People Above Politics

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

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

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

I've been here for you.

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

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

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

Keep Litz doing the People's Business.

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

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

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Campaign/Rail Trail Map Postcard.pdf

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Meeting Highlights

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

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

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

LitzOnLebanon

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

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LINKED IN Jo Ellen Litz

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

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

Taking Action, Getting Results.

Lebanon PA  17046

644-4698

NEED HELP?  Try one of these resources:

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Human Services 2015 Directory

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

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Public Officials Directory prepared by LC Planning Department 

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

to Team Litz  using PayPal

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely, Jo Ellen

People Above Politics

Team Litz:  Treasurer, Cathy Garrison

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

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

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

Swatara Watershed Association

 

 

www.nlrotary.com 

 

ABWA Homepage link

American Business Women's Association

Lebanon County Commission for Women

https://www.facebook.com/LCC4W

 

Women's Democratic Club of Lebanon Valley

https://www.facebook.com/WomensDemocraticClubOfLebanonValley

Woman's Club of Lebanon

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

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Web site paid for by Jo Ellen Litz. 

Meeting Highlights

Votes taken by the Lebanon County Commissioners 2011:

2011 Commissioner Meeting Highlights:  Also visit my Lebanon Daily News Blog:  http://blogs.ldnews.com/peopleabovepolitics/ 

Videos are posted to YouTube or WGAL TV

County of Lebanon Job Openings http://www.lebcounty.org/Human_Resources/Pages/JobAnnouncements.aspx

December 29, 2011

Retirement Board:

bulletInterest payments to employees on their investments remained at 4.5%
bulletIn an effort to correct unrealistic Actuary contribution calculations, Commissioners Carpenter, Litz, and Stohler, as well as Controller Mettley and Treasurer Neuin unanimously agreed to change the "Assumption" to 3.5% (down from 4.5%) for salary increases and 4.5% on return, down from 7.5% on return. 
bullet90% of the COLA was approved with Commissioner Litz voting nay in favor of a balanced pension portfolio.
bulletHay Group will prepare employee statements at a cost of $1.85 each.
bulletFor new hires, Commissioner Litz asked Controller Mettley to look into changing the plan from defined benefit to defined contribution.  After the information is acquired, Mettley stated that a special pension board meeting could be held at anytime.
bulletLitz also inquired about increasing the number of years from five to ten for new hires to become vested.  Mettley stated that a law passed making all vesting five years.  Litz asked to see a copy of this law. 
bulletA 1/80th class, which requires that employees contribute 7% to their pensions, was retained.

Liquid Fuels were awarded to:

bulletJonestown $945
bulletMillcreek $3695
bulletMyerstown $2438
bulletNorth Cornwall $3335

Commissioners approved submission of a $376,592 Emergency Management Preparedness Grant application for 50% salary reimbursement for the fiscal assistant and deputy positions.

Commissioners approved a 2011 $94,700, 2012 $97,599, and 2013 $100,400 three-year audit contract with Reintzel Kuntz and Lesher.

December 22, 2011

Des Nguyen presented Union contracts for approval  Lebanon County Settles 3 Union Contracts.wmv:

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Represented by the Teamsters, Court Related Non-Professionals will receive a zero % increase in 2012, 2% in 2013; and 3% in each year 2014 and 2015.

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Also represented by the Teamsters, Social Services will receive a zero % increase in 2012; 2% in 2013; and 3% in each year 2014 and 2015.

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Finally, the Detectives have a two-year contract with 2% each year.  Previously, this union made wage concessions.

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Next week, we anticipate settling the prison contract.

James Holtry presented invoices for Children and Youth:  Adoption Assistance $65,937.29; Placement Maintenance $104,636.87; Act 148 $449,278; TANF $95,159.17; and Medicaid $938.45; for a total of $715,949.78.  NO Increase in Lebanon County's 2012 Budget.wmv

After 20-days on display, Commissioners passed the $92,147,208 2012 County Budget, which holds the millage rate at 20.  The General Fund budget is $37,009,258.

Eight bids were received with Fredericksburg and Jonestown Banks coming in tie at 1.25%.  Both banks were given an opportunity to resubmit, and Commissioners then signed a $4 million 2012 Tax and Revenue Anticipation note with Jonestown Bank at the rate of 1.15%.  The Bond Firm of Stevens and Lee will handle the TRAN.

The Lebanon County Historical Society received a $10,000 Comprehensive Plan Implementation Grant to help restore the historic Krall log barn at the Union Canal Tunnel Park.  The barn was dismantled around Schaefferstown by contractor John Ross.

Commissioners voted to abolish the offices of Jury Commissioner at the end of the current term.  The bill to change this unfunded mandate was sponsored in the House by Representative RoseMarie Swanger who was in attendance.  Jury Commissioner Franz Messerschmidt also spoke on the issue asking commissioners to postpone their vote.  Lebanon County Eliminates Jury Commissioners.wmv

Angie Foltz presented the 33.13 acre Zimmerman farm for preservation in Heidelberg and South Lebanon Townships.  The County share is $57,531.10.

Commissioners signed as subgrantee with the Redevelopment Authority to administer the HOME grant received by the County.

Commissioners signed a $258,500 MS340 bridge maintenance agreement with PennDOT.

From the Repository of Unsold Property, Commissioners authorized the sale of 20 Lakeside Park for $1.

12.21.11

Cedar Haven  Census:  82 male; 223 female

Corporate compliance signed by Jamie.

An annual fire drill was held 12.5.11 on the evening shift, and included an evacuation.

UMR reviewed charts for a Utilization Medical Review.  They’re at Cedar Haven for 3-days to see if we use their money wisely.  They’ll be back in March.

Cedar Haven stood at 95% occupancy.

Union:  1 grievance was received, the 3rd step of four.  1=Direct supervisor, 2=human resources, 3=Ed Schlegel, then Des in step four to be answered by commissioners.  After that, arbitration.  We usually receive one or two grievances a year.

All rooms are four-bedrooms, but we have 9 double and 9 single rooms.  Private rooms are for behavior or infection control.

Jamie has a letter for Judge Tylwalk.

A Resolution passed to replace eight flooded Probation vehicles.  The vehicles are paid through the judge's supervision fund.  The total lease is $157,951.18.

Commissioners passed a resolution for the Housing and Redevelopment Authority to administer next year's $500,000 home ownership and rehab program.

Brenda Mettley, Kevin Schrum, Cindy, and Roman Shahay presented reports. 

Renova Census is at 24; maximum capacity is 25.

Chief Lesher, South Lebanon, reported reasonable suspicion of a crime.

Hixus computer system had Renova at three different addresses.  We're told the duplication has been straightened out.

Admissions policy:

If a Lebanon County resident just misses the County cutoff parameters, does an out-of-county resident take priority when Lebanon County ends up subsidizing out-of-county residents?  These are local criteria.  DPW does not set our standards.

The Life Support Mortgage was originally paid through Mental Retardation.  We’re behind the eightball on group homes. Renova costs the County $180,301.  Three commissioners and two commissioners-elect concurred to change our admissions policy to give Lebanon County residents priority at Renova Center.  Staff will work on wording, and make a recommendation.

Commissioners moved to drop Project Able who dropped a Renova Center resident in a wheel chair from a van.  We will send more residents to EARS.

In light of pending State changes in funding, Quest rates were discussed.  We will probably lose 40% of our providers through the new State rules.  There will be a moratorium on adding new people to the list, and we currently have 17 people on the residential waiting list.

Prison Board

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398 male, 78 female for 476 total

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Unsentenced 134

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Work release 50

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State sentenced 24

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Parole/probation violators 228

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DJ sentenced 9

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Court of Common Pleas 27

December 15, 2011

Kathy Pflueger commented on the 2012 budget.

District Attorney Dave Arnold requested that he be allowed to hire Scott Feeman as an Assistant District Attorney.  The vote passed 2 to 1 with Commissioner Litz voting no.  Feeman is the County’s labor attorney.  As an ADA he would also work on criminal cases with two unions—(Detectives and Clerical), which Litz feels is a conflict of interest.  While an opinion was sought by majority commissioners, it was not a court opinion, but “advisory only and is not binding on the disciplinary board of the Supreme Court of PA or any court….This is an opinion of only one member of the committee and is not an opinion of the full committee.”

Sharon Long received a proclamation for her faithful service registering voters; training poll workers; distributing, notarizing, and processing both petitions and campaign expense reports; participating in official election counts; and so much more to ensure fair elections.

Commissioner Litz excused herself to participate in a State Farmland Preservation Board meeting via teleconference.  The 107.62 acre James & Thelma Brubaker farm in the Millcreek area were preserved this date.  There was also a discussion concerning an opinion from the Governor’s office saying that counties may charge fees to administer the Farmland Preservation program.  Litz agrees that Conservation Districts must be self-sustaining, and need to be able to charge fees to administer the Farm land Protection program.  However, she asked for the citation in law allowing such charges.  To this date, application fees have been refunded to farmers at the time of settlement.  Further, the opinion was not presented in advance or in writing for Board members to study.  Rather, it was read at the meeting.  Two other members, Sheila Miller, Berks County and Kerry Golden had similar concerns.

Appointments were made to the Lebanon County Conservation District Board—Krall as a farmer director and Don Bollinger as a public director.

Richard Fields, Dr. Joseph Barber, and Ms Charlotte Tumilty were appointed to the Mental Health Mental Retardation Board.  Dr. Diane Brown will fill a 1-year vacancy.

A Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting took place at 11AM.

At 1:30PM, commissioners sat as the Board of Assessment Appeals. The Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority appealed the tax status on part of their land which serves as an educational facility, teaching about solar, wind, and methane to create electricity.  However, the electricity is sold, thus income producing, which may not qualify for tax exemption.  Solicitor Snelling will research case law. 

Community: 

Success Studio owner Mary Foltz and Mary Kay Consultant Cindy Coakley opened a new business on the second floor of the Feather Building in Annville.  Mary is a coach, trainer, and consultant to teach business owners and employees how to provide exceptional customer service. Cyntia Coakley will help people look and feel their best with instructions on choosing the right colors for your skin type and applying makeup using Mary Kay products.

December 8, 2011

Voter Registrar Nick Yingst presented a 3-year ES&S contract for approval to maintain Lebanon County’s electronic voting machines.  The new contract will save at least $8605 to maintain our 270 machines.  The total contract price will drop from $47,000 to $44,000 annually. 

SC Alert: 

The SC Terrorism Task Force, serving Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties, rolled out a regional communications system designed to alert the public of emergencies or other life safety information using a program called Everbridge.  You will be kept informed during floods, fires, boil water advisories, and other urgent events.  It is designed to contact residents of an impending or actual emergency by way of home telephone, cellular phone, email, text, pagers, and instant messaging.  If you are already listed in the white pages, your information should be in the data base.  If you have an unlisted phone number or have an alternate way you wish to be notified, you will have to register and provide that information on a voluntary basis.  You can register and prioritize up to 5 locations.  Register at www.sctfpa.org by clicking on the SC Alert Logo.  All information is maintained on a secure server and will NOT be distributed or disseminated to ANY individual or other organization!

December 1, 2011

Kathy Pflueger shared her observations after reviewing the 2010 County audit.

Commissioners tentatively adopted a $92,147,208 2012 Budget, which remains at 20 mills.  Non-union employees will not receive a pay increase.  Thank you for your sacrifices, which have spared layoffs.  Click Here to view the 2012 budget report

The county saw lower interest revenue; $77,646 in lower real estate tax receipts due to slow real estate growth and commercial property tax appeals; $169,700 lower court costs and fines collections for the third year in a row; and department charges and reimbursements were also down by $120,485.

Also, the County is required by law to accept dispatch of City Police, an increase of $300,000 plus the cost of compatible equipment. 

Bridge Replacements in the next ten years include:  Inwood, Golf Road, and Yorty Road.

Major Maintenance or bridge preservation, near term:  Levan’s $90,000; Valley Glen, $55,000; Mill Avenue, $26,000; Reilly Road, $61,000; Syner Road $26,500.

Major Maintenance or bridge preservation, long term:  Red Rock Bridge, Jonestown Road, Cemetery Road. 

Commissioners approved a service agreement for Health Choices that alters the revue share arrangement sending any interest over 3% to DPW.

