid.  Therefore, commissioners awarded the low bid to Arthur Funk & Sons of Lebanon.

Commissioners approved Erin Yiengst’s request to enroll in the Child Welfare Education for Leadership Program, a graduate program, which will result in a Master’s degree, and  paid by the PA Department of Public Welfare.  Yiengst is required to work for the County for two years upon completion of the program.  Courses are taken outside of normal work hours.

Commissioners adopted the $97,006,185 2009 budget, which was on display for twenty days. 

Click Here to view the 2009 Budget report.

A letter arrived informing commissioners of an additional $27,853 cut in funding for MHMR.  Outstanding 2008 payments for the District Attorney, Renaissance Crossroads, and Juvenile Probation total $679,310, and Children and Youth expenses for reimbursement total $1,042,950.  Interest in the amount of $202,216 is another big ticket item that did not materialize in 2008.

Having exhausted all funds, Peter Edelman, Stevens & Lee, presented bids for a 2009 Tax Revenue Anticipation Note (TRAN).  Commissioners passed a resolution awarding a bid at 2.5% interest to a joint submission by Jonestown and Fredericksburg banks.  Using real estate tax income, Commissioners set a goal of paying off the short-term $6 million loan by the end of June, 2009.  This action will make this bid more advantageous than an “indicative rate” of 2.15% by Wachovia Bank.   Wachovia’s non-callable loan would carry a penalty if paid off early.

The Lebanon County Historical Society was designated as the official historical society for Lebanon County—making the Society eligible for funds due the County from the State of PA.

Commissioners met in executive session to discuss court related and social services union contracts.

December 17, 2008

Cedar Haven is at 96% occupancy,

Census 307—87 male, 220 female

Mayor Trish Ward and Purchasing Agent Dennis Firestone were on hand to discuss the PBX phone upgrade.  Mayor Ward agreed to the existing 23% City share for installation, but requested that the City only be billed for the ten phones in use.  As required for security purposes, the City police have their own phone system.

Fields, Groy, Balthaser, and Gingrich were reappointed to the Renova Center board.

At a cost of $985, replacement of two rusted drains and flashing were approved for the lower canopy in conjunction with the MHMR roof project.

Commissioners agreed to facilitate technology grants for the Lebanon Library.

Scott Feeman presented proposals from AFSCME Council 89 representing 84 Correctional Officers and Teamsters Local 429 representing 70 Social Services Employees.

Utilizing previously unused hours, Commissioner Carpenter and Litz voted to approve a three-month extension for Domestic Relations to complete imaging.  Commissioner Stohler voted no.

Commissioners Carpenter and Stohler voted to deny a $15 increase for an on-call stipend to the Area Agency on Aging Director of Home and Community Based Services.  Four employees rotate the on-call duty with two people receiving $200 per week and two people receiving $185 per week.  Commissioner Litz voted to provide equal pay for equal work for the two management employees.

Commissioner Litz said that she was going to talk to the Controller’s office about returning a net pay raise in 2009.

Prison Board

Population 441—371 male, 70 female

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Unsentenced Imates 120

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Work Release 95

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State Sentenced 27

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Parole/Probation Violators 182

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Sentenced by Court of Common Pleas 39

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Domestic Bench Warrants/Sentences 14

Warden Robert Karnes presented new accounting revenue proposals for approval:

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A graduated cost recovery program that adds $5 per day for each work release inmate returning to the prison to cover the cost of their room and board;

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Administrative hearing fees will be set at $25 per hearing; and

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A requirement for inmates to place a two week equivalent for room and board into and escrow account.

The program will be implemented in two weeks.

December 18, 2008

Regular Meeting

In honor of her retirement, Commissioners presented Celia Putt, in the District Attorney’s office, with a proclamation for over twenty years of service.

Sallie Neuin presented the Treasurer’s report, which is $548,501.70 short.  Currently, Lebanon County is due $1.392 million for Children and Youth.

Jim Holtry, Children and Youth, presented $235,003.10 in IV-E Placement Maintenance, IV-E Adoption Assistance, Medicaid, and TANF invoices for approval.

As a step in the farmland preservation process, Angie Foltz presented the Henry and Rufus Laudermilch farms for a right-to-be-heard hearing. Each South Lebanon Township farm on Rexmont Road is 49.13 acres.

Raymond Bender returned for the first of two Section 108 Hearings concerning a $5 million 20-year loan from federal CDBG funds for Boscov’s.  Snyder County has raised questions concerning the loan.  The loan is guaranteed by both real estate and inventory as well as Governor Rendell's draft letter pledging that PA is the next line of security.  The loan can go through if Snyder County opts not to participate.  By participating in the consortium, Lebanon County could access an additional $2million for projects.  DCED will certify jobs created.  Bender stated that the previous vote affirmed interest in the process.  The final hearing will take place on January 8 at 10AM.  

Metropolitan Planning Organization

John Fitzkee presented an email vote for affirmation to replace a Clear Spring Road Bridge in North Annville Township—between Annville and Palmyra.  The bridge is used by trucks from Pennsy Supply.

Beth Raves and Dennis Sloan presented Transportation Improvement Project administrative actions and/or amendments for approval.

Brandy Heilman presented an update on the Susquehanna Regional Transportation Program.  Twenty (20) Lebanon County businesses (Cornwall Manor, Bayer Healthcare, Good Samaritan Hospital, Ingram Micro, Farmer’s Pride, VA Medical Center…) support shared rides with preferred employee parking and other perks.

Jon Fitzkee reviewed “next steps” for the PA Route 419 Scenic Byway—additional signage, dedication ceremony, steering committee with local municipalities, corridor management, bicycle and pedestrian paths….

Tom Kotay reviewed projects of the PA Community Transportation Initiative.

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Colt bus shelters and signs $285,000

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Colt Park and Ride at Fort Indiantown Gap $660,000

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Removal of Tremont Bridge over abandoned railroad--$1.5 million

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Wetland mitigation bank at Snitz Creek Park $360,000

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Lebanon Valley Rail-trail phase 5 - $175,000

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Pre construction phase 5 for a trailhead on 8th Street, with assistance from the Red Horse Squadron--$40,000

Mark Wilson provided an overview of the northern Rail Trail feasibility study.  Two segments are ready for design.

Tom Kotay reported that the 11th Avenue railroad crossing case is in the Supreme Court.

With 37 rights-of-way identified, 36 appraisals, 10 settled…, the Schaefferstown bypass is moving forward.

District 8 received 123% of Federal and State Highway funds in 2008, which is 23% more than our fair share.  Having District 8 projects ready to go is imperative to receive additional funds.

Robin Metz said that a new 2009 federal economic stimulus package is another opportunity to reap dividends for our District to complete bridge, road and other transportation related projects.  Up to $1 trillion is expected to be available nationwide.

Assessment Appeals

Commissioners Carpenter and Litz presiding.  Commissioner Stohler was absent.

Commissioners heard one assessment appeal for a home on Hauck Street in the city of Lebanon.

Commissioners approved exemption for a disabled veteran.

Commissioners also approved exemption for the Goodwill Fire Company fire house under construction at 299 W. Washington Avenue, Myerstown.

December 11, 2008

Commissioners Stohler and Litz presiding.  Commissioner Carpenter was absent.

Sallie Neuin presented the Treasurer’s report, which is $1,020,407.93 in the hole.  Approximately $1.3 million is due the County for Children and Youth and Community Action Partnership services.

Commissioners ratified an inter-municipal agreement with ten municipalities to collect taxes in the coming year:  Palmyra, Richland, East Hanover, Heidelberg, North Lebanon, South Annville, South Lebanon, South Londonderry, Union, and West Cornwall.

Effective December 1, new dog licenses are on sale.  Owners can either print out the application from the County web site www.LebCounty.org or visit agents throughout the County.

Dennis Firestone opened bids for a 12’8” x 23’10” addition with a fire wall to the Annville Cleona High School, which will house Emergency Management accessories to a new tower.

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McCoy Brothers, Carlisle $71,600

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Arthur Funck & Sons, Lebanon $34,000

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Balton Construction, Leesport $49,960

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Premier Construction, Dillsburg $44,972

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Doug Lamb Construction, Elizabethtown $69,850

December 4, 2008

Sallie Neuin presented the treasurer’s report, which is currently $1,165,316.94 in the hole.  The County is awaiting Children and Youth ($840,000) and Community Action Partnership payments totaling $1,200,000.

Melissa Light presented personnel, position and seminar requests.  A request to approve filling an Administrative Specialist position in the District Attorney’s Office was put on hold.

The Board of Directors with the Clarence Schock Memorial Park at Governor Dick presented a plan to salvage gypsy moth damaged trees from the 114.3 acre parcel through a selective harvest of timber.  Spokesman Chuck Allwein:

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Proposed to timber 67.5 of the 114.3 acres.

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Would create an experimental plot with the remaining 46.8 acres, which will be left untouched.

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Estimated that if left standing, 55 dead trees per acre would fall at approximately the same time, which would cause a hazard to users of the Park. 

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He also stated that five fallen trees per acre will provide enough nutrients and critter habitat for a sustainable forest.

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Further, major mineral content is in the tops of the trees, which will be left on the forest floor.

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In addition, if the timber is left stand until spring, 30% of the value will be lost.

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The anticipated $53,000 income will be put back into forest maintenance.

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Mile-a-minute weed (yellow blocks on the attached map) must be eradicated.

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A high ratio of seedlings will be planted to replace the 1,607 dead trees that will be removed.

Ron Laughlin, Tim Draude, Sid Hostetter, and Susan Wheeler presented the opposing view:

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Do not play God.  Do not touch the interior, which is better for the environment.  Concentrate on education, education, education.

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Standing trees provide nesting sites.

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Black birch is an early successional tree, and will die off as other trees become established and shade them out.

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Timbering leaves ruts from heavy equipment, which also compacts the soil.

Bender and Litz thanked the committee for their input and impact resulting in the Board's willingness to compromise by setting aside a test plot.  Because of the test plot; the high ratio of seedlings to be planted; money reinvested in the land; and for the safety of Park users; Commissioner Litz along with Commissioner Carpenter voted to allow the selective harvest with Commissioner Stohler voting against the proposal.    Litz requested that draft horses be considered to minimize environmental impact.

Brian Burke presented the state-approved Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan for the Lebanon Emergency Management Agency.  In the coming weeks, to qualify for disaster funding, municipalities will be asked to adopt the plan found online at www.lebanonema.org .

Because Community Based Placement was over budget by more than 10%, James Holtry presented budget amendments for Children and Youth.

After banning non-mandated travel to seminars, a hiring freeze, and reductions in staffing, Commissioners tentatively adopted the $97,006,185 2009 County budget, which will be on display for twenty days before final adoption on December 24th.  A 4.5 mill increase is proposed, which will take total millage to 20.  The increase is necessary to cover increased medical costs; $401,000 increase in General Fund support to agencies like AAA, Cedar Haven, Children and Youth, Domestic Relations, Emergency Management, MH/MR and Renova Center; another 33% increase or $100,000 in constable fees over the previous year….  Further, the County has not been reimbursed for the District Attorney’s salary or for the majority of court salaries as required by law.  A PDF will be on the County website www.lebanoncounty.org .

Sheriff DeLeo stopped by to drop off the name of Daniel Vice, a senior attorney with the Brady Center to prevent gun violence.  The Center offered to represent the County in a recent law suit.  The offer will be turned over to the County’s insurance carrier.

November 26, 2008

Personnel Director Robson received approval to fill a part-time Meal Transporter position, which is 100% reimbursed, in the Area Agency on Aging.

Phyllis Holtry received approval for a $4545 Family Economic Success Initiative Agreement known as the “Money in Your Pocket” campaign to provide classes and a Human Resources financial guide.

November 19, 2008

Cedar Haven

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Census—311—82 male and 226 female

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December 10 is the employee Christmas Tea.

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Administrator Schlegel reported a washer repair at a cost of $6500.  A new commercial washer would have cost $22,000.

Prison Board

Census—483—404 male and 79 female

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113 unsentenced inmates

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112 inmates on work release

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32 state sentenced inmates

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208 parole/probation violators

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47 sentenced by Court of Common Pleas

November 20, 2008

Regular Meeting

Gary Robson presented personnel and training requests.  Of note, Antonella Davis, an employee in Tom Capello’s office, was placed on an indefinite suspension.  He also provided a list of positions not funded in the 2009 budget:

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A fiscal coordinator in the Commissioner’s office;

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An Accountant/auditor in the Controller’s office;

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A general clerk in the Assessment office;

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2 general clerks in the Recorder of Deeds office;

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A Human Resources officer;

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A maintenance mechanic and custodian in Buildings and Grounds;

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A zoning officer, secretary and building code official in the Planning Department;

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A programmer in MIS;

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A Court reporter and Court officer;

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An assistant District Attorney;

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A Detective;

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A maintenance mechanic at the Prison;

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A secretary at MHMR;

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A caseworker at Children and Youth;

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A database clerk at the Emergency Management Agency;

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2 caseworkers at the Area Agency on Aging;

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A registered nurse at Cedar Haven.

These positions totaled $928,314.  Allowing for unemployment compensation, the personnel budget will be reduced by $757,000.  Adding revenue and expense adjustments to the mix, the budget is still $2,910,911 in the red.  Because the State may make further cuts, department heads are being asked to be prepared for another round of cuts.

Catherine Miller received approval for a $510 Technical Assistance Training Grant for the Criminal Justice Advisory Board.

Susan Klarsch, presented a $132,000 Drug and Alcohol Contract Amendment for the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill of PA.

Archie and Michael Battistelli along with Jeff Davidak of CS McKee presented a pension plan update.  Jeff said it will take one to two years for the market to rebound.  To rebuild the balance sheet and avoid recession, banks must raise capital and reduce leverage—or they will not survive.  Banks must lend more money and inject more capital into the system—or Wall Street’s crisis will become Main street’s crisis.  Consumers must reduce debt, cut spending, and increase savings.  They have reached the limit and can borrow no more.  Consumers make up 70% of the economy.  They must keep spending at close to the normal level to prevent a recession.

He also compared the 1933 depression to today.

2008

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6.1% unemployment

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stock market down 41.2%

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no recession yet, but revised data may show one in 2008

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GDP grew 2.8%

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Government doing everything possible to stop banking crisis

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The US and other countries are working together in dramatic fashion to prevent global depression

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Strong central banking system, with many safeguards against local bank failures and runs on the bank (FDIC insurance…)

1933

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24.9% unemployment

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stock market down 89%

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recession lasted 43 consecutive months

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GDP declined 36% (29-33)

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Government did nothing to stop banking crisis

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All major countries refused to cooperate, destroying the global economy

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Weak central banking system, with no safeguards against local bank failures or runs on the bank

The County pension fund closed at $83,702,000 on September 30, 2008.

Vicki DeLoatch received a proclamation for the Great American Smoke Out.  Smoking costs $96 billion in health care.  One in three people die prematurely because of tobacco use.

Ray Bender, Housing Authority, recommended that the City, rather than the County, apply for a Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant.

Commissioners approved $5 million in Community Development Block Grant funds to help finance a $106,126,835 loan and line of credit which includes a match from Al Boscov and others.  The State filled out the application.  Lebanon County is one of seven counties including Schuylkill, Lackawanna, Snyder, Butler, Blair, and Cambria where Boscov stores exist.  Each of these counties are also asked to act as conduits to facilitate the loan.  Likewise, Wilkes Bare, Scranton, Vineland, and Atlantic are asked to do the same with HUD 108 funds.  Through run over and new job opportunities, Boscov’s will produce 1029 positions.  They will make a good faith effort to insure that 147 of these  $34,014 positions will be made available to the residents of Lebanon County.

Administrator Wolgemuth presented three Board appointments for approval:

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Commission for Women—Kristina Davis

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Children and Youth—Christine Laney

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Conservation District—Harold Kreider, Gail Smith, and Jo Ellen Litz

Commissioners tabled an agreement concerning whether to split taxes 65/35 or 68/32 with Dauphin County for a warehouse on the county line.  Assessor Seaman will gather the information to compute the amounts.

Assessment Appeals

Commissioners heard three residential appeals and waived taxes for three disabled veterans.

November 13, 2008

For clarification, Commissioners asked Administrator Wolgemuth to send a memo to department heads concerning a recent motion terminating non-mandated training.  Commissioners will consider free training without reimbursement for meals or hotel stays.

EMA was granted permission to attend a Sunoco emergency response to cargo trucks seminar.

Leslie Attig, Stephanie Newswanger, Marilyn Reppert, and Jackie Gould were present to receive a proclamation on behalf of National Homecare and Hospice month.

On behalf of the Community Action Partnership, Phyllis Holtry presented an Assurance of Compliance for the Medical Assistance Transportation Program and a $110,766 Community Service Block Grant budget to fund child care, transportation, and GED testing for approval.

Phyllis further invited Commissioners to a Salvation Army dedication on Saturday at 10:45AM behind the Farmer’s Market.

Nick Yingst, Jo Ellen Sohn, and Sharon Long assisted with counting of 66 overseas military absentee ballots that arrived since last week.

