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.
Recipes People Above Politics
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Litz Co Commercial Rentals, 1.386 acre Property Available with established Rt 422 access & curb cuts. Out of the flood plain. Shovel ready with public water, sewer, electricity, gas & cable. Zoned C2 General Commercial in N Lebanon Twp. Another fast growing municipality, N Cornwall Twp is across Route 422. Drone tour of subject site:
Taking Action, Getting Results.
NEED HELP? Try one of these resources:
People Above Politics
Team Litz: Treasurer, Cathy Garrison
Honorary Chair: Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll --a woman who broke the glass ceiling and contributed greatly to PA politics; born in 1930, died November 12, 2008.
Lebanon County Commission for Women
Web site paid for by Jo Ellen Litz.
2010 Commissioner Meeting Highlights
December 30, 2010
Retaining a 20 mill base, on final approval Commissioners voted for a $92,706,268 2011 budget with no tax increase.
A $5.5 million Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note (TRAN) was approved. The note is a “draw-down,” and will only be used as needed. Interest of 1.33% or $14,615, which includes .025 on the unused balance, will be paid to the lowest bidder--PNC Bank. JBT bid 2.35% or $21,737.50 in interest; Fulton $22,755; Metro $24,975; and Wachovia $32,564.58. 2010 saw a note in the same amount (of which $3.4 million was used) while 2009 used a $4 million note to get through the beginning of the new year until Real Estate Tax Revenue arrives. The note must be repaid in full in July. Stevens and Lee Bond Council fees total $7,000.
Two residents, Russel Leitham and Michael Shaud, from a closing Berks County home, were accepted for admittance to Renova Center.
$25,000 in Liquid Fuels funds were awarded to Heidelberg Township to redo the Obie Road Bridge.
December 23, 2010
Judge Tylwalk left several Probation Officers go for violating policy.
At no additional cost to the County, Kevin Schrum and Carol Davies presented MHMR contract modifications totaling $151,586.
After two years, Dr. Jeffrey Yocum, Bryan Burke, and Dan Kaufman presented a Pandemic Flu Plan for approval—one of 3-4 in the State. In addition, they provided an overview of last year’s free vaccine clinics, of which there were 19. Utilizing about 130 volunteers, 6,200 free vaccines were administered by nurses from schools and Annville Family Practice. Bashore’s loaned a refrigerator to EMA to store vaccine, and Lawn Fire Company allowed use of their refrigerator as a backup.
Commissioners approved Special Liquid Fuels allocations for North Lebanon ($10,000 for red-light preemption devices for emergency vehicles) and North Londonderry ($10,000 to pave Lynwood Drive from Ash to Park Drives) Townships.
The Commissioners, Controller Mettley, and Treasurer Neuin met jointly as the Retirement Board:
With Commissioner Carpenter voting nay, interest on employee contributions was reduced from 5.5 to 4.5%.
The 180th Class was retained, which requires employees to contribute at least 7% of their salary to their own retirement.
At a cost of $1.85 each, Hay Group was approved to prepare employee statements.
With a reported 1.6% Cost of Living increase, Carpenter and Stohler voted to give retirees 90% or a 1.45% COLA. Mindful of reducing Hay Groups recommended $5,176,992 Pension Obligation for 2010, Commissioner Litz voted Nay.
The Board approved refunds to former employees.
Then the Board acknowledged death benefits paid to beneficiaries.
In regular session, Commissioner Litz moved to make the $500,000 budgeted pension payment, but the motion died for lack of a second.
December 15 & 16, 2010
Roman Shahay, Renova Center, reported on admissions progress for two potential residents from a home that is closing.
Population 471: 408 males and 63 females
Commissioner Carpenter initiated a conversation on work release, and Warden Karnes stated that inmates approved by the judge who also have jobs will be given priority to continue their employment.
Commissioners Carpenter and Litz voted to allow Adult Probation Director Sally Barry to attend an out-of-state Probation Conference that is fully paid by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. Commissioner Stohler voted no.
Catherine Kilgore presented a $10,000 Gatekeeper grant for approval. During the past five years, the graduate’s recidivism rate was 19% verses the traditional 55%. The program utilized seven panels of mentors to guide first time offenders through restitution and assignments, which result in dismissal of juvenile charges.
For approval, Kilgore also presented approval for a 1.5 day free workshop to develop integrated strategies to effectively identify and respond to the needs of justice-involved adults with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders. The mapping process will help to reduce recidivism in mental health patients, and take place February 9 & 10, 2011.
Commissioners signed Certificates of Achievement for the Boy Scout Arrow of Light Award for several Weeblos in Pac 453.
Two disabled veterans received exemption from paying property taxes.
Commissioners met in Executive Session on Personnel.
Metropolitan Planning Organization
December 9, 2010
Board of Assessment: Dan Seaman, asked for permission to classify Deb Cornelius’ home under a “Disabled Veteran Exemption.”
Ed Arnold asked if taxpayers will get another chance to sign up for Homestead Exemptions. Dan said that he sent a list of people who have not signed up for Exemptions to school districts who have the responsibility to mail these people a notice.
The 2011 County Budget was unveiled with no tax increase. Millage will remain at 20. The gross budget is $92,706,268 of which $36,871,459 is from the General Fund. Kudos were given to Department Heads for cutting 10% totaling $535,000 from their budgets. Thanks were also extended to the County Detectives who gave up 1% of wages from their union contract. In addition, elected officials agreed to forgo a pay raise in 2011. Finally, vacant positions were frozen. A budget summary is located online at http://lebcounty.org/Documents/Budget_for_the_year_2011.pdf .
With MetEd rates increasing by 5.9%, electric rates were bid by the Central PA Energy Consortium. County electricity bills at Cedar Haven are $360,000; at the Municipal Building $41,000; and at the Prison $96,000 annually. 9% or close to $100,000 is expected to be saved.
MHMR appointments were made: Mary Louise Sherk, Ann Thompson, and Sara Fuller.
Maximus contracts, one for $27,600 and one for $9950, were signed, and the Chairman commissioner was given power-of-attorney to sign a determination letter.
Commissioner Litz excused herself to participate in a State Farmland Preservation Board meeting via conference call.
Amy Mozzella di Bosco reviewed the 4-hour Pharmaceutical Collection statistical results for the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority. 239 vehicles turned in 838 pounds of non-controlled and 25 pounds of controlled substances. People participated to both help protect the environment and prevent substance abuse.
December 2, 2010
Phyllis Holtry presented Community Action Partnership (CAP) contracts for approval:
Further, Commissioners appointed Richard Fields, Larry Stohler, Kristina Slick, Kevin Schrum, Rose Swanger, Evelyn Lane, Chrystal Smith, and Mimi Keller to the CAP Board.
Two Automation Account expenditures were approved--an $8,100 project for the Register of Wills to scan estates from 1926-61 and 1813-1935 as well as a $32,801 Prothonotary project.
Tim Barr, 21st Century Appraisals, updated commissioners on the court-ordered reassessment process. 3400 parcels have been visited, and 16 data collectors are moving from North Lebanon Township to Cleona, Annville, and North Cornwall. Numerous public education forums at the Builders Association, Chamber of Commerce, Lions, WITF, and WLBR have been held to date, which are more meetings in the first few months than has happened in other counties. In 2012, each school district will host a meeting as well.
Barr explained that the tax revenue generated from a reassessment is neutral countywide as well as for each municipality and school district. The total revenue is divided by the total assessed value to come up with a new millage rate, which will probably be 1/7th of the current millage rate.
Commissioner Litz moved that Lebanon County dissolve a 1999 Ordinance which designates the South Central Employment Corporation as the administrator of federal Workforce Investment Act funds and adopts a new ordinance reflecting a name change to South Central Local Elected Officials as well as appointing a commissioner representative to serve on the Board. The motion died for lack of a second. Commissioner Litz asked if we could jeopardize funding to our Careerlink and Workforce Investment Board if we are not part of the mandated regional Board. Further, she asked, “Would we leave Lebanon County vulnerable, like low-hanging fruit, to any future lawsuits that might be filed against SEC?” Commissioner Stohler said he would prefer that Lebanon County stand-alone to make decisions.
November 24, 2010
Commissioner Stohler was absent.
Bill Ames and Joe Zimmerman spoke to the issue of a pay raise for elected officials.
Kevin Schrum received approval for a $1,185,987 Mental Retardation Plan and a HealthChoices Amendment. There is no additional cost to the county, but $46,000 in payments through the Community Health Council are being reviewed for payment.
Commissioners re-appointed both Antonio Deraco and Walt Zehring to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board.
Commissioners appointed Michelle Kaufman, Valerie Grimes, Linda Weindel, Fred Wolf, Claire Lundberg, and Amy Shoemaker to the Board of Children and Youth.
Commissioner Litz asked about a South Central Employment Corporation ordinance and appointment to a new Local Elected Officials Board. Commissioner Carpenter said Commissioner Stohler has strong feelings about this topic, and should be present for the discussion, which was tabled.
November 17, 2010
November 18, 2010
Upon her retirement, JoEtta Shultz received a proclamation celebrating her many years of service to Lebanon County.
Martin Barondic addressed the commissioners, and wondered why they did not intervene in the EIT discussion. Commissioners explained that they do not have jurisdiction over municipalities, but, if asked, would accommodate a request to arbitrate.
David Twaddel, Rhoads and Sinon, received approval for Luthercare refinancing, which will provide an $11 million low interest loan for improvements to Spang Crest. Lebanon County's bond rating will not be impacted by supporting this multi-county agreement with Lancaster.
Connie Hoffer and Sue Bowman were approved to the Conservation District Board.
Katie Beckhart and Peter Greco were appointed to the Area Agency on Aging Board.
Because the HazMat Chief resigned, the Duty Officer will assume the role of HazMat Chief.
Board of Assessment Appeals:
November 8, 2010
Commissioners met at 6:30PM to set salaries for Elected Officials who take office in 2012: Commissioners, Controller, Treasurer, Prothonotary, Recorder of Deeds and Coroner. A 2.5% increase was approved on a Stohler/Carpenter motion with Commissioner Litz voting no.
November 10, 2010
During Public Comment, Ben Herskowitz read a statement.
Michael Kristovensky, Area Agency on Aging, received approval for a $420 Block Grant Amendment. He also reviewed Eldercare renovations including new windows and a roof. Finally, Terri Hildebrandt shared that on December 7 from 9AM-6PM at the Expo, volunteers will help over 20,000 seniors choose Medicare policies. People will receive about an hour of individualized counseling. Because of the new federal medical insurance, it is important for all individuals to review their policies. For an appointment, call 273-9262.
Commissioners made three appointments to the AAA Board: John Gordon, Muriel Toms, and Marcy Simpson.