Administrator Wolgemuth reported that a GP11 permit has been submitted to DEP for approval so that in-stream cleanup of Yorty’s Bridge can occur. 

Liquid Fuels Allocations

TOWNSHIPS

2nd CLASS

MUNICIPALITY

APPROPRIATION

MUNICIPALITY

APPROPRIATION

 

 

 

 

City of Lebanon

$21,000.00

Bethel

$4,861.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

E. Hanover

4,717.00

                                                                BOROUGHS                                                                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heidelberg

              4,694.00

Cleona

$1,421.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jackson

5,112.00

Cornwall

              3,044.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Millcreek

              3,695.00

Jonestown

945.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

N. Annville

              3,083.00

Mt. Gretna

346.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

N. Cornwall

3,335.00

Myerstown

2,438.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

N. Lebanon

6,489.00

Palmyra

4,862.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

N. Londonderry

              2,910.00

Richland

939.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S. Annville

2,036.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                 FIRST CLASS TOWNSHIPS                                           

S. Lebanon

7,614.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S. Londonderry

3,527.00

Annville

$3,204.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swatara

3,695.00

West Lebanon

796.00

 

 

 

 

 

Union

3,559.00

 

 

 

 

W. Cornwall

1,363.00

 

November 23, 2011

Due to Thanksgiving falling on a Thursday, this week’s meeting was held on a Wednesday.

At a cost of $20 round trip within Lebanon County, $35 to Hershey Medical Center and back, and $65 outside of these areas, Beth Reddinger and Lloyd Smith received approval to provide Medical Assistance Transportation.  At a cost of $85 round trip to Hershey Medical Center or $400 over 100 miles, Ultimate Medical Services will provide wheelchair transports. 

At noon on Friday, November 25, casting of lots will occur to break ties in seven races.

A Joint Municipal Agreement was signed with North Londonderry Township to construct a backup 911 center.  However, Verizon has not yet stated whether or not Lebanon County may use their tower.  A $1000 application fee was paid, and a successful shot occurred from the roof of the municipal building.  If approval is not received, a price to install our own tower will be pursued.  Therefore construction is up to a year away.  No type of material has been designated, but the building should blend in with the Township campus.  At the meeting, a drawing that included one restroom and an equipment room was produced by Commissioner Stohler.  He claimed the 32’x20’ building could accommodate eight telecommunicators, but the State guideline is 100 square feet per station.  Stohler also stated that no rent would be charged. 

Stating that we should honor our commitment to the employees and the taxpayers, Commissioner Litz moved to pay the budgeted pension payment as soon as enough money is in the bank.  The motion died for lack of a second.  In response to Stohler’s statement about the possibility of losing the investment on the stock market, Litz responded that we could designate the payment be placed into a secured account in a financial institution.  She is concerned that our audit, and eventually our bond rating will be negatively impacted if we don’t make a good faith effort to make payments to the fund.  Commissioner Carpenter stated that at the Retirement Board Meeting in December, Controller Mettley will make recommendations to curb an escalating deficit.

November 16, 2011

Cedar Haven Board:

Census stood at 305, 87 Male and 218 Female--95%.

Pay for Performance was received in the amount of $122,000 from a PACA IGT Project.  This PFP will cease in 2012.

There is one more year for intergovernmental transfers for County share as well.  The legislature is requested to make these payments permanent. 

Life Safety revisited on 10.24.  At a cost of $5,000, deficiencies, including changing locks and 25-year old decorations to come into compliance with new fire hazard rules, were corrected.

Commissioners heard an update on Union activity.

12.14 is the Employee Christmas Tea when pins for service will be awarded.

Roman Shahay reported on Renova Center.  Census stands at 24 with a new admission evaluation pending. 

Commissioners also discussed the 2012 budget, cutting another $370,000.  Coleman Park and Governor Dick were spared.  Sally Neuin's software and a Fixed Asset Software program were approved from the Record Improvement Fund.

Prison Board:

Warden Karnes proposed, and the Board approved, a plan to raise the Cost Recovery Fee paid by prisons from $10 to $15 per day.  The rate has not increased in ten years.

Further, the Supervision Fee was raised from $10 to $20 with the first four outings to look for jobs exempt.  Revenue to the County's General Fund is projected at $50,000.

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Population stood at 507--421 males and 86 females.

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Unsentenced inmates 152

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Work Release 54

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State Sentenced 23

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Parole/Probation Violators 237

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DJ Sentenced 14

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Sentenced by the Court of Common Pleas 18

November 17, 2011

Mike Kristovensky and Joe Lecisko presented a Cooperative Block Grant Agreement and an Over 60 Medicaid Waiver Agreement for approval.  Even with a net budget loss of $58,012, only eleven people are on a waiting list.

Commissioner Litz stated that she loves firemen  Commissioner Litz pointed out that procedurally, the Comprehensive Plan rules on Page 2, C1 and Page 4, E2 state that the cycle for Part 2 Applications ends on September 30 of a given year.

Further, prior to submitting Application Part 2, Part 1 must be approved by the commissioners and reviewed by the Planning Department for compliance with the Comprehensive Plan.  This was not done.

Also, Page 3, 8 and Page 4, 9 state that 50% of a project may be funded by the County, with projects receiving multiple sources of funding receiving priority

 The County Commissioners continue their commitment to sound planning and implementation of the 2007 Lebanon County Comprehensive Plan by providing funding assistance to municipalities, non-profit organizations and county agencies to finance local planning initiatives and projects that support and further the goals and objectives of the Plan. The guidelines and application forms for the Comprehensive Plan Implementation Fund are listed below. Please carefully read the guidelines before proceeding with the required Part 1 application.

Comprehensive Plan Implementation Fund Guidelines
http://lebcounty.org/Planning/Documents/LCCP_Grant_Guidelines-final.pdf
http://lebcounty.org/Planning/Documents/LCCP_Grant_Guidelines-final.pdf Application Part 1 http://lebcounty.org/Planning/Documents/LCCP_Grant_Guidelines-final.pdf Application Part 2

Oral objections to the awarding of more than $250,000 from Comprehensive Plan Implementation Funds for the “Burn Building” have gone unheard.  Therefore, this written summary is a formal objection for inclusion in today’s minutes.

First, written rules (attached) were followed by many other applicants for funding.  They were not awarded, and many organizations were not formally refused Comprehensive Plan Implementation Funds.

A private source of matching funds was not exhausted. (Required by rules.)

Next, no application, which would reference the portion of the comprehensive plan to which the Burn Building applies, has been received. (Received 11.17.11, the morning of the meeting.)

In addition, no vote has been taken to award the funds. (Vote taken this date.)

Finally, if a vote were taken, Larry would have to abstain because of a conflict of interest having received personal gain as a paid instructor at the Burn House. (Stohler denied receiving compensation as a fire school instructor.)

In conclusion, all I ask is that the established rules be followed.  I support awarding $250,000 towards the Burn Building.  However, the other $250,000 should be awarded to other worthy applicants.  If the rules are broken, a vote should be taken to extend the timeframe in which the remaining funds can be awarded. (A Stohler/Carpenter motion dismissed the rules.)

During public comment, Phylis Dryden criticized Commissioner Litz for sending her an email, which Dryden read out loud.  Dryden thinks Litz rules with an iron hand covered by a velvet glove. 

November 10, 2011

Saying she abused her office, Phylis Dryden read a statement concerning an email Commissioner Litz sent concerning duplicate entries by the Prothonotary’s office.

Archie and Mike Battistelli and Brad Baker from Sovereign Asset Management presented an update on the  Employees’ Retirement Fund.  The balance stands at $92,360,472.

Commissioners passed a proclamation honoring Kathy Andrews upon her retirement from the Heart Association.

Commissioners reviewed Comprehensive Plan Implementation Grants:

  1. Swatara Township Rockwood Sewer Project $50,000 passed unanimously;

  2. Jackson Township Fairland Avenue Park $70,000 passed on a Carpenter/Stohler motion.  Litz voted nay stating that one municipality should not receive more than $50,000;

  3. Bethel Township swing set project $3,942 passed unanimously;

  4. Historical Society $10,000 to erect the 1700s Krall log barn at Union Canal Tunnel Park passed unanimously.

Commissioners met in budget session at 10:30AM.  Carpenter proposed $500,000 in cuts from Cedar Haven, Children and Youth, Renova, MHMR, and EMA; Stohler proposed, and Carpenter concurred, eliminating the $500,000 2012 Retirement Fund contribution; and Litz proposed freezing $365,000 in wages and amending the bond issue for replacement of a $190,000 capital item--a prison roof.  Litz’s proposals were dismissed.  Therefore, from the $2.2 million deficit, $1,113,366 was deducted. 

Administrator Wolgemuth referenced the law, “If they so desire, the new board of commissioners can reopen budget hearings during January, but may not change the budget by more than 10%.”

Computations of the Municipal Election Returns will be held on Monday, November 14 beginning at 9AM in Room 207.

November 3, 2011

While no vote was taken, during budget hearings, Commissioner Larry Stohler said, and Commissioner Carpenter agreed, to use Comprehensive Plan Implementation funds of $500,000 for a fire tower to train firemen.  Commissioner Litz stated that she loves firemen, has used their services, made a personal contribution toward the fire tower, and supports funding a portion of the tower with taxpayer dollars, but the firemen have a potential source of matching funds that should be explored first.  (Dryden restated Litz's previous request.)  Otherwise, Stohler’s motives could be considered grand standing or wanting to look like a hero. 

As presented to Commissioner Litz, here are a few other projects that were not funded, but were also not technically disapproved for funding:

  1. Habitat for Humanity requested $40,000 for housing rehabs.  The Commissioners provided Act 137 funds, rather than Comp. Plan Implementation funds.

  2. GLRA requested $50,000 for an electronics collection program in September 2008 – a decision was put “on hold” by the Commissioners.

  3. Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce requested $10,000 for upgrades to their website in Sept. 2008 – a decision was put “on hold” by the Commissioners.

  4. PA Historic Dramas (Brian Kreider) requested $25,000 to create a film called “Historic Lebanon” – a decision was put “on hold” by the Commissioners.

  5. Swatara Watershed, $25,000 (revised).

  6. Lebanon County Conservation District's $3,000 request to cover half the cost of a stream ecology training seminar.

  7. $6,000 request from the Lebanon Valley Conservancy and Lebanon County Historical Society to cover half of the publication costs for a brochure to promote the Lebanon County Heritage Trail, a 100-mile driving tour that highlights the county's cultural, historical and natural resources.

  8. LCCD $200,000 and $50,000 farmland preservation requests Jan 2011.

At this meeting, Phyllis Dryden came to Stohler’s defense stating, “I don’t believe Larry would do that (play hero).”  After Stohler quietly prodded Litz about a request for funds that were not awarded for Swatara Watershed’s public park, Litz stated that Lame Duck spending is occurring with Community Development Block Grant funds, Affordable Housing funds, and now Comprehensive Plan Implementation funds, and established written protocol is being thrown out the door.  Clearly $200,000 is an allowable expense from Category 3 funding as a commissioner’s project, but there is a limit of $50,000 on Category 1 awards, which are for municipalities.  At most, the current rules could allow a $250,000 award for the fire tower.  To award $500,000 toward the fire tower is lame duck spending.  If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a lame duck.  Commissioner Carpenter said he now knows why he uses a cane.

Carol Davies, Drug and Alcohol  Abuse Director, presented contract amendments and a year-end fiscal report for approval.

Engineer Mark Wilson explained to commissioners that the Inwood Bridge was the bridge that would have provided emergency access across the Swatara Creek to Swatara Township during TS Lee.  Downstream bridges or approaches were not accessible due to flooding.  Therefore, Mark asked commissioners to sign a final letter to PennDOT emphasizing our desire to replace the Inwood Bridge for Public Health and Safety.

Commissioners passed a proclamation supporting Welsh Mountain Dental Services to provide primary care to the 13,500 uninsured, underinsured, Medicaid, and Medicare residents of Lebanon County.

Commissioners made 3-year appointments to the Board of Children and Youth:  Barb Heckard, Redith Shoberger, Luz Rosario, Joy Meyer, and Amy Custer.