District Attorney Arnold joined Commissioners as Solicitor Snelling reviewed last week’s Independent Regulatory and Review Commission decision excluding Lebanon County from distribution of Gaming Revenue from Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing's Hollywood Casino at Penn National.  22 acres of the operation lies in Lebanon County.  A requirement to receive a gaming license was to have a race track.  Now that the license has been issued, regulators want to limit the license to the gaming floor, which doesn't make sense to Commissioners.  Further she read a letter to the Attorney General requesting a meeting and careful review of unintended consequences because of the decision:

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Restricting the jurisdiction of the State Police so that they cannot control areas adjacent to casino floors;

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Preventing licensed gaming entities from barring repeat offenders from areas associated with the gaming facility other than the casino floor itself;

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Limiting the appeal jurisdiction of the Supreme Court that was granted in Section 1506 dealing with zoning and land use appeals; and

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Preventing the equitable distribution of gaming revenue to local government units.

Both construction and real estate sales are down, which impacts the number of building permits issued, deeds recorded....  During this difficult and tumultuous economic time, effective the end of this year, it is with respect and appreciation to all County employees that commissioners had to make tough decisions to terminate 21.5 employees across numerous departments.  We thank these employees for their years of dedicated service, and are grateful to everyone for their cooperation.  We also thank department heads for making further cuts in their budgets and looking for new sources of revenue to ease the burden on all tax payers.  As a result of these sacrifices, during a second round of budget hearings on Wednesday and Thursday, over one million dollars were cut from the current deficit, which was created due to numerous factors such as the rising cost of medical insurance, lower returns on investment (interest rates); rising costs of gasoline, heating, food served at Cedar Haven and the Prison; cuts in reimbursements from the State who is experiencing similar pressures; as well as unfunded mandates like a full-time District Attorney. 

November 6, 2008

Pam Tricamo, Habitat for Humanity, requested that Commissioners consider a joint application for Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds that are available to purchase mortgages as well as condemned and blighted properties.  PA will receive $52 million that must be drawn down in eighteen months, but the program will allow up to four years to put people in the houses.  The application must be submitted within sixty days as a supplement or addendum to our CDBG application.

A non-mandated tank truck training request was tabled.

In honor of the Jefferson Award he will receive this evening, Commissioners recognized P. Terry Baker, Palmyra, with a Proclamation.  Terry administers the Caring Cupboard, a multi-church food bank.

Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss union negotiations for a total of 175 county employees--40 Court Professionals, 60 in Social Services, 5 County Detectives, and 70 at the Prison.  Contracts expire December 31, 2008.

Friday at 9AM, Commissioners will sit as the board of elections to conduct the official vote count from the 2008 general election.

Wednesday, an executive session with thirty department heads will take place to discuss personnel issues.

October 30, 2008

Regular Meeting - 9:30AM

Jerry Kolanoski requested that solar and wind generation be considered in the new energy audit.  He provided a cost analysis and estimated a 15-year break-even point.  Commissioner Litz assured Kolanoski that a request has been made to look at alternative energy, especially solar energy.

James Holtry, Children and Youth, presented $4,973.17 in quarterly invoices for approval.

Michael Kristovensky and Joe Lecisko presented both a $20,793 State Block grant increase and a $5,849 reduction for PDA Waivers for approval

A $140,160 DUI court PennDOT grant was approved.

Commissioners approved a $25,150 MH/MR contract change with Stauffer Consulting and $2245 for Drug and Alcohol.

John Wengert, Rails to Trails, received support for Sergeant Rautzahn and the 201st Red Horse Squadron to construct part of the trail by Fisher Park.

Commissioners ratified a letter sent to the Independent Regulatory and Review Commission requesting that the Gaming Commission not be allowed to change the gaming law.  Legislative intent, the public good, and the law are all reasons to award Lebanon County gaming funds to augment services supported by Lebanon County.

Commissioners approved filling three part-time and one full-time position(s) in Renova Center and a case management specialist for Drug and Alcohol.

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)- 11AM

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The transportation Improvement Program (TIP) was reviewed by Jon Fitzkee

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An amendment to the Lebanon Rail Trail Project list added a Wetlands Bank.

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Federal Earmarks were reviewed by Tom Kotay

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Tom Kotay also reviewed a Regional Traffic Impact Study (TIS) for South Annville Township Sewer Partners.

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The next MPO meeting is on December 18.

October 23, 2008

During public comment, Stan Alekna and Tom Sheridan requested that a new coordinator be named and gypsy moth be administered by a department other than the Conservation District.  Because the program is already approved for 2009, at this time, Commissioners were unwilling to move on the request.  Further, Commissioners are focused on the 2009 budget.

Abigail Jarboe also presented a personal matter.

To raise awareness and help prevent young from drinking alcohol, Susan Klarsch, Claire Lundberg, Robert Count, Jan Giessinger, and Daniel Shultz received a proclamation for Red Ribbon Week.  Students will also help to place warning stickers on 10,000 cases of beer.  The stickers will remind purchasers that it is illegal to sell or provide alcohol to minors.

Carrie Boyer received an endorsement for the Women’s Commission to show Ironed Jawed Angels at the Allen Theater this Sunday at 12:30PM.  The film highlights how women won the Right to Vote.  Cost is $3 for adults and $1 for students with ID.  Proceeds will be used to sponsor Girl Power, a program to give girls a boost of self confidence by teaching them hands on skills like welding, electrical wiring,….  This event is held at the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center.

Reflecting zero percent increase in all but two contracts, James Holtry presented 37 contracts for Children and Youth.

Nick Yingst, Lebanon County Voter Registrar, presented two Help America Vote Act grant reports.  Zero dollars were spent.

As the Board of Assessment Appeals, Commissioners heard the Assessment team of Dan Seaman and Karl Stump before ruling on the following properties:

  1. Winters Trading Group on N 9th St., from $79,700 to 29,000
  2. Donald Lesher on West Cumberland St., from $111,200 to $89,300
  3. Donald Lesher on N 25th St., 105,800 to $96,800
  4. Donald Lesher on N 25th St., 151,800 to $128,900
  5. Donald Lesher on N 25th St., 223,000 to $192,900
  6. Chatham Creek in North Londonderry Township, $123,500 to $236,000
  7. Church Reserve on the south side of Horseshoe Pike, no change

Decisions reflect three possible outcomes of an assessment appeal, a reduction, no change, or rise in a property’s assessed value.  The Lesher properties are depreciating, and comparable properties are being sold for amounts less than Lesher’s previously assessed value.  Chatham Creek is a new development where parcels are selling for almost double their previously assessed value.

Phyllis Holtry presented a $200,427 Work Ready Revised Budget for approval and signatures.  Also a $132,921 CSBG contract needed signatures.

Dennis Firestone presented MH/MR Roof Bids:

Spotts Brothers, Schuylkill Haven

$105,600

TGW Corporation, Pine Grove

$79,190 (Winning Bid)

Banes Roofing, Telford

$119,378

Doug Lamb Construction, Elizabethtown

$99,900

Shea Roofing, Mountville

$84,134

Richard Sensenig, Ephrata

$92,930

October 15, 2008

Cedar Haven:  96% occupancy (Previously a 90% occupancy rate was required to receive Medical Assistance reimbursement.  Currently we cannot fall below 80% occupancy.)

Census:  311:  231 females and 81 males

UMR paid their quarterly visit.  No major infractions were found.

Governor Rendell signed a bill into law concerning mandatory overtime for nurses.  Bad weather does not require mandatory overtime.

New infection control regulations will be put into effect in April.  Rather than call families, a requirement for written notification must be established.  A grant from the Department of Health is available to offset costs.

On October 22, flu vaccine will be administered at the Court House.

Relocation of sprinkler heads at Renova should occur by Friday.

Commissioners discussed writing a letter to IRRC rebutting the Gaming Board’s recent comments that would result in Lebanon County not receiving ‘gaming funds.'

Prison Board:  John Hargraves visited from the PA Prison Society.

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487 inmates:  421 male and 66 female

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128 unsentenced inmates

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99 on work release

            Because employers are cutting back on their hiring during the economic downturn, so that Stuckey could place more inmates, minimum hours of required work were cut from 32 to 24 hours.

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20 state sentenced inmates

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206 Parole/probation violators

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11 sentenced by District Judges

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26 sentenced by Count of Common Pleas

October 16, 2008

Regular Meeting

Charles Allwein, representing the deer management committee and board at Clarence Schock Memorial Park at Governor Dick, requested that the Commissioners allow the Governor Dick board to go back to the judge to expand options for deer management from the labor intensive four-day hunt during the first week of the regular November season with muzzleloaders, bows and shot guns to include an option of an archery hunt during the second season from December 26 to January 10.  Only antlerless deer could be harvested.  No trophy hunts would be allowed.  Authorities predict a harvest of ten to twelve deer, which would make a big difference in reducing the number of seedlings eaten by deer.  The park would not be closed to the public, but hunters would have to stay a minimum of 100’ from all trails.  The board is in year four of a five year court order to allow hunting to reestablish tree growth.  The board would seek a ten year to indefinite management program.

Added to the loss of seedlings from deer, gypsy moth ate and killed approximately 100 oak trees this past year.  Because sun light could reach the ground, some regeneration is occurring in the oak stands.  Too many deer could reverse this growth.

Martin Barundick spoke against the hunt stating that he doesn’t believe in killing deer, but would rather have the muzzleloader, bow and shotgun season than an archery only season.  Martin preferred to allow natural predators to  control the herd.  He thought that bob cats, bear, coyote...would move into Governor Dick as development occurred.  Commissioner Litz questioned if these predators would pose a threat to hikers in the park.  A population of predators may bring a request for different kinds of hunts.

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In 2005, a deer density study counted 20 deer per square mile.  55 deer were harvested.

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In 2006, a deer density study counted 12 deer per square mile.  16 deer were harvested.

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In 2007, a deer density study counted 18.3 deer per square mile.  No hunt took place.

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In 2008, a deer density study counted 9.93 deer per square mile.  The board felt that a hunt with guns may not be necessary, but the archery hunt would yield the desired number of deer to allow regeneration.

Commissioners Carpenter and Stohler voted not to allow the archery hunt request to go to the courts.  Participating by phone from Harrisburg prior to a statewide Farmland Preservation board meeting, Commissioner Litz voted yes to allow an archery hunt.

Kevin Schrum, Lebanon County Mental Health/Mental Retardation, presented numerous contracts and a  proclamation for approval.

Dennis Firestone, Lebanon County Purchasing, opened bids for a MH/MR Building Roof.

G. Michael McDavid, Regional Director of Penn State Cooperative Extension and Outreach, made a visit.

At a cost of $25,438, for Child Support Enforcement, Jennifer A Wentzel was hired to replace retiring attorney Joe Hill Jr.

Commissioners Carpenter and Stohler voted to suspend all conference/seminar requests until the end of the year.

Kevin Schrum and Melissa Herr presented Contract Amendments for MH/MR.

Commissioners passed proclamations honoring:

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Lebanon Family Health Services for 35 years of service;

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Edith Krohn for more than 40 years of service to MH/MR; and

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St. Luke's Parish on their 150th year of worship services at 6th and Chestnut Streets.

October 9, 2008

Abigail Jarboe received a written response to a previous question concerning a young man who is housed in a CCR facility.  Jarboe has been assisting him in addressing difficult issues in his life.

Also, Jarboe requested information about mail she sends to another young man.

Due to a significant increase in registrations and absentee ballots, Commissioners authorized extra hours for clerical staff in the Voter Registration office from October 6 through November 7, 2008.  Staff will be paid straight time up to forty hours per week and time and one half over forty hours.

Stephanie Harmon presented invitations to Lebanon County Conservation District’s annual Watershed Forum held this Saturday, October 25, 2008 at Quentin UCC on the corner of Routes 72 and 419 from 9AM to noon.  Admission is free.  Breakfast is included.  Educational materials will be available.  Networking with other watershed groups will also take place.

As the Board of Elections, Commissioners Stohler and Litz voted to move the South Annville Polling place, with 1,825 registered voters, to Zion Evangelical Congregational Church on Route 934.  Director of Elections Nicholas Yingst, Pat Stephens, and Reverend Bryan Deaver, all South Annville Township residents, were present and in favor of the move.

Preferring to keep the polling place at South Annville Township building, Commissioner Carpenter voted nay.    South Annville residents Patricia Braden and Kathy Horst, and Cleona resident Margaret Firoozmand were present to oppose the move.  A letter from Chief Sutcliffe and a fax from South Annville Supervisors also opposed the move.

In this presidential election year, an 80% voter turnout is expected.  Timing and procedure for the move is in accordance with rules and regulations established by the State of PA.  Vehicles and speed limits on highways in front of both facilities approach 55mph.

Points made in favor of moving to Zion ECC include:

bulletThe church has a covered entrance without a ramp for drop-off in bad weather and for handicap accessibility.
bulletA pedestrian crossing 322 in Fontana does not have any protection.  Occupants of cars have seat belts and air bags.
bulletAt Zion, a lighted parking lot hosts in excess of 50 parking spaces.  The Township building hosts around 17 parking spaces with overflow parking across Route 322 behind the Fontana Church.  Overflow parking causes voters to walk to the Township building along a busy highway with speeding vehicles, sometimes in the dark.
bulletEntrance to a day care at the site is approximately 80’ east of the polling place entrance.  Adults supervise the children at all times, and accompany them to the playground.  Further, the church is willing to provide additional accommodations as requested by the day care. 
bulletA judge of elections oversees the polling area.  Two other schools, Southeast and Southwest Elementary, host polling places.  So do eight other churches.  Also, constables are elected to keep the peace.  Vacancies can be filled by deputizing a constable for the day.
bulletPedestrian Safety:
bulletNo one has to walk along and cross a busy unlit highway to vote.
bulletPedestrians will not have to walk between a concrete chute in the path of traffic for approximately 25 paces.
bulletPedestrians will not encounter a hill blocking line of sight for traffic traveling west up to 55mph.  These vehicles approach pedestrians from behind.  So, pedestrians have little, if any, time to react should a vehicle veer off of the road.
bulletDrivers of vehicles are not used to encountering pedestrians in this area.
bulletOn Route 934, traffic count is 6300 vehicles per day.  Traffic count on Route 322 is 15,000 vehicles/day.

  

 Points made in favor of staying at South Annville Township Building include:

bulletAccording to Chief Sutcliffe, since 2002, 8 auto accidents occurred at the intersection of Louser Road and Route 934, one resulting in a double fatality.
bulletThe Township building has a ramp, which makes it handicap accessible.
bulletSimilar to downtown Annville, Supervisors would place temporary blinking lights across the road.
bulletCommissioner Carpenter said that, "Dead is dead whether you're in a car or a pedestrian."

South Annville residents will be notified in writing by the Voter Registration Office.  A poster will be placed at the Township building.  There will no doubt be media coverage of the change, and electronic notices such as this one and on the County web site will be posted to the Internet.

Per a request from the Community Action Partnership, Commissioners approved a $325,000 contract with Philhaven for Crisis Intervention. 

October 15 Bond and Loan payments were approved:

  1. $970,323.75 from the general fund to the 2003 general obligation bond fund at Fulton Bank;
  2. $521,434.48 from the general fund to the 2004 general obligation bond fund at Fulton Bank;
  3. $290,760.82 from the general fund to the 2006 loan fund at Wachovia;
  4.  $25,787.43 from the general fund to Jonestown Bank for the 2007 loan payment.

October 2, 2008

James Holtry presented budget adjustments reflecting an increase of $2493 and $35773 and a $53045 special funding request for Children and Youth.  90% is reimbursed for Multi Systemic Therapy provided to youth who do not have a Mental Health diagnosis and need In-home services.  Deputy Secretary Gold considers this service evidence and research based.

As the Board of Elections, commissioners approved the ballot layout for the November General Election and approved advertising of a new polling location for South Annville where 1,825 registered voters will cast ballots at Zion Evangelical Congregational Church on Route 934.  The church is handicap accessible with adequate lighted parking on a paved lot. Here is a sample ballot of the 101st District.  The only difference with the sample ballot in the 102nd District would be that Rose Marie Swanger is on the ballot for the PA House of Representatives.

October 1, 2008, commissioners met in executive session to discuss litigation.
At a cost of $175/hour for partners, $150 for associates; and $75 for para legals, plus filing fees, expert witness fees, and postage, Commissioners also hired the law firm of Thomas, Thomas, and Hafer to represent them in filing a mandamus action requesting Prothonotary Lisa Arnold to do her duties.   Commissioners distributed a July 10, 2008 letter signed by all three commissioners, four judges, sheriff, district attorney, and president of the bar association requesting that all work be brought current.  The Prothonotary is elected by voters and is not under the supervision of the commissioners or courts.   "...Documentation has been compiled based upon complaints from citizens, attorneys, and personal observation.  In general terms..."

  1. Documents are not timely docketed and/or placed in the correct file;
  2. Documents are routinely lost, misfiled or misplaced;
  3. Files are not promptly provided to judges upon request;
  4. Drivers' license suspension information is not promptly forwarded to the PA Department of Transportation;
  5. Sentencing information and juvenile adjudications are not promptly docketed;
  6. Bail money paid to the Clerk of Courts Office is not properly disbursed;
  7. Court Orders are not correctly conformed, sometimes resulting in directives that are contradictory to the intent of the judge; and
  8. Notices and/or Court Orders are not promptly forwarded to parties who are affected by the Order....