Archie and Mike Battistelli, and Brett Holland, presented a third quarter pension fund report. Jeff Davidek reviewed Portfolio Manager CS McKee’s performance. Employees are required to invest at least 7% and up to 17% of their income in the pension plan. For several years $500,000 employer contributions have been included in the budget. Stifel Nicolaus Management Fee is ½ of 1%. The current balance is $86,938,000, up from $81,826,000 last quarter, and the highest balance since 12/31/08.
At a cost of $3500, Controller Robert Mettley received approval for Hay Group to prepare and file a plan for a Determination Letter stating that the pension plan is tax-exempt and meets the Tax Code with the Internal Revenue Service. When 20 or more counties file together, the VCP fee will be $500 or less, and the IRS fee for the Determination Letter application is $1000.
At 11AM, the Board of Elections counted 22 military personnel and overseas civilian absentee ballots.
Both before and after the regular meeting, Commissioners met in Executive Session to discuss personnel.
November 4, 2010
Charles Blankenship, LVEDC, presented a $450,000 20-year tax exempt Next Generation Farm Loan in Bethel Township for approval. He stated that the Agricultural Community has gotten us through the recession in Lebanon County.
Mimi Keller was appointed to the MHMR Board.
Commissioners met in executive session to discuss personel.
Andy Cohen, president of Rock Properties, a New Jersey based low income housing firm, asked Lebanon County Commissioners for $250,000 from Affordable Housing funds to put in new kitchen cabinets at Weavertown Terrace, formerly Spruce Park. Rock Properties is a "for profit" entity. Because they use this money for 1st time home buyer programs for the County and City as well as for Habitat for Humanity (putting properties back onto the tax role) and would like to improve Cedar Haven for low-income residents, Commissioners did not choose to vote on his loan request.
During Budget Hearings this week, Commissioners learned that the EMA 911 Dispatch Consoles are obsolete. At any given time, one or two consoles are down and sent for repairs, which can take 1-2 months to have returned. In addition, since 2007, the manufacturer discontinued support for the 15-year old consoles.
Overall, Commissioners shaved the budget deficit from $3,685,169 to $1.4 million. The following is a day–by-day accounting. Deregulated electricity costs, union contracts, and a 17% increase for health insurance are increases the commissioners cannot change.
After Day 1 of hearings, the $3,685,169 budget deficit was reduced by $1.2 million. Every Department sacrificed something. For starters, $51,700 was cut from MIS; $45,500 from DUI Scam fees; $45,000 from Constables; $30,000 from Domestic Relations; $25,000 from Court Costs and Fines; $20,900 from the Controller; $10,750 from Building and Grounds…. On the Revenue side, President Judge Tylwalk contributed $800,000 from his court supervision fund (Thank you, sir!); $50,000 more is anticipated from Tax Claim Lien Charges; $43,000 from a CJAB Project Fund; $15,600 from Duplicate Tax Bills; $15,000 from DUI Court Scam Fees; $15,000 from District Judges….
Tuesday was Day 2 of Budget Hearings for Lebanon County. The $3,685,169 deficit was reduced to $1.8 million.
Day 3 of Budget Hearings leaves the County of Lebanon with a $1.4 million deficit.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Ø Roman Shahay, Renova Center, sought guidance on the admittance of two residents.
Ø Retirement Board, Hay Group report reviewed.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Starting in 1968 in County Planning, Sandy Bender retired as payroll supervisor from the Lebanon County Controller's Office. Congratulations Sandy!
Desiree Nguyen reported on conference/seminar requests. A resignation from one employee came after she left for a conference. She offered to pay for the conference, and the request was tabled.
Stephanie Harmon invited commissioners to a Watershed Forum on Saturday, October 30 from 9AM-noon at Acorn Farms Banquet Hall in Mt. Joy PA, and provided a Conservation District update.
Nick Yingst, Voter Registration, received approval for Help America Vote Act reports. The remainder of allotted grant dollars will be used to defray the costs of purchasing backup “voice” voting machines.
Charles Blankenship, LVEDC, received approval as the official economic development agency for Lebanon County, and said the LVEDC will help to implement recommendations from the City Summit.
Commissioners approved MH/MR contract amendments totaling $18,986 and $56,093.
At 1PM, Commissioners sat as the Board of Assessment to hear appeals
October 13, 2010
Catherine Kilgore received approval for a $29,874 revision to the Renaissance Crossroads Grant. There is no cost to the County.
Commissioners approved a $22,724 EMA quarterly reimbursement performance grant that will pay one-half of the salaries for several employees.
Next, Commissioners approved a $20,000 contract for implementation of the Coleman Park Master Plan. Funds came from the Hotel Tax and Comprehensive Plan Bond.
Commissioners also revised Cornwall Borough’s Liquid Fuels project to allow a previously allocated $10,000 to be moved from a turn lane for Spring Hill Acres to traffic and street signs in the Borough. The move was requested when “lane” approval was not granted by PennDOT.
At 1PM, the Commissioners sat as the Board of Assessment Appeals to hear 33 appeals, mostly trailers.
October 7, 2010
Voter Registrar Nick Yingst asked Commissioners to sign a contract that would make Lebanon County eligible for additional Help America Vote Act funding, should it become available.
Commissioners approved a Community Action Partnership contract for MATP-Medical Assistance Transportation Plans-with both Aunt Mel's and Ultimate Medical Services.
Next, Commissioners approved Bond Debt Service principle and interest payments to: Wachovia for the 2006 installment of $28,589.93; Wachovia for the 2008 installment of $314,716.70; Fulton for the 2003B installment of $597,290; and Fulton for the 2009 installment of $654,4988.73.
At 1PM, Commissioners sat as the Assessment Board to hear appeals.
September 30, 2010
Catherine Kilgore presented a $38,509 scanning project for the Adult Probation, District Attorney and Public Defender’s offices. The project, which will be competed by the MIS Department, will increase physical storage space within the named offices.
At no cost to the County, Commissioners then approved a PA Commission on Sentencing Data Collection Initiative that will utilize Lebanon Valley College students to analyze data to determine future recidivism.
Next, Commissioners appointed Dr. Joseph Barber to the MHMR Advisory Committee.
Commissioners also approved a $26,990.34 Title IV-D grant with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for reimbursement of legal services provided by Attorney Jennifer Wentzel.
Commissioners Carpenter and Litz voted to lift the Burn Ban with Commissioner Stohler dissenting.
During Executive Session, Commissioners discussed personnel issues and Cedar Haven union negotiations.
September 23, 2010
James Holtry presented Implementation and Needs Based Budgets for approval. The Implementation budget will drop $668,001 to $7,149,269. The Needs Based budget is $7,188,149 with a County share of $1,638,149, an increase of $28,798.
MIS submitted a request for Email Archiving, which was approved in the last budget. Commissioners approved the $23,550 15-month contract, which will backup emails for disaster recovery....
Commissioners signed the Fountain Park Implementation grant in the amount of $25,000.
September 15, 2010
Census: 307 or 94-95%, 91 males and 307 females.
Roman Shahay reported that a new ramp is being installed at the Renova Center.
A proclamation was passed declaring September 16 as Jack Cantwell Day in Lebanon County. The Center of Lebanon Association awarded Cantwell their Business Person of the Year award.
Census: 449, or 426 males and 68 females.
September 16, 2010
Treasurer Sallie Neuin reported that the she consolidated accounts by moving $117,176.53 from the General Fund to the Record Improvement Fund for a total of $154,142.13.
Bill Sullivan, Juvenile Probation, presented a JCJC grant renewal for approval. Improvement for Probation Services dropped $264,000 to $5,286,000, and Specialized Probation Services dropped $617,000 to $12,359,000.
Also, at least temporarily, Dauphin County closed Shafner, and will be taking juveniles to Lancaster County. Because of a $454/day charge, Lebanon has not utilized Dauphin’s facility. Lebanon juveniles go to Lancaster County’s center.
Attorney Ann Kline introduced Attorney Tim Engler, Bar Association President, who opened a dialogue about why attorneys should receive passes to go around security scanners in the courthouse.
Michael Pavelek and Larry Taylor presented Municipal Waste Management Ordinance #41 for approval. Further, a 10-year Municipal Waste Management Plan update was given to commissioners to review. A presentation will take place on October 15 from 9:30AM to noon at the Quality Inn.
On behalf of Drug and Alcohol, Carol Davies presented Contract Amendments, and a “National Alchohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month" Proclamation was read.
Dan Kaufman asked commissioners to approve a Burn Ban. There have been 17 wildfires recently, and fire chiefs across the county have asked for a Burn Ban. Commissioners declared a Burn Ban effective Saturday at 12:01AM. The Ban will run for thirty days.
Further, an annual $77,468 Hazardous Materials Response Fund grant was approved for submittal.
Jennifer Snyder and Lynn Sneed extended an October 2 invitation for a Domestic Violence Intervention event at 9th and Cumberland Streets, and summarized 8 domestic violence deaths in the last fourteen months—6 were victims, 3 men and 3 women, and two were suicides in Lebanon County.
Nicholas Yingst presented the ballot layout for approval as well as a polling place change. Both items were approved, but it was noted that Carl Jarboe objected to moving the polling place.
Commissioners met to discuss various topics in executive session.
15 Assessment Appeals were scheduled for today.
September 9, 2010
Jon Beers, City of Lebanon Authority, asked commissioners to sponsor an Alternative and Clean Energy Program grant for $2,000,000. This is part of a $7,400,000 upgrade to the plant. The Authority services ten municipalities, 8.0 million gallons per day for 80,000 people. They will take waste methane gas produced in the Digesters and use this gas to run a dryer for creating the class A biosolids, with an annual operations cost savings of nearly $200,000. Sludge will be dried and pathogenic bacteria killed. A nutrient-rich soil byproduct will be sold or given away.
Limestone Springs Trout Preserve
September 2, 2010
Judge Tylwalk joined Commissioners Carpenter and Stohler to approve ballot layout for the November 2 election, and moved the polling place for Second Ward East from the Lobby of the Municipal Building to Taber United Church of Christ at 10th and Walnut Streets. Because she is running for the PA Senate, Commissioner Litz does not participate in the Election Board at this time.
All three Commissioners approved $41,200 for Phase 2 of the Schaefferstown Water Company/Park proposal.
Commissioners also received a copy of Senior Judge James R. Kelley’s opinion concerning the 501 bypass around Schaefferstown. “DOT considered the interests of the entire community….DOT had to establish that there is no reasonable and prudent alternative to utilization of the lands in question other than Alternative 1. In this case, the “Burden of proof” is used to refer to two distinct burdens—the burden of production and the burden of persuasion.” Expert testimony is required where the issues require scientific or specialized knowledge or experience to understand."
"At risk is the safety of the travelling public and irreparable impacts to the community and environment…. PennDOT presented maps, photos, traffic studies, safety studies, comparative data, environmental impact studies, alternative analysis, and expert engineering testimony establishing the needs for the Project, identifying environmental features, developing alternatives."