Community

10.13.11:  The League of Women Voters of Lebanon County and WLBR Radio 1270 hosted a debate for county commissioners at the Municipal Building auditorium.  Moderators Laura LeBeau and Sue Fry asked questions submitted from the community but not shared with candidates or anyone else prior to the debate.  Fry asked commissioner candidates Kathy Pflueger, Bob Phillips, Bill Ames, and incumbent Jo Ellen Litz if there was a department that was not functioning properly.  Pflueger criticized EMA management, and Litz defended the staff and management.

October 27, 2011

Troy Williams presented the Emergency Food Assistance Program for approval.  Commissioners appoint LCCM to distribute commodities received by the Commonwealth from USDA.

Commissioners adopted a proclamation recognizing Adoption Awareness Month.

Commissioners approved a Part 1 application of Comprehensive Plan Implementation Funds for the City of Lebanon to use toward engineering costs associated with the proposed new entrance and exit to Coleman park. 

October 20, 2011

Phyllis Dryden and Kathy Pflueger discussed an audit stating that a final paper was not submitted for a grant.  Jamie Wolgemuth accepted responsibility for the late filing of the Liquid Fuels form.  He further explained that the requested and submitted paperwork took quite a while to be reviewed and processed.  Then, it was decided that the documentation should be for the entire amount of the grant rather than the final payment amount.  Again the documentation was submitted, and time went by, into the following year, before it was approved and accepted.  There was no question that the project was properly completed, and all funds were spent appropriately.

Irv Siegel, Coleman Park Board member, thanked commissioners for a $20,000 Comprehensive Plan Implementation Grant awarded to the Park for a Master Plan feasibility study.  During the Park’s 75th Anniversary, the entrance is being updated.

Bill Sullivan, Chief of Juvenile Probation, received approval for a $182,900 Grant-In-Aid application to cover salaries of his probation officers.

Phyllis Holtry, Community Action Partnership, received approval for five private drivers for Medical Assistance Transportation.  Further, for median income individuals discussion occurred for a Homeless Prevention and Rapid Te-Housing Grant for children coming out of foster care.  An Assurance of Compliance contract extension was accepted through 9.30.12 for MATP.

Dan Seaman and Karl Stump presented 40 mobile homes for adjustment during Assessment Appeals.  A permanently disabled vet was also granted exemption from real estate taxes.  Farmer's Pride's appraisal had inconsistencies, which resulted in "no change" of their assessment.  Long's Machine in Cleona received a reduced assessment to $267,500.  Valenti/Wendy's on Cumberland Street did not submit an appraisal, which resulted in no change in their assessment.  Shott Pharmaceutical is a TIFF property, which wasn't mentioned in their appraisal.  Therefore, there was "no change" in their assessment.

Budget Hearings will take place beginning Monday, October 24 at 9AM; reconvene on Tuesday at 9:15AM; again on Wednesday, October 26 at 9AM; and conclude on Thursday beginning at 1PM--after the commissioner's meeting.

October 19, 2011

Commissioners met as both the Board of Cedar Haven and the Prison.

October 13, 2011

After the Storm:  

Lebanon County has received a Public Declaration for Tropical Storm Lee.  FEMA’s Frank Maloney is coordinating the Public Assistance for parks, hospitals, municipalities, and school districts.  On October 19, 2011 at both 2 & 7PM, there will be a meeting in the auditorium of the Municipal Building, 400 S. 8th St., Lebanon PA  17042. 

The Small Business Administration provides loans to businesses and individuals.  Advantages include:  You are working with your own tax dollars.  There are no closing fees.  The loan is guaranteed, even with lower than normal collateral.  The loan will not get sold.  Loans can be for up to 30 years.

So far, 148 homes are considered destroyed in Lebanon County, and residents from North Annville, Annville, Avon, Swatara, Myerstown, and Cleona have asked to have their homes purchased.  Using the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, buyouts are 100% voluntary, and people can change their mind at any time during the process.  The first step in the process is for a municipality to submit a “Letter of Intent.”  These letters were distributed last week by Lebanon EMA.  County Planning is willing to assist residents to approach municipalities for the Letters of Intent. 

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FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program-Part 1.wmv 13:53

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For residents to obtain flood insurance, most municipal ordinances comply with FEMA’s request to disallow renovation of a home if repairs cost more than 50% of the value of the home.  When purchased by FEMA, homes are paid at fair market value prior to the floodThere is an allotment for demolition, and both the land and building are purchased.  This is a competitive process.  The State will prioritize purchases based on severity of the hazards.  All total, the process takes about 18 months, but FEMA and PEMA are looking to streamline the process.  FEMA provides 75%, and historically, the State has provided the other 25% of the funding.  The title is turned over to the municipality for open space.  Lebanon County’s Comprehensive Plan has a vision of a greenway trail along the Swatara Creek and Union Canal. 

September 29, 2011

Nick Yingst attend today’s meeting to request and receive approval for the Electronic Ballot layout.  Judge Kline and Jamie Wolgemuth joined Commissioner Carpenter as the Election Board.

South Lebanon CDBG applications have dropped 22% since 1983 to $332,496 for the County and down 18% to $133,759 for South Lebanon.

Due to loans paid back, $295,000 in the CDBG budget was revised.

The HOME program was approved to fund (in Part) an affordable housing project in Palmyra and continue to fund the First Time Homebuyer and Housing Rehab programs. 

Bryan Hoffman and Ray Bender discussed financing to rehabilitate a deteriorating former warehouse that dominates a neighborhood in Palmyra.  The project will become DiMatteo Plaza, a 40-unit housing project for the elderly.  Located at 101 N Harrison St., Palmyra, the developer is Nonprofit Housing Corporation of Lebanon County.  The project will consist of $750,000 Act 137 funds, $450,000 in Home Funds, and possibly $250K from a non-profit called Palmyra Interfaith Housing in addition to LIHTC Equity.  Tax credits are being sought for the finance institution.  If awarded, the project will close and commence in late fall of 2012, take 12 months to complete, and be completed in the fall of 2013. 

Stephanie Harmon invited commissioners and the public to attend a Watershed Forum on October 29, 2011 from 9AM-noon at Lancaster Farm and Home Center 1383 Arcadia Rd., Lancaster PA  17601.

Lynn Snead, Domestic Violence Intervention, said that in the last 22 months, 7 victims have died from domestic violence.  She invited commissioners and the public to a Show of Hands at 9th and Cumberland Streets, Lebanon at 10AM on Saturday.  Also, October is DVI awareness month.

At 1:30PM, commissioners sat as the Assessment Appeals Board to hear 14 appeals. 

September 21, 2011

Cedar Haven:  Census 296, 84 males and 212 females

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A 6’ deep sinkhole will be partially filled with stones from the Eldercare roof.

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Fall Frolic netted between $8000 and $9000 for residents.

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Roman Shahay, Renova Center, sail that residents will attend a FallFest in Cleona on October 19. 

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A man in his early 20s is being recommended for admission.  He attends EARS>

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Inmates are hand removing steel from Levan’s Bridge on Route 343.  Previously, they removed debris from Yordy’s Bridge.

Prison Board:  Census 509:  430 males and 79 females

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Unsentenced Inmates 188

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Work Release 52

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State Sentenced 22

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Parole/probation Violators 239

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DJ sentenced 8

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Sentenced by Court of Common Pleas 30

September 22, 2011

Commissioners hired Carol Davies, Fiscal Operations Officer at MHMR, as the new Director of Drug and Alcohol.  Carol has been an employee for 20 years, knows the programs, and can hit the ground running.  Sue Klarsh was her distinguished predecessor. 

Mike Kristovensky, Area Agency on Aging, presented a recommendation for a new Myerstown Senior Center effective November 1 at Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 Ramona Rd.  Manager Peggy Klahr will have double the space to run the Center for around 500 participants, which makes it the most active Center in the County.  Contact Peggy at mysc@lmf.net or call 866-6786.  The Center operates Monday through Friday from 10AM-2PM.  Lebanon Transit is available to the site.

Mike also presented an agreement with Brightbill Bodyworks, effective Monday, to store and provide repairs for the Pride of the Valley, a bus purchased for Centers to take participants on trips.  Brightbill was one of five requests for proposal respondents.  AAA will continue to provide a driver for the bus. 

Mike and Terry Hildebran reviewed a Medicare Open Enrollment Day being held on Thursday, October 20, 2011 between 9AM-5PM by appointment at the Senior Center, 710 Maple St., Lebanon.  To register call 273.9262.  You will receive free Medicare Counseling, and may save money in the process. 

Deputy Secretary of Transportation Toby Fauver requested, and Commissioners passed, a resolution to join in a regional feasibility study for mass transportation.  PennDOT will assume the lead, as well as the financial obligation, for the study.  Included in a final report would be an examination of a single consolidation approach and detailed findings of consolidation versus the present separate operation of the six counties/agencies of:  Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York. 

Site visits, interviews, and facilities inspections will occur of administrative, operations, maintenance, and vehicle storage facilities, including buildings, major equipment, yards, and parking areas. 

September 15, 2011

Commissioner Carpenter was absent.

Upon her retirement, Maxine Garrity received a proclamation for her 22 years of faithful and outstanding service as an Administrative Specialist in the District Attorney’s office.

Nick Yingst, Voter Registrar presented a sample absentee ballot to the Election Board for approval.  Administrator Wolgemuth and Judge Kline acted as the Board.

Catharine Kilgore, DA Dave Arnold, and Tony Finkle, DUI Coordinator, received approval to continue a 3-year grant to operate a DUI Court.  The Court collected $77,900 in fees over 3 years, which will help to supplement a $175,510 grant application requireing a 25% $43,878 match.  In May, the first graduates of the program shared their gratefulness to be able to get their lives together.  To enter the program, participants had to have a willingness to change.  Facing a jail sentence, contact with the President Judge, and a team approach were motivating factors too.  Because the program for the 39 graduating students is two years long, real life changes evolved for an 87% success rate.  The program, which is heavy on education and intensive supervision, is credited for saving lives and families.  A related $140,000 grant was also approved.

James Holtry and Karen Alonzo presented $659,390.86 in invoices and a County-share request of $1.8 million toward a Needs Based Budget for Children and Youth.  Traditionally, the County contributes $1.5-$1.6 million to the program.  Holtry assured commissioners that costs can be curtailed, and the traditional contribution should replace the current request.

EMA Director Dan Kauffman, provided an update on Tropical Storm Lee.

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Damage Assessments are being entered into PEMA’s database.  There are approximately another 1,000 forms to process, and there are five steps to enter each form.  Call Brandi at 272-7621 to volunteer to help with data entry.

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FEMA is in Lebanon with Boots-on-the-Ground visiting damaged homes in North and South Annville, Annville, Jonestown, and Myerstown.  FEMA will present ID, wear blue shirts with the FEMA emblem, and NOT ask for money or a signature.

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A Disaster Recovery Center was requested. 

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Municipal Assessments of roads, bridges, equipment rentals to remove debris, overtime services…also need prepared.  These are Category B expenses, which are approved to take emergency protective measures. 

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Kauffman praised the Salvation Army and Red Cross for their efforts on the front line. 

Due to flooding when the Hazel Dike breached, Juvenile Probation is relocated to Cedar Haven.  Damage to the Juvenile Probation building were estimated at $120,000.

Citing Section 1784 of the County Code, using the Affordable Housing Fund to which residents contribute a $12 fee for mortgages and deeds, Assistance is available to flood victims. The county commissioners will host the Lebanon County Disaster Response Fund on Saturday, September 17, 2011, from 8AM-4PM.  You will be given a Damage Report Survey to complete.  If items damaged would normally be sold with your home, you may be eligible for the cash assistance.  For example, in addition to repairing electrical problems and replacing plaster walls, furnaces, hot water heaters, and stoves can qualify too. 

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Up to $1 million will be awarded to assist up to 2,000 households with recovery efforts. Enter from the basement ramp at the parking lot, 400 S 8th St., Lebanon. Bring ID, pictures, estimates or receipts. One check per household. Qualified applicants will leave with a check.

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Affordable Housing income limits apply.   Income limits and Family Size are: 

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Maximum Income:  1-$45,400; 2-$51,900; 3-$58,400; 4-$64,800; 5-$70,000; 6-$75,200; 7-$80,400; 8-$85,600.

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If funds remain after Saturday, the Commissioners will resume the process on Monday in the Commissioners office from 8:30AM-4:30PM.