We estimate that the failures of your office have cost the taxpayers of Lebanon County tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. More importantly, people's lives have been adversely affected....  We respect the fact that you are an elected official.  However, we can no longer tolerate the financial and human costs caused by the failures of your office...."

Pam Tricamo requested and received $108,000 from Act 137 funds to purchase 2.38 acres of land in North Lebanon Township for the purpose of building at least 10 single family homes.

September 25, 2008

Commissioners issued two proclamations, one to:

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Earl Herman, a retiring custodian, and one to

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Gus Deraco’s Sandwich Shop, celebrating 30 years of business in the community

Opening their doors in 1978, on September 19, 2008, Gus Deraco’s Italian Sandwiches celebrated their 30th year in business at their 27 South 8th Street location.  At the age of 84, Gus passed away (10/06), but his daughter, Sandy Wentzel and grand daughter, Jenn McCurdy, continue to operate the sandwich shop.  Sandy’s brother, Anthony Deraco, is a partner.  Sandy says that cheese steaks and Italian sandwiches are their hottest selling items.

To stand out from other sandwich makers, the mother-daughter duo fondly recall Gus dropping the “ie” from hoagie and changing it to a “y.”  Gus started with three Hoagy lunch wagons that visited local factories.  Next, he operated satellite offices at Coleman’s Park and Annville-Cleona pools.  He also expanded into the wholesale business by assembling sandwiches next to his home on Klein Avenue in South Lebanon.  He delivered the sandwiches to local grocery stores and gas stations, then decided he needed a more permanent base for his business.  That’s when he opened the sandwich shop on South 8th street in the City of Lebanon.

Gus also gave back to the community by founding the Boro Rams and Lebanon Rams, which are semi-pro football teams.  Later, he served as a twilight baseball league officer, and founded the Lebanon Valley Sports Hall of Fame.

Today, you can eat in, take out (274-3749), and/or do fund raisers, with coupons if you wish.  Hours of operation are from 8AM through 3PM Monday and Tuesday; 8AM through 5PM Wednesday through Friday; and 8AM through 1PM on Saturday.

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At 17% of the allocation, Commissioners also approved an administrative contract with the Housing Authority who oversees a $450,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

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Commissioners then met in executive session.

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Salaries for row officers will be set at a public meeting on November 17 at 6:45PM.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cedar Haven

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Census - 342:   81 males and 231 females

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97.6% occupancy

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Dr. Haggart, the new medical director, needs a certificate or license to draw whole glucose blood and occult blood.  Because he has Jonestown and Fredericksburg locations, a waiver is needed to operate more than two facilities.

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Myerstown Water Authority took a property through eminent domain to protect a well head, and wanted exoneration for 2008 taxes.  No action was taken at this time.

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Jonestown Borough terminated their office agreement.

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Commissioners issued a proclamation for Tom Gerhart, CLA Business Person of the year.

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Commissioners discussed a request from Habitat for Humanity for $108,000.  A tentative donation of $54,000 was discussed, but Commissioners wanted to hear a presentation before voting on a donation for low income housing.  Therefore, they kept the door open for a larger donation of Act 157 funds.

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Bob Mettley stated that the audit contract is expiring, and wanted to rebid the contract.  Because there is an option to extend the contract, Mettley will request updated rates before commissioners decide on whether or not to rebid for audit services.

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Daniel Kauffman presented an EMA request for a backup office.  He was asked to put together some numbers for a future presentation.

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Charlie Rush, Community Homes of Lebanon Valley, requested a letter of support for a Life Program.  Without more information, Administrator Schlegel was unable to recommend a letter of support, and stated that he couldn't guarantee beds for a Life program.  He would give priority to veterans, but previously turned down the VA Hospital for a similar arrangement.  He also stated that the County can't negotiate a rate lower than Medicaid.

Prison Board

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Census - 512:  448 males and 64 females

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Unsentenced inmates 147

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Work release inmates 104

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State sentenced inmates 22

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Parole violators 229

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Sentenced by County of Common Pleas 47

 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Gary Robson, Lebanon County Human Resources, presented personnel requests.  Notable is  Walter Ford Rau’s retirement after forty years of service.  Currently Ford serves as 1st Deputy in the Controller’s offce.

M. Lee Meyer, Dean Fernsler and Jon Fitzkee, Lebanon County Planning, as well as Earl Buffenmeyer, Shelly Wiles, Larry Bowman, Dr. Robert Barr, and Dennis Grumbine, presented a 2013 Bicentennial Celebration outline.  Commissioners voted to form a 15-member Bi-centennial committee and direct the solicitor to research creation of an appropriate Historic Preservation Fund and the entity to administer it.

Nicholas Yingst, Lebanon County Voter Registration, requested a resolution on Electioneering.  Draft 4 was adopted.  The Lebanon County Board of Elections, consisting of Commissioners Carpenter, Stohler, and Litz,  hereby determine:

  1. That the wearing of political or candidate buttons, tee shirts, hats, etc. are not to be interpreted as “electioneering” and such items (not limited to those listed above) are permitted to be worn in the polling place if the elector is in the process of exercising his or her right to vote.
  2. That political or candidate items are not permitted to be worn in the polling place by election officials, poll workers, or poll watchers.
  3. That voicing an opinion in favor of or against any party, candidate, or ballot question, or voicing an opinion that could be interpreted as such, or distributing literature, in that it might influence the outcome of another elector’s vote, is prohibited within the polling place.
  4. This regulation shall remain in effect until rescinded or modified by the Lebanon County Board of Elections.

Pam Tricamo, Director of Habitat for Humanity, requested $108,000 from Act 137 funds to help purchase 2.38 acres of land in North Lebanon Township to provide ten single family affordable homes in our community.  Habitat raised money needed for materials, but needs help with the land.  The million dollar project is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.  Commissioners wanted to talk individually with Pam to decide whether to fund the entire amount, 50%, or a combination of a donation and loan.  Habitat last received funding of $40,000 in 2006.

Commissioners passed a proclamation honoring the 75th Anniversary of the Community Concert.

Commissioners also voted to approve an intergovernmental transfer.

Commissioners met with Judges Tylwalk, Charles, and Kline in an Executive Session on personnel.

September 11, 2008
Stan Aleckna and Tom Sheridan requested that the Gypsy Moth program be continued next year and administration moved from the Conservation District.

Charles Blankenship invited Commissioners to an Economic Summit on November 12.  The Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation would like to more aggressively pursue high impact economic and real estate projects that complement the Comprehensive Plan.  Further, LVEDC was designated as the County's official economic development agency, which qualifies them for $44,330 from PADCED.

Michael Kristovensky and Joe Lescisko presented a balanced budget of  $3,443,276 for the Area Agency on Aging.  To help contain future costs, a board consisting of representatives from each Senior Center will meet to discuss services.  

John Leahy and Cecilia Putt presented a $37,158 Sobriety Checkpoint grant for approval.  Driving Under the Influence enforcement appears to have reduced the number of alcohol related deaths.

Nick Yingst, Voter Registrar, presented an Official Absentee Ballot layout for approval.  On a related note, Nick provided letters from the ACLU and League of Women Voters, which ask the Department of State to uniformly allow voters to wear shirts, buttons,,,that promote a candidate, providing they do not physically electioneer by handing out literature or verbally asking for a candidate's vote.   Both free speech and a person's right to vote are at issue.  In some counties, large shirts are provided to cover up campaign statements.  Commissioners will vote on this issue at next week's meeting.  (No poll worker is permitted to wear campaign-related paraphernalia.)
 

September 4, 2008

Gary Robson presented personnel requests.  In order to transition and enter delinquent collections, Judge Eby requested and received support of overtime in Adult Probation.  However, commissioner’s denied an overtime request for the Prothonotary’s office to scan dockets.

Also, Commissioners amended the County’s “No Smoking” policy to prohibit smoking in all County owned or leased building’s facilities, and public entrances, effective September 11, 2008, which complies with SB 246, the Clean Indoor Air Act, signed by Governor Rendell on June 13, 2008.

Sue Klarsch, Kevin Schrum, James Holtry, and William Sullivan presented an Integrated Children Service Plan for approval.

In order to use carry-over funds for LCCDAA start up costs, David Arnold. Sue Klarsh, and Sally Barry presented a $119,240 DUI Court Budget Modification.

Earl Meyer and Tom Kotay presented Transportation Enhancement Project Updates.  John B. Wengert also attended.  A $455,698.20 contract was awarded to Kinsley Construction for the Wilhelm Avenue bike/pedestrian bridge.  Rogele will receive a $705,843 contract for Phases 1 and 4 of the Rail Trail.

Commissioners also received an update on the Northern Rail Trail.  It appears that the Water Authority is the largest public land owner along the rail bed. 50 out of 110 property owners have responded to a survey, and a public meeting will take place on October 15, 7PM, at the North Lebanon Township Building.

Dan Kauffman and Brian Burke presented a Hazard Mitigation Plan for adoption.  Cleona will take a vote on whether they want to adopt the plan, then the plan will go to PEMA, FEMA, and finally, back to other Lebanon County municipalities for consideration and potential approval.

August 28, 2008

Commission Litz was on vacation.

Commissioners issued a proclamation recognizing Carl and Abigail Jarboe’s 40th Wedding Anniversary.

Sue Klarsch presented 4th Quarter Drug and Alcohol Expenditure Reports totaling $1,156,891.

Nick Yingst requested approval of a HAVA (Help America Vote Act) grant agreement, which provides interest of $96,637.65.

Commissioners approved a $519,160 DCED Block Grant for the Lebanon County Redevelopment Authority.

Effective August 29, District Judge Kim Wolfe’s office will move to 1730 N State Route 72, Lebanon.

At 1:30PM, Commissioners sat as the Board of Assessment Appeals.

August 20, 2008

Cedar Haven:  314 residents of which 233 are female and 81 are male.

At a cost of $40,000, sewage problems were corrected.

The Department of Health completed their inspection with only two “D” comments, which are being addressed.

Similarly, a Life Safety inspection netted two deficiencies, which are being addressed.

Dan Kauffman presented an extended warranty proposal with M/A Com.

Prison Board:  540 inmates of which 466 are male and 74 are female.

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161 unsentenced inmates

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84 inmates are on work release.  Stuckey noted that an equal number of inmates qualify for work release, but are looking for and unable to find jobs.

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35 state-sentenced inmates

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233 parole/probation violators

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43 Sentenced by court of common pleas

August 21, 2008

Regular Meeting

Gary Robson presented Conference and Seminar Requests.  While all requests were approved, Commissioner Carpenter voted against a grant writing and counter-drug workshop for Robert Count at Fort Indiantown Gap.  There was no cost for the 40 credit classes.  Mr. Count also applied for two mandatory training sessions.

Tammy Hartman-Hankins-Lebanon District Attorney’s office submitted $62,030 in RASA (Rights and Services Act) & $31,677 in VOJO (Victims of Juvenile Offenders) Grants.  Both programs are for a two year period, and are 100% State funded.

Phyllis Holtry presented nominations for a Community Action Partnership advisory board:  Richard Fields, Commissioner Stohler, Representative Swanger, Beth Eldridge, Denise Becker, Evelyn Lane, Nori Fisher, Ashley Gonzalez, Joe Kristobak, Kevin Schrum, Pastor Chrystal Smith, Ben Sutcliff, and Mimi Keller.

Phyllis and Sandy Long also presented a comparison of services for 06-07 and 07-08.

Program

06-07

07-08

GED

13%

15%

MATP Consumer Trips

25,538

32,132

MATP Unduplicated customers

640

888

Homeless assistance Unduplicated families

95 rental assistance

125 rental assistance

 

470 unduplicated

551 unduplicated

Emergency shelters

 

1427

A

rchie Battistelli—Stifel Nicolaus—2nd quarter performance report.  The retirement fund is down from $93,061,625.15 to $88,917,693.86.  Joe Batapaglia blamed the national housing market, which he said will take years to correct through lower prices on existing housing and halting new construction.  He commended our local banks for their diligence in administering sound loans.  “Local banks are now the only game in town.”  Large banks will restructure, raise capital, cut dividends, and cut head counts.  There are $12 trillion in mortgages in the United States. 

Commissioner Stohler moved to appoint Larry A Bowman, Ron Fouche, Mike Walsh, and Randy Hoffman to the Regional Action Plan Steering Committee.  The motion carried with Stohler and Carpenter voting aye, and preferring to have some diversity in the appointments, Commissioner Litz voting nay.

Commissioners then met in executive Session for personnel matters.

August 14, 2008

Stan Alcekna and Tom Sheridan addressed commissioners concerning gypsy moth.

For Children and Youth and Juvenile Probation, Jim Holtry, Bill Sullivan, and Karen Alonzo presented a $7,893,182 Implementation Plan reflecting a $23,426 increase in the county share.  Overall, the county share will go from $1,897,005 to $1,830,431.  They also submitted an increase of $47,053, 2%, for a Needs Based Plan and Budget.  This program was $1,830,431, and will go to $1,877,484.  Combined, the overall budget is $8,041,327.

Phyllis Holtry, Community Action Partnership, presented a $239,950 Human Services Development Fund (the same as last year) and a $202,661 Homeless Assistance Program grant through the Department of Public Welfare.  Again, funding is the same as the previous year.  Further, Commissioners signed an Assurance of Compliance for the $493,427 Medical Assistance Transportation Program.  Next week, commissioners will appoint a board for CAP.

Pat Brewer Carpentry received approval for a $670 change order to alter a fire door in conjunction with the Cedar Haven sprinkler system.

Commissioners approved an intergovernmental transfer of $6.1 million, which is one-half of last year’s tax and revenue anticipation note.  Accommodation of the transfer will net the County $15,000.  The federal government is phasing out this program.

Commissioners accepted $206,293 in grant-in-aid for Juvenile Probation.

August 7, 2008

Treasurer Neuin received permission for her staff to work up to 40 hour weeks through September 12, 2008 to process antlerless deer licenses.

Administrator Wolgemuth presented a December 13, 2007 $100,000 DCNR Comprehensive Planning grant for closure.

Commissioners approved a $1,796 Management Information System agreement with the County Commissioners Association of PA for web hosting.

Commissioners also signed an Emergency Management Performance Grant for Dan Kauffman, Mindy Miller, and Frank Hemler’s salaries.

July 31, 2008

Commissioners met at the Lebanon Area Fair and EXPO grounds.  Harry Bachman introduced Katie Eisenhower as the 2008 Fair Queen.

Gary Robson and Melissa Light presented position requests, personnel transactions and conference/seminar requests.  The Courts requested authorization for Domestic Relations staff to work an additional five hours weekly to complete the imaging of licensed dockets and working files and to perform up-front file docketing imaging for active cases.  Completion of the project is anticipated by the end of 2008.  Salaries are 2/3 reimbursable by the State.

Kevin Schrum, Melissa Herr and Shem Heller presented  MH/MR contract amendments.  There is no increase in County funding.  To the original $134,670 contract, $69,645 was added for consumer needs.

Sally Barry presented Lebanon County Adult Probation Grant-in-Aid financial statements and funding agreements.  Over 35 years, the investigations netted $1.7 million.

William Sullivan, Juvenile Probation, stated that his funding is the same as last year, $209,192.

Earl Meyer, County Planning, requested four (two from business and two from the community at large) Lebanon County appointments to serve on a 32-member, eight county, Regional Action Plan advisory board that will meet twice.  By August 15, interested parties must notify Earl Meyer for consideration by the Commissioners.  Eight counties embarked on a regional study of common projects for recreation, water, economic development, transportation….  A $92,000 grant will fund Avant and Gannet Flemming to perform fact finding and analysis. 

Administrator Wolgemuth presented Community Action Plan grants for approval:

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Emergency Shelter with Domestic Violence Intervention—a pass-through of $175,000 for renovations

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Renewal with Housing and Urban Development for three Transitional Housing units--$52,468

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Bureau of Employment and Training--$170,427

Acceptance of a $13,500 DCNR grant amendment to the Comprehensive Plan grant for the Susquehanna Center for Land and Water.

Gypsy Moth presentations were heard from the Conservation District—Chuck Wertz, manager, said that, “Government cannot do the best job” administering this program.  However, Wertz stated that if the Commissioners followed the District's recommendation to drop the gypsy moth program, the Conservation District would continue to educate the public on how to handle gypsy moths on their web site and in three public meetings throughout the County.  In addition, Board members Donald Bollinger, Bob Arnold, and Calvin Miller spoke to the issue.  Also in attendance were board members Connie Hoffer, chair; Gail Smith; Harold Kreider; Tisha Walmer; and Sue Ellen Bowman.  Commissioner Litz serves as vice-chair on the board. 

Dan Kreider also addressed the commissioners pointing out that this is a private property issue.  Farmers do not get paid to spray bugs that destroy their crops.

Next, State representatives Scott Stitzer and Tim Marasco, Chief of Field Operations, were given an opportunity to answer questions and make statements.  Clarification on issues raised at last week's meetings were addressed first:

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A July 15 deadline for the County to sign up for spraying has elapsed, but by their presence at today’s meeting, Lebanon County is on the State’s radar.  Action today would allow for spraying.