Commissioners heard Commercial Assessment Appeals:
Under new ownership, the Lebanon Farmer's Market was purchased out of bankruptcy. Attorney George Christianson presented the appeal along with owners Jon and Jonathan Byler and Henry Yingst. A decision will be rendered in 4-6 weeks, after the applicants supply an appraisal.
August 28, 2010
Carolyn Reb received approval for a Drug & Alcohol PC maintenance contract, which will save the County $4,318.28.
Andy Cohen request $46,000 in financial assistance from the Affordable Housing Fund to install 50 kitchens in Weavertown Terrace, a for-profit firm. Cohen pointed out that they have already invested $688,000 in the property. In return, he would dedicate these kitchens to Section 8 Housing for 10 years. Stohler pointed out that Section 8 provides guaranteed income for a landlord, and he had voted against giving money to Habitat for Humanity. Litz asked Cohen about the illegal rent increase that was attempted a couple of years ago where County staff had to intervene on behalf of the residents. Staff spent a lot of time and met with much resistance to correct the situation. While corrected, Litz asked Cohen to provide a public apology to Lebanon’s Housing Director who was present. She further stated that Cohen had burned some bridges, and now wants the County to give him money. Commissioner Carpenter asked Cohen if he wanted a vote or would like to withdraw his request. He withdrew.
Timothy Whelan, VP of Community Impact—United Way of the Capitol Region, outlined a proposal for a 211 hotline. Whelan stated that the PUC gave the 211 organization a license, and the organization decided to carve up the state by regions. The majority of other counties have yet to hear a formal presentation on this proposal.
The CCAP County Platform states: The Association supports an effort to establish a 2-1-1 system in Pennsylvania for information and referral of health and human services only if there is dedicated funding from the Commonwealth and/or the federal government to cover the entire cost of the service with no negative impact on county budgets or services. (Added 2002, amended 2007)
The funding for Whelan’s group to get this far has come from a private foundation, but after start-up, both United Way and the County will be approached for funding. Further, only Wyoming, Arizona, and Pennsylvania do not have a 211 line, which helps transients to find services.
Commissioners listened, but were not enthusiastic. Litz had visited both the Lancaster and Dauphin County Information and Referral Services, and was able to ask questions of staff and volunteers. Callers can be put on hold after 1 or 3 calls depending upon the location, and neither group answered the phones overnight. Something like an answering machine took a message and informed the caller he would receive a return call the next business day. In contrast, Lebanon County’s Information and Referral calls are officially taken by Crisis Intervention 717-274-3363, with evening calls being taken by Philhaven Hospital. This means that a real counselor is available 24/7. In the other visited centers, volunteers or staff have 55 hours of training on how to answer calls and operate the computer. Then, an annual class is provided for updates.
Whelan stated that Lebanon is expected to receive 4,730-7,020 calls annually. Litz pointed out that means 11 calls per day minimum. It also means 19 calls per day maximum. 211 does NOT forward callers to the correct department or service. They are like a verbal phone book to give people a phone number. The caller must then dial the appropriate number.
Crisis Intervention also updates manuals of service organizations, which are posted online for access 24/7. This way, pastors, agencies, and the general public have a readily available reference of services.
And, Commissioner Litz created a Community Resource Manual which is posted online:
She said that the concept is warm and fuzzy, but it would add another level of bureaucracy to answer 11 phone calls per day at an unknown cost. With more and more people using the Internet, the question must also be asked if a 211 line may become obsolete.
Litz summarized advantages to Lebanon hosting their own Information and Referral Center:
· Employees meet on a regular basis to discuss issues at Heisey’s Diner;
· Department Heads meet on a regular basis;
· Crisis Intervention already fields calls and referrals on a 24/7 basis, currently receiving an average of six calls per day.
· Crisis Intervention Center employees are certified counselors.
· Also, an outside agency could add a layer of bureaucracy in a time of crisis such as when someone is threatening to commit suicide.
· Billing for professional services can be lost from a county’s economy.
Therefore, if a switch is flipped advertising an operating 211, and Lebanon County is operating efficiently already, if a software program is provided to comply with reporting, it may make sense for Lebanon County to operate their own call center while other counties may find it more convenient to join a regional center.
Lancaster proposed self launch in October, and other regions want to go live in February 2011.
Commissioners signed a lease with the City of Lebanon to rent room 217 for 21st Century to conduct the court ordered reassessment. Court Order from rooney suit.pdf The charge will be $10.50 per square foot or $1571 per month.
Commissioners also voted to advertise Ordinance 41, which incorporates 2007 case law, United Haulers Association verses Oneida-Herkimer, concerning publicly owned flow control of solid waste. Ordinance 41 will replace Ordinance 15.
In the afternoon, Commissioners sat as the Board of Assessment to hear 17 appeals.
August 19, 2010
Joe Zimmerman addressed commissioners asking them to support a system where the state performs reassessments and ultimately, elimination of property taxes that he believes are taking food off of tables and clothes off of our children’s backs.
Litz assured Zimmerman that Gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato is proposing a statewide reassessment, which would relieve the financial burden placed upon counties to pay the entire cost of a reassessment that greatly benefits schools when it is the State’s responsibility to fund schools. Further, Litz has been and will continue to pursue elimination of school property taxes.
Floyd Shepps compared circulation in the Lebanon Daily News, 20,000; Patriot 10,322 on Sundays and 5,742 on weekdays; to Commissioner Litz’s YouTube posts. YouTube circulations is voluminous, and online 24/7. Just because an article appears in a paper or on YouTube doesn’t guarantee that people have enough interest to read or watch. What is effective is a mix of all types of media to educate the public on the reassessment process.
Shepps thought that HB 1661 should be grounds for commissioners not to complete a reassessment, but Lebanon County is under a court order. Litz asked if he would have us break the law? Further, we have a signed contract that we must honor. To do otherwise would be to set a bad example for others and waste taxpayer money defending lawsuits.
Dan Seaman presented one assessment appeal.
James Holtry presented Children and Youth invoices totaling $1,101,629.30 for approval.
Phyllis Holtry, Community Action Partnership presented expenditure reports:
August 12, 2010
Floyd Shepps re-addressed the commissioners concerning reassessment.
Raymond Bender, Lebanon County Redevelopment Authority, presented a HOME Program application for Rehabilitation and First Time Homebuyers. South Lebanon will receive $3900 for street improvements.
Kevin Schrum presented $28,639 in net contract changes for Lebanon County MHMR. The changes fall within the existing budget.
Archie and Mike Battistelli and representatives from Stifel Nicolaus presented a second quarter retirement fund report, which stood at $85,724,690 on the close of business 8/10. Lebanon County’s portfolio is 54% stocks and 43% bonds. After the report, a question was answered concerning pensions across the nation.
Ed Anspach was appointed to the County of Lebanon Transit Authority.
Sally Barry received approval for a contract with PA Counseling for Renaissance Crossroads to cover personnel management, fiscal service and IT.
For his Eagle Scout project, Christian Brightbill received approval to build a 10’ x 10’ shelter on the Rail Trail, 150’ south of Mine Road Bridge, in Cornwall.
The Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority will use the Municipal Building parking lot to collect pharmaceuticals on November 6.
Jamie Wolgemuth was recognized for receiving the “Outstanding Chief Clerk” award from the County Commissioner’s Association of Pennsylvania.
This year's County Commissioner of PA award for Chief
Clerk of the year went to Jamie Wolgemuth who is highly valued by the
county. Our winner is consistently acknowledged as someone whose
understanding of county government is remarkable. This year's recipient is
described as a person of great knowledge and exceptional ethical standards
that are beyond reproach. Our honoree is known as a motivator and a
TIMBERS, Mt. Gretna - 50th Anniversary Dinner & Show.wmv
A few YouTube posts on the CCAP Conference are ready for viewing:
August 5, 2010
During public comment, Floyd Shepps shared his experience with reassessment in another county where he owns a hunting cabin. Chief Assessor Dan Seaman reassured Mr. Shepps that his office is going to audit the appraisals as we go. Under a court-ordered reassessment, Lebanon County is going to audit numerous parcels for accuracy. In Lebanon, 21st Century is a "turnkey" operation requiring undivided attention. Other counties only asked 21st Century to do a portion of their reassessments.
1:13 Eliminate School Real Estate Tax!.wmv Commissioner Litz also responded to reporter Gordon Weis. She believes that the school property tax should be eliminated. People are losing their homes because they can't afford their taxes, and young couples are being deterred from purchasing their first home. When Commissioner Stohler asked her what is the alternative, she responded, "Eliminate the School Property Tax with a Constitutional Amendment to allow a graduated income tax."
On a 2-1 vote, Commissioners Carpenter and Litz approved requested training for Domestic Relations. President Judge Tylwalk signed off on the request, and a lack of training could result in an audit finding, which may impact the amount of funding received from the State.
Commissioners approved overtime for the Collections and Disbursement Unit of Adult Probation--up to a combined total of 20 hours for four employees for up to 21 weeks. Commissioners will be reimbursed $11,784.15 from the judge’s fund.
Commissioners also approved a second Medical Assistance Transportation Program at CAP. The position is funded 100% by the State.
Tammy Hartman-Hankins presented a $136,062 Rights and Services Grant Proposal for the Victim-Witness program. The grant covers personnel, benefits, travel, and supplies and operating expenses.
Peter Edelman, Stevens & Lee Bond Counsel, provided contracts for signatures on the previously approved $11,725,000 bond issue.
To the tune of $12,500 and $38,345 respectively, from the Commissioners, Myerstown Borough and South Annville Township received incentives to complete comprehensive plans. South Annville is administering a regional plan for the Annville Cleona School District.
Commissioners also signed a previously approved $34,392 LED signal contract.
Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss personnel issues.
July 29, 2010
Lebanon Area Fair Queen Lindsay Gibson was introduced to the Commissioners. Lindsay is a graduate of Palmyra High School and a student at Bloomsburg University. After the Commissioner’s meeting, Lindsay led a tour of the fair for Commissioners and guests.
Sally Barry, Adult Probation, presented a Grant-in-Aid application for approval. To Lebanon County, the Board of Probation and Parole has provided $1.8 million over the course of the program’s 37 year history. In 2010, President Judge Tylwalk, Chief Adult Probation Officer Barry, and the Commissioners applied for $73,333.
Chuck Wertz provided an overview of Lebanon County Conservation District duties and activities.
The Conservation District Story in Lebanon County is one of Green Machine and Scoop the Poop, Rain Barrels, Pervious Pavement and Farm Preservation (15,686.85 acres on 134 farms), Envirothons, Forests and Agriculture.
Listen to Conservation District staff tell their story. It is one of working with farmers to comply with complex laws; working with the development community to comply with storm water management, conserving water and educating people about watersheds and our environment. While all of these programs benefit Lebanon County, they also benefit the Chesapeake Bay. There is no big stick and no fines, just local people serving our community, doing the right thing for our land, our water, and future generations.