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Damage Reporting Form  http://www.joellenlitz.com/EMA/Damage%20Assessment%20Form.pdf

Lebanon County Lessons Learned from Hurricane Lee and Useful Tidbits to Weather a Storm

Lessons Learned from Hurricane Lee.pdf

In the afternoon, commissioners sat as the Board of Assessment Appeals.  17 appeals and one Disabled Veteran's application were heard. 

September 8, 2011

The Commissioner's meeting was cancelled due to imminent danger from Hurricane Lee.  A disaster declaration was signed on Wednesday.

September 1, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofO3LvhxMIk Melissa Pflueger and Jamie Biever received a proclamation for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month on behalf of their children Brandt and Brandon who were lost to cancer.  The mothers asked the public to support families who lost children to cancer and support research.

EMA Director Dan Kaufman received approval for a $1000 Verizon Wireless Tower application to host a dish for the new Public Service Answering Point.  If Verizon approves the application, a structural analysis will follow.

Further, the Line of Site study is completed to North Londonderry Township, and a clear line is possible at 60’ on the courthouse roof and at 100’ on the Verizon tower.  The next step involves a $1450 structural analysis by Tower Tech, Arkansas, who performed the original analysis for the Counter Terrorism Task Force, on the courthouse tower.

Commissioners approved a $29,000 Comprehensive Plan Implementation Fund grant for the Northern Lebanon Recreation Board to conduct a Needs Assessment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UNhgfusVSU Dan also provided a Storm Report.  Damage Assessments from wind gusts around 50mph and 2” of rain are being collected from municipalities.  No emergency Operation Center or disaster proclamations were issued by the County.  However, South Annville declared an emergency.  614 calls were received at the 911 center.  The Philhaven Hospital worked from a generator for their waste water treatment plant.  So far, three structural damage reports were filed from North Lebanon Township; four South Annville roofs and chimneys were destroyed; one fire; closed roads were reported on the LEMA website, which is updated every 30 minutes; $1000 damage occurred at the Department of Military Affairs, FIG; but no serious injuries took place; and farmers lost about 50% of their corn crop.  EMA Planner Gerry Burke will accept phone calls at 272.7621 x 210 or emails at Lema@lebanonema.org ,or, there is a form you can complete EMA/Damage Assessment Form.pdf and mail in.  Be sure to report flooded basements too.  Even if you have insurance, a report is requested. 

From 3-8 PM,  the Northern Lebanon High School shelter provided showers and meals, but it will close today.  The Red Cross was an asset.  MetEd implemented an Ice and Water program by authorizing the two Giants and Redners to distribute these items. 

Commissioners heard Assessment Appeals in the afternoon.  One disabled veteran was given exemption.

Community:  Marcellus Shale forum on ground water flow:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nb8MRdkFexI&feature=related

                        Round the Valley Bike Tour Round the Valley, 100 mile Bike Tour of Lebanon County.wmv

August 25, 2011

Commissioner Litz represented commissioners at a PA Farmland Preservation Board meeting in Harrisburg.

Community Action Partnership (CAP):

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A $338,572 Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP) report was approved for the 4th quarter.

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A $1,009,755 MATP pre-expenditure plan was also approved on behalf of the Community Action Partnership.

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Danielle Powers and Robert McNamee were approved as subcontractors for curb-to-curb transportation services for MATP.  

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The 4th quarter Human Services Development Fund (HSDF) expenditure report of $158,725 was also approved. 

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The 4th quarter HSDF  pre-expenditure plan of $100,784 was approved for 2012.

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A $107,242 Work Ready Budget for CAP was also approved.

Duane Troutman and Charles Killian provided an update on the Burn Building.  The Certified Training Site will cost $600,000 to rebuild.  Ideas to raise the money were brain-stormed, but the new Board of Commissioners will need to be consulted on this. 

A bridge inventory and inspection reimbursement agreement totaling $625,963.52 (80% federal and 20% local) was approved. 

At a cost of $850, Capital Area Communication, York PA, will complete a line-of-site study between the microwave radio tower at the Lebanon County-City Building and North Londonderry Township.  This study is needed to accommodate the future 911 alternate PSAP.

August 17, 2011

Prison Board:  410 Males, 84 Females for a total of 494 inmates

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161 unsentenced inmates

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56 work release inmates

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24 State sentenced inmates

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232 Parole/Probation Violators

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12 DJ sentenced

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22 Court of Common Pleas sentenced

Cedar Haven:  86 Males, 211 Females for a total of 297 residnets

August 18, 2011

Commissioners met in Executive Session to discuss payroll with Judge Tylwalk.

The Arnold's returned, and listened to staff as they explained the 1943 Township line survey.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlSIeDGorxs

Desiree Nguyen presented a proposal to change group life insurance, which will save $12,000 per year.

Lynn Snead presented an Emergency Shelter Grant budget revision request by DCED.  Utilities increased by $317.16, but the telephone dropped $3,059.41.  As a result, building maintenance received $1,536, and Security cameras were installed at a cost of $1,206.25.

Archie and Mike Battistelli presented the 2nd quarter Performance Review of the Employees’ Retirement Fund.  On June 30, 2011, the Fund was worth $94,685,000.  With the downturn in the stock market and withdrawals, the balance stood at $88,687,942.  Management fees are a percent of the portfolio (1/2 of 1%), which totals around $300,000 annually.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwImle76ZVc

A second Executive Session was held to discuss Union Negotiations.

Commissioner Litz returned from the Annual County Commissioner's Association of PA where she was elected as CCAPs 2012 president.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxfOPcUAkw0

August 11, 2011

Commissioners heard from constituents:

When a residence is located on a lot, the municipality hosting the living quarters receives taxes for the parcel.  However, on an empty lot, municipalities proportionately share the taxes.  Mr & Mrs Arthur Arnold reviewed their property, which spans two townships.  Only one shed is located on the farm fields and wood lots.  With the Assessment Office, Commissioner Litz verified that the Arnold’s are not getting taxed twice for the same parcel.  Further, Mr. Arnold says the municipalities are aware of a property line dispute.  However, it is the Arnold's understanding that because of cost, municipalities chose not to pursue a change.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlSIeDGorxs

Kathy Pflueger questioned the 2009 audit concerning investments being stated in dollars; 10% of net assets invested in foreign companies operating in the USA; and the Conservation District cash audit.  Finally, she requested a copy of the County investment policy.  Controller Mettley stated that it is the same policy provided to employees when they are hired.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2PcYsLTEZM

In the Community Action Partnership office, it was voted that three employees would receive lay-off notices due to coming state and federal budget cuts anticipated to reach $153,692 or a 27.5% cut.  The County is on a calendar year, and higher levels of government follow a fiscal year.  This means the County could pay out 6-9 months of wages only to learn they won’t be reimbursed for services traditionally under contract with the State and Federal entities.  Two additional employee’s hours were cut.

Sheriff DeLeo received approval to fill a Full Time Deputy Sheriff position.

On a 2 to 1 vote Mark Jackson was hired as an Agricultural Conservation Technician.  The position is fully funded.  Commissioner Carpenter voted nay. 

Elected Officials choose who they’d like to work in their offices, but commissioners are responsible for creating positions, the budget, and paying salaries.  Therefore, elected officials meet with the commissioners to discuss new positions and overtime.  This procedure helps the County to keep within their budget.  The courts would like overtime to catch up on filing in the Probation Office.  The matter will be discussed at next weeks meeting.

For acceptance, Catherine Kilgore presented a $1500 CJAB Mini-Grant for Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Training.   In addition, commissioners approved a $10,000 Gatekeeper Grant Modification.  The successful Gatekeeper program has been around since 2001. 

Commissioners also approved receipt of a $656,019 PCCD Drug and Alcohol Treatment Based grant for Renaissance Crossroads.  Finally, $68,031 in each budget year for 2012 and 2013 will support salaries and benefits for victims of crime.

Emmitt Smith was appointed to the Lebanon County Commission on Alcohol.

Commissioners invited all commissioner candidates to sit down and discuss expectations for next year’s budget.  For example, in this economic climate, do they feel that we should freeze salaries?  The new board will have to live with the budget voted upon by the outgoing commissioners.  Budget hearings will take place the week of October 24.

August 4, 2011

Eric Fahler was promoted as the 911 Supervisor.

Through a media campaign, Philhaven Hospital and Lebanon County Mental Health will address the local suicide issue to increase awareness of the resources available to those who are experiencing thoughts of suicide or exhibiting suicidal tendencies.  Symptoms include:

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Devastation by a broken relationship

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Loss of job, money, status

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Heightened alcohol or drug abuse

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Severely depressed, withdrawn, apathetic, anxious, irritable

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Feelings of hopelessness

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Changes in sleeping or eating habits...are some of the signs.

If your or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call Crisis Intervention at 274-3363 to anonymously speak to a professional counselor 24/7.

Contract changes with Melmark, Devereux, Brenda Beitzel, Quest, Step by Step, and Community Services Group totaled $96,337, and contract changes with ISC, AHEDD, Susquehanna Association for the Blind, and TMB totaled $14,919.  These changes do not increase county match.

Finally, the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Abuse made grant funds in the amount of $39,988 available to develop and implement programs to create awareness and educate the community concerning gambling problems.  No county match is required.  Along with Compass mark, we developed a plan to address gambling.

July 28, 2011

Dennis Grumbine and Harry Bachman welcomed everyone to the Lebanon Area Fair http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUIA_ETk24s .

Nadine Moore introduced Fair Queen Lydia Smith http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozgovam_ToU

Kathy Pflueger asked questions about the 2008 and 2009 audits as well as when the 2010 audit would be completed.

Chuck Wertz presented three municipal checks for the farmland preservation program:

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1)      $2,500 from North Cornwall;

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2)      $5,000 from North Lebanon; and

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3)      $8,000 from East Hanover Townships. 

Since 1998, municipalities have contributed $563,700 to the land preservation program.  The County, State, and federal governments have contributed additional funds to the program.

Dan Seaman provided a farmland reassessment update.  Swatara, North Annville, and North Cornwall Townships still need data collection from site visits on their farms.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob_jeB4GwhM Tim Barr, from 21st Century discussed Clean and Green.  Farmers and wood lot owners of 10 acres or more can sign up by the deadline of October 15, 2012.  A booklet and application forms can be obtained at the 21st Century booth at the Lebanon Area Fair or at the Assessment Office, 400 S 8th St., Lebanon. 

July 20 & 21, 2011

Treasurer Sallie Neuin received permission on a Carpenter/Litz motion to bring Colette Aurnz on board to process hunting licenses on a part-time casual basis.  Stohler voted nay. 

Desiree Nguyen presented personnel requests

Troy Williams received approval for a TEFAP renewal agreement and the State Food Purchase Agreement. 

The Schaefferstown Sewer Project received a $15,000 Comprehensive Plan Implementation Grant.

N Lebanon Recreation Authority Receives Funding.wmv

The Northern Lebanon Recreation Association comprised of Jonestown, Bethel, East Hanover, Swatara, and Union Township as well as the Northern Lebanon School District hired a Circuit Rider to coordinate recreation in the District.  A $29,000 Comprehensive Plan Implementation Grant awarded by the Lebanon County Commissioners will help the District to attain their goal of more greenways and blueways. 

Jackson Township Park.wmv

Jackson Township asked for $70,000 toward completion of a Park. Matching funds will come from DCNR. The first $20,000 was unanimously awarded from the County Comprehensive Plan Implementation Fund. However, Category 2 funding, which only has $50,000 remaining was approved on a 2 to 1 motion with Commissioner Litz voting nay. While she would have supported a $25,000 award, there are still six months left in the grant round, and she wanted to make sure as many municipalities as possible had an opportunity to receive partial funding for their projects.

Bridge Contract awarded to Wilson Consulting.wmv

Jon Fitzkee and Mark Wilson presented a not to exceed $625,963.52 5-year bridge inspection and maintenance contract for approval. 80% federal funds are matched to 20% local MPO funds.

Director Dan Seaman and Tim Barr, 21st Century, outlined Clean and Green, which will be unveiled at next Thursday’s meeting held at the 4H Fair.

Three Disabled Veterans received real estate tax exemption.