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In 2008, BT was sprayed on 86 acres in Mt. Gretna. (The spray was not effective, and a second spraying occurred.  PS. With 2,680 acres sprayed, the program's largest participant in 2008, residents of Union Township, also expressed displeasure with the effectiveness of the spraying.)  Other areas on the 2008 spray program included:  Bethel, 539 acres; East Hanover, 646 acres; Heidelberg, 479 acres; South Annville, 1071 acres; South Lebanon, 223 acres; South Londonderry, 1200 acres; and Swatara 104 acres.

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Burlap to collect caterpillars is practical on lots with a few oak trees, but entire forests would be difficult to “band.”

Residents of Spring Hill Acres and Iron Valley, (West Cornwall Township where 963 acres were sprayed in 2008), and Cornwall Borough (0 acres sprayed) presented their request for spraying in 2009.  In addition to Stan Aleckna and Tom Sheridan, Irene Van Tassel showed pictures of moths, egg sacs, and defoliation on her property; described the munching sound made by caterpillars eating; and shared how the manure from the caterpillars must be cleared from walks prior to rains), She also said that the gypsy moth caterpillars are on her newly planted Hemlocks, the state tree.  Paul Vranesic and Andrew Curtis (who pointed out that federal dollars are in this mix) made statements supporting spraying.  Tom Sheridan asked, “What is the definition of success?”  He went on to answer his own question, “The goal is to protect trees from severe defoliation, not eliminate every bug.”

Commissioner Litz:

  1. Asked for administrative fees to be added to the cost of spraying.  Administrative costs for the Conservation District include but are not limited to mileage, computer and mailing time by numerous employees and expenses for paper, envelopes, postage, and ink; recording calls and office visits for gypsy moth egg sac documentation, field inspections by forester Leigh Beamesderfer, map creation, advertising, individual property owner notification (a new state requirement), township notification, grant applications and reports to the State, billings, education, complaints, web updates, cutting refund checks if the State reimburses additional funds….  Parcel research by the Assessment office is also needed.  Adding the spray cost of $21 per acre to ‘hidden’ professional administration by federal, state and county employees, the total cost to tax payers is high. 

  2. Read a quote from DCNR’s website, “Remember not to go overboard by planting too much of any one species on your property,” and provided a list of trees that gypsy moth do not eat:  Tulip poplar, Dogwood, White ash,  Boxwood, Cedars, Ginko, Juniper, Holly, Hackberry, Honey locust, Lilac, Mountain laurel, Mulberry, Sycamore, Spicebush, Viburnums, and Yews.  (However, these species may be susceptible to other pests.)

  3. Asked property owners if a forest management plan was in place that would both preserve a healthy forest and provide income for costs like spraying for gypsy moths. 

  4. Responded to a question about options other than spraying by referencing DCNR’s website, which states that in addition to banding with burlap, property owners can help to maintain healthy trees with irrigation, mulch, and pruning.

Commissioner Carpenter asked Earl Meyer if spraying was part of the Comprehensive Plan.  Meyer said that he is not familiar with all of the aspects of the gypsy moth program, but the Plan does support health and safety issues.

Commissioner Stohler moved to continue the gypsy moth program for 2009 and stop county financial contributions in 2010 while continuing to administer the program.  The motion carried with Stohler and Carpenter voting aye.  Believing that administration would be logistically problematic and costly, Litz voted nay.

FYI, female moths are white and cannot fly.  If egg sacs are found, a female is probably nearby.  Using a spoon to scrape the egg sacs and the females into soapy detergent water overnight will both eliminate the females from laying more eggs and keep the layed eggs from hatching.  Gypsy moths that fly are brown colored males.  For added drama, a male gypsy moth flew through the meeting room.  J

July 24, 2008

Public comment was received from:

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Alexander Janeto concerning the large number of cases being heard in courtroom four. 

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Referencing York as a success story, Stan Aleckna and Tom Sheridan requested gypsy moth spraying for Spring Hill Acres.  They will be given more time on next week’s agenda.  Both the Conservation District and State will be invited to address raised issues. 

The Conservation District Board recommended against spraying for gypsy moth in 2009.

1)      It is important to remember that the State’s program is a suppression program, not an eradication program. 

2)      Only certain lands qualify for spraying, and most people who own wooded acres but have no permanent residence are upset and frustrated why they cannot be included.  The gypsy moth suppression program targets private forested residential properties, thus benefiting only the private property owners in these areas at the expense of the general taxpayer.  If a property owner has an insect problem such as Japanese Beetles, Asian Ladybug beetles, ants, tent caterpillars, etc., the property owner is responsible for the cost to treat their property, if they so choose.  If a farmer has an insect problem with his crop, the farmer is responsible to pay the price to rid his crop of that insect.  In the same light, if a forest landowner has a problem with an insect; shouldn’t they be responsible to deal with the problem at their expense?   The property owner owns the land and the trees. 

 3)      All lands which do qualify for spraying are treated with a bacteriological insecticide, Bt, which may not have the positive results sought by the property owner - -especially in areas with a building gypsy moth population or high blow-in potential.  Bt is a biological control, and is one of the most mild, environmentally-friendly insecticides used.  It is also short-lived and does not remain on the leaves/in the environment for more than one week upon spraying.  Gypsy moth eggs are hatching over a 2-3 week period.  Therefore, all of the eggs which hatch a week after spraying will not be impacted by the spray.   In addition, blow-in potential from neighboring wooded areas that were not sprayed was very high this year due to the numerous spring days with wind speeds over 8 mph.  Gypsy moth larva can travel miles on their silken strands on windy days.

 4)      The price per acre cost to participate in the 2009 spray program has increased from $17 to an estimated $21 and will only continue to increase as fuel prices increase.  With the high infestations confirmed in 2008, all of the 2008 spray blocks could qualify for spraying again in 2009 (approx. 8,500 acres).  In addition, complaints are being received from new areas.  The county could easily be spraying over 10,000 acres in 2009 at a cost of $21/acre or higher, costing the County over $200,000 for spraying, alone.

 5)      LCCD has a list of aerial applicators posted on our website as well as tips for homeowner controls.  We strive to keep the public informed and provide alternatives for controlling the pest.  The State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources maintains a private applicator spray list which can be obtained by calling the local Bureau of Forestry Office at 570-385-7800 or by visiting the State DCNR website at www.dcnr.state.pa.us .  In 2008, these aerial applicators were interested in spraying in southeast Pennsylvania: www.TallmanAerialSpraying.com - 717-921-2476, www.GypsyMothSpraying.com -RLFS Inc. 518-537-7433, Helicopter Applicators - 717-337-1370.  If interested, landowners should contact them ASAP for 2009 spraying.

6)       Gypsy moth are very susceptible to a virus, fungus, and parasites.  These naturally-occurring “predators” are helpful in controlling outbreaks.   A wet spring in 2008 could cause a gypsy moth collapse, which has occurred in many of the years since the last large outbreak in the mid 1990’s.  The ‘jury’ is still out for this year.

7)      Changes in the program are making administering the program more challenging and difficult.

8)      Objectors!  If someone does not want to be sprayed but their property is located within a spray block, no one gets sprayed in that block.  This creates a very tense situation with neighbors.

9)      Landowners in Mt. Gretna are not only reporting continued defoliation after spraying, but also a lack of other moth and butterfly populations, lightening bugs, and ladybugs. Some believe Bt could be the culprit for the downturn in non-target species though there is no proof.

10)   Lack of some township/municipal financial support of the program will put the county at risk of overextending their budget.

11)   DCNR now requires that ALL landowners within spray blocks must be notified (a Public Notice is no longer sufficient). 

12)   If we choose to pass the cost on to the property owner and give up the 50/50 cost share between the County and Townships, ONLY those who call and register a complaint will be sprayed.  And then a minimum of a 23 acre block is required.  So the one property owner who has 1-5 acres of woods must get numerous neighbors to also register complaints or pay for 23 acres instead of paying for only what he owns.  We will also have to re-educate all county residents of this new policy change.  This will not be an easy task and many residents will be left out.

Although the conservation district certainly understands the nuisance created by Gypsy Moth infestations, we feel there are other viable options for the private property owner as well as potential for natural suppression factors rather than having the county become involved in these private property issues. 

In conclusion, we encourage neighborhoods to mobilize their own control initiatives to their own satisfaction. 

                                   STATUS OF SURROUNDING COUNTIES

 

Berks – CD – E&S Tech / Entomological Suppression (West Nile & GM & E&S).  Invoices landowners & added a $3/acre admin. fee (which they are increasing to $5 in 2009 because the $3 didn’t cover their costs).  Bill landowners individually

 

Lancaster – Dropped out – no longer offers the program

 

Schuylkill – Dropped out, no longer offers the program

 

Dauphin – Participated in 2008, evaluating options.  Wants to know what we’re doing / how we’re approaching things.

  PS.  State Game Lands are usually not sprayed.

 

At the rate of 2.45%. Treasurer Neuin requested endorsement to open a new investment account at Jonestown Bank.

Kevin Schrum and Brenda Mettley received approval on the 2009-10 Mental Retardation Plan.

Troy Williams presented a request for Lebanon County Christian Ministries to be designated the lead agency for Lebanon County’s official Food Bank.  Funds will go directly to LCCM.  LCCM provides free noon meals (39,548 in 2007) and purchases commodities for distribution.  The Food Bank is considered an emergency service, not a source of ongoing support, and clients are encouraged to utilize other resources available to them.  A limit is set of twelve assists in twelve months.  LCCM plans to purchase a walk-in refrigerator.  LCCM will make their last mortgage payment in 2008.  A celebratory open house will take place on their fifth anniversary at the new facility on August 21 from 9AM-1PM.

Dr. Robert Barr presented the Star Barn project of Agrarian County to Commissioners, Planning staff, media and other people in attendance.  Dr. Barr is a commercial appraiser and former Ag instructor whose current office is in Middletown and family farm is around State College.  He purchased the 135 year-old, 65’ tall “Star Barn,” and wants to move it to Lebanon County—along Route 81 in East Hanover Township—on 300+ acres straddling Homestead Road and Route 81.  In addition to the Star Barn, he hopes to bring other barns to the site.  "Big Moves" International television coverage will film the American Timber Framer’s Guild removing then re-erecting the barn piece by piece, with oxen, draft horses, and 1800’s tools.   A chapel for weddings, an expo center, community theater, dairy museum, grist mill, two covered bridges and botanical gardens are also envisioned.  A native of Lebanon County, Mr. Reichart actually built the Star Barn.  What a presentation! 

Nick Yingst presented Help America Vote Act certification and reports for approval and signatures.

Dennis Firestone presented a recommendation to award the $168,850 lowest elevator bid to Quality Elevator.

Dan Kauffman received support for a Tower Contract with Annville Cleona School District.  The 125’ tower lease will run for 20 years with an option of two 10-year extensions.  A 12’ x 20’ shed will also be erected to support the tower.  Solicitor Snelling drafted the document.

Area Agency on Aging appointments were made:  Doug Stump, Francene Gates, Nancy Smoyer, Joel Schrank, and Adolph Montanya.

Administrator Wolgemuth met with Jim Schucker, project coordinator of a Union Canal Tunnel Growing Greener grant recommended by Lebanon County Commissioners.  DCNR requested a distinction between Historical Society and County owned land.

Commissioners accepted two grants from the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency:  $704,846 for the Renaissance Crossroads program and $75,052 for Stop Violence Against Women.

July 16, 2008

Cedar Haven

Census 312—84 males and 228 females

92% occupancy

After five weeks, the Auditor General’s office completed an audit on June 30.

With funds raised at the fair, new dining room chairs were purchased.

Because Medicare therapy caps were cut to $1830 per patient per month, therapy has been reduced from five to three days per week for each resident who needs this service.

The Department of Health is expected to arrive within two weeks for an inspection.

At the same rate, Roman Shahay presented an annual renewal for Project Able day care service.  Phoenix Services provides transportation at the rate of $13.29 per person per trip one way.

Prison Board

Census 547—482 males and 55 females

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155 Unsentenced inmates

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108 work release inmates

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51 state sentenced inmates

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51 inmates were sentenced by the Court of Common Pleas

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21 inmates are due to domestic bench warrants/sentences

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224 Parole/Probation violators

July 17, 2008

Regular Meeting

Commissioner Carpenter was absent.

Due to an increase in caseload, Jim Holtry received permission to reclassify a case worker to an intake supervisor and fill a caseworker position.

Commissioners approved a fixed allocation of $3335 in Liquid Fuels for North Cornwall Township.

Tourist Promotion Agency

A new livestock wing at the EXPO was dedicated to former Senator Brightbill who secured 50% of funding.

Assessment Appeals

100% Disabled Veterans were approved for tax exemption:  Ken Gilbert, John Pennypacker, Dan Kreiger, and Dawn Smith.

In the City, additional information was requested concerning properties scheduled for demolition in the vicinity of the new bridge over the railroad.  Are the properties occupied?  Is rent collected?

July 10, 2008

Planning Department Deputy Directors Robert Sentz and Chris Troup presented Ordinance 37—Lebanon County Subdivision and Land Development Plan Highlights include a requirement for developers to submit plans electronically in a format that matches our GIS data layers.  Trees will be required, and a park and recreational fee will be assessed on new developments.

Ken Bachem and Dennis Firestone presented a re-bid of the elevator.

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Quality Elevator, Red Lion bid $168,850

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Thyssen Krupp Elevator, York bid $214,394

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Kone, Thorofare NJ bid $279,000

Mark Wilson and John Wengert presented a Rail Trail Project Plan for Zinn’s Mill Road to 9th Street in Lebanon, and received a resolution.  The 3.5 miles of trail will bring Lebanon’s Rail Trail to a total of 15.75 miles.  The trail will be bid along with the South Lebanon Township Trail, which will be paved.  South Lebanon will handle the bids.  Trail heads with parking will stand at the EXPO, S 8th St., and the intersection of Routes 117 & 72, and included in the estimated $850,000 project.   Since it’s creation as a recreational trail in 2002, the Rail Trail has taken on significance as an alternate biking and walking trail for commuters to get to and from work.  Together, the trails will link Cedar Crest High School, South Hills Park, Lebanon High School, the Veteran’s Administration, EXPO, and Alden Place.  The City’s population density is expected to double the current usage of 1000 people weekly.  Financial sponsors joining in the success of the trail include:  Lebanon’s MPO and DCNR.  Bids will be opened on August 12; construction begun on September 15; and completion is scheduled for April 2009.

At state contract price, a sheriff’s van will be purchased from Fred Bean’s New Holland Auto Group.

Harry Hess, Nancy Miller, Kristen Royer, and Marlin Miller were appointed to the Area Agency on Aging.  Reappointments included Robert Kale and Al Murry.

July 3, 2008

Melissa Light presented personnel and training requests.  Of note, Belinda Spicer was promoted to Deputy Director of Tax Claim.  So that Belinda has backup for breaks, lunch, training, and vacations, Treasurer Sally Neuin will take over as Director of Tax Claim and cross-train her staff.

David Arnold and Warden Karnes presented a SAVIN Electronic Victim Notification Program for approval.  Full funding is available for year one, but each year after that, the funding drops by 25% until the County picks up the entire tab of $9,440 annually.  The Stohler/Carpenter vote passed with Commissioner Litz voting Naye.  Reporter Gordon Weis asked why the onus would be on the victim to register to use the service?  Indeed, victims have already been through so much.  Why would we make them jump through more hoops at a cost of almost $10,000 annually?  Currently, Victim Witness Coordinators provide personalized service to victims and prison staff calls about 16 victims daily or 6100 calls annually when prisoners are released.  Therefore, the electronic system could be considered duplication of services.  It was unknown if the State database would also be included in the proposed system.  A searchable database for public access could always be added to the County website.   

Nick Yingst presented HAVA reports requesting reimbursement of $1616.77 for previously incurred expenses for poll worker training, and requested confirmation of the Polling Place change for Bethel Township to the Fredericksburg Community Center.

A Fixed Liquid Fuels award in the amount of $21,000 was awarded to the City of Lebanon.

Commissioners approved a proclamation for the 60th anniversary of the singing Cedar Chorus/Barbershop singers.

June 26, 2008

Gary Robson presented personnel and position requests, which included hiring of Dennis Firestone to replace Ken Bachem, who is retiring effective June 30, as Purchasing Agent.  Dennis is currently the Director of Tax Claim.

Kevin Schrum, Carol Davies, Shem Heller, Brenda Mettley, and Melissa Herr presented Provider Contracts totaling $17,516,209, up 5.57% from 2007.  The County share is up $325,000 to $829,000 annually.  150 potential clients remain on the Mental Retardation waiting list.  Much of the increase is due to early intervention and more children.

Dan Seaman requested tax exemption for six disabled veterans.

Voter Registrar Nick Yingst presented:

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HAVA reports stating that all 55 polling places are handicapped accessible; a

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Poll worker compensation request to raise the per session training payment to $15, which is about average with neighboring counties; a

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Report fees increase for CDs of voters will go to $25 for the first query, and $10 for each additional query on the same CD; and a

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Polling place change for Bethel Township to the Fredericksburg Community Center.