Four new brochures with more information and other activities like a flower bulb sale and Canoeing Lebanon’s Watersheds are available at 2120 Cornwall Road, Lebanon Pa or online at www.lccd.org .
West Nile Virus Coordinator Phil Hall updated Commissioners on spraying, which last three months, to control mosquitoes. Spraying reduces the risk, but does not eliminate West Nile Virus. Spraying has helped the trap count reduce from a high of 800 to 100. Phil also fielded questions about ticks.
Administrator Wolgemuth requested a vote to sign a contract to have Honeywell perform an Energy Audit of County buildings.
Lebanon County Commissioners Carpenter and Litz voted to hire MCM Consulting to prepare a Triennial Plan for Lebanon County. PEMA reimburses the County $10,000 of $14,000 to hire a professional. Preferring staff to complete the plan, Commissioner Stohler voted nay. Previous Triennial Plans covering Acts 56 & 78 as well as 911 were completed by professionals, and at a formal presentation, MCM pointed out new regulations and ways to minimize general fund support from Lebanon County. There is legislation pending to consolidate these funds. Further, deliverables and eligible expenses are constantly evolving.
Lebanon County is under a court-ordered reassessment. In order to keep the process on track, Commissioners Bill Carpenter and Jo Ellen Litz voted to sign the 21st Century Appraisal contract, which was reviewed by the solicitor. Two sticking points on new requirements proposed by Commissioner Stohler involved whether or not to purchase a bond at the cost of $25,000-$50,000 and whether or not to impose a penalty on 21st Century for work that is late.
--We are under a court ordered deadline, and 21st Century could walk away from the project. The next lowest bidder was considerably more expensive. Lebanon County needs to move forward now.
--Commissioners previously agreed to 21st Century's proposal subject to review by the solicitor.
--Any new requests should have been included in bid specifications.
--If 21st Century doesn't deliver services, they have broken the contract, and cannot impose late payment fees on Lebanon County.
--We are not paying for tangible goods like voting machines. We are paying for services. No service. No payment.
--The cost of a bond would come out of taxpayer dollars.
July 22, 2010
Census 304: 89 male, 215 female
The Reassessment Office will be located across from the City Treasurer’s Office in the old Public Safety Office. The City will rent the space to the County at a cost of $10.50/square foot.
Commissioners reviewed a contract with Century 21, and made minor revisions.
Roman Shahay reported that there are two vacancies at Renova Center. An inquiry came in from York, and he met with Berks County too.
A Department of Health visit is expected the end of August.
Census 452: 383 male, 69 female
Jubilee Ministries recommended appointment of Marilyn Nolte as the fulltime, official Prison Chaplin. She said a prayer for Gary L Breidenstine who was honored for 30+ years of service. Mrs. Breidenstine accompanied her husband.
Commissioners approved a $15,838 Victims of Juvenile Offenders (VOJO) grant extension for a project modification request.
Voter Registrar Nick Yingst presented Certification of County Maintenance of Effort for the Commissioners to verify that spending on routine operating expenses is covered by the County. Year to date, $163,021.37 has been required to run elections and the Voter Registration Office.
For CAP, Commissioners approved a $284,655 Community Services Block Grant contract Extension.
Liquid Fuels were approved for East Hanover in the amount of $4717 and North Cornwall for $3335.
Commissioners approved a proclamation for Rosalia Woolley, an Annville Senior Center Manager who is retiring after 20+ years of service.
At a cost of $134,392, Commissioners awarded the LED Traffic Signal contract to low bidder Republic Intelligent Transportation Service.
July 15, 2010
Commissioner Carpenter was absent.
Desiree Nguyen presented personnel transactions, including employees who were suspended from the prison indefinitely pending the outcome of an investigation.
Catherine Kilgore presented a CJAB Concept paper for approval to file a $38,509 grant for scanners, overtime and licensing for the Public Defender, District Attorney, and Adult Probation offices. Scanning will reduce needed storage space for Departments. PCCD would provide $28,882 and the county a 25% match or $9627. Funds may come from each department's budget or the Record Improvement Fund, which is collected by the Recorder of Deeds....
In time for the July 15 deadline, Leigh Beamesderfer received a letter stating the County's intentions concerning gypsy moth. Leigh said that reports coming in often mistake tent caterpillars for gypsy moth.
Dennis Firestone and Jon Fitzkee were on hand to open bids for LED Traffic lights at 67 locations throughout the City and County. Republic Intelligent Transportation Services, Billerica MA bid $134,392; Charles A Higgins & Sons, Media PA bid $174,013; Ronald Herr, Palmyra bid $135,919; CM High, Myerstown bid $146,739.33; and PA Percs Inc, Mechanicsburg bid $140,819.52.
A $677,319 grant award letter was approved from the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency for the Renaissance Crossroads Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center based at the VA Medical Center.
Commissioners approved $939 in Liquid Fuels funds for Richland Borough.
At 1:30PM, Commissioners met as the Board of Assessment to hear appeals from two residents.
July 8, 2010
RBC Capital Markets Corporation refinanced Lebanon County's $11.7 million 2003 General Obligation Bond, and saved $411,000.
Liquid Fuels approved:
July 1, 2010
Desiree Nguyen and Melissa Light presented position and personnel transactions as well as conference and seminar requests.
Stephanie Butler provided an overview of the Farmland Preservation Program, and presented a $5,000 check from North Cornwall Township. Currently, are preserved on in Lebanon County. By the end of 2010, five more farms should be preserved using local, State and federal funds. 22 more farms are on the waiting list for preservation. Also, discussions have begun to implement Conservation Buffers with Fort Indiantown Gap.
Chief Detective John Leahy received approval to submit a $40,200 Sobriety Checkpoint Grant, but shared that the State may cut the grant in half. Last year, there were 56 DUI arrests, which bright about $3,000 a piece to the State in fines. It would seem that in this case, the roads would be less safe and the State would lose revenue ($3000 x 25 = $75,000) by cutting this program in half.
Len Kowalski and Sid McConahy Sr., Mission Critical Partners out of State College, discussed their desire to provide services to complete a Triennial 911 Plan for Lebanon County.
Kathy Kirby presented Liquid Fuels requests for Cleona $1421, Mount Gretna $346, North Annville $3083, and North Lebanon $6489.
Commissioners approved a Part 1 application for repairs to Fountain Park, an artesian well and the oldest water system in the country, in Schaefferstown.
At 10:30 AM, Commissioners met in Executive Session.
June 24, 2010
Ben Secoges, a Boy Scout from Troop 413, Cornwall, attended today’s meeting. For a merit badge, he listened as EMA Director Dan Kaufman described the tornado that hit Hershey, Campbelltown, and Mt. Gretna yesterday. The F “0” tornado touched down around Thousand Trails Campground. Ironically, today Commissioners also approved a $13,952 Radiation Emergency Response Fund Grant Agreement to purchase communication equipment for the area, which coincides with and is funded by TMI. An airplane will fly over the area to assess damage and possibly take photographs for the Department of Agriculture to determine the amount of crop damage. So far, it appears that damages are insurable losses.
Further, Dan received approval for an $111,216 Emergency Preparedness Grant award to recoup 50% of salaries for Dan and two planners.
Sallie Neuin presented a $5940 Record Improvement request for the Assessment Office. The new Versaseal machine will fold and seal mailers.
Desiree Nugyen and Melissa Light presented personnel as well as conference and seminar requests for approval. Desiree received approval for Sallie Neuin to bring in a part-time worker to process doe licenses over the next 6-8 weeks in a timely manner. At this time, the Treasurer’s office is short one employee. Staff will also qualify for an additional 5 hours per week during this time period. Carpenter and Litz voted yea. Stohler voted nay.
For MHMR, Director Kevin Schrum presented $3,489,427 in provider contracts, a budget summary, and an administrative and operating agreement.
Director Phyllis Holtry, Community Action Partnership, reviewed the $182,097 Homeless Assistance Program Grant, a $26,234 renewal request for three transitional houses, and the Homeless Prevention & Rapid Re-Housing Program quarterly reports.
Director James Holtry, Children and Youth, presented ten Personal Contracts and a Lancaster County Detention Center Contract at a cost of $275/day for detention and $168 for shelter.
Administrator Wolgemuth distributed a City/County inter-municipal agreement for the $17,595-2010 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), which is split 50/50. Funds will be used at Central Booking.
Phoenix Services’ Project Able’s rates remained the same as last year.
Liquid Fuels funds were approved for Bethel $4681; Myerstown $2438; Swatara 3695; South Lebanon $7614; Cornwall $3044; and Union Township $3559.
Commissioners executed a purchase certificate for an MIS Server, which was previously approved in the budget.
Commissioners approved a proclamation for Palmyra and their 250th anniversary.
A proclamation by Governor Ed Rendell for the 4000th preserved farm, which took place in Lebanon County, was accepted into the permanent record for the County of Lebanon.
At 11AM, Commissioners met with the MPO board.
To coordinate the Transportation Planning Processes for Corridor Two, a memorandum of Understanding was signed with Capital Area Transit CAT, Lebanon Transit LT, Harrisburg Metropolitan Planning Organization HATS, Lebanon County Metropolitan Planning Organization Lebco MPO, and Modern Transit Partnership MTP.
Round the Valley, Bike Tour, 8.18.2010.wmv 3:13
Former Representative Pat Krebs invited everyone on a bike tour of Fort Indiantown Gap.
Updates were provided on funding for Traffic Improvements:
June 16, 2010
Car Show for Cedar Haven Residents.wmv YouTube 2:55
Commissioners met as the Board of Cedar Haven. Marsha Krause reported that:
Roman Shahay reported on Renova Center:
Commissioners met as the Prison Board.
June 17, 2010
Commissioners met in regular session.
Commissioners approved an Act 44 MS-991 statement to PennDOT verifying that everything was provided as requested concerning Liquid Fuels funds.
Commissioners approved the following Fixed Liquid Fuels Grant Applications:
Drug and Alcohol contracts were approved. Most of the firm’s rates came in at the same fee as the previous year. Three firms raised their rates. They are:
Some services were reduced. As a result, the overall budget does not change.
This round of grants requires that the Commissioners must sign the contracts. In past years, it was not uncommon for the Commissioners to delegate signatory authority to department heads.
Tim Barr, 21st Century Appraisals, reviewed a timeline for the $2,120,000 Court-ordered Reassessment. While someone may come to your door, no one will go into your home. However, you will be asked some questions. If you are not home, a card will be left at your door. All data gatherers will have identification.
To schedule a presentation for your group or organization or for employment opportunities, Contact 21st Century Appraisals, Inc.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
At 1:30PM, Commissioners heard two Assessment Appeals.