Assessment of Hershey Foods Warehouse Expansion.wmv

Hershey Foods will be expanding their warehouse on the Dauphin/Lebanon County Line. Normally, the county hosting the largest portion of the main building on a lot will receive all of the taxes for that lot. However, Hershey Foods was gracious enough to allow Lebanon County to receive a pro-rated share of the taxes for their parcel. The expansion increases Lebanon County's share.

Clean Water Alliance.wmv

Calling themselves the Clean Water Alliance, 19 Municipalities have sent representatives to discuss ways to meet Chesapeake Bay requirements that have resulted in fines for municipalities in neighboring counties.  Recently, Dauphin County was fined $56,000 for non compliance.  Kris Troup from Lebanon County Planning and Steph Harmon from the Lebanon County Conservation District have been working with municipalities to consolidate expenses like advertising of meetings, which costs each municipality $40 rather than $300 to advertise individually.  Education and outreach as well as a mission statement have occurred since the loose formation of the group.

Nick Yingst received approval for Help America Vote Act reports. 

An intermunicipal agreement with the City of Lebanon will provide $6250.60 toward expenses in Central Booking, which services all Lebanon County municipalities.  This is a federal JAG--Justice Grant. 

A PACCD $656,019 grant award was received for the Renaissance Crossroads program. 

Lebanon's Backup PSAP to be constructed at N Londonderry Twp.wmv

The City of Lebanon formally requested the dispatch services of the County of Lebanon to take effect January 1, 2012. There is not enough room in the existing PSAP to install a needed console. Yesterday, commissioners toured the LCCTC then weighed the pros and cons of construction verses use of an existing structure. While all of the details are not fleshed out, Commissioner Stohler moved to build a backup PSAP at North Londonderry Township. The motion carried.

Cedar Haven:  93% occupancy

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Census 301:  87 males and 212 females.

Renova Center:

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Roman Shahay, Director, is obtaining bids to repaint the lobby, kitchen, staff lounge, and day rooms.  Residents have been attending outings at Eagles Springs Camp, Longwood Gardens, the Timbers in Mt. Gretna, and Knoble’s. 

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Future events include the 4H Fair, a Senator’s baseball game, and Great Escape Theater. 

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There are a 2nd shift LPN and 2 part-time assistant vacancies.

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On a Carpenter/Litz motion, for the third consecutive year, Phoenix Services will operate Project Able at the same rate.

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On a Litz/Carpenter motion, a Medical Director contract will increase 2.5% (not a previously proposed 10%). 

Prison Board

July 14, 2011  Commissioner Carpenter absent.

Noting a 1.7% placement increase at a Lancaster County facility, which is less than charges at a Berks County facility, Director James Holtry presented Children and Youth contracts for approval. 

Adult Probation Director Sally Barry presented a request for a $794,000 5-year Grant-in-Aid application for presentence investigations.  Most offenders plead or are found guilty; and misdemeanor charges require a 2-page report while felony charges require a 6-7 page report outlining employment history, Mental Health, family history…for a judge to determine an appropriate sentence or place of confinement.  In 2010, $71,000 was received.

July 7, 2011  Commissioner Litz absent.

On behalf of the Jackson Township Industrial Authority, a $475,000 Next Generation Farm Loan was approved for Ricki R Bashore Jr.

CBIZ made a presentation concerning benefits insurance.

Bethel Township’s Comprehensive Plan Implementation Grant was signed awarding $5170 for the Lion’s Park Poll and Recreation Area project.

June 30, 2011 Commissioner Stohler absent.

Treasurer Sallie Neuin presented a request to close an account at Wells Fargo and move the farmland preservation funds to an interest bearing account at Metro Bank.

Dennis Firestone reported that Hutchinson’s $22,160 bid is in order, and commissioners voted to award the project to the low bidder to replace the roof over the Eldercare Building.

Commissioners approved a training request from the Conservation District for the Director to attend his Annual Conference, and Commissioner Carpenter opposed the motion. 

June 23, 2011

Treasurer Neuin presented an addendum to online payments to allow e-checks in addition to credit cards.

Personnel Director Desiree Nguyen presented a request from Brian Deiderick to fill the vacant Secretary D position in the Public Defender’s Office.

MHMR Director Kevin Schrum and Carol Davies presented Early Intervention amendments of $11,030 and for Youth Advocate $3,648 along with provider contracts.  For Drug and Alcohol, contract amendment changes totaled $2,833.

Catherine Kilgore presented an Intermediate Punishment IP Plan update.  Lebanon County will receive $27,114.

Dennis Firestone opened bids for roof replacement over the Eldercare Building at Cedar Haven.  Gable & Sons bid $27,100; Spotts Brothers $26,460; Banes Roofing $34,800; Hutchison Construction $22,160; and Sensenig Co. $31,600.  Since there were no energy savings with this roof, it was not able to be incorporated into the new Honeywell contract.

Conservation District Director Charles Wertz presented an update including, among other activities, the Palmyra Envirothon team attending the state event at Susquehanna University. An intern, funded 100% by a federal partnership with USDA NRCS, will implement a Strategic Watershed Action Team on the Environmental Quality Incentive and Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative programs; and checks totaling $51,000 of $75,600 in pledges were presented from municipalities for the farmland preservation program.  A breakdown includes $3,000 from Swatara Township; $7,000 from South Lebanon; $1,000 from North Londonderry; $5,000 from North Annville; $9,000 from South Londonderry; and $5,000 from Bethel.  These donations matched $63,504 from the Commonwealth.  Also, Carly Jones, a University of PA student conducting a case study of farmland preservation programs including Lebanon County, reported that “Lebanon County exceeded the expectations for what a county could do with a certain amount of funding it has received, in terms of preserving farm land.”

Warden Karnes forwarded a request to renew inmate telephone contracts.  GTL was chosen to continue their service.  In addition to an increase of 12.5% in commissions, GTL will upgrade our hardware and provide training.  Securus provided a higher commission, but their software was not compatible; and CTEL’s bid was a lower rate.

Commissioner Stohler moved to spend money to build an access ramp in front of the municipal building, but Commission Carpenter pointed out that all but one spot for designated parking is from the parking lot.  Stohler said 75% could come from CDBG funds, but did not provide an estimate of cost.  Commissioner Litz pointed out that we are in compliance.  (The existing access has also been made more accessible with designated spaces just a few feet from the door.)  The motion died for lack of a second.

Commissioner Litz requested an update on the alternate PSAPs or Public Service Answering Point to house a backup 911 call center.  Commissioner Stohler said that he was having trouble getting prices from vendors.  Commissioner Litz acknowledged the generous offer from North Londonderry Township.  She also requested a group visit to the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center who offered space, which would be a "no build" option.  If adequate, this could save taxpayer dollars.  If not, we should be proactive and continue with a building at North Londonderry.  After a heated discussion, it was decided to visit the facility after our next Cedar Haven Board meeting.  Commissioner Carpenter suggested putting our requirements out for bid. 

June 16, 2011 Commissioner Litz attended the State Farmland Preservation Board meeting in Harrisburg.

At 1:30 p.m., the Commissioners sat as the County Board of Assessment to hear assessment appeals.

June 9, 2011 Commissioner Stohler was absent.

James Holtry presented $605,988.19 in third quarter invoices for Children and Youth.  Adoption Assistance totals $65,812.02; Placement Maintenance $125,632.45; Act 148 $375,980; Medicaid $491.72; 1st quarter supplement Act 148 $17,781; and 2nd quarter supplement Act 148 $20,291.

Dan Kauffman presented a Radiation Emergency Response Grant Agreement for EMA.  The balance of a $14,150 nuclear power plant grant will be spent to purchase batteries for radios.

Commissioners Carpenter and Litz certified $79,869 in local match to PennDOT for Lebanon Transit. 

June 1, 2011

Evelyn Lopez, a Children and Youth Caseworker, enrolled in the Child Welfare Education Leadership Program approved by the PA Department of Public Welfare.  Classes are taken outside of her normal work hours, and Evelyn must work for Lebanon County at least two years after completion of the program.

Rick Rhoade, VP of the 445 Foundation, Andrew Rhoade, president and Rick’s son, and Marta from Hershey Medical Center were on hand to receive a proclamation for the Chldren’s Miracle Network. The organization donated $8500 to CMA in 2010, and through bus trips and dances have a goal of raising $10,000 in 2011.   Learn more on the 445 Foundation Facebook Page. 

Chief Detective John Leahy was on hand for approval of a $25,000 Sobriety Checkpoint grant.

James Holtry received approval for a 40-hour per week Summer Group Home contract that pays $8.75/hour.

Dan Seaman presented one disabled veteran for property tax exemption.

Phyllis Holtry’s $26,234 in Community Action partnership proposals for a Supportive Housing Contract and Medical Assistance Transportation passed unanimously.

MHMR Director Kevin Schrum, Coroner Dr. Yocum, Adult Probation Chief Sally Barry, and Crisis Intervention Coordinator Carol Saltzer joined forces to share the impacts of a Bath Salts epidemic in Lebanon County.  The over-the-counter substance is not illegal, but can be snorted, smoked, eaten, or injected, and is 30 times more potent than cocaine.  On-the-spot tests cannot be done, and people become delusional and violent.  There is no reasoning with someone on Bath Salts.  On the Continuum of Care, a police presence, even Tasers don’t work.  “Hard Hands” are essential.   It’s not just young people putting themselves and their families at risk.  People in their 40s and 50s have used Bath Salts for other than a relaxing bath.  The result is an average of one person per day being treated at a local treatment center like Crisis.

Schrum also presented three agreements from the Department of Public Welfare, Community Behavioral Healthcare Network of PA, and Capital Area Behavioral Health Collaborative, which jointly facilitate Lebanon County’s participation in a network known as Health Choices of PA.

May 26, 2011

Treasurer Sallie Neuin requested that a $1.4 million 6-month CD be approved with Metro Bank at the rate of .5%

Kevin Schrum and Holly Leahy presented Lebanon County’s 5-year Mental Health/Mental Retardation Plan for approval.  The Plan will be posted online for the public to read.

John Ditzler presented a $17,236 Victims of Juvenile Offenders Grant Extension for approval.

Michael McGrady, MCM Consulting Group, completed a review of Lebanon County’s phone bills, and was able to get refunds of $6,423.48 as well as save $979.31 monthly going forward. 

Lebanon County is required to file a 3-year Triennial Emergency Management Plan.  The 911 Center is active 24 hours a day to provide 911, non-emergency and administrative call-taking, and dispatching for the entire County.  The 911 communications center located in the Municipal Building is the headquarters for the radio network of fire, police, and emergency management services (EMS) departments countywide.  An enhanced 911 system is in effect with the ability to trace calls, offering close cooperation and efficiency with all law enforcement facilities. 

Volunteer firefighters operate the fire stations throughout the various political subdivisions.  Funds for station houses and equipment are partially provided by the political subdivisions and volunteers raise the remainder.

There are six ambulance services in Lebanon county and the Life Lion helicopter is also available.

The District Attorney, sheriff, State, City, Township, and Borough Police are responsible for enforcing the law in Lebanon County.

Mike Kristovensky presented a $26,234 Area Agency on Aging Block Grant Amendment for approval.  HUD renewal of the supportive housing program includes one property at 7th and two on 10th Street. 

Pride of the Valley is a 37-passenger bus that takes senior center participants to events throughout south-central PA.  Fully supported by the users, at a cost of $28,000 annually, Pride of the Valley has been driven and maintained by Lebanon Transit, but Area Agency on Aging Chief Mike Kristovensky reports that problems arose, and he would like to make calls to local bus companies to work out a new arrangement.  It should be noted that no disruption in service will be experienced by riders. 

The Myerstown Meal Center will be moved.  Let the County know if you have a site to recommend.  About 40+ people attend the Center weekdays.  Size and handicap accessibility are essential. 

AAA is participating in Farmer’s Market Distribution Sites.  Checks are handed out on a “first come, first serve” basis.  Eligible seniors 60 years and up with income less than $20,127 for 1 person; $27,214 for 2; and $34,281 for 3 people; are welcome to attend any distribution site in Lebanon County to receive checks, which can be spent at Josh Konkus Produce, Sunset Market, Lebanon Farmer’s Market, Weaver’s, Risser-Marvel Farms, Lebanon Valley Farmer’s Market, Palmyra Producers Only, Myerstown Farmers Market, and Sycamore Spring Orchard. 