At a cost of $40 for each of our 25 residents, Roman Shahay presented a contract agreement for ambulance service with First Aid and Safety Patrol for Renova Center residents.  Further, commissioners approved a $6.72 per hour contract with EARS for adult training of 9-10 clients.

Mike Kristovensky, Joe Lecisko and Carol Levengood presented Area Agency on Aging’s 2007-08 amended budget and the 2008-09 budget. Both budgets were tabled to look at options to reduce a $22,500 increase in the County share this year and a total $175,977.75 county share in 08-09.

Liquid Fuels were approved for East Hanover, $4717; Jonestown $945; and North Londonderry for $2910.

Commissioners voted to join East Hanover Township in sharing an $18,000 fee for Stevens and Lee to research Lebanon County’s ability to recoup gaming revenue.

June 18, 2008

Cedar Haven:

Administrator Schlegel is waiting on reports for cable TV to see whether or not existing house wiring is outdated.

Sprinkler tests will be performed on Monday.

Census stood at 309, 98% with two people scheduled for admittance.  There are 83 males and 226 female residents.  In addition, the waiting list is growing. 

A new car was purchased for $14,000 using a State Contract.

Since Dr. Lovett moved to the GSH to instruct interns, Dr. Haggart is the new medical director.

Commissioners voted to raise private pay rates for all units from $210 to $225 per day.  A resident’s bed will be reserved (if the resident so chooses) while the resident is hospitalized for a 50% discounted rate or $112.50 per day.  Additional charges exist for certain services like prescription medications, rehabilitative therapies….

Prison Board:

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Of 542 inmates, 479 are male and 63 are female.

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185 inmates are unsentenced.

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107 inmates are on work release.

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43 inmates are state sentenced.

224 inmates are parole/probation violators.

June 19, 2008

Regular Commissioner’s meeting.

Commissioner Litz attended the State Farmland Preservation board meeting in Harrisburg.

Voter Registrar Nick Yingst presented a $6152.39 HAVA-Help America Vote Act- grant amendment.  The additional funding will be used to purchase voting systems accessible for individuals with disabilities, training election officials, poll workers, and volunteers, and an information program about accessibility of polling places.

EMA Director Dan Kauffman presented a $22,946.65 Hazardous Material Response Fund Application and grant agreement.  Funds will be used to purchase radios to strengthen the communication and alerting capabilities between Hazardous Material Response Teams that provide mutual aid to Lebanon County within the South Central Task Force Region.  Most of the HMRTs operate on different radio systems that are not interoperable.

Liquid Fuels funds were awarded to the following municipalities:

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Bethel $4861

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Heidelberg $4694

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Millcreek $3695

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Myerstown $2438

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North Annville $3083

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North Lebanon $6489

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South Annville $2038

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South Lebanon $6489

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South Londonderry $3527

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Swatara $3695

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Union $3559

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West Cornwall $1363

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West Lebanon $796

Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) met following the commissioner's meeting.

June 12, 2008

Kevin Scrum and Brenda Mettley presented MHMR an administrative entity operating or business agreement with the Department of Welfare.

Susan Karsch, Carol Davies, and Melissa Herr presented Drug and Alcohol contracts and tobacco amendments for Gateway Rehabilitation Center which was approved by BDAP as well as a rate change for Mazzitti and Sullivan.

Ray Bender was reappointed to the Governor Dick board.

Braydon Fike was admitted to Renova Center.

Liquid fuels fixed allocations were awarded to:

bulletCornwall Borough for general maintenance--$3044;
bulletJackson Township for 1 ½ miles of Houtztown Road--$5112;
bulletMt. Gretna for general maintenance--$346; and
bulletRichland Borough for general maintenance--$939.

Commissioner Stohler requested that a letter be sent to our legislators to request support of budget items like DA salary, which impacts counties.

Consultant Dean Fernsler and Earl and Lee Meyer discussed Comprehensive Plan implementation of $950,000 provided by Commissioners.  Part 1 is a single page introduction of a project.  If deemed compliant with the Comprehensive Plan priorities, the County will request Part 2 of the application with details including a scope of work, list of planning partners, detailed budget, resolutions and letters of support, and land appraisals for acquisition projects.  Applications are due in September and March.  Projects must be completed within 24 months and semi-annual written reports are required to communicate progress.  Presentation of final reports will occur at Commissioner Meetings.  The County will not provide more than 50% funding for a project, and in some cases, only 10%.

Three funding categories are established to allocate these funds for 2008-2011:

  1. Planning and Acquisition/Development Assistance to Municipalities based on a formula that adds a supplemental amount proportionate to population.  Preparation and development of municipal planning documents and acquisition/development projects consistent with the County plan will receive priority.
  2. County, Public Agency, Non-Profit Agency and Multi-Municipal Initiatives emphasizing planning, acquisition and/or development projects sponsored by Lebanon County, one or more non-profits, or a multi-municipal partnership.  Public use and access projects for recreation and open space will receive priority.
  3. County Initiatives:  Agencies can advance countywide planning and project initiatives as well as fund administrative costs associated with plan implementation.

The Comprehensive Plan is now posted to the County web site:  www.lebcounty.org .  Click “Comprehensive Plan" on the left navigation bar.

A Regional Action Plan resolution passed previously, and on June 30, there will be a kickoff meeting with Gannet Fleming.  Commissioners will be asked to appoint approximately four members to a 32-member regional steering committee.

Middle Creek manager Jim Binder is interested in retaining the tundra swans—35% of the population migrates through Middle Creek—by preserving farms where the swans forage.

Matt Royer will attend a future meeting to update Commissioners on the Lower Susquehanna Center for Land and Water strategic plan.

Bob Mettley was thanked for producing documentation for DCNR grants.

Commissioners held an Executive Session with Solicitor Snelling to discuss the Rooney litigation on assessments.

June 5, 2008

Sallie Neuin shared the phone number for real estate tax and tax claim payments to be made by phone: 1-877-847-6319.  The same online fees apply—3% for credit cards or $3 for an e-check.

Jacob Feld was hired for the Ag Extension Agency to assist with mosquito inspections.

Upon the recommendation of the District Attorney, two full time Central Booking Agent positions were created from six part-time positions.  Four part-time agents remain.

Kevin Schrum, MHMR, presented the 2009-2012 Mental Health Plan for approval.  To meet new state requirements, supported housing will be expanded, but there are no bricks and mortar projects.  The Plan covers 300 children and adolescents per month and 900 adults.  The only waiting list is for child psychiatrists who are in short supply.

Kenneth Bachem reviewed bids opened at previous meetings:

  1. Commissioners accepted a bid by Kinsley Construction, York, for the Rails-to-trails pedestrian bridge at Wilhelm Avenue—with a base bid of $439,402.20, anti-graffiti coating of $7140.00, and architectural surface treatment of $9156.00.  The steel will come in five-six months.  Tom Kotay and Earl Meyer identified MPO money to help pay for the project.
  2. Commissioners rejected the Probation office parking lot expansion based on excessive cost.  Judge Eby recommends not re-bidding this project.
  3. Commissioners also rejected a bid for freight/court elevator modernization.  The bid did not meet specifications or the scope of work.  The project will be re-bid.

May 29, 2008

Through a resolution, Sally Neuin received permission to open a checking account for Capital Fund money at Fredericksburg National Bank.

On a 2 to 1 vote, Commissioners Carpenter and Litz extended the grant coordinator position for Catherine Miller using $50,000 from Judge Eby’s supervision fund.

James Holtry presented $325,381.85 placement maintenance, adoption assistance and Medicaid invoices for the third quarter.

Amy Cullan was approved for admittance to Renova Center.

Three change orders were approved for Cedar Haven sprinklers: 

bulletConcrete infill outside of the building - $1347
bulletTwo soffets 4’x4’ at the Chapel - $2028
bulletSoffets at the entrance to “H” wing $1376

Commissioners voted to send comments on Penn National/Hollywood Casino to the PA Gaming Board. At stake is $600,000+ annually, which would be divided between East Hanover Township and Lebanon County.  Some impacts from the Casino on Lebanon County include:

bulletPer Commissioner Stohler, Ono Volunteer Fire Company has the only aerial ladder fire truck nearby and is the first to respond to incidents at the facility;
bulletPer Commissioner Litz, over 600 bus trips monthly are provided by COLT who receives some operating funds from the County; the entire parcel was zoned for the facility; infrastructure cannot be separated from the Casino or it could not function i.e. septic and storm water runoff run toward Lebanon County, and roads are impacted too; and another detective was hired to combat organized crime.
bulletPer Commissioner Carpenter, if Lebanon is not recognized for distribution of funds, Lebanon County and East Hanover Township may pursue a ruling by the courts.

Commissioners met in executive session to discuss personnel issues with the District Attorney.

At 11AM, the Prison Board listened to comments by Dr. Yocum requesting an exception to our policy of weaning prisoners off of methadone when incarcerated at LCCF.  The request failed on a motion split 3-3 with Sheriff DeLeo, District Attorney Arnold, and Commissioner Stohler voting aye while Controller Mettley and Commissioners Carpenter and Litz voted nay.  (An exception to allow methadone treatment exists only for pregnant females carrying an innocent child.) 

May 21, 2008

Cedar Haven

Census 310:  228 female and 82 male (95% occupancy)

Since Medical Assistance allows residents to retain $8000 in a private account, residents feel like they can afford conveniences such as phones and cable television.  Administrator Schlegel will look into making these services available for residents at Cedar Haven. 

Sprinkler installation is going well.  A $450 change order to install two upright sprinkler heads around combustible materials and a $610 change order to place drains under the chapel were approved.

Roman Shahay, Renova Center, presented a new client for admission, which fills all 25 beds.

Shahay also reviewed “Prudent Pay,” which means the County will only receive State payments thirty days after services.

Mike Kristovensky will attend a future Cedar Haven board meeting to discuss the AAA and Senior Center volunteers roles in providing services to seniors.

Prison Board

550 inmates:  485 male and 65 female

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Unsentenced inmates 178

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On work release 109

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State sentenced inmates 39

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Parole/probation violators 208

May 22, 2008

Regular Meeting

Rick Rhoads introduced Morgan, a Miracle Child.  Commissioners and Trish Ward, on behalf of the mayor, proclaimed May 31-June 7 as Miracle Child Week in honor of the Children’s Miracle Network’s 17th year of telethons for these special children.

Brett Lentz, Conservation District, presented two farms for a Right-to-be-Heard hearing.  These farms fall under the $1500 cap.  The value over payment is a donation by the landowner, and may be used as a tax deduction.  No objections were heard to preservation of these farms.  Upon acceptance by the State, Lebanon County will have preserved 116 farms on 13,601 acres.

John Tshudy

110.04 acres

$3740/acre value

$167,564.55

North Annville

Brett, Kim, Raeu & Dorothy Eberly

141.38 acres

$2600/acre value

$217,346.76

Millcreek

Brett also reported that gypsy moth spraying is completed, and the Quittie riparian buffer grant is denied.

Ken Bachem opened Probation Office parking lot expansion bids, which will place the parking overtop of a pipe and underground storm water storage system.

Woodland, Lebanon

$87,919.39

Womex, Grantham

$252,574.50

Kinsley, York

$107,349.00

Homestead, Fredericksburg

$79,607.00

Bertolet, Wernersville

$92,837.55

Handwerk, Hummelstown

$113,510.00

Archie and Mike Battistelli, Stifel Nicholaus, and David Lantz and Jim Moorehead, Sovereign Bank, updated commissioners on the retirement fund, which closed at $92,972,000 at the end of business the previous day.

James Holtry, Children and Youth, received approval for an $8.75 per hour summer worker contract for our group homes.

Phyllis Holtry, Community Action Partnership, received approval for a $132,921 Community Services Block Grant amendment to extend contracts by six months and move the program to a calendar year.  CAP provides training, child care, and will add GED testing services.

Daniel Kaufman, EMA, presented a $13,920 Act 147 grant application for approval.  Because we are in the TMI ‘planning range’, the money comes to Lebanon County and will be used to purchase 76 Alpha Numeric pagers for every County school building and large daycare centers within the Emergency Planning Zone.

Administrator Wolgemuth presented Heidi Lesher for appointment as the under 25 representative to the Drug and Alcohol Commission.  Heidi replaces Josh Porter.  Commissioners also re-appointed Barb Heckard to the Commission.

Sally Barry, Adult Probation, and Catharine Miller presented a request to extend the Criminal Justice Advisory Board grant by six months.  The original $41,925 grant required a 10% county match.  Future State funding requires a CJAB and a strategic plan.  Further, commissioners signed a $1500 contract with the Davison Group to conduct a strategic-planning retreat.

Commissioner Stohler moved to eliminate the CJAB planner/grant coordinator.  Motion failed 2 to 1—Stohler voting yea, Carpenter/Litz voting nay.  Among other duties, the planner/grant coordinator has coordinated ratification of Bylaws, organized bi-monthly meetings, met with other CJABs, and is arranging for the strategic planning retreat.  After the current grant monies are expended, the position is expected to write grants that cover the salary for the position.  To do so at this time would be double dipping.  With the extension of this grant, a four-month period/gap in funding the position will exist.  Commissioner Litz asked for time to look for funding for this time gap.  For example, the coordinator will seek approval to move 10% of funds from other grant categories like food and printing to the salary category. 

A motion to extend the CJAB grant passed unanimously.

May 15, 2008

A motion passed 2 to 1 to table approval of the minutes subject to revision.  Carpenter and Litz thought the summary of a presentation was inaccurate. 

Sallie Neuin presented the Treasurer’s report. 

Sallie also informed commissioners that the PA Department of Agriculture will be canvassing Lebanon County to inspect dogs for licenses between May 19 and 28.  Any dog three months or older must be licensed.  The fee is $6 for each spayed or neutered dog and $8 for other dogs.  Senior citizens and persons with disabilities may purchase a license for $4 for spayed or neutered dogs and $6 for other dogs.  Violations will be cited a maximum fine of $300 per violation plus court costs.  Further, rabies vaccinations are required for all dogs and any cat (that enters a human dwelling) over three months of age.  Again, the maximum fine per violation is $300

All dogs must be under control and are not permitted to run-at-large.  Complaints may be reported to Kristen Reed, State Dog Law Enforcement officer at 717-766-8247 Purchase licenses at the following locations:

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Lebanon:  Courthouse, Cobles Bait Shop

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Myerstown Dutch Country Hardware, Humane Society

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Annville:  Fox Breeze Kennel

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Jonestown:  Lickdale General Store

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Palmyra:  Little Paws Dog Shop, Pet Headquarters

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Richland:  Richland Shooters

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Fredericksburg:  Speedway Mart

On another note, for convenience, Neuin said residents can now pay their property taxes on line.  Because there is either a 3% fee to charge the amount or a $3 ECheck fee, the word convenience is emphasized. 

Under personnel transactions, Gary Robson presented the name of Benjamin Herskowitz to be promoted from Planning Officer to HazMat Chief in EMA Brian Burke was hired to replace Herskowitz as a Planning Officer.  For thirteen years, Burke worked for the County ten years ago.

John Leahy, Chief Detective, received permission to apply for a $3,097 DARE grant for Northern Lebanon High School.  This is the 15th year that 200 5th graders will receive drug awareness training.  Northern Lebanon does not have a police force.

Charles Blankenship presented a request for a tax exempt Industrial Revenue Board Resolution to accommodate a $4 million loan through the Jackson IDA to purchase 12 acres of land and construct a new facility for Everlast Roofing in the Lebanon Valley Business Park.  They outgrew their present location.

Dan Seaman presented three non-taxable veterans to the Board of Assessment Appeals:  Ron Shermer, William Santos, and Mark Ulrich.

Two change orders for Cedar Haven sprinklers were approved for:  at a cost of $3186.15, installation of two control valves and flow switches in corridor “A” outside of the kitchen and to isolate “F” wing for maintenance; and at a cost of $2032, installation of steel lintels above the Chapel crawl space to access pipes and maintain integrity during maintenance.

Ken Bachem opened bids for a “court elevator” upgrade.  KONE, Inc, Philadelphia, bid $172,500.  Even though the timeframe to accept bids was extended by one week, KONE was the only bidder.  Bachem believes that with the upgrade, the elevator will cost less to maintain.  On another note, Bachem will be retiring after 27 years of dedicated service with the County.  We wish him well.

Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss litigation of an assessment appeal.

May 8, 2008

Annville Township Commissioner Dick Charles accompanied by Chief Burge and Assistant Chief Leininger expressed their concern over delays in radio coverage for Annville.  EMA Chief Dan Kaufman reviewed the timeline history and projected a new tower will be in place at Annville Cleona High School before summer’s end.

Fred Jenkins and two colleagues, Aba Ankar and David Vitkis, presented an EDACS Radio System update for both Annville (7 channel simulcast site to the south mountain) and Millcreek (4 channel multisite).  The Annville site will improve in-building coverage and fill-in coverage for Annville.  MAcom/Tyco, “doesn’t foresee any delays at all."  The original $1,575,000 price was revised to $1,427,251.29, which will allow Director Kaufman to contract with a local Myerstown vendor for the Annville tower.  The local contractor has the ability to move quickly.  Equipment should be completely installed on the tower by October 2008.