June 10, 2010
Commissioner Litz attended the PA Farm Preservation Board meeting.
Liquid Fuels were approved for West Lebanon in the amount of $796; Jackson Township $5112, and South Londonderry $3527.
Because the City found they had more traffic lights, Dennis Firestone, Jon Fitzkee, and Tom Kotay were present to ask Commissioners to reject the current bid for LED (Light Emitting Diode) traffic signals. Commissioners voted to seek a new bid for LED traffic signals.
Resolutions were adopted for retiring employees: In the office of District Judge Mike Smith, Georgette Krall who served the County faithfully and commendably for 29 years and from the prison, Correctional Officer Gary Breidenstine who was with the county for 31 years.
PA Preserves 4000th Farm.wmv YouTube 8:09
At 11:30AM, Commissioners joined the State and Local Farmland Preservation Boards and the Lebanon County Conservation District on the Charles and Susan Zimmerman Farm. For preservation of the 4,000th farm, PA Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding came to Lebanon. After a State Farm Preservation Board meeting, a ceremony took place behind an historic bank barn. Former Secretary Boyd Wolf, who preserved the first farm in Lancaster, was also on hand.
Lancaster and Berks Counties are the State's two largest preservation counties. Even though they have a smaller land mass, Lebanon County is in the top group too. Of note, Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz sits on the PA Farm Preservation Board, and Commissioner Bill Carpenter has been on the Board of Commissioners during the preservation of every farm in Lebanon County. Also on hand was former Commissioner Rose Swanger who is now a State House Representative. Along with Commissioners Phil Feather, Ed Arnold, and Larry Stohler, Lebanon County has preserved over 15,000 acres of farmland.
From Berks County, former Representative Sheila Miller, Bill Evans for Senator O'Pake, Ken Grimes, and Larry Pettit also sit on the PA Farm Preservation Board. Kristin Crawford is Senator Brubaker's representative for Lancaster County.
No food, no farms is a popular slogan, but preserving our farms is so much more. It's also preserving our heritage, history, architecture, scenic beauty, ground to recharge water, culture, way of life, quality of life, and families working together.
On a separate occasion, the League of Women Voters of Lebanon PA held their annual meeting at the Sofie Light, The Farmer's Wife (both literally and of local restaurant fame), home in Bethel Township. Dick is the farmer and Sophie's husband who remodeled the home. Sophie told members about the history of the 1770 farm house, which was once part of Berks County. The LOWV is celebrating their 90th year.
June 3, 2010
EMA Telecommunicators have a new contract.wmv YouTube 2:17
Melissa Light presented a union contract negotiated by the Chocolate workers for EMA Telecommunicators.
SWOT team may fall under County.wmv YouTube 5:03
District Attorney David Arnold and police chiefs from around the County of Lebanon requested that the County facilitate a regional Emergency Services Unit (ESU) or SWAT Team, which would qualify for more grant money to fund equipment and supplies. An agreement will be drawn up to reaffirm that municipalities will continue to cover the expenses for their representative on the Team.
HMC Immediate Trial Study to Treat Heart Attacks.wmv YouTube 7:28
Dr. James Leaming explained an “Immediate” Trial Study being conducted by Hershey Medical Center utilizing Life Lion paramedics to administer an intravenous mixture of glucose, insulin, and potassium to treat heart attack victims. The one-year double-blind study will commence in July. Call 717-531-1707 for more information.
Mike Kristovensky and Joe Lecisco presented an Aging Block Grant amendment and a request to start an Area Agency on Aging Foundation. 501c3 papers will be drawn up.
Catherine Kilgore presented a Data Quality Readiness assessment agreement to cleanup data at the prison and improve accuracy of reports to the state from the prison and probation office.
Dan Kauffman introduced Michael McGrady, from MCM Consulting, to present a proposal to prepare a Triennial 911 Plan for Lebanon County. The Plan would cost $14,500 annually for each of three years. Because they specialize in preparing Triennial plans, they know the laws and guidelines, and McGrady believes that his firm can save Lebanon County money in areas like our phone bills as well as reimbursement for EMA pension fund contributions.
May 27, 2010
At 9AM, the Board of Elections counted military and overseas absentee ballots.
Treasurer Sallie Neuin requested that four trailers be exonerated from tax at 51 Green Point School Road. One trailer is gone, one destroyed by fire, and the others do not have windows or doors.
Gary Robson Retires as Personnel Director.wmv YouTube 3:16
Retiring Personnel Director Gary Robson’s last day is Friday, so this is his last meeting as Lebanon County’s Personnel Director.
A corrected training request for Drug and Alcohol was approved on a Litz/Carpenter motion. Stohler voted nay.
Children's Miracle Network, Lebanon PA.wmv YouTube 7:06
Rick Rhode introduced Eli, this year’s Miracle Child.
Ray Bender received approval for $428,465 in 2010 State Community Development Programs. Projects include sidewalk improvements and/or curb cuts in Annville and Myerstown, street improvements to Horst Drive in Swatara, storm sewer improvements in West Lebanon, countywide rehabilitation for low and moderate homeowners, and assistance to low and moderate income families to purchase homes, and administration. 51% of people serviced have low and moderate income.
Pictometry.wmv YouTube 5:29
Rick Messinger introduced Pictometry, a mapping tool showing buildings from all sides. Multiple departments will be able to utilize Pictometry, including the Assessment office to complete audits of 21st Century. EMA 911 dispatch will also benefit from Pictometry. Commissioners approved Pictometry for Lebanon County.
Reappointments of both Dave Eichler and Tom Harlan to the Clarence Shock board were approved.
Commissioners approved a letter of support for North Londonderry Township to reapply for a $311,658 State grant.
Further, Commissioners approved recertification of a $76,066 allocation for Lebanon Transit.
Next, a $51,676 award for a 10-year plan was accepted on behalf of GLRA for their waste management plan.
Finally, a letter requesting further study of a partnership with North Londonderry Township to host a backup PSAPs was approved.
Union Negotiations for the prison.
May 19, 2010
Total census 308—male 90, female 218
New regulations mandate a “culture change” in nursing homes. For instance, every dining room has to look like the main dining room to make it look and feel more like home. Table cloths on all tables is an example. Annually, Cedar Haven hosts a bazaar to raise money to provide comforts like cable TV for residents.
Cedar Haven was awarded a $168,000 Technical Support grant by CCAP, the County Commissioner’s Association of PA. Jay Nelson is advising Cedar Haven on building the foundation for a wireless infrastructure.
May 20, 2010
Catherine Kilgore presented a $140,160 DUI Court Grant to cover the payroll for a coordinator and 2 adult PO’s salaries and benefits. In addition, Eleven people will receive DUI Team Training from the federal government.
LCCM 5-Year Foodbank Contract.wmv YouTube 2:07
Troy Williams was on hand to receive a 5-year contract for Lebanon County Christian Ministries to administer Lebanon County’s food bank program. This makes 20 years that LCCM has served the community as our official food bank. 239,000 pounds of food were distributed in 2009.
Dennis Firestone and Jon Fitzkee opened Traffic Signal LED Upgrade bids. Stats: 33 signals in 10 municipalities; 600 LED units at 69 intersections.
After a property failed to sell at an upset price of $1,264.84 and failed to sell at a judicial sale for $555.57, Donna and David Brightbill bid $1 for 17 Shelly St.
At a cost of $2,120,000, Commission Litz moved to hire 21st Century Appraisals, a PA Company, to complete a court-ordered reassessment for Lebanon County. Commissioner Carpenter seconded the motion. Recently, 21st Century has performed reassessments in Tioga, Cumberland, Perry, Adams, Luzerne, and Lackawanna counties. Lebanon would be a turnkey operation demanding 21st Century’s full attention. Commissioner Stohler voted no. Believing they have a superior product, Stohler preferred Tyler Technologies, an out-of-state company, whose bid came in at $2,875,600.
Commissioner Litz stated that we must be frugal with the taxpayer’s dollars, and can't justify spending an extra $755,600.
One appeal was heard. One veteran was exempted from taxes. Staff was informed of the decision to hire 21st Century Appraisals to conduct the reassessment.
The Allen Theater hosted Annville Cleona 5th Grade DARE Students. Chief Burge and his officers educated students on the harm that drugs and alcohol can do to your body.
Election Day was Tuesday, May 18, 2010. Learn more about your candidates at http://www.lwvlebanon.org/primary_2010.htm and view YouTubes:
Lebanon PA 5/10/10: The League of Women Voters of Lebanon County and WLBR Radio hosted a Candidate's Night at the Municipal Building Auditorium. In the 17th Congressional District race, DaveArgall, Frank Ryan, Josh First, and Allen Griffiths were asked to be diplomatic and say one nice thing about the president, while Sheila Dow Ford also answered questions in this race.
The Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation opened a new headquarters in the Lebanon Valley Business Park off of Evergreen Road in South Lebanon Township. President Barry Ansel and Director Charles Blankenship received the key for the new building from builders Funck and Son, Architect Bob Hoffman, and project director and board member Tom Haag.
May 13, 2010
Treasurer Neuin reported that the Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note is now paid in full. Income to cover eight payrolls is also invested.
On his own time, Ben Heschkowicz will be an instructor on Saturday June 14 in Columbia South Carolina. For his volunteer instruction, Ben was offered free admittance to the remainder of a conference. While Commissioner Stohler voted not to allow Ben to stay for the International Hazardous Materials Response Team Conference, Commissioners Carpenter and Litz voted to allow Ben to participate in the rest of the conference at no cost to the county. Litz stated that knowledge gained can be shared with the rest of the HazMat Team.
Ralph Backenstonse and representatives from Emergency Services teams throughout the County of Lebanon received an EMS Week Proclamation. In celebration, a week of activities is planned: Monday a regional gathering of EMS; Tuesday, activities will take place at the GSH Emergency Room from 9-11AM; Wednesday, Lawn Fire Company will host Lifelion; Thursday, St. Mary’s at 2nd and Cumberland will host activities at 6:30PM; Friday, Lebanon Valley Mall will be the site of demonstrations from 2-7PM; and Saturday, Central Medical in Cleona will provide hotdogs and hamburgers for EMS workers.
Kevin Schrum, Holly Leahy, and Carol Davies presented a new Mental Health Plan focusing on recovery and not institutionalizing clients. Further, $118,833 in Provider contract modifications were presented. No County dollars are required. The net result is a $12,776 change to the overall budget.
Archie and Mike Battistelli along with Bret Holland, Stifel, Nicolaus and Co, reviewed the 1st quarter status of the County retirement fund. An apparent glitch on Procter and Gamble's stock slightly impacted the pension. Reaching a high of almost $90 million in the beginning of May, yesterday’s closing figure, after withdrawing $3/4 million for retirements, was $87,623,062, a 6.7% increase year to date—better than the S&P and other markets. The mix is 60% equity/ 40% aggregate bonds. Archie also explained that a deflated or inflated dollar is not desirable. “We need equilibrium.,” he said. Foreclosures are at a low of 92,000. Unemployment Compensation is a key indicator of the economy. We are down $444,0000, 4,000 better, but there have been anxious moments.