After a review of Requests for Qualifications, commissioners approved the committee’s recommendation to use Wilson Consulting for bridge inspections.  PennDot will review the proposal for their approval.

Commissioners reviewed Comprehensive Plan Implementation Grant requests.

  1. $25,000 was approved for North Lebanon Township.
  2. Part 2 of Quittie Creek Nature Park land acquisition of 12.1 acres was approved on a  Commissioner Stohler and Litz motion, with Commissioner Carpenter voting Naye.
  3. Bethel received approval for playground equipment.
  4. Lebanon County Conservation District was turned down for a Leaf Pack program when a motion by Litz was not seconded.
  5. A Litz motion to move ahead with the Lebanon Valley Conservancy Heritage Trail map project was not seconded either.

Community:

Marcellus/Watershed Perspective Marcellus Lebanon.pdf

Speakers:

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Attorney Tom Harlan on land issues--mineral rights, rights-of-way, leases, eminent domain 

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Bradford County Conservation District Director Mike Lovegreen on water quality and economics Marcellus/Gas Lebanon.pdf ;                                                        

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Lynda Farrel, Chester County, on 3 types of Gas Pipelines

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Carol French & Carolyn Knapp, farmers and landowners from Bradford County Marcellus/The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.pdf

Q&A on YouTube:

  1. Do a test on your well today! 10:02

Lebanon Daily News article:  http://www.ldnews.com/ci_18157059?IADID=Search-www.ldnews.com-www.ldnews.com

May 18, 19, & 20, 2011

Cedar Haven

Census:  304—90 males and 214 females or 94% occupancy, which is up slightly from last month.

Roman Shahay reported on Renova Center.

Desiree Nugyen and Melissa Light reviewed position requests.

Jamie Wolgemuth reported that Liquid Fuels reports will become a strictly online grant process with PennDOT.  Therefore, the County must clean-up old grants with municipalities.

A $14,458.83 Hazardous Materials resource fund application will receive money due us from PEMA for the General Fund for training.

Our staff will go for training to learn installation of a Casisian CMP Patriot System switch with support from Century Link.  The cost for assistance with trouble shooting is $120 per hour not to exceed $4800 per year.

Commissioners approved a $160,000 revised PennDOT closeout audit report for 2006 county bridges for restoration and maintenance by Anskis after a flood.

Prison Board

Census:  440—373 males and 67 females

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            157 Unsentenced inmates

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52 inmates on Work Release:  paying 20% of their gross pay, between $70 and $150 weekly, toward their upkeep.  In place 7 years.

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22 State sentenced

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203 Parole/Probation violators

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6 DJ sentenced

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22 sentenced by Court of Common Pleas

Regular Meeting

Ralph Backenstose received an Emergency Medical Services Week proclamation.  Apparatus will be on display at the Lebanon Valley Mall.

Commissioners accepted a $10,000 Gatekeeper grant.

Commissioners approved a Honeywell change order that would increase Honeywell’s guaranteed payback to $6,099,259.  Stohler and Litz voted aye, Carpenter no.

The Library Board appointments of Paul Baker and Don Bliss passed unanimously.

Ray Bender and Harrison Diehl Jr were reappointed to the Clarence Shock Board.

Assessment Appeals

Three appeals were heard.

Election Board Met at 10AM for the official ballot count.  Tuesday's election featured commissioner candidates.  The League of Women Voters and WLBR Radio held a debate prior to the election.

Community:  Commissioner Litz received an award for 4:56 Women of Influence 2011-CennPenn Business Journal.wmv

*Fish for Free Days 2010 - May 30 and Sept. 5.  Fish for Free Days allow anyone (resident or non-resident) to legally fish for Pennsylvania’s most popular fish without a fishing license. Each year the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's Executive Director designates 2 Fish for Free Days. No fishing license is required to fish on Pennsylvania's waterways on these days. All other fishing regulations still apply.  “There’s no better way to enjoy Pennsylvania’s great outdoors than a day of fishing with the entire family.”  http://www.fish.state.pa.us/promo/fff/fffindex.htm

May 12, 2011

Kathie Pflueger, candidate for county commissioner, wanted to know why payments were not made to the pension fund—other that $500,000 in 2008.

Commissioner Litz said the $500,000 contribution was made after she wrote a letter, which the auditor instructed the Controller to attach to the audit.  Further, on December 23, 2010,  Litz made a motion to make another $500,000 contribution, which was budgeted, but the motion was not seconded.  Acknowledging that the County should be making payments, Litz also questioned the amount of the actuary’s calculation.  For example, the actuary predicted a 4.5% salary increase which did not occur, and he predicted interest income of 7.5% which has been exceeded in the past 12 months.  Some ways to reduce the required contribution include:

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Increase vesting from 5 to 10 years;

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Reduce interest paid on contributions from 5.5 to 4.5% (done);

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Eliminate COLAs (Litz moved to do this);

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Earn higher than the predicted 7.5% return on investment (done);

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Switch from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan for new hires.

Archie and Mike Battistelli and Brett Holland presented the 1st quarter Retirement Fund update.  With an investment strategy of 65% stocks and 35% bonds, the fund closed with an all-time high balance of $96,038,248.00.  Kevin Caron, Washington Crossing Advisors, also made a presentation.  He said that there is, “a better environment for risk taking,” and banks are lending money.  Lebanon County has a conservative portfolio, which helped us to weather the 2008 financial crisis.  Commissioner Litz questioned how if all of our pension obligations are met, we maintain an "A" bond rating, and our fund balance is at an all-time high we are told that we owe such a high pension contribution.  Since it was the actuary's calculation, Battistelli thought the actuary would better be able to address this question.

At 10:30AM, commissioners met in executive session to discuss personnel. 

Recent Community YouTube's:

May 5, 2011

The meeting was called to order at 9:30AM.

Personnel Director Desiree Nugyn presented a request to reclassify one Intensive Case Management position in the Adult Unit at the pay grade of 11 to a Resource Coordinator position in the Child & Adolescent Unit at the pay grade of 10.   Motion carried.

At the end of the discount period to pay real estate taxes, Treasurer Neuin reports a healthy balance of $11,350,273.91, which will cover four payrolls and pay off the Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note.  The County is having trouble getting a pay-off figure from the bank.

Nugyn also presented a Conservation District Agricultural position that would be fully-funded by the federal and state government to implement the mandated Chesapeake Bay Strategy.  Stohler and Litz voted Aye; Carpenter Nay.

Finally, Nugyn presented a request from the President Judge to hire an Administrative Assistant for Dave Wingert’s office.  While all commissioners agreed and voted to fill the position, they were divided on the pay grade.  The hire would also serve as a court interpreter, which requires certification.  Stohler and Carpenter voted Aye; Litz Nay.

Ray Bender presented a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) budget revision.

At 9:49AM Stohler announced he was leaving the meeting for a ground breaking.

Kevin Schrum and Carol Davies presented $132,804 in contract amendments for MHMR that did not require any additional County funds.  Schrum said to expect 16% less this year than last year. 

Fred Wolfson and Dick Wood presented a request from the LC Health Facilities Authority to fund up to a $15 million expansion for two new wings on two floors with 17 beds on each floor for a total capacity of 68 beds in the Penn Township facility in Lancaster County.  Due to a conflict of interest for the Lancaster Health Facilities Authority, this is the third time Lebanon County has cooperated to facilitate acquisition of bonds.  The facility has maintained a 98% occupancy rate.  Approval will not, in any way, pledge or obligate the credit or taxing power of Lebanon County, nor shall this County be liable for the payment of the principal of, or interest on, any obligations issued by the Authority as provided in the contract.

April 28, 2011

At the regularly scheduled Lebanon County Commissioners’ meeting, students took over the roles under their mentor’s watchful eyes.  A tornado touched down hours before the meeting, and Emergency Management Director Dan Kaufman asked students to declare a countywide emergency to authorize staff, equipment, and supplies as needed.  Further, if available, federal and state funds can flow to local municipalities to help with cleanup costs. 

Larry E. Stohler, Chairman County Commissioner was represented by Annville-Cleona’s Kirby Kaylor; Commissioner William G. Carpenter by Eastern Lebanon’s Ashley Scheaffer; Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz by Cornwall Lebanon’s Dennis Goodstein; Administrator Jamie A. Wolgemuth by Northern Lebanon’s Ian Garman; Treasurer Sallie A. Neuin by Annville-Cleona’s Samantha Light; Controller Robert M. Mettley by Cornwall Lebanon‘s Danette Moore; Elections Chief Nicholas “Nick” Yingst by Cornwall Lebanon’s Austin Yocum; Human Resources Director Desiree J. Nguyen by Northern Lebanon’s Chanice Moul; and Planning Director Kristopher D. Troup by Northern Lebanon’s Matt Gerstenberg.

Next week, Treasurer Neuin expects to pay back the $2,275,000 TRAN (tax and revenue anticipation note) and put aside two bonds totaling $2.8 million to cover payroll.  Further, she requested up to 150 hours of overtime to process five trays of tax payment checks stored in the vault.  Motion carried. 

Lynn Snead, Domestic Violence Intervention, presented an Emergency Shelter Grant.  Commissioners agreed to pass through a $51,250 grant funded by DCED.  In Lebanon County, there have been 9 deaths in 22 months.  In 2010, 1200 clients were served, 2% men, and 2011 has already surpassed that number.  The shelters are full, and it is expensive to put people into hotels.  An Iron Rail 5K will take place to raise funds in support of the shelters.  Cost is $20.

Ryan Hottenstein was on hand from Financial Solutions to obtain commissioner’s signatures for a bond closing on financing for the Honeywell Audit.

Phyllis Dryden asked if elected officials are employees of the county, and whether commissioners have the authority to discharge elected officials.  Commissioner Carpenter explained that while commissioners are mandated to pay the salary of elected officials, voters are the employers of the elected officials, and commissioners have no authority to fire elected officials.

Student Commissioner Dennis Goodstein moved to award a $3942 Comprehensive Grant request for a swing set and impact absorbing surface to Bethel Township; a $6000 Walking Tour grant to print brochures for Annville, Jonestown, and Palmyra; and a $3000 Leaf Pack Experiment grant for Stream Ecology Test Kits to assess water quality for the Conservation District.  Motion died for lack of a second. 

Metropolitan Planning Organization

Among other transactions, the Schaefferstown bypass project low bid came in at $7,955,955 from Kinsley.  Bid awards must be reviewed and awarded to proceed in 60-90 days.

Dirt will be moved for the 9th & 10th Street bridges on May 16.  9th Street will go from two to one lane to Church Street.  After about a year, 10th Street will be completed.  A detour to 12th Street will also occur. 

While it may look poor, it was noted that the “Frog’s Hollow” bridge over the Swatara is structurally sound, and is not on the TIP program. 

A functional classification change from W Oak and Walnut Streets to Cherry Street was approved for the purpose of diverting Palmyra traffic during emergencies...as an urban collector making Cherry eligible for more funding upkeep.

Pat Krebs announced that on 8/27 a Bike fundraiser will visit preserved farms.

Commissioner students finished their day with a recap at Cedar Haven. 

April 20, 2011

Cedar Haven

The Spring Fling netted $1527.00 to benefit residents.

With 90 males and 214 females, the Occupancy Rate is 92%, and staffing from outside agencies is being adjusted accordingly.

Prison Board
Occupancy 437:  370 males and 67 females

April 21, 2011

Commissioner Litz represented commissioners across the State at the State Farmland Preservation Board meeting in Harrisburg.

Jenny Murphy Shifflet received a proclamation proclaiming Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Lebanon County.

Adult Probation Chief Sally Barry presented $736,612 Renaissance Crossroads budget for approval.  Commissioners also signed a contract with PA Counseling Services.

Commissioners adopted a proclamation for Lyle Krall, Schaefferstown.   

April 14, 2011

Dan Seaman presented eight disabled veteran’s applications for tax exemption.

Nick Yingst presented a Help America Vote Act report.

Good Samaritan and Veteran’s Administration representatives received proclamations for National Hospital and National Nurses Weeks 5/8-5/14.