Commissioners approved a letter of support for a Quittie stream bank stabilization project.

Commissioners issued a proclamation for the Service to Mankind award recipient, which will be awarded on Friday.

Ken Bachem, along with MPO representatives Tom Kotay and Jon Fitzkee, were on hand to open Lebanon Valley Rails to Trails bridge bids for Wilhelm Avenue It was anticipated that bids would come in around $330,000.

Bidder

Base Bid

Anti Graffiti Coat

Stone Surface Treat

Kinsley, York

$439,402.20

$7,140.00

$9,156.00

Fulkroad, Mealisterville

$483,786.00

$8,948.80

$4,191.60

Clearwater, Mercer

$480,752.00

$8,568.00

$1,680.00

Bi-State

$486,154

$10,472.00

$11,340.00

EMA Director Kaufman reported that DCNR felt moisture and the tree canopy have improved, and commissioners lifted the Burn Ban.

Jeff Jacobson and Chris Wagner made a presentation for Hazardous Materials Response by their company—HMHTTC.  In summary, they would provide ten people for a full team response at no cost to the county or municipality by billing the federal and state governments and insurance companies.  At the request of businesses, HMHTTC responded to the Alcoa fire and a Sunoco tanker spill in Annville.  Their PA base is in Carlisle, but they are currently not certified.  Even without a contract, HMHTTC will respond when called.  A contract with Lebanon County would provide, “an extra layer of protection toward cost recovery” for the company.

Commissioner Stohler outlined response times and the number of volunteers available for incidents.  Commissioner Litz read a letter form Henry C. Tamanini, a Chief at PEMA, congratulating the Lebanon County Hazardous Materials Response Team for successfully satisfying the requirements for re-certification so they may continue to function as a state-certified hazardous materials response team.  The specialized response for hazardous materials requires a very high level of proficiency in a variety of skill set areas.  This, coupled with recent changes in the Commonwealth’s Hazardous Materials Safety Program, the additional mandates of NIMS and regionalism, make the retention of this certification a daunting task.  The HazMat Team and Lebanon County were congratulated for maintaining the high standards of training, safety, skills and operational readiness.  The letter verified that the inspection of the team revealed that certification should be continued for an additional four years and remain valid until the 30th day of April 2012….

Numerous fire chiefs, HazMat volunteers, dispatchers, Exelon, and Lancaster responders were on hand and/or provided written comment and phone calls to request that Lebanon County retain their HazMat Team and hire a HazMat Chief to coordinate volunteers, write and track grants, bill insurance companies and reimburse fire companies for materials…. 

$500,000 in response equipment is stored in Lebanon County, but belongs to the Central PA Task Force. Included in this equipment is a decontamination trailer used in nuclear and other incidents.  Equipment could be pulled from Lebanon County if no HazMat team exists.

Also noted was Lebanon HazMat Team’s passage of FEMA’s high standards during evaluations every two years.  Further, HazMat Teams provide mitigation to contain contaminants.  Remediation of polluted ground or water follows an incident, and is performed by private environmental businesses skilled at cleanup of contamination.

Commissioner Litz moved to authorize hiring of a HazMat Chief for Lebanon County.  The motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Stohler moved to contract with HMHTTC as a backup responder.  The motion failed with Commissioners Carpenter and Litz voting no.

May 1, 2008

Today was Student Government Day, and department heads had shadows from school districts throughout the County.

Sallie Neuin and Krysta Miller, ELCO, presented the treasurer’s report for approval.

Melissa Light and Natalie Jean Hilare, Palmyra, presented personnel transactions, position requests and conference and seminar requests for approval.

Earl Meyer and Amanda Zuck, New Covenant, presented a Comprehensive Plan summary for distribution to decision makers throughout the County.  Kasey Brown, ELCO, shadowing Commissioner Litz, moved to also make a free copy available to an interested member of the public should they stop by the Planning Department.  However, multiple copies would cost $2 each.  The County printed 1500 copies.  Containing 320 action items with a top 40 list of priorities, the full plan will be available in approximately three weeks. 

Shadowing Commissioner Carpenter and chairing the meeting was Cody Page, Annville-Cleona, and shadowing Commissioner Stohler was Wesley Bensing, Cedar Crest.

Kevin Schrum and Emily Rentschler, Northern Lebanon, presented $140,893 in 2008/09 contract amendments for Mental Health and Mental Retardation to allow participation in HealthChoices.  The first document is for CABHC (Capital Area Behavioral Health Collaborative), and the second is our agreement with CBHNP (Community Behavioral Healthcare Network of PA) to provide services.  All requests fell within the current MHMR budget.

Pointing out the delayed response time for a private company and the need to have responders to assist with search and rescue, fuel spills, and fire support, Nate Greenawalt, Lieutenant, Lebanon County HazMat Team, along with other members of Lebanon and Lancaster’s HazMat Teams, Dispatchers, and Firemen were on hand to request that both Jeff Achey and Matt Clements’ positions be filled.  “As volunteers, we put our lives on the line and often leave our families behind in order to help others.  We do not receive money or a lot of glory for the work we do.  We perform these duties because we want to give to the community and ensure the safety of our neighbors.”

An agreement was approved with PennDOT for UPWP as recommended by the MPO to repair roads and perform planning.

A request from Dave Sollenberger to lift the burn ban was tabled until EMA Director Dan Kauffman can verify DCNR’s direction and whether Dauphin County lifted their ban after a 30-day period.

Commissioners signed loan agreements for a capital loan.

A new bank account was approved for a Cedar Haven Assessment Tax levied on the number or people in the home.  This is a sweep account where money will pass through to create an audit trail.

Act 44 Budget funds will be reported similar to Liquid Fuels.

Commissioners signed documents certifying vote totals for the April 2008 Primary election.

A luncheon program was held at Cedar Haven for all participants in Student Government Day.

At 2PM, during Law Day Ceremonies, new citizens were sworn in, and new attorneys were admitted to the bar.  The main speaker was Judy Feather, first president of the League of Women Voters of Lebanon County, former Palmyra guidance counselor, and mental health advocate.

April 30, 2008 

After meeting their Students for Government Day, Commissioners met to count the military and overseas absentee ballots.  Shadowing Voter Registrar Nick Yingst was Holland Pintarch, Northern Lebanon.

April 24, 2008

Julie Funck, a junior at New Covenant School, was introduced as a “shadow” to reporter John Latimer of the Lebanon Daily News.

Gary Robson presented personnel requests.  Michael Ott was promoted to Captain at the prison.  Both Jeff Achey and Matt Clements tendered resignations in EMA.  Commissioners approved hiring of an EMA Planning Officer (Jeff's position).  The Haz Mat Chief position encompasses additional duties like recruiting volunteers, training, and grant writing.  Matt was willing to train his successor, but because the job requires 24-hour availability, his resignation was requested.  Commissioner Stohler suggested subletting HazMat duties.  He said that the company bills the insurance company.  However, if the company can’t collect, the County gets billed.  Commissioner Carpenter pointed out that we have all of the needed equipment.  Commissioner Litz pointed out the delayed response time, which could put lives at risk in emergencies.  Further, spills could enter out waterways killing fish or become airborne resulting in the need for an evacuation.  Within two weeks, the topic will be revisited while Director Kauffman will be prepared to recommend a replacement and Commissioner Stohler will bring in a company for a presentation on subletting services.

Frank Capitummino presented a Honeywell Energy Audit update:  Net results (cost savings over expenses) in year eight totaled $35,322.  The total net results for eight years equaled $78,826 in savings over expenses.

Cost Avoidance Summary

Year 8 Results

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Utility Savings $ 135,271

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Operational Savings $ 55,250

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Adjustments $ (5,679)

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Total Cost Avoidance $ 184,842

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Annual Energy Guarantee $ 149,520

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Net Results $ 35,322

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Percent of Plan 124%

Cumulative Results

TIME PERIOD -TOTAL COST AVOIDANCE-ENERGY GUARANTEE-NET RESULTS

Installation Period                     $ 3,900                 $ - $ 3,900

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Year 1 1/00 - 12/00 $ 1 91,149 $ 146,886 $ 44,263

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Year 2 1/01 - 12/01 $ 1 51,900 $ 146,886 $ 5,014

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Year 3 1/02 - 12/02 $ 1 55,034 $ 146,886 $ 8,148

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Year 4 1/03 - 12/03 $ 1 46,927 $ 147,381$ (454)

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Year 5 1/04 - 12/04 $ 1 41,748 $ 147,897 $ (6,149)

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Year 6 1/05 - 12/05 $ 1 17,275 $ 148,416 $ (31,141)

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Year 7 1/06 - 12/06 $ 1 66,880 $ 148,957 $ 17,923

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Year 8 1/07 - 12/07 $ 1 84,842 $ 149,520 $ 35,322

TOTAL $ 1,259,655 $ 1,182,829 $ 76,826

Sally Barry, and Nick, her almost twelve year old son who was participating in Take Your Son or Daughter to Work Day, presented a $708,846 Drug and Alcohol Treatment Based Intermediate Punishment Grant Application to provide a collaborative treatment based intermediate punishment program for level three and four non-violent drug addiction offenders.

Further, they submitted a PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency Grant Funding Cycle Program Authorization for the Renaissance Crossroads Program at the VA Medical Center.  The 34-month program has had 97 people admitted with 50 people completing inpatient care. 

Phyllis Holtry presented a net increase of $30,000 in the Supported Engagement/Work Ready Budget for the Community Action Partnership to add a job developer.

Dan Kauffman presented a burn ban request.  Sixteen of eighteen fire chiefs surveyed agreed that a ban should be established.  After a lengthy discussion, a burn ban recommended by DCNR was enacted effective midnight Friday, April 25.  WLBR radio station provides an immediate service while it will be the next day until print media can supplement the radio station’s generous coverage to inform the public.  Previously, the County had established an immediate burn, which thwarted a controlled burn at Quittie Wetland where professionals along with fire company coverage were prepared to burn off noxious weeds.  The 30-day ban is necessary to allow tree canopies to fully develop, which will shade the ground and reduce evaporation.  Until that time, brush and forest fires may be common.

Ray Bender received a proclamation for Housing America. 

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15.6 million Households pay more than one-half of their income for housing.

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There are 750,000 people homeless nationwide.

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3.5 million people experience brief homelessness at some point each year.

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Minimum wage earners can’t pay for a one-bedroom home in the county.

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88% of minimum wage earners can’t rent a two-bedroom apartment.

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1.7 million (6.3%) of rural homes are substandard.

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Public Housing houses two million people, of which 40% are children.

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The federal budget is short 82% for operations with an $18-20 billion backlog in capital repairs.  The big question is how to fund needs.  One solution may be to use a percent of sinking fund (profits).

April 16, 2008

Cedar Haven

Census stood at 304 or 97% occupancy--80 males and 224 females.

Administrator Schlegel provided an update on the sprinkler system

Marcia Krause announced Nurses Week as May 4-10 at Cedar Haven.

Nick Yingst presented a HAVA reimbursement request for the first quarter of 2008.  The original amount of the grant was $5,453.32 HAVA.

The Community Action Partnership was approved as Lebanon County’s official community agency.

Commissioners approved a letter of support for the Doc Fritchey Chapter of Trout Unlimited to apply for a Growing Greener Grant to construct a passive treatment system at Rausch Creek to treat acid mine drainage.  Expected lifespan is 25 years.  TU will apply $10,000 of their own funds as a match to the grant.

Prison Board

Census stood at 521--456 males and 65 females.

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166 unsentenced inmates

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109 inmates on work release

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42 state-sentenced inmates

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225 parole/probation violators

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20 sentenced by the Court of Common Pleas

April 17,2008

Regular meeting

Commissioners Carpenter and Stohler presiding.  Commissioner Litz attended a State Farmland Preservation Board meeting in Westmoreland County on the farm once owned by former DEP Secretary Boyd Wolf.

An account was approved at Fredericksburg National Bank for the Community Action Partnership for an Emergency Food and Shelter Program.

Commissioners denied a request for a thirty (30) day extension of overtime in the Prothonotary’s office.  Overtime will end on April 18.

David Lasky received support for the Quittapahilla Watershed Association to create a $250,000 wetland off of Chestnut Street.

James Holtry presented a $22,912 Independent Living Grant application for approval.

Two mobile homes were placed in the Repository for Unsold Properties in the Tax Claim Bureau—3 and 115 Northcrest Acres.

April 10, 2008

Gary Robson, Human Resources Director, requested permission to pay Voter Registration Staff for extra hours worked as a result of the unusually high number of registrations and changes made for the presidential primary.

For SARCC’s 25th anniversary, Jenny Shifflet received a Sexual Assault Awareness Month Proclamation.  One in four girls and one in six boys experience sexual abuse.  Jenny thanked the Mendosa Group for creating an education video; outlined “Safe Training” of GSH nurses who volunteer to undergo 42.6 hours of additional training; training of clergy to respond to victims of sexual abuse.…

Michael Kristovensky presented a four-year Area Agency on Aging Plan for approval.  Without State grants, to maintain the same level of service, the County would have to absorb over $600,000 in increased costs.  There is currently a waiting list of 23 people, most in need of personal care in their homes.  Kristovensky will adjust the Plan to include all expenses with a fair increase for the County and the balance from the State.

Charles Blankenship, Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation, received approval for Regupol America (maker of mats from recycled tires) to receive a Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) resolution supporting a low interest $10 million loan through the Jackson Redevelopment Authority consisting of Gail E. Shiner, Roger Kauffman, Dean O. Moyer, Richard L. Miller, Jr., and Jonathan Valerio.  The German company will create 40 new jobs with benefits.

Administrator Wolgemuth presented Debt service payments for approval:

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$5,271.17 from the General Fund to Jonestown Bank on a 2007 Bank note;

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$127,846.32 from the General Fund to Wachovia on a 2006 Bank note;

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$106,434.38 from the General Fund to Fulton Financial on a 2004 Bond Coupon Account; and

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$280,323.75 from the General Fund to Fulton Financial on a 2003 Bond Coupon Account.

Commissioners approved a proclamation for Chairman Bob DiMatteo who retired from the Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board after 27 years of service. 

April 3, 2008

Gary Robson, Human Resources Director, requested approval of overtime for twelve employees in the Prothonotary and Clerk of Courts offices for up to three hours per day per employee during the three week period of April 7 through April 24, 2008 (12 employees x 3 hours per day x 15 days x approximately $18/hour) or $9,720.  Commissioners approved ½ of the overtime, which would be used to both clear a backlog of filing and to implement a new scanning system for records and retrieval on April 8.  Before approving the second half of the request for overtime, commissioners would like a report of work completed.

On behalf of Prosecution, Law Enforcement, SARCC, and DVI, Megan Ryland Tanner presented a $79,652 PCCD Victim/Witness STOP Grant for enhancement of services available to women who have been victims of violent crimes.

Nurses and representatives from the Good Samaritan Hospital; the Veterans Administration; and Philhaven Hospital received proclamations for National Nurses and National Hospital Week.  Examples of activities that will be taking place include:  walks, humor, ice cream sundaes, yoga, hand massage, and aroma therapy.

David Arnold, Sue Klarsch received approval to purchase thirty SCRAM—secure continuous remote alcohol monitors--at a cost of $1500 each for a total of $45,000.  The alternative sentencing device is paid for by participants in the program.  If $8 of the $12 minimum goes toward the purchase price, and the remainder ($4) helps to pay for staffing.  A grant covers 75% of the purchase price.  Approximately $27,150 in revenue is anticipated in year one.  The devices have a three year warranty, and measure both location by GPS and alcohol.  SCRAM will also monitor ARD offenders.

Catharine Miller received approval to apply for a $1500 PCCD Technical Assistance and Training Grant for Strategic Planning by the Davison Group to conduct a day-long retreat. 

Peter Edelman and Dan O’Brien, Bond Counsel from Stevens and Lee Law Firm were on hand for the adoption and signing of Ordinance #36—2008 Capital Loan.  Commissioners Carpenter and Stohler voted Aye, and Commissioner Litz voted Nay. 

Commissioners accepted the resignation of Paul Dunkleberger from the Lebanon County Health Facilities Authority, and appointed Sloan Kaplan, of Everite Mills to fill the position.

March 27, 2008

Raymond Bender presented $449,040 in 2008 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) applications for approval:

bulletPalmyra Borough ADA Curb Cuts                    $53,000
bulletAnnville Township Sidewalk                         $53,000
bulletHeidelberg Township ADA entry door            $  7,250
bulletMillcreek Township Pave Parish Road            $52,000
bulletS Londonderry Sewer Connection Fee           $53,000
bulletSwatara Township Pave Quarry Road            $53,000
bulletCounty of Lebanon Homeless Program           $40,000
bulletCounty of Lebanon Housing Rehab                 $15,000
bulletCounty of Lebanon Homebuyer Assistance      $15,000
bulletCounty of Lebanon Renova ADA                     $27,000
bulletCounty of Lebanon Access Program ramp       
bulletCounty of Lebanon General Administrative     $62,790
bulletCounty of Lebanon Planning                          $16,000
bulletCounty of Lebanon Audit                              $  2,000

South Lebanon Township Obo $145,120

bulletHousing Rehab & Homebuyer Programs           $30,000
bulletWalnut Streetscape                                      $75,095
bulletBlight Removal – acquisition                          $14,000
bulletGeneral Administration, planning & audit        $26,025

Commissioners approved a $15,486.82 change-order to the sprinkler installation in order to replace the stapled ceiling tiles at Renova Center with an acoustical drop ceiling.