Charles Blankenship and Mayor Capello received approval for a Resolution designating the City for Recovery Zone Bonds. The Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation will coordinate the documents while the City of Lebanon will cut the checks.
April 6, 2010
Phyllis Holtry presented a $30,130 Work Ready Contract for Adult Probation.
Catherine Kilgore presented an intermediate punishment Plan for Adult Probation.
Myerstown was approved for a $12,500 Comprehensive Plan Implementation Funding grant.
The Annville Cleona Regional municipalities of Annville, North Annville, South Annville, and Cleona will receive $38,345 to complete a regional comprehensive plan.
Commissioners appointed Jamie Wolgemuth as the designee to apply for snow assistance from PEMA. Monday, PEMA will meet with Jamie to discuss between $10,000 and $15,000 in reimbursement for overtime and snow removal.
Commissioner Stohler presented the results of his Public Service Answering Point study. Stohler was asked to discuss his proposal with Dan Kauffman and EMA staff. Next week, the topic will be revisited.
April 29, 2010
Student Government 2010.wmv YouTube 3:59
April 29, 2010 was Student Government Day in Lebanon County. With a mentor by their side, high school students Tim Long, Madison Shaak, and Zeke Cole took over duties of their commissioner counterparts at the Municipal building. Over two days, students toured the prison, sat in on court hearings, city council, and commissioner meetings. Additionally, Hosman Uraga shadowed Jamie Wolgemuth; Alex Bailor shadowed Nick Yingst; Sipho Ndlovou shadowed Gary Robson; Chad Harris shadowed Bob Mettley; and Kimbre Nee shadowed Sallie Neuin.
Treasurer’s report. Another one million dollars was paid on the Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note, leaving a $1 million balance. Also, two CDs were set aside for future payrolls. With the exception of $134,000 owed to Community Action Partnership, the State is current with payments to Children and Youth and other Lebanon County departments. J
During personnel transaction, Lee Meyer was honored for 35 years of service with Lebanon County. Lee has put in her retirement resignation as Lebanon County Planning Department’s planner. We wish Lee all the best that life has to offer.
The Good Samaritan Hospital, Veteran’s Administration, and Philhaven received proclamations for National Hospital and Nurses Week.
Mark Kapolk, Lebanon Valley Conservancy, and Game Commission, presented a video on Tundra Swans at Middle Creek Wildlife Preserve.
Catherine Kilgore received a letter of support for North Cornwall to submit a $254,239 grant request to allow police departments to ensure public safety through their regular duties as law enforcement agencies by sharing information real-time. Crime-mapping and other tools will be made available to Lebanon City, Millcreek, North Lebanon, and North Cornwall Townships. Lebanon EMA will house the equipment.
Administrator Wolgemuth and his counterpart presented:
At 11AM, a Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting occurred.
April 21, 2010
Commissioner Litz requested that last weeks meeting minutes be
Sallie Neuin requested up to three weeks of additional assistance to process incoming tax payments. Approximately $3million will come in during
the next three weeks, and it is good business and accounting practice to timely process payments
to draw interest, reduce the possibility of theft, fire or other demise.
a Litz/Carpenter motion permission was granted.
Commissioners met to discuss details of a prison contract
for around 78
guards represented by AFSME.
April 15, 2010
Treasurer Neuin reported that $1.4 million would be repaid on the Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note, which leaves a balance of $2 million owed.
Retiring Personnel Director Gary Robson presented the name of Desiree Nguyen as his replacement. The vote was 2/1, with Commissioner Litz voting nay. Stating that Nguyen had a good interview, is bright, articulate, and has potential as a manager, there are other applicants more qualified—with union negotiations and unemployment compensation hearing preparation experience--to hold the position. Nguyen will spend a month learning the position from Robson.
Assessment Director Dan Seaman presented two disabled veterans for real estate tax exemptions.
Jenny Murphy Shifflet and Kathleen Dugan were presented with a proclamation declaring sexual assault awareness month. SARC served 562 clients in 2009.
Voter Registrar Nick Yingst received approval to count votes on distributed absentee ballots as write-ins for a US Senate candidate ordered stricken from the ballot for insufficient qualified signers. Yingst stated that a precedent of counting stricken candidates as write-in votes on absentee ballots was established in the Nader campaign. HAVA reports were also amended and signed.
Because West Lebanon curb cuts were paid with an earlier allocation, Ray Bender received approval on revisions to the 2009 Community Development Block Grant Program. Palmyra curb cuts were also reduced form $26,227 to $18,295.40 while Myerstown wend from $26,277 to $53,000, and Housing Rehabilitation went from $6238 to $7622.60.
South-central Regional Action Plan YouTube 8:56
Kris Troup presented a Regional Action Plan for South-central PA. Planners would form a board, and prioritize regional projects. Five other counties previously approved the plan. Commissioner Litz pointed out that the plan did not allow an opportunity for public comment. While Troup promised to pursue her request for a public option, he could not guarantee that outcome. Therefore, the vote was 2 – 1 with Commission Litz voting nay. Litz also mentioned that on PCN, the State Senate and House seem to amend their votes at a later time. She was promised that Solicitor Snelling would research whether or not Commissioner Litz could change her vote should a public input option become available.
Administrator Wolgemuth presented a $130,500 Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority recycling grant for collection equipment and recycling receptacles for municipalities. Motion carried.
Wolgemuth then presented the next phase of the Rail Trail to be submitted for $472,000 in grant funding. The MPO will provide $216,000 in matching dollars as will the Rail Trail Group provide $20,000. A total of 1.4 miles running past Kingdom Plantation, Supreme Mid-Atlantic, and the North Lebanon Authority will extend to Route 22. One-half of the old railroad bridge will be restored to create a viewing area over the Swatara.
$42,000 from Act 137 funds were approved to secure $394,000 in additional Federal Funds to break the cycle of homelessness by providing housing and supportive services to homeless individuals with serious mental illness.
The following women were appointed to the Women’s Commission.
Litz requests update on backup PSAPs YouTube 7:10
Providing links to current grants to leverage County dollars, Commissioner Litz requested an update on progress made toward a backup Public Service Answering Point. Ten months ago, on June 25, 2009, commissioners authorized a long-term needs assessment and study of the best location as well as needed equipment for a backup PSAPs. $1.5 million was included in a county bond issue to equip a backup PSAP for Lebanon County. Commissioner Stohler was of the opinion that any computer and telephone would suffice. Administrator Wolgemuth will ask EMA Director Kauffman to discuss the situation with Commissioner Stohler. As a reminder, a storm event like Agnes in 1972, which flooded the basement of the Municipal Building, would incapacitate 911 services.
April 8, 2010
Commissioners met in regular session.
For the first time in quite some time, the County is owed less than $1million by the State. $885,000 due Children and Youth was deposited leaving a balance due Lebanon County of $832,829.
Treasurer Sallie Neuin presented debt service due April 15 for approval:
On behalf of Bethel Township, one of 10 contributing municipalities toward farmland preservation, Mark Chegwidden presented a $5000 check; a copy of the Conservation District’s 2009 Annual Report; an Earth Day calendar; and a list of upcoming events to which the public and volunteers are invited to participate:
Lebanon County Farm Preservation update 2010.wmv YouTube 5:19
Then, during a "Right to be Heard" hearing, Mark presented five farms for preservation:
April 1, 2010
At the opening of today’s meeting, Commissioner Stohler made a motion that Commissioner Litz not be permitted to vote on any matters before the County during her Senate Campaign. Commissioner Litz reputed that using that logic, Commissioner Stohler could not vote during his campaign for re-election as a county commissioner. Further, if all three candidates were running for re-election, no business could be conducted. Stohler said that was different. At that point, Commissioner Carpenter seconded the motion. As I shook my head in disbelief, they started laughing, and said April Fools. Yes, they got me. It seemed routine. I threw my pen, and had to laugh too. Since I tend to be “all business”, they certainly took me by surprise. I haven’t had anyone play a joke on me since the 1960s. Too bad I was caught off guard, and didn’t get it for YouTube.
Gary Robson presented a request from Domestic Relations to work up to 40 hours per week to catch up on filing, imaging, and other duties for the next three months. Judge Tylwalk endorsed the request. Because a number of employees have been off work due to illnesses over the past nine months, Commissioner Litz moved to allow employees to work the extra time, providing Domestic Relations does not exceed their approved budget.” Commissioner Carpenter voted to allow the extra time. Commissioner Stohler voted no.
2010 Ballot Layout Approved.wmv YouTube 1:40
Nick Yingst was on hand with 2010 General Primary ballot layout for the Electronic Ballots. Commissioners Carpenter and Stohler were joined by Judge Tylwalk to approve the proposed ballots.
Carolyn Reb presents Pitney Bowes Electronic Certified Mail .wmv YouTube 1:04 MIS Director Carolyn Reb presented a Pitney Bowes electronic “certified return receipt (mail) project” totaling $42,951.40. The project will be paid off in year one AND net $8,115.50 in year one. Thereafter, savings of $1.15 per piece of mail will net $26,950.50 in savings annually to send out 44,406 pieces of certified mail from District Judges, Domestic Relations and Tax Claim.
Treasurer Sallie Neuin, Recorder of Deeds Donna Lutz, and Sheriff Mike DeLeo requested permission to purchase a new Lectreaver for the Sheriff’s office. A recent repair of a motor and gear cost $1,937 to the 40-year old filing system. DeLeo was advised that parts are no longer available for the Lectreaver. State Contract price for a new Lectreaver is $10,063, which includes $1600 for folders. The vendor is willing to credit the cost of recent repairs, and provide a new Lectreaver for 8,126.90. Prior to purchase, Purchasing Agent Dennis Firestone will call two other companies to verify that the State Contract price is the lowest bid.
Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss personnel.
March 25, 2010
Treasurer Sallie Neuin requested permission to hire Collette Aurentz as a casual worker to help process tax returns for the next ten weeks. Having provided five extra hours for each treasury employee and a “floater,” commissioners held off on an additional hire at this time, but asked to be kept informed of backed up mail.
Phil Hall was back with Fuzzy, his mosquito, that sported a tire around his neck to represent that tire collection time in Lebanon County is coming on Friday, April 9, 2010 from 8AM-6PM. Participants may bring 12 regular sized or 2 over sized tires at no charge. In 2008, 4,262 tires were collected. In 2008, 3,407 tires were collected.
For the West Nile Virus program, $57,166 in DEP matching funds are available. Last year, $67,460 was available. The drop in revenue eliminated a seasonal helper. 2009 West Nile Virus hot spots were Palmyra and Campbelltown. To help avoid West Nile Virus, Phil reminds everyone about DDT and water standing in tires—dump it, drain it, and treat it.