Timothy Barr, 21st Century Appraisals, introduced a 17-minute educational film on property reassessment.  The bottom of the page has a smaller film that is easier to download for viewing.  A higher resolution film appears in the larger box.  http://www.courthouseonline.com/ReassessmentActivities.asp?State=PA&County=Lebanon&Abbrev=LB&Office=AO

John Wengert, Tom Kotay, and Jon Fitzkee presented a $25,000 Rail trail grant application to study a route from Chestnut Street to behind the Lebanon Valley Mall and on to the Union Canal for approval.  $12,500 is requested from DCNR while the MPO will contribute $5,000, Planning Department staff $2500 in-kind services, and $2500 donated services from Mark Wilson.

April 7, 2011

Treasurer Sallie Neuin presented bond payments that are due:

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General Obligation Bond 2010 $219,423.57;

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Series 2009 $139,398.58;

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2006 Loan @ Wachovia $68,173.02;

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2008 @ Wachovia $133,939.73.

Desiree Nugyen and Melissa Light presented personnel and training requests.  Commissioners Carpenter and Litz moved to send Catharine Kilgore to a PCCD Drug and Alcohol Conference in State College.  There is no cost for the training, and mileage…is covered by the President Judge’s contribution to the County.  Stohler voted nay. 

Megan Ryland Tanner, Tammy Hartman-Hankins, and Beth Hoke presented a proclamation honoring victims and witnesses during their special week of April 10-16.

A proclamation for NL Detective David Lauver was also passed in recognition of his Pinnacle Health Children Champion Award against child abuse.

Michael Vind, Brian Bradley, and Peter Adl presented a $3,855,000 bond issue for a new Honeywell audit, which is guaranteed to pay for itself with energy upgrades to municipal buildings.  Lebanon County is an “A” rating, and bonds sold very well on the market. 

At 10AM, Commissioner Carpenter and Judge Kline reviewed sample ballots for approval. 

March 31, 2011

Commissioners approved an $284,655 amendment to the DCED CDBG for CAP.  The State budget may necessitate another amendment after June 30.

To facilitate future allocations, Commissioners moved to recognize the Historical Society of Lebanon County as our official Historical Society.

Karl Liedtka was appointed to the Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board.  Karl is a LHS guidance counselor. 

Commissioner Litz reported on seminars she attended at this week’s PA County Commissioner’s Conference.  One seminar provided information on Marcellus Shale drilling; a second on related pipelines; and Governor Corbett addressed a Marcellus Shale tax.  Drawing upon professionals she heard from Penn State and others, Litz requested support to engage both Lebanon County Planning and the Conservation District in a public “Conversation on Marcellus.”  Commissioner Carpenter had no comment, and Stohler said he needs time to think about it.

She stated that, “Lebanon County can learn from other counties and be proactive concerning Marcellus Shale.  It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when Marcellus impacts will hit Lebanon County.  Failing to plan is planning to fail.  While Lebanon County has Marcellus Shale in the northern reaches, even if there is no drilling in Lebanon County, we can be impacted by water withdrawal, rail, and pipelines where land can be taken by eminent domain.  Chester County is one county where residents received notices that their land would be taken.  They were offered a price, which was non-negotiable.  The county wasn’t notified directly, but residents approached commissioners, who were able to successfully file as an Intervener at the IRC level.  Because there are no laws governing pipelines, their Planning Department and Conservation District made recommendations on a safe depth to bury the pipe, pipe thickness…, and the Commissioners filed the paperwork.” 

The Board of Elections, consisting of Judge Kline, Jamie Wolgemuth, and Commissioner Carpenter approved ballot layout.

Commissioners then met in Executive Session to discuss personnel issues.

March 24, 2011

Annville Township Supervisor Richard Charles and Dave and Ann Lasky from Quittie Creek Nature Park, answered questions about a proposed purchase of 12.1 acres of land adjoining QCNP. The purchase price is $69,000 plus appraisals and closing costs. For years, Nature Park volunteers have been using and maintaining the target parcel. The oldest oak tree in Lebanon County is located on this site.  Friends of Old Annville will prepare a grant application to DCNR on behalf of Annville Township who will be the owner of the Park.  To remove any conflict of interest, minutes of Annville Township showed that Kyle Smith abstained from the vote to preserve the land.  Providing they raise the matching funds, Stohler and Litz moved to award $25,000 in categorical Comprehensive Plan Implementation Grant funds toward the purchase of the additional land.  Carpenter voted nay. 

Dennis Firestone opened a single bid for a washer-extractor for the Lebanon County Correctional Facility.  CILS of Lebanon PA bid $29,895.  Commissioners moved to award the contract pending review and compliance with bid specs.

In recognition of the County Commissioner Association of PAs 125th anniversary, commissioners passed a proclamation declaring the month of April as CCAP month.

Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss personnel.

March 17, 2011

Commissioners approved a request from Treasurer Sallie Neuin to allow Colette Aurentz to work about 8-10 hours per week to process incoming tax payments, which are backed up three days.

Neuin also received approval for Gobpay, a new online payment collection vendor.  Their convenience fee to users is 2.45% while the previous vendor charged 3%.  There is no cost to the County. 

Ray Bender presented a resolution amending Lebanon County’ Community Development Block Grant to accommodate a ramp at Renova Center.  Unused funds were moved from Millcreek in 2007 and from South Londonderry and Swatara in 2008.  Ray also speculated on how budget cuts will impact housing.  Senator Casey is championing the effort at the federal level.  Ray said that, “His crystal Ball is shattered on this one.”

James Holtry received approval for Children and Youth Contracts.

Administrator Jamie Wolgemuth presented a $1000 farm lease for Ken Reist on 13 county-owned acres by the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center. 

Stephanie Harmon was appointed as Lebanon County’s representative on the RC&D Board with Kris Troup as our alternate.

Next, Wolgemuth presented a $35,000 grant request from a categorical Comprehensive Plan implementation bond money pool.  Commissioners asked for more information, and expect members of the Quittie Creek Park to attend the next meeting.

Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz asked her colleagues to join our neighbors to the south in Lancaster County by making the "Whoopie Pie" the official dessert of Lebanon County--a timely topic as the State takes up a debate over whether the "Whoopie Pie" should be the official State dessert.

Commissioner Stohler wanted Opera Fudge to be the official dessert. Commissioner Litz suggested we come up with another designation for the Opera Fudge. For example, Opera Fudge could be Lebanon County's official candy.

The motion died for lack of a second. It's up to the public whether they want to lobby the commissioners for these sweet treats to be officially recognized.

At 11AM, Commissioner Carpenter chaired the Election Board, and was joined by Jamie Wolgemuth and President Judge Tylwalk, to supervise the casting of lots for ballot positions for Lebanon County Commissioners and other offices.  On the Republican side, the 1st commissioner position goes to Tim George, 2nd to Hugh Rooney; 3rd Ed Mathews; 4th Bob Phillips; 5th Larry Stohler; 6th Bill Ames; and 7th Larry Bowman.  Also in attendance was Linda Gibble who state that she plans to conduct a write-in campaign.

On the Democratic ticket, Jim Ruffner drew the 1st spot; Kathie Pflueger spot 2; and Jo Ellen Litz the 3rd ballot position. 

March 16, 2011

Cedar Haven

Census 89 males and 220 females, 309 total or 96-97% occupancy.

A $44,701 Pelican dividend was received.

A 5% Certified Public Expenditure or $750,000 county share handling fee is extended for the year 2012.

Dan Kaufman joined the commissioners to discuss a Verizon phone switch contract.  To avoid a proposed service contract that almost doubled in price, two people will be sent for training—Derek Black and Don Yordy.  A microwave dish contract was also approved.  Finally, commissioners signed an agreement with the South Central Counter Terrorism Task Force to keep everyone in the loop on right-to-know.

Lickdale Fire Company received an exoneration from paying property taxes on their rental property.

Exelon sent a memo that they’re monitoring the Japan situation.

Roman Shahay provided an update on Renova Center.

Prison

Census 383 male and 69 female, 452 total.

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Unsentenced 158

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Work Release 60

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State Sentenced 15

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Parole/Probation Violators 190

March 10, 2011

Treasurer Sallie Neuin requested permission to collect tax bills for Annville Township and to open a bank account at Fredericksburg National Bank to process payments.  Annville’s treasurer passed away.  Countywide, the County receives $12,000 to process municipality bills. 

County tax bills were sent out, and some payments are coming in.  The TRAN stands at $2,750,000.

Penn State Ag Extension Agency representative Phil Hall reviewed details of an upcoming tire collection.  Each household may bring 12 auto or 2 large tires for recycling at the EXPO on Friday, April 1, 2011 between 8AM and 6PM.  Pre-registration is not mandatory, but does make the flow of vehicles run more smoothly.  Email Phil at LPH1@psu.edu .  Additional tires will be accepted, but there is a $2.50 per tire charge for auto tires and $20 per large tire.  Each municipality contributes toward disposal costs.  The County’s share is $3600.  Annually, approximately 400 people bring around 4000 tires for recycling.  Mahntongo Company will hall the tires away.

North Cornwall Township received $10,000 in Liquid Fuels funds for salt and anti-skid.

Commissioners approved a $150 annual rental agreement with the Horning farm to grow hay on 1.2 acres of county-owned land near Church Street and Route 934 in South Annville.

Commissioners approved to proclamations:  One honoring this year’s Sertoma recipient, and one for the ARC of Dauphin and Lebanon Counties.  There is an art show at the Lebanon Valley Mall this week.

At the close of the meeting, Commissioners met in Executive Session to discuss personnel. 

March 3, 2011

Because stimulus money for the program is ending, Desiree Nguyen presented a request by Phyllis Holtry, CAP Administrator, to decrease the weekly hours for the Bridge House Case Manager from 37.5 to 35 hours per week.

At the age of 13, Christian Brightbill earned his Eagle Scout rank by completing a 10’ x 10’ storm shelter project on the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail near Route 117 and Mine Road.  Christian raised $1800 for the project.  Spending $1100 for materials, the balance of $700 was donated to Rails to Trails.  Christian Brightbill's grandfather was the second scout to achieve the rank of Eagle in Lebanon County.  Most scouts are 17 when they earn the Eagle rank.

At no cost to the County of Lebanon, EMA Director Dan Kaufman presented a proposal to participate in a PEMA Pilot Project worth $50,000 for a new Hazard Mitigation Grant.  Since our current plan expires 10.13.13, commissioners agreed to participate.

To dispatch 911 calls, Lebanon County has been using Orbacom consoles for almost 20 years.  Orbacom no longer supports the older consoles, and they break down routinely—2 this past weekend, and one froze up.  Staff has been scrounging used parts from other counties for awhile.  As part of last year’s bond issue, it was discussed to purchase new consoles for the 911 center, and use the existing consoles for the backup PSAP—Public Service Answering Point—to be created at an alternate location.  According to a January 5, 2011 request placed by EMA Director Dan Kaufman, Harris (Maestro) replacement consoles will totally integrate with the EDACs switch and are P-25 compatible.   One Maestro console was installed in the equipment room for testing about three years ago.  On a Litz/Carpenter motion, permission to purchase the Maestro consoles using State Contract price of $440,557.08 was approved.  Stohler voted nay. 

Patrick Salmon and his Honeywell team addressed commissioners.  With installation complete by December 2011, a new energy audit will reduce utilities by 15.6%.  At $67,000, Water Conservation and $49,000 for Lighting will make up most of the annual energy savings, and a $142,000 partial new roof over the prison will not only save $500 annually, but also avoid another bond issue.  Other improvements include a boiler plant upgrade at Cedar Haven; Control System upgrades; Building envelope improvements; Kitchen HVAC improvements at Cedar Haven; Prison RTU Replacements/upgrades; and Prison Domestic Hot Water heater upgrades.  Honeywell guarantees savings of $3.8 million, which will cover the cost of the upgrades at 3.82% interest over a 20-year term.  Further, 1,445,700 pounds of Carbon Dioxide; 6,700 pounds of Sulfer Dioxide; and 1,740 pounds of Nitrogen Oxides will be eliminated from the environment.  This is equivalent to planting 197 acres of trees.  Commissioner Litz also asked if we could get MS4 credits for the improvements.  Salmon agreed to look into this question. 