Commissioners also approved a $13,929 DEP Section 902 Recycling Implementation Grant for PET Recycle Centers by the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority.

Earl Meyer in County Planning said that executive summaries of the new Comprehensive Plan will be available mid to late April.  The Task Force will meet again in April to go over a list of projects that may be approved for funding from a bond issue and tourism funds.

Further, at a cost of $25 per hour, Earl received permission to hire Dean Fernsler as a consultant.  Dean came from DCED management where he worked on multi-municipal and PA Wilds programs.  He lives in Palmyra, and also trains PA State Association of Township Supervisors. 

On March 17, Wachovia was the lowest of five bidders quoting a 3.5% 15-year loan on $4,350,000.  But on or about March 20, a new Wachovia bid came in at 3.8 +/-%.  That was unacceptable to commissioners, and a new rate was negotiated to 3.65%, which will cost the County $58,019.83 more in interest than the original bid.  Once again, on March 27, 2008, Wachovia wanted to change the terms of the written proposal, but they withdrew that request.  A bond issue with Wachovia was approved by a 2-1 vote, with Commissioner Litz casting a nay vote.  She stated that the bait and switch of interest rates and terms smelled of predatory lending at the government level.  Never before were the County’s written bond proposals altered by the lender prior to a declared date for execution.  While the next lowest bidder was at 3.9%, Commissioner Litz stated that when people get engaged, if new information comes to light, it is not too late to walk away from a marriage.  Both Carpenter and Stohler felt the bond quote would hold up in court, but chose not to pursue litigation.

The bond will pay for EMA towers and radios, sidewalks around the courthouse, work at MHMR, a prison roof and replacement air conditioners, farm preservation, and management information systems.  Total debt load for 2008 is $2,160,000, and in 2009, $2,545,000.

For Reinsel, Controller Mettley requested approval of a $5000 audit increase, which will cover new audit standards not contained in the 2005 contract.  The annual audit will cost $83,000 of which 60+% is recoverable from agencies.

Wednesday March 19 2008
Cedar Haven:

Census 309--82 males and 222 females or 94% occupancy.
April 28 at 12:30PM is the volunteer banquet.
May 15 will be the Senior Nursing Home Olympics games, and on the 16th will be a parade around the Recreational Trail.
 

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Mark Wilson received commissioner's approval for a  bridge over Wilhelm Avenue on the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail.  Bidding will occur the end of May with hopes of finishing the project for the end of December.  The bridge will "replicate" an old railroad bridge--black steel with silver lettering.

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Commissioners also agreed that PennDOT should run culverts for human passage under Route 72 and other bridges that might need replaced along the old rail bed to accommodate any possible extension of the Rail Trail north to Lickdale and Swatara State Park.  PennDot would pay for installation while the County would maintain the culverts.

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Commissioners approved a support letter for a DCNR grant to create a trail head facility at 8th and 9th Streets in the City of Lebanon.

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A bid to remove 2.5 miles of railroad ties from the rail trail will commence.

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Commissioners also voted to allow an 18-month extension for the Inwood Bridge.  Wilson said that a Needs Statement is updated.  The Alternatives Analysis states that the bridge should be replaced in the same place.  DCNR will be approached about using the steel bridge as part of their Park Plan.

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Commissioners signed EMA contracts with MaCom for additional tower sites.
 

Prison Board:
 

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Occupancy--503; 440 males and 63 females

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Unsentenced--144

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Work release--112

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State sentenced--21

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Parole/probation violators--222

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Sentenced by Court of Common Pleas

Thursday, March 20, 2008
Regular Meeting:

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Elaine Ludwig was hired as a casual clerk in Voter Registration.

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Phil Hall showed mosquito larva he recently found in standing water.  Phil also informed commissioners about an April 18, 2008 tire collection between the hours of 8AM and 6PM.  Individuals can dispose of up to 12 auto tires or two tractor trailer tires at no charge.  Excess tire disposal costs $2.50 each for auto tires and $20 each for tractor trailer tires.  Tires can not be on rims or contain mud or water.  A special line for pre-registrations occurring on or before April 4 will allow faster service on April 18.  Send you name, address, municipality, phone number, and quantity of tires to Phil Hall, 2120 Cornwall Rd., Suite 1, Lebanon PA  17042; fax 717-675-2077; call 717-270-4391, or email LPH1@psu.edu  .  Proof of Lebanon County residency is required.  By sharing costs, Lebanon County partners with municipalities.

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James Holtry presented two contracts for approval:  Lehigh Detention at a cost of $290 per day and York County Detention at a rate of $283.47 per day.

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Nick Yingst said that there were no complaints during the five-day comment period concerning moving Millcreek Township's polling place to 229 E. Main St.

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At no additional cost to the County of Lebanon, Kevin Schrum and Brenda Mettley presented Sharp Visions as a group home for Individual Emergency Services Funding.


Assessment Appeal:  Commissioners heard one appeal for the former Krall Real Estate office on Route 72 near the Lebanon Plaza. Ten feet of linear frontage given to North Cornwall for road improvements reduced the size of the lot.


March 13, 2008

Timothy Clements was promoted from Captain to Acting Deputy at the prison.

For Kerri Schaaf and Carol Ryriel in MH/MR, Commissioners approved time and one half for extra hours worked over 37.5 hours per week due to vacancies in their respective units.

Nick Yingst presented Primary Ballot Layouts for the Democratic and Republican Primary Election.

Nick also proposed a change in polling location for Millcreek Township, 1,191 voters, from the Municipal Building to the Community Center.

For approval, Ken Bachem presented the lowest bid, Leo Kob Co., Elizabethown  at $109,325, for the Cedar Haven Cooling Tower.

Mark Chegwidden presented two Wenger Farms (39.83 and 24.57 acres) in South Lebanon Township for a “right-to-be-heard" hearing.  Each farm adjoins another preserved farm.

Leigh Beamesderfer received support for a tree planting proposal at the 7-acre Quittie wetlands.

In order to meet the UCC Code, Kaylor Architects received approval for a $12,102.50 change order for corridor light fixtures at Cedar Haven.

Commissioners approved signatory authority for Chairman Carpenter to sign MPO documents.

A mobile home was approved for sale from the repository of unclaimed properties:  28 Twin Maples Park to Weaber Properties.

March 6, 2008

Deputy Warden Michael Gerrity is retiring after 35 years of service.  Congratulations, and thank you for a job well done.

Sally Barry presented multiple projects:

At the Probation Building, at a cost of $44,493.63, the creation of eighteen additional parking spaces will be paid by the judges supervision funds.

Problem Solving Courts are a new way of addressing recurring convictions or recidivism.  A proposed DUI Court will be run similar to the Renaissance Crossroads program, but participants will not be behind locked doors.  Instead, GPS ankle bracelets and breathalyzers will be used.  Participants must pay $500 up front.  On the second or third violation, at sentencing, Judge Eby may provide a choice of jail time or a new program targeting drinking under the influence of alcohol.  After successful completion of the program, Judge Eby will once again talk to and congratulate graduates of the program.  Finkle said that Lebanon Valley College students will track information to produce measurable results.  Penn DOT will provide 75/50/25% of funding for the first three years.  The match can be in-kind dollars from existing positions.  Three new positions will be phased in to monitor the progress of approximately 70 participants.  According to Judge Eby, anyone who chooses the monitoring system and does not refrain from drinking alcohol will be subject to a state sentence.  The average time a person is in the system is 90 days, but up to two years.  Criminal records are not expunged.  There is a 75% success rate in other counties.  The committee promised to go after other grant money to supplement funding for this program.  On the first run, the program has the potential to both save lives from drunk drivers and reduce inmate population by ten beds at any given time.  By reducing recidivism, success can yield greater cumulative results over time.

A new SCRAM Alcohol Monitoring System Contract was approved for the 50-70 ankle bracelets in use today.  The County rents the devices at a cost of around $11 per day.   If a wearer destroys an ankle bracelet, they are charged the $1500 fee for replacement.

Electronic Monitoring Services Contract—At a cost of $5.50, 25 cents more than we are paying now, a G4S Justice Services contract will be reviewed by Solicitor Snelling.  An advanced triangulation utilizing cell towers can provide monitoring in areas like Spring Hill Acres and Mt. Gretna where service is “dead” without a land line.

Kenneth Bachem was on hand to open bids for a Cooling Tower at Cedar Haven.  A 22-year old unit, that keeps water temperature between 72-74 degrees, is in need of replacement.  Ken will review the bids for compliance with specifications.

  1. GF Bowman, Cleona  $115,618

  2. Leo Kob Co., Elizabethown  $109,325

  3. Herre Bros., Enola $133,410

  4. AH Moyer, Myerstown $116,973

  5. SSM Mechanical, New Cumberland $129,750

  6. Burhardt Mechanical, Wyomissing $127,880

Watershed Specialist Stephanie Harmon was on hand to review Conservation District events for Spring 2008.

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March 12 Mortality Composting Workshop

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March 20 Post Construction Storm Water Management Design Seminar

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March 25, and April 1 and 8 Cover Crop Walk

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March 25-29 Builder’s Show display

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April 1 & 16 Tree Seedling Sale

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April 10 Rain Barrel Workshop

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April 20 Polar Bear Survival Tour, Allen Theater

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April 21, 23, 25 Earth Day Educational Activities at Quittie Ed Preserve

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May 1 High School Envirothon

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May 1-10 Gypsy Moth Spraying

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May 3 & 4 SWA Swatara Sojourn and Cleanup

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May 8 Middle School Envirothon

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May 16 Elementary Envirothon

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May 19 Green Roof Symposium

Commissioners passed a proclamation for ARC of Dauphin and Lebanon Counties.

Administrator Wolgemuth reported that an insurance company check came to cover repairs for the Syner Road Bridge that was damaged by a large truck.

February 28, 2008

Regular Meeting

Commissioner Stohler presided over the meeting with Commission Litz.  Commissioner Carpenter was absent.

Kevin Schrum, Carol Davies, and Melissa Herr presented contract changes for MHMR—a combined $53,654 less for Devereux, Phoenix, Keystone Community, and Roscoe in 2008, and a total of $40,396 more for Friendship Community, Philhaven, and Supportive Concepts for Families in 2007.

For Children and Youth, James Holtry presented $369,447.07 in invoices and a Berks County Detention contract for $307.38/day. 

Chief Detective John Leahy, presented a $25,915 Safe Neighborhood Grant proposal with the US Department of Justice for training and a “total station” consisting of a GPS unit to map crime scenes involving firearms and gang-related violent crimes, and fatal accidents.  Because they will have use of the three-dimensional software, which will expedite processing of crime scenes with police from local jurisdictions throughout the county, each agency pays for their own officer’s time.

Richard Blouch was reappointed to the Capital Area Resource Conservation and Development Council, and Stephanie Harmon was appointed as an alternate. 

Randy Tice was reappointed to the Health Facilities Authority. 

Metropolitan Planning Organization

The same officers were re-elected to the MPO—Commissioner Carpenter, chairman; Commissioner Stohler, vice-chairman; and Commissioner Litz, secretary.

Gary DeBerry reviewed amendments to the Transportation Improvement Program.

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Adding facility security for COLT.

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Adding Lebanon Safe Sidewalks on streets where children walk to school and where the streets currently do not have sidewalks—the intersection of PA-241 Colebrook Rd and Dawson St., Lincoln Ave from the RR to Maple St., Chestnut St from the RR to 16th St, and Walnut St from Ruth St to Aspen St in the City of Lebanon.

Jon Fitzkee reviewed the Unified Planning Work Program, including a feasibility study for Market St. in Jonestown.

On behalf of Phyllis Holtry with the Community Action Partnership, Tom Kotay presented a Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan to document that funds are consistent with a plan for scheduled COLT visits to doctor’s offices…. 

Approval of a Draft 2009-2012 Transportation Improvement Program for Highways, Bridges, and Transit was approved.  Highlights include:

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A new Lebanon Valley Rail Trail bridge

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The Schaefferstown bypass

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Lickdale Road Bridge

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Inwood Bridge—delayed due to archeological and wetlands studies

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Colebrook Road

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Tremont Bridge over Railroad

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West Crestview Dr and Route 72 intersection—delayed until zoning decisions are finalized

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Little Conestoga Creek Bridge

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Schaeffer Road

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Main St. Culvert, Annville

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Mount Wilson Road

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Bridge over PA 117 and Trail

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Lincoln Avenue

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Indiantown Run Bridge

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Lindley Murray Road Bridge

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Blacks Bridge Road Bridge

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Chestnut Street Bridge T427

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Mountain Road Bridge

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White Oak Street Bridge

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Sandhill and Grace Road

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Union Road Bridge

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Mount Zion Road Bridge

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Greble Road Bridge

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Furnace Road Bridges

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Mill Street Bridges

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Gravel Hill Road

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Jonestown Road Bridge

Candidate Projects for PennDOT District 8’s SAFETEA-LU Section 148 Highway Safety program includes US 22 and PA 343 near Fredericksburg; 934 at Harper’s Ferry, south of US 22; US 22 and SR 2027 Lincoln School Road in Ono; and PA 117 and Park Road in Palmyra.

MPO members approved a South Central Regional Goods Movement Planning Forum Resolution.

The next MPO meeting will take place on Thursday, April 17, 2008.

February 20, 2008

Cedar Haven

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Census-304—80 Male and 309 Female or 94% occupancy

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March 16 will be Cedar Haven’s Spring Fling where resident’s handmade crafts are sold.

Prison Board

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Total population stood at 516—441 males and 75 females

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Unsentenced-124

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Work Release-108

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State Sentenced-23

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Parole/Probation Violators-222

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Sentenced by Court of Common Pleas-43

February 21, 2008

Regular Meeting

Philip Snavely shared his parent’s experience with a chimney fire that occurred on the first day the Computer Aided Dispatch System went live.  He thought the initial dispatch went well, but thought the ladder truck wasn’t properly dispatched.  Suggestions for improvement in communication…followed.

Carl Bachman, chair of the fire chiefs, spoke favorably about the new CAD system.

EMA Director Dan Kaufman reviewed the three master-list tests and 200+ man hours of training that occurred prior to launching the new CAD system.  He also notified fire chiefs in advance of the launch.  A grievance was filed by Dispatchers who support the system, and did not want to see it taken off line.  Further, because they really liked the system, the City police stayed on CAD during this past week.  Some telecommunicators at the State level shared through emails and phone calls that Lebanon's CAD is better than their system.  Dan stated that initially, documented incidents were not forwarded to him for correction.  However, as soon as problems with the dropped cross streets…were identified, corrections were made.  He also said that he was promised a seamless transition.  As soon as New World Systems finishes removing a second paging sequence from the program, with a page to firemen, police, EMS personnel, and phone calls to commissioners, approval was given to restart CAD.  Kauffman emphasized that additional fine tuning will occur and updates will continually improve the CAD System.  End users of CAD are asked to document and report any new problems to their chief for submission to EMA.

Daniel Culhane received a proclamation for a Race Car Show being held at the EXPO from February 20-23.  Culhane stated that Lebanon County has been a Mecca for race car fans for generations.  He also distributed pit passes to commissioners.

Kevin Schrum, Sue Klarsh, Brenda Mettley, and Carol Davies presented a Capital Area Behavioral Health Collaborative request to terminate a bond with Health America and utilize reserves in a bond at Fulton Bank.  The move will save $3.3 million, which can be turned back to services.  Also, commissioners approved a new provider chosen by a consumer—Community Interactions.  No additional funding is needed.

Next, attorney Charlie Cortney, McNees Wallace and Nurrick; engineer Jeff Steckbeck; Tom Siegel; Joe Dieren; and Rich Walk requested support for their Springwood Development project and a letter of opposition to a proposed zoning amendment in North Cornwall Township.  Proponents said that the development will yield 4700 jobs, $3 million in Earned Income Tax, $2 million in Sales tax, $1 million in real estate taxes, and numerous road and intersection improvements.  Facts for consideration:

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A new Comprehensive Plan containing the proposed commercial zoning was implemented. 

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Case law states that zoning of a parcel cannot change once a proposal is submitted for development of a parcel.

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In 2003, through the Planning Department, Commissioners issued a letter recommending that the Township not change zoning from agricultural to commercial.

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More recently, North Cornwall asked the County to administer their zoning.  Commissioners responded that they will gladly facilitate zoning after lawsuits in the Springwood and Walmart cases are resolved.

Earl Meyer relayed that circumstances have changed.  He will write up his recommendation for consideration.  Commissioner Stohler moved and Commissioner Carpenter seconded a motion for Carpenter  to communicate with Kip Kelly to see if a compromise can be reached and to oppose the rezoning attempt.  The motion moved quickly with Commissioner Litz abstaining.  With the vote completed, Litz agreed that communicating with Kelly is a good idea, but would not vote to support the second part of the motion without seeing Meyer's written comments. 