Ray Bender received approval for a $7,000 CDBG--Community Development Block Grant revision moving funds from acquisition/demolition to street improvements.
2010 Primary Election Board.wmv YouTube 1:04
The Board of Elections reviewed layout for absentee ballots. Judge Tylwalk replaced Commissioner Litz who is a candidate for senate. Two candidates who are being challenged in State court (Democrats Joseph Vodvarka, a US Senate candidate and Sheila Dow-Ford, a US Congressional candidate. However, those challenges are only scheduled in court on April 7 and 8, which forces the Board to approve ballots now, and if the candidates are removed, corrected later.
Sally Barry and Catharine Kilgore received approval to submit a $677,319 Renaissance Crossroads grant. The State audited the program, and was impressed with the success rate. Feeling that there was value in what they saw, the program may be replicated across the State.
Sue Klarsch received approval for a Drug and Alcohol waiver request to cover prevention efforts of the Community Health Council.
Commissioner signed a contract with Abel for the 8th Street Rail-Trailhead.
Fred Priebe, William White, Michael Fry, and Olga Stoner were appointed to the Drug and Alcohol Board.
Jon Fitzkee received approval on Conservation Works—landowner grantee agreements with affected municipalities to change lights in North, South, and West Lebanon, Bethel, Heidelberg, Myerstown, the City of Lebanon, Millcreek, and North and West Cornwall.
At 11AM, Commissioners heard a Tourism update at the Lebanon Valley Expo. Laurie Diaz told of their banner first year at the Holiday Inn Express, and Terry & Tom Brown shared their excitement about Farmers Hope Inn, including a story of a ghost that inhabits the estate. Ron Fouche provided an historical perspective, municipal involvement, and Seltzer Bologna’s place in the tourism industry. Dennis Grumbine said that in 2010, hotel stays increased by 4%, and Jessica Penchard presented a new tourism guide and map. Finally, Commissioner Stohler made remarks.
March 18, 2010
Commissioner Stohler was absent.
Treasurer Neuin reported that real estate tax dollars started to come in, and we shouldn’t need any more TRAN money. Administrator Wolgemuth predicts we can repay the $3.4 million TRAN early. From the State, Lebanon County is owed $1,661,507 for mandated services rendered.
During the Assessment Board hearing, Commissioners Carpenter and Litz approved a revised assessment for Steven Hess’ mobile home. In addition, four disabled veterans were approved for real estate tax exemption.
March 17, 2010
Commissioners met at both Cedar Haven and Prison Board. Cedar Haven is at 96% occupancy with 306 residents. Administrator Schlegel reported on a looming mandate to computerize wireless medical records. A grant is available, and a bid is in process. Schlegel also said that Cedar Haven is no longer in the cigarette business. The four residents who smoke will be supplied tobacco by their families.
March 11, 2010
Treasurer Sallie Neuin received permission to allow her staff to each work 40 hours per week to collect real estate taxes. Their normal work week is 35 hours.
James Holtry, Children and Youth, submitted second quarter invoices for payment:
Paul Zeigler, Esq., CPEC.wmv YouTube 8:53
Paul Zeigler Esquire presented a packet of information on the Central PA Energy Consortium, and discussed the methodology for purchasing oil, gas, and electricity. Pace is paid .002 per kilowatt hour, and CPEC is paid .0005 per kilowatt hour. A Stohler/Carpenter motion passed to sign a contract with the Consortium. Because she was not given any time to read the information and contract, Commissioner Litz voted nay. While the solicitor was asked to read the contract, years ago, a verbal agreement between commissioners stated that proposals should be presented in writing prior to meetings, preferably 48 hours before a meeting. In this case, there was no time constraint that would prohibit waiting until next week.
Archie Battistelli and Brett Holland received permission to replace small cap investor Global Capital Management with The London Company. The retirement fund balance stands at $85,661,246.
Greg Becker, Stevens & Lee sought Ordinance 40 to refinance a $12.25 million 2003 General Obligation Bond when the rate reaches 3% (currently 4.3%). The County stands to gain about $300,000 in reduced interest, which would be applied to this year’s budget. Commissioners approved the request.
A proclamation for the ARC of Dauphin and Lebanon Counties will be presented on March 13 at the Lebanon Valley Mall.
Letters of support receiving approval for the National Register of Historic Places include:
The Cornwall bridge, which is under repair, should be open this weekend.
March 4, 2010
Chuck Wertz presented a $3000 check from Swatara Township to use towards farmland preservation. The State will contribute 72 cents on the dollar in 2010.
Public Sewage Modules will be processed by Lebanon YouTube 6:10
Kris Troup and Lori Books received permission to sign a delegation agreement to review and approve public sewage modules for DEP. No additional staff is needed. Lebanon will be the only county in PA to perform this service, which will cut review time from 120 days to about one week. DEP will provide training.
Lebanon has been one of four counties in the State performing review and approval of on-lot septic systems.
Dennis Firestone recommended awarding construction of the S 8th St. Trail Head at a cost of $244,001.91 to low bidder Abel Construction, who provided a statement of prequalification from PennDot.
Commissioners appointed Frank Harvatine, Stephanie Harmon, and Kris Troup to the RC&D board.
Commissioners signed a proclamation to spread the word to end the hurtful effects of the word “retard(ed)”.
Commissioners appointed Gail Shiner, Alletta Schadler, and Bonnie Wolgemuth the Library Board.
In preparation to refinance the 2003 Bond issue, which has the potential to save 3% or $326,000, commissioners authorized advertisement of the bond.
Jamie Wolgemuth reported that the mesh and first coat of Gunnite is installed at the Cornwall Bridge undergoing repair. The job should be completed within the week, and school buses will once again be able to travel the road.
To retain passage for a northern extension to the Rail Trail, Commissioners accepted ownership and maintenance of a culvert under Route 22.
Shop Local/Work Local
In an effort to support local businesses, a series of "Shop Local/Work Local" YouTube videos will feature sole proprietorships to mid-size and large employers in the 48th Senatorial District. At no cost to taxpayers, a new feature video will be posted about every two weeks at http://www.joellenlitz.com/shop_local.htm . In addition, an "Eat Local" dining guide appears in PDF format. Eat Local.pdf
Ebersole, Lebanon PA.wmv YouTube 9:23
Commissioner Litz visited Ebersole's where she interviewed Randy, Andy, and Jordan Ebersole during the 90th anniversary of their family business, which employs 105 people. In addition to GM, Ebersole sells new Hondas and used cars, power equipment like snow blowers and lawn mowers, as well as Italian motor scooters--Vespa and Piagio. Randy credits the success of their businesses, started by his grandfather, to good customer service and building trust.
E&E Metal Fab and Solar.wmv YouTube 10:01
2-22-2010 Willie Erb, owner of E&E Metal Fab and Solar, introduces his family. Leanne is in the front office; Steve is knowledgeable about solar panels; and Tom is in the metal shop. Most of the business caters to other businesses and farmers, but Willie designed a fire pit with either wildlife or sea shore cutouts that is available to the general public. E&E values their employees, and look forward to returning to a full compliment.
Humane Society Thrift Shop, Lebanon PA.wmv YouTube 7:30
Starting with rummage sales, Ruth Litz had a vision of opening a thrift store to support the Humane Society of Lebanon County. In 2003, after a trial period, the thrift store became a reality at 2501 Cumberland St., Lebanon PA, and features themed rooms: a vintage, pet, bed and bath, and house-wares room, book section with reading area, and a children's area. They carry jewelry, clothing, and small furniture items too.
Donna Berry is the manager. In addition to Ruth, Donna is joined by the talented decorating team of Sandy Jones, Pat McAteer, Judy Pebbles, and other volunteers.
In the beginning, BJ, Donna's dog, was the store mascot. These days, you'll see Cleo, the "shop cat" roam the rooms. Cleo was adopted from the Humane Society. Shop til you drop at reasonable prices. Your donations of clean saleable items are most welcome. Large off-street parking lot available in the rear. Hours: Monday-Sunday 9AM-3PM.
Spirit Dancer art creations by Yasmin Brown.wmv YouTube 9:37
2/19/2010 Lebanon PA: Yasmin Brown is an
artist and owner of Spirit Dancer, a hand-crafted jewelry company she runs from
a studio in her home, and sells through vendors at the Farmer's Market...and
arts and craft shows like Mt. Gretna. Recently, the Women's Commission
commissioned Yasmin to design and create a unique pin to be given as an award to
Women's Hall of Fame inductees. No two pins are the same.
February 25, 2010
Sallie Neuin reported that Lebanon County has drawn a total of $3,400,000 from the Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note.
Neuin also received permission to accept credit cards for real estate tax payments. Users will pay a 2.45% convenience fee to the vendor—Government Payment Processing. A Virtual Terminal will be located in the Treasurer’s office, but phone and mail-in payments will also qualify for credit card use.
Dennis Firestone and Tom Barton, from Wilson Consulting, were on hand to open bids for the Rail Trail 8th Street Trailhead—paving and landscaping.
Jennifer Snyder, office manager for Domestic Violence Intervention, received approval for the County to sponsor a $66,690 grant: $15,000 to rehabilitate bathrooms; $50,000 for operations; and $1,690 for related costs.
Kevin Schrum presented an amendment to the MHMR/Early Intervention budget from $9,992 to $25,592 without increasing county match.
Sue Klarsch and Claire Lundberg submitted a Community Health Council grant for underage drinking.
At a cost of $250,000 annually, Harris System Maintenance (formerly Tyco then MACOM) agreement received approval to support the emergency management radio system for five years.
Because of the resignation or death of board members, Robert Funk, Randall Ebersole, and Chris Gebhard were appointed to the Health Facilities Authority along with Barry Ansel who was reappointed.
Schaefferstown Bypass.wmv YouTube2:27
Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) met at 11AM. PennDOT gave a Schaefferstown Bypass update.
February 17-18, 2010
Census 306: 213 female, 306 male
PA Farm Preservation Board approves new farms.wmv YouTube 4:44
Commissioner Litz attended a farm preservation hearing in Harrisburg.
FIG Community Open House.wmv YouTube 2:10
Commissioners Carpenter and Stohler approved a request to sponsor a Lancaster based real-estate developer, which will help them to obtain $3 million in federal funding for a project in North Cornwall Township. The project will also extend sewer to the LV Expo and Agricultural Center. This is a 135-acre $150 million Springwood Development project on Rocherty Road.
February 11, 2010
Children and Youth Director James Holtry submitted first quarter invoices for approval:
Catherine Kilgore, Tony Finkle, and Sally Barry provided an overview of the DUI Court Initiative where 62 participants are placed on electronic monitoring, which reduces the number of people in our local jail. Is it coincidence that DUIs are down by 7% this year? Staff may not get a chance to find out if their budget is cut by nearly 2/3. While 62 participants spread out over a year may not reduce the number of staff needed at the jail, costs saved include food, uniforms, water, sewer, and medical care for these potential inmates. Therefore, Kilgore received permission to apply for an enhancement grant to cover staff salaries. Otherwise, Penn DOTs proposal to drop funding from $141,060 to $50,000 would kill the electronic monitoring program.
Re-appointments to the Ag Land Preservation Board include Gary Lentz, Merv Horst, and Pat Kreiser.
No Snow Emergency February 10, 2010.wmv YouTube 4:14
WLBR reporter Gordon Weise questioned why commissioners didn’t declare a State of Emergency during the blizzard. Commissioners answered that there were no mass power outages or chain crashes leaving motorists stranded, and no municipalities requested the county's assistance. So, there was no need for mass care shelters or heavy equipment. Commissioner Litz stated that the only other reason to declare an emergency would be if the County were the broken link in a chain for multiple local municipalities to receive federal or state dollars for reimbursement of snow removal. Commissioner Carpenter thought it was too late to declare an emergency. Commissioner Litz requested that Solicitor Snelling research the answer.
During the blizzard, EMA and Administrator Wolgemuth made 20 transports of nurses to Cedar Haven, the VA Medical Center and similar facilities as well as prison personnel. A few roads like Long Lane, Prescott and Weavertown were closed due to drifting.
February 4, 2010
Sallie Neuin presented a resolution to open a separate bank account for the signal project.
Gary Robson requested permission to fill a vacant Caseworker position in Children and Youth.
Based on receiving at least 5% of the highest vote cast for a local countywide candidate in the last two November elections, Nick Yingst, Voter Registrar, received approval to certify the Republican and Democratic parties in Lebanon County.
Commissioners approved a Redevelopment Authority administration contract at 18% or $85,521.
Certification for uses of E911 wireless funds for chargers was approved.
Certification for MHMR of development programs and coordination services also received approval.
Using liquid fuels funds, a new $48,700 emergency resolution passed to repair the underside of the Cornwall bridge with Gunite. The temporary netting would have cost about as much ($40,000) as the Gunite, and the contractor suggested closing the ends of the bridge to use torpedoes to heat the area in order to complete repairs in less than two weeks.
Commissioners issued a proclamation recognizing 200 years of Boy Scouting.
On a Stohler/Carpenter motion, Lowell Brogan was appointed to the COLT board. Commissioner Litz asked that the vote be postponed for a regional analysis of representation by board members.
Archie and Mike Battistelli along with Mike Butt and Jim Morehead, reviewed the Retirement Fund, which closed at $83,670,000 at the end of 2009. This is an 18.6% gain over the previous year. The total asset allocation ratio stood at 59% equity and 41% fixed income. Our goal is 65/35 (+ or -), but in the down economy, the current ratio has served us well.
January 28, 2010
Treasurer Neuin reported that Lebanon County is owed $2.387 million by the State. In addition to not having this money invested and drawing interest in our treasury for working capital until the spring real estate tax starts coming in, Lebanon County had to take a loan in a similar amount from a Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note and pay out 5.5 interest.
A resolution passed to change Fulton Bank account names to the County of Lebanon.
Commissioners approved a 2-year Court Related non-Professional union contract with Teamsters Local 429. The unit consists of approximately 75 employees. Health insurance remains the same. A 3% wage increase is included in the contract. Additional contracts are being negotiated with EMA and AFSME at the prison where approximately 120 employees work.
Jonathon Johnson and Suzanne Mentzer were appointed to the MHMR board.
Because they have served their maximum term, Joyce Dissinger and Bridget Hoffman will receive letters of thanks for their service on the Women’s Commission.
Commissioners voted to appoint the Lebanon County Historical Society as the County’s official historical society.
Storm Ready and Storm Watchers.wmv YouTube 5:26
National Weather Service's Meteorologist Bruce Budd and PEMAs Fred Boylestein congratulated EMA and Lebanon County for attaining “StormReady” designation, which will result in additional ISO—Insurance Services Organization—community rating points. Usually, the ISO rating reduces homeowner’s insurance. The safety skills acquired will help to save lives and property—before and during an event. There are currently 1550 sites in the USA and 44 sites in PA.
Designation is based on communication systems, weather awareness, initiation of local warning evacuations, NOAA weather radio in schools…, and community preparedness activity. The 4-year designation will be posted on signs in the County. For more information, visit www.stormready.noaa.gov .
If you would like to be a “Storm Watcher,” attend a training session on May 18 at the Municipal Building auditorium. Call EMA at 272-7621 to register.
January 21, 2010
Census: 301—90 male and 211 female or 95% capacity
H1N1 vaccines are completed, but if employees request another inoculation opportunity, Director Schlegel is willing to set another date to administer shots.
Census: 399—339 male and 60 female
From the repository of unclaimed property, Sallie Neuin requested approval to sell a trailer at 1C Twin Maple Park for $1.
Personnel Director Gary Robson requested approval and signatures on the 2010 Children and Youth, MR/MR/EI, Area Agency on Aging, and Drug and Alcohol Civil Service Compensation Plan.
Voter Registrar Nicholas Yingst presented Help America Vote Act reports for approval.
2009 Coroner's Report.wmv YouTube 8:40
Dr. Yocum shared a 2009 Coroner’s Report:
This does NOT include people transferred to Hershey Medical Center.
At a cost of about $2000 each, in 2009, 35 autopsies were performed in Allentown for Lebanon County.
Lebanon Valley Rail Trail 8th St Trailhead.wmv YouTube 2:23
John Wengert and Mark Wilson were on hand for signatures supporting a $300,000 50-stall parking facility for a Lebanon Valley Rail Trail trailhead near the Lebanon Daily News on S 8th Street, Lebanon. Neighbor Dave Blouch will help maintain a demonstration wetland to treat the quality of water runoff. This is the fifth trailhead for LVRT. One more trailhead at Alden Place would put the accesses at 3-mile intervals. The other trailheads are: Lawn where the trailhead adjoins a community park and shares restroom facilities; Expo where the parking area accommodates horse trailers; Colebrook where Earl and Lee Moyer developed a wildflower garden; and of course Cornwall featuring the Root Beer Barrel.
Commissioners approved an emergency resolution to span netting under the Cornwall bridge. Liquid Fuels funds will be used to fund the temporary (net) and permanent (Gunite—spray concrete) repairs. School buses use this route. So, repairs will be timed for the summer months.
Catherine Kilgore, and Sheriff Mike DeLeo were on hand to receive approval for CJAB’s Standardization and Modernization Process to update “license to carry“ reporting.
Kevin Schrum presented five amendments to three HealthChoices Agreements, which leverage federal dollars through a Gross Receipts Tax.
Dennis Firestone was on hand to recommend that a bid to replace flooring at Eldercare be awarded to low bidder Spectra of Harrisburg at a cost of $15,905.
Administrator Wolgemuth presented a request for certification of $175,000 for farmland preservation. $100,000 will come from the County budget, and $75,000 from other sources like the federal farm and ranchland protection pool as well as local municipalities.
Commissioners heard one assessment appeal; approved two disabled veterans and exonerated the Lickdale Fire Co apartment; and assigned Jamie Wolgemuth to review reassessment bids.
January 13, 2010
Treasurer Neuin received approval on three new accounts—two for CAP and one for the DA Stop Grant.
Neuin also presented a bid of $1 for a mobile home at 4 Stonehill Park.
Commissioner Litz moved to participate in Jigar Patel's live streaming video study for his master's degree, but the motion died for lack of a second. With an $80 camera installed in the commissioner's meeting room, voters could have watched, proposed questions, or made comment using email, telephone, Twitter or Facebook and listened to answers during public comment at commissioner meetings.
Jigar pointed out that history or civics classes could have used the live streaming video as a classroom teaching tool. He envisioned students getting excited about government, participating in elections, and taking their civic duties seriously, even volunteering time at the local library as part of their senior projects by teaching town folks how to watch and participate in meetings.
Jigar is a Northern Lebanon High School graduate, and currently studies in England.
Dennis Firestone opened bids to replace flooring at Eldercare:
Women's Commission 2009 Review and 2010 Projects on YouTube 6:32
Cindy Heisey, president of the Lebanon County Commission for Women,
Senator Casey wants to end Child Hunger YouTube 2:34
January 6, 2010
Prior to the Commissioners Meeting, Commissioner Litz attended the Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs presentations.
From the Tax Claim Bureau, Treasurer Sallie Neuin requested that the Commissioners accept a $1 bid for each of two trailers at Green Acres Park.
Administrator Wolgemuth reported that a $500,000 draw will be necessary from the Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note to meet the next payroll.
From the Record Improvement Fund, at a cost of $3840, Commissioners approved Dan Seaman’s request for a Landex license and support.
All employees were rehired. Jamie Wolgemuth was reappointed as the Administrator and Penny Snelling as the Solicitor.
2010 Reorganization Lebanon Commissioners.wmv 1:19 on YouTube
Commissioner Carpenter was elected chair; Stohler vice chair; and Litz secretary to the board of commissioners. The same was true for the election, salary, and assessment boards.
When these farms are finalized, Lebanon County will have preserved 15,787 acres on 155 farms. Four more farms are in the process of preservation, and 19 additional farms are on a waiting list for preservation.
On June 10, the State Farmland Preservation Board will come to Lebanon County to celebrate our 15,000 acre milestone AND preservation of the State's 4,000th farm.
Meetings are to be conducted every Thursday in Room 207 of the Municipal Building beginning at 9:20AM. If a holiday falls on Thursday, then the meeting will be held on the preceding Wednesday.
The third Wednesday of each month, commissioners will meet at Cedar Haven beginning at 10:30AM.
During reorganization of the board of commissioners, all liaison assignments remained the same as in 2009.
A list of depository banks was approved.
Meeting dates were approved for the Board of Assessment: 1/21, 2/18, 3/18, 4/15, 5/20, 6/17, 7/15, 8/19, 8/26, 9/2, 9/16, 9/23, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 11/18, and 12/16.
Commissioner Stohler requested the approval of Suzanne Kilmoyer on the Renova Center Advisory Board. Commissioners are receiving requests to serve on the Renova Center and COLT boards where one vacancy remains on each board.
Live Streaming Video of Commissioner's meetings.wmv 1:08 on YouTube
Commissioner Litz asked if there was interest in hearing a former NLHS student’s presentation to broadcast commissioner meetings via “live streaming” on the Internet. The student is conducting research for his master’s thesis, and was accepted to broadcast Jonestown Borough meetings earlier this week. Patel’s concept is to incorporate social media—Twitter and Facebook—as a means of participation during public comment. The system can be set up for under $100. Commissioners Carpenter and Stohler agreed to invite Jigar Patel to the next commissioner’s meeting for his presentation.