Tim Barr gave an update on the Reassessment process being conduct by 21st Century.  Data collectors have visited 34% of residential parcels.  If you’ve been visited, be sure to return the property information sheet left at your door, and describe any situations that would limit market sale of your property.  With your password, this process can also be completed from the County web site.  County staff has visited all of the non-profit parcels, and is in the process of visiting the county’s 1000+ farms.  At the 4H Fair, it is expected that a role-out for Clean and Green signups will take place.  A deadline of 10.15.12 will be established for Clean and Green signups.  For the purpose of updating aerial photography for Pictometry, a flyover will take place in 2-3 weeks.

Commissioners passed a proclamation declaring March Women’s History month.

Finally, from the Retirement Fund, commissioners and the Board approved a $5000 software purchase to replace an obsolete MS DOS program being used to track the County Retirement Fund.

February 24, 2011

Regular Commissioner’s Meeting: 

Treasurer Neuin reported that another $750,000 was drawn from the TRAN—Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note—bringing the total borrowed to $1,250,000.

Dr. Yocum thanked commissioners for approving the electronic filing of coroner’s records, and presented a 2010 State of the Coroner’s Report:

·         447 coroner approved cremations, up 29 since 2009

·         136 natural deaths, up 6 since 2009

·         22 Accidental deaths

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12 Motor Vehicle Accidents

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 1 Motorcycle

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 1 Snowmobile

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 3 Adverse drug reactions—1 of which was a mix of prescription medications

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 2 drug overdoses

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 1 by aspiration

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1 train accident, and

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1 asphyxia

·         Suicides 13, up 1 from 2009 (8 guns, 2 hangings, 2 by carbon monoxide poisoning, and 1 knife), and 2011 has seen 6 suicides already.

·         5 Homicides under investigation, up 2 from 2009—the most that Lebanon County has seen. 

James Holtry presented $643,953.25 in 2nd Quarter invoices for Children and Youth

Susan Eberly presented a $900,000 Redevelopment Agreement to develop infrastructure for Conrad’s Olde Mill.  First Capital Equities partners Joseph Silbaugh Jr. and Brian Allger, as well as James Conrad, will partner to create Penn Dutch Market, similar to the market in Shrewsbury, where Amish will hold a craft and entertainment venue for tourists at Conrad’s Mill in East Hanover Township near Route 81 on 934.  The 12-acre lot will house a 50,000 square foot two-story building, which is expected to be fully leased out within 60 days.  Initially, the Penn Dutch Market will be open 3-4 days per week, and could expand to 6-days.  1st Capital will invest $10 million during Phase 1.

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Shuey’s Mill –PA-038-022 is on Route 934 next to exit 85 of Interstate 81, and 1 mile north of Harper’s Tavern, PA. A frame building with 4 sets of rollers, a sifter with cleaner, bagger,… was once powered by a 14’ x 4’ steel overshot waterwheel. In operating condition. (SPOOM) Conrad’s Indian Creek Mill – PA038-024. (a. k. a Shuey’s Mill) Operational, powered by another location. Built c. 1742. The original waterwheel was replaced by a diesel engine in the 1960’s. At the present time only the sale of feed is conducted. Contact James Conrad, RD2 Box 515, Annville PA 17003. (SPOOM)
40 degrees 24.56’N and 76 degrees 34.88’ W. In an interview on 1/8/2000, Mr. Conrad said he bought the mill from his mother and father. His mother is still living. Noting no grant money was available to help with the restoration, a recent paint job returning the mill to its original grey color cost $4000. Mr. Conrad said the original wooden-wheel was undershot by the millrace.

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In 1997, Mr. Conrad shut down the operation even though the mill was still 100% functional with diesel power. He couldn’t feed his five children on the $1 per hour profits. His biggest customer was Bender’s Hometown Bakery in Hamburg. Because Conrad’s grind was unique, all Bender’s recipes had to be modified.

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On the property, a bridge from the old highway was built in 1923 and condemned in 1940.

On recommendation by DEP, Commissioners passed Ordinance #42 amending Section 6 of the GLRA’s Municipal Waste Plan.

Commissioners approved $23,000 in Liquid Fuels funds for flashing warning signals on Route 343 at the intersection of Kochenderfer and Kimmerling’s Roads. 

Two proclamations were awarded, one for the Lebanon Valley Mall hosting the 23rd annual race car show, and one declaring March 1 Bobby Gerhart Day in Lebanon County.  Bobby won his 7th Daytona Race on 2.12.11.

Commissioner Litz reviewed a January 18, 2011 communication from EMA Director Dan Kauffman advising commissioners of the need to calibrate equipment in preparation of a TMI Drill in April 2011.  Per the letter’s recommendation, Litz moved to hire Clemsafe Consulting to complete the balance of needed equipment calibration.  Fees would NOT be a burden on the County’s General Fund, but absorbed by Fund 18 (165 HazMat budget).  A list of 49 different types of equipment in need of an annual calibration was presented.  With training, about one-half of the equipment can be checked by staff, but the other half of the equipment must be sent to a certified lab.  Commissioner Stohler had recommended sending all of the equipment to different manufacturers for calibration.  Exelon did calibrate some rod meters at no charge to the County.  Motion died for lack of a second. 

Metropolitan Planning Organization—MPO

  1. The Board approved a $700,000 geotechnical investigation on the Route 422 sinkhole in Palmyra, which will include drilling of holes.

  2. Construction of Phase 5 of the LVRT was added to the TIP totaling $432,000 in federal TE funds.  This construction builds the trail from 9th Street to Chestnut street in the City of Lebanon.

  3. The Board approved $120,000 in federal and $30,000 in State funding of the bridge replacement on SR 72 over Snitz Creek in Cornwall Borough.

  4. $421,149 in federal and $105,287 in State appropriations were obligated for bridge replacement on Ono Road over Swatara Creek.  Added were $98,185 in federal and $24,546 in State bonds and $141,815 federal and $35,454 State.

  5.  To process the 4232, $160,000 in federal and $40,000 in State 185 funds were added to the 9th & 10th Street construction phase.

  6. $450,000 in federal funds will match a low bid to improve 3 intersections on the top 25 crash list

  7. Commuter services reports that in Lebanon County, 17 employers are providing Van Pools for employees.

  8. Lebanon Valley Bicycle Club president Pat Krebs announced that on 3.12 at the Allen Theater, Chasing Legends, a bicycle film will be shown at a cost of $8.  Krebs also stated that in cooperation with the LV Conservancy, Round-the-Valley, a 100 mile bike ride, will take place on 8.27 leaving from the EXPO.

February 17, 2011

Cedar Haven

220 female and 88 male residents:  Total guests 308 or 97-98% occupancy.

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In conjunction with the Lebanon Race Car Show scheduled for the Lebanon Valley Mall, Commissioners signed a proclamation for Bob Gehrhart. 

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A 5-year contract is set to expire with Wilson Consulting for bridge inspections.  Bids will be advertised for a new 5-year contract.

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Dennis Firestone and Carolyn Reb are studying printer use, and will make recommendations on per copy costs and maintenance agreements.  No new printer purchases will be made until recommendations are implemented.

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Steve Krause asked about hours on the rail trail after dark.  Several concerns were raised by staff:  Lighting, liability, and crime.

Prison Board

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405 male and 61 female:  Total Population 466

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Unsentenced inmates 129

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Work Release 60

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State Sentenced Violators 19

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DJ sentenced 9

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Court of Common Pleas sentenced 47

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Parole/probation  207

Regular Meeting

The PA Historical and Museum Commission requested that Commissioners sign off on a donation of pieces of brick and pottery found in an archaeological dig along side the Chestnut Street Bridge, which is due for replacement, behind Dairy Queen and Ladd Hanford. 

Assessment Appeals

Commissioners heard one assessment appeal, and voted on seven disabled veterans requests for relief from real estate taxes.

February 10, 2011

To date, $500,000 has been withdrawn on the Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note.

With a balance of $91,364,000, Archie and Mike Battistelli and Brett Holland provided a Retirement Board update.  This is the highest balance ever reported for the Retirement Fund.  Within our established range, and in anticipation of a better stock market in 2011, Commissioners also reviewed Investment strategy, which had been weighted heavier on Fixed Income.  Now, $4,000,000 will be moved to CS McKee’s Equity portfolio.  As a result, 54.3% will be in Equity; 34.5% in Fixed Income; 6.7% in Real Estate; and 4.5% in cash.

For the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority, Commissioners also provided approval for an advertisement to revise Ordinance 41, Section 6, Facilities.

A $155,766 VOCA grant was signed by Commissioner Carpenter.  This is an increase of $39,488.

Commissioners then met in Executive Session

February 3, 2011

Voter Registrar Nick Yingst presented the Election Board with Certification of County Political Parties.  While a political party is based upon the percentage of votes cast for candidates in the two most recent elections where a candidate gets at least 5% of the highest vote total of any Countywide candidate, there are two subsets:  major and minor parties.  The latter may nominate candidates via the paper process beginning March 9 –August 1, which culminates with those candidates being placed directly onto the November election ballot.  Major parties must have at least 15% of voters statewide registered with their party.  To that end, Republican and Democratic parties are major parties, and may nominate candidates for inclusion on the 2011 primary ballot.  Independent Patriots, however, is a minor party (even though Richard Mase Sr. ran as such, he was never registered to vote as an Independent Patriot, and there are no individuals in the County or State who are registered to vote as Independent Patriots.  Such are quirks of the PA Election Code.

Phil Hall presented a $58,880.98 DEP West Nile Virus grant application for approval pending State funding of this program.  Phil also announced that a tire collection will take place on April 1.

Commissioners approved a $25,625 DCED Community Action Partnership (CAP) Emergency Shelter Grant for Domestic Violence Intervention.  Further, commissioners appointed former client Daryl Smith to the CAP Board.

Next, commissioners approved a proclamation for the Boy Scouts of America celebrating 101 years of scouting.

In addition, commissioners certified that the $1.25 telephone line charge is used for purposes designated by PEMA in the Emergency Telephone Act.

5:55 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__ssyHufYxk Comprehensive Plan Implementation Grants fall into one of three categories:  1)  Municipal for sewer and regional plans; 2) Multi-municipal and non-profit plans; and 3) County agencies.  Carrying out the Comprehensive Plan Implementation Grant Program, commissioners approved the following applications:

  1. Comprehensive Plan for Cornwall Lebanon School District municipalities, minus Mt. Gretna, $50,000;

  2. Rockwood Sewer Project in Swatara Township for 76 homes, $50,000; and

  3. Regional Recreation Needs Assessment for the Northern Lebanon School District municipalities, $29,000.

Also, commissioners approved two special Liquid Fuels requests:  $23,000 for North Lebanon to install flashing lights and a “road crossing” sign at the intersection of N. 7th St. and Kimmerling’s Road as well as $10,000 for road salt in North Cornwall.

4:06 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIoN_AJ9vxw Effective April 1 of this year, Lebanon County was scheduled to lose their switchboard operators who provided a personal touch in an automated world.  The digital message will be in both English and Spanish.  The job entailed more than just answering the phone.  People wanted to talk to a real live person.  People don’t deal with the municipal building everyday, and needed help when they called.  However, due to dire budget circumstances, a current savings of $70,000 for the year could not be ignored.  So, beginning Monday, February 7, 2011, the phones will be directed from an automated menu.  A complete list of phone numbers will be on the county website www.lebcounty.org , and will also appear in the new telephone directory coming out in April.

Operators handled questions concerning:

¨      Elections

¨      Homestead Exemption

¨      Wrong numbers

¨      Information when someone else directed the caller incorrectly to the municipal building

¨      Radio announcements

¨      News media

¨      Court calls

¨      Jury duty

¨      Hearings

¨      Bomb threats

¨      Passports

¨      Weather related—floods, snow

¨      Time and/or date requested

¨      Reporting stray dogs and cats

¨      Highway garage for leaf pickup

¨      Immigration referral

¨      Holiday hours

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

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

¨      Careerlink number

¨      Directions

¨      Hours of business

¨      Lebanon Transit schedule

¨      Legal aid number

¨      District Justice numbers

¨      Earned income tax number

¨      Prison number

¨      Welfare number

¨      Probation number

¨      Conservation and Ag Extension numbers

¨      How many people are employed in the municipal building?

¨      Names of the commissioners

¨      Spelling of names

¨      Names of department heads

January 27, 2011

Treasurer Neuin presented three mobile homes in Lebanon Valley Trailer Court from the Repository of Unclaimed Property.  Owner A Hunter