Tourism Update

At the Expo, Dennis Grumbine provided an update on tourism in Lebanon County.

Reconvened

When Commissioners reconvened at 1PM, they approved personnel requests, seminars and training, and the treasurer’s report.

At 15% of the Medicare rate, a contract was approved for inmate care with GSH Health Systems.

Commissioners will provide a letter of support for renaming the Swatara as a River.  Carpenter and Litz yea, Stohler no.

Assessments

Commissioners heard an appeal on a subdivided Millcreek Township farm and an update on a recent site visit.

Cast of Lots

About one-half dozen people witnessed Commissioners drawing ballot position for committee slots on the Republican County Committee.

February 14, 2008

The end of January, a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) System was put online.  From a phone number, the Computer System is capable of displaying an address, name, and map.  At this time, only AT&T cell phones are not compliant to work with this feature.  When a call comes in, the EMA dispatchers read the screen to verify information.  Prior to the Dispatcher sending help, the System also automatically identifies the fire station, ambulance, or police station for dispatch.  Spellings of names and streets are consistent, and human error is reduced.  The CAD process takes about 30 seconds to dispatch.

Before CAD, dispatchers would receive a call; write down basic information; then walk to a wall map to find the address or nearest crossroad.  The map divides and identifies County fire company territories.  If the incident is on a line, it is visually difficult to determine in which territory an incident originated.  From the map, the dispatcher walks to a card file to retrieve additional data, then walks back to the computer and begins to type in the name, address, name of station, and other pertinent data.  During busy times, it is possible to misspell names and streets.  The entire process can take 2-3 minutes to dispatch.

Friendship Fire Company Secretary Brian Kleinfelter requested email communication informing them when systems are changed, and that the CAD System be taken offline until bugs are worked out.  A few examples were cited, like Weavertown Road, where cross streets were not identified for a dispatch.

Visiting the EMA Dispatch Center proved very educational.  During the first week of service, Dispatchers figured out the “/” between the streets caused the street behind the “/” to be dropped.  (This may be a program error being corrected by New World Systems.)  By changing the “/” to the word “at,” accurate dispatches went out.  Since they figured out the problem, Dispatchers did not think that incorrect dispatches were sent.   Even so, as requested, fire companies and ambulances were pulled from the CAD System, and reverted to the manual process.

Commissioners approved the hiring of Jason Cleck to a new detective position covered by a grant to investigate organized crime.

At the end of 2007, the retirement fund balance stood at $89,964,855.32.  Archie and Mike Battistelli of Stifel Nicolaus recommended no change in retirement fund investments.  David Lansen also attended.  They introduced Jonathan Shiffer, director of research and portfolio manager, and Todd Bulet, from Rushmore Investment Advisors, a 14-member firm established in 1996 in Texas, our new Large cap investors.  According to Shiffer, we are not in a recession.  He believes that the April GPD will be a true thermometer of where we stand.  He said that, “fundamentals will always, ultimately be rewarded.”  96% of mortgages are paid on time, but book assets have been written down to zero. 

Commissioners issued a proclamation recognizing 60 years of service by the Lebanon Valley Management Club.

Dr. Steven Rhoda replaced Dr. Kerns on the Avian Flu Task Force.

Mary Louise Sherk, Ann Thompson, and Sarah Fuller were reappointed the MHMR board.

An $850 per month six-year lease was signed with Blouch Enterprises for a new District Judge office for Kim Wolfe.  Located at 1730 Route 72N, the building features a new ramp, windows, and roof.  Wolfe's district services Jonestown Borough, Bethel, North Lebanon, Swatara and West Lebanon Townships.

February 7, 2008

Kevin Schrum, Brenda Mettley, Melissa Herr, and Carol Davies presented $243,686 in contract changes for MH/MR.  The money was used for a new group home, and funds come from the State and federal governments.

Nick Yingst, Voter Registrar, was on hand for the certification of voters.  March 24 is the last day to register in this election. 

Year

Democrats

Republicans

2006

21,610

43,852

2007

22,221

44,182

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2,927 registered with their driver’s license, 1,134 by mail, and 321 walked into the voter registration office.

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646 deaths were confirmed, and these individual’s registrations were cancelled

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132 people switched parties to vote in the upcoming primary election.  71 people switched to Democrat, and 45 people switched to Republican.  16 switched to not partisan. 

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Of the new registrations, 1,173 were Republican and 1,080 were Democrat.

At the amount of $875, a County farm lease was renewed with Ken Reist for the property between Route 422 and the fire school near the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center.

Commissioners approved a $1518.52 change order for Cedar Haven sprinklers.  The change will widen area ways by two feet to allow shoulders to open and close large valves.

Lickdale Fire Company received exoneration of property taxes for an apartment adjoining the fire station.  The apartment proceeds provide 15% of their operating budget.

Commissioners reappointed Claire Lundberg, Ralph Dyer, and Sally Barry to the Drug and Alcohol board.

Mary Louise Sherk was reappointed to the Housing Authority.

Don Umberger and Andrew Marhevsky were reappointed to the Farm Preservation board.  Lloyd Early is a new appointment to the board.

Michael Arnold was appointed to the Renova Center board.

Commissioners approved a Proclamation for Bridge Of Hope who will celebrate the opening of a new headquarters on February 11 at 210 E. Main St., Annville.

January 31, 2008

Commissioners Carpenter and Stohler presided.  At HACC's Wildwood Center in Harrisburg, Commissioner Litz attended the Assembly Summit on Barriers, Bridges, and Best Practices for the south-central region of Pennsylvania.

$1,892,725 in farmland preservation funds were certified.

Kathy Andrews was on hand for "Go Red for Women Day," an awareness program on the risk of heart disease in women.

For Children & Youth Services,  as needed, Dr. Valentins Krecko will provide psychiatric evaluation services at a cost of $350.00 per evaluation.  
 
Dr. Jeffrey Yocum, Lebanon County Coroner, presented the 2007 State of the Coroner’s Office.
 
The Commissioners approved and signed a Shared Ride transportation contract agreement between the County of Lebanon Transit Authority (COLT), for the Department of Public Welfare Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP).  Designated Medical Assistance clients will be compensated as follows:  
Lebanon City            $15.50 each way
Lebanon County        $17.90 each way
 
Commissioners signed a Master Lease Agreement with Lebanon County and Dell Marketing L.P., Round Rock, TX 78682.   
Equipment Schedule        Annual Payment        Term
PC                               $40,590.53              48 months
Servers/Storage             $91,698.00              48 months
 
Commissioners accepted $5,000 in funding for Forensic Assistance to Aid in Gang and Firearm Cases from Project Safe Neighborhoods, a Task Force operating under the direction of the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. 
 
Commissioners adopted a proclamation to declare the week of February 3-8, 2008 as Scout Expo Week.    

January 24,1008

Nick Yingst presented Help America Vote Act Reports: 

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A Certificate of County Maintenance of Effort indicating that the County spent more on routine operating expenses in 2007--$285,275--than the minimum threshold required by HAVA--$181,680.

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101 report showed no activity

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261 report covered the purchase of Braille guides at a cost of $539.39….

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A notice of the general primary election to be published in two newspapers as prescribed by the Department of State announcing April 22, 2008 as the General Primary Election between the hours of 7AM and 8PM to nominate:  one president of the United States, one Attorney General, one State Treasurer, one United States Congressman, one representative in both the 101st and 102nd districts; and four delegates to the Democratic National Convention and three delegates to the Republican National Convention, plus alternates.

Lynn Snead, Domestic Violence Intervention of Lebanon County, received approval for a $75,000 DCED Emergency Shelter Grant Application for a two-year period to support operations and administrative costs for the 25-bed, 30-day emergency shelter servicing Lebanon County victims of domestic violence and their children.  Last year, DVI served 1,461 victims and their children. 

Charles Blankenship, Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation, presented a LERTA request for the Lebanon Rails Business Park.  The 130-acre track, minus the Susquehanna Association for the Blind and Valspar, must pay full taxes on the land, but will receive a five-year 50% tax credit on buildings.  Previously, both North Lebanon Township and Cornwall Lebanon School District approved the LERTA request.  1000 jobs are projected for the site.  Blankenship stated that he wrote the LERTA law 30 years ago.  Application for a LERTA credit must be made prior to construction.  In comparison to other tax incentive programs, a KOZ (Keystone Opportunity Zone) pays zero in taxes and a TIFF (Tax Increment Financing Arrangement) uses the tax money to build infrastructure rather than for local municipal, school district, and county services.

Dan Kauffman, EMA, presented a 911 Triennial Plan prepared by Kimball Associates for approval.

Dawn Wolf, MHMR, presented a new $110,341 contract from Devereux for approval.  This new funding from the State will provide services for a new client.  No county tax dollars are required for the program.

As the County Board of Assessment Appeals, commissioners heard a report from Dan Seaman, chief assessor, concerning Lebanon Landmark’s property at 3133 N 8th St., Lebanon.  The assessment remained at $353,300.                 

The liquid fuels annual report was approved with a balance of $409,989.97, of which $300,963.66 is encumbered.

At a cost of $325,000, Commissioners approved a contract between Philhaven and the County for Crisis Intervention services. Funding comes from five human service agency budgets.

For checkpoints, the District Attorney will gain electronic access to Penn DOT DUI records.

January 16, 2007

Cedar Haven

Census 308 with 80 males and 229 females

Administrator Schlegel stated that since 1999, monthly memorial services are held for families and staff to honor deceased residents.  He also shared a letter that is sent to families upon the death of a loved one who resided at Cedar Haven.

The sewage grinder pump installation is complete, and should start functioning on Tuesday.

Sprinklers are currently being installed in both C & D wings.

Bill Hanley, a representative for Congressman Holden, explained the USDA loans which are currently for 40 years at 4.37%.  Or, a loan guarantee and bank credits can be made for a local bank loan.  A rolling time frame allows applications in all but August.

Commissioners signed a letter addressed to the Earned Income Tax Bureau informing them that 700 people had paid their taxes prior to December 31, 2007 but those people were not removed from the list of unpaid real estate taxes.  Accurate information is needed to send out delinquent notices.

EMA requested that the County cover a $1500 per fire company charge for license fees to access our server for reporting.  22 of the County’s 44 fire companies use the system to notify PEMA of every call to which they respond.  Commissioners asked if this was a one time only cost, or an annual fee.

Prison Board

Census 519 with 440 males and 79 females

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Unsentenced inmates 147

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Work Release inmates 112

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State sentenced inmates 37

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Parole/probation violators 218

January 17, 2007

Regular Meeting

A position for Andrea Kohut-Burdge will not be filled pending the outcome of an arbitration hearing.

In order to receive State Reimbursement for salaries and benefits, Commissioners signed the annual 2008 Civil Service Compensation Plan for MH/MR, AAA, Drug and Alcohol, and Children and Youth.

Administrator Wolgemuth reviewed items for a $4,035,400 bond issue or loan:

EMA

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$275,000 – Radio Project (additional tower sites)

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$51,000 – Hardware and Software

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$68,000-Vehicles and Equipment

MIS

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$283,000-Storage Hardware, Servers and Training

Prison

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$40,600-Rooftop A/C Heat Unit and gym fan

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$427,000-New Roof

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$15,000-Freight Elevator

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$50,000-Comprehensive Prison Planning Study

Maintenance

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$100,000-Prepair sidewalks, replace roof on MH/MR building

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Resurface parking lots

Minor Renovations:  Planning, District Judge Wolfe, Donald J. Rhine Building, and Domestic Relations

$500,000–Farm Preservation

$750,000-Comprehensive Plan Implementation

(Closing costs will have to be added.  By passing the motion today, Commissioners can move forward with purchases without jeopardizing reimbursement.)

 

Joyce Daub and Barb Heckard were reappointed to the COLT board.  Gloria Brown was reappointed to the Renova Center Board.

Commissioners approved contract administration of a $500,000 Home Grant by the Redevelopment Authority.

Ralph DeSantis and Alisa Harris Daniels, representing Exelon Energy, gave an update on TMI’s license renewal application, which cost $8 million and is an 1800 page document.  Exelon requested a 20-year extension to the original 40-year license issued in 1974.  TMI supplies 800,000 homes with electricity.

Jon Fitzkee and Tom Kotay were present to request a letter of support for the 419 Scenic Byway.  Safety improvements, a corridor management plan, other improvements, and highlighting features like the rail trail; overlooks east of Schaefferstown; agritourism in the form of roadside stands; the Franklin House; Cornwall Iron Furnace, and Fort Zellers, will occur.  It will be four to six months until Penn Dot completes their review and approval.  A federal designation is optional.  Billboards are not allowed in a federal designation.

Mike Kristovensky and Joe Lacisko presented a Waiver Budget:  $154,056 for 48 monthly waiver slots with one new case per month; the Nursing Home Transition Budget with a goal of 32 transitions at a cost of $38,170 for a total $192,226 Waiver Budget.  Last year, 16 people were transitioned from nursing homes.  The State attained a 40% transition.

Assessment Appeals Board

Bill Kolovani provided a list of income and expenses for 2007, and stated that traffic is three times what it was at the old market, but projects a loss.  No appraisal was provided.  Attorney Tom Harlan recognized that there should be an increase in assessment, but questioned the amount of increase.  Briant Bernhart, who is not an appraiser, but is considering purchase of the bank at 7th and Lehman Streets from M&T bank, also provided calculations as to the value of the Farmer's Market.  The current assessment is $353,300 with a resale value of $2,597,800.  County Assessors will review information, and then make a recommendation.

Claiming that building permits should have been obtained, Horace Ehrgood, representing North Cornwall Township Concerned Citizens and Taxpayers Association, requested a reassessment of Kip Kelly’s farm.  At issue is whether or not permits were needed, which would trigger a reassessment.  Kip Kelley was present, and stated that he called planning to inquire about the need for a permit, but was told if no square footage is added, no permit is needed.  He stated that the renovated silo has no toilet and no heat, and the summer house was never renovated.  He also stated that a previous owner had a home office. 

The 30-acre park and Jonestown Borough’s boat dock will be exempt, but 4.5 acres that are rented to a farmer will be taxed.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

As required by the South-central Employment Corporation, a resolution passed officially, appointing Commissioner Litz as liaison and Gary Robson as proxy.

Replacing outgoing members Judy Feather and Rose Kayes, Paul Baker and Don Bliss were appointed to the Library Board

Letters of appreciation were approved and signed for all members of the Comprehensive Plan task force.

Controller Mettley presented a three-year Maximus contract renewal at the rate of $9000 per year.  Some of the fee can be recouped.

Monday, January 7, 2008

10AM Outgoing commissioners closed their term of office by holding their Sine die meeting.

10:30AM During inaugural ceremonies, President Judge Robert Eby swore in the new board of commissioners with an oath of office.

12:30PM An organizational meeting of the new board took place, and the following people were elected: 

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Commissioner Carpenter, chairman

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Commissioner Stohler, vice chairman

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Commissioner Litz, secretary

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Jamie Wolgemuth, County Administrator

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Adrienne Snelling, solicitor

All employees were re-appointed on the County payroll to their respective positions.

With the exception of the fourth Saturday in July when commissioners will meet at the EXPO, regular meetings will be held at 9:30AM each Thursday morning in Room 207 of the Municipal Building.

In addition, Commissioners meet the third Wednesday of each month at both Cedar Haven (10:30AM) and the prison (noon).

To get on the agenda, call 274-2801, extension 2202.

Salary Board officer appointments mimicked the regular board. 

Board of Assessment Revision of Taxes will hear properly filed appeals on:  1/17, 2/21, 3/20, 4/17, 5/15, 6/19, 7/17, 8/21, 8/28, 9/11, 9/20, 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/23, 11/20, 12/18.  Commissioner Carpenter was appointed as chairman, Commissioner Litz as vice chairman.

Board of Elections and the Voter Registration Commission:  Nicholas Yingst was appointed as Chief Clerk.

Depository banks were approved.

Liaison Assignments remained the same for 2008.

Stohler

Litz

Carpenter

Area Agency on Aging

Ag Extension Agency

Assessment

Children & Youth

Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development

Building & Grounds

Drug & Alcohol

COLT

City of Lebanon

Emergency Management

Conservation District

Elections

Mental Health/Retardation

Housing & Redevelopment

Management Information

Tourist Promotion Agency

Southcentral Employment

Planning

Renova Center

United Way

Veterans Affairs

January 3, 2008

Gary Robson requested 40 hours each for Billie Yordy and Cyndi Brandt of Renova Center for extra work performed to conform with new Department O Health rules and regulations.

Commissioners signed letters of thanks recognizing EMA Telecommunicators who handled 1800+ phone calls on 911 during and after the recent ice storm.

Elaine Ludwig was presented with a certificate of congratulations for 33.5 years of service since 1974.

Walt Zehring was appointed to replace Bob Dimatio who stepped down from the Housing and Redevelopment Authority after serving 27 years.

Schedule for Monday, January 7:

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At 10AM, a Sine Die Meeting will take place.

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At 10:30AM, Judge Eby will swear Commissioners Stohler, Carpenter, and Litz into a new term of office in Courtroom #1.

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A reorganizational meeting will take place at 12:30PM.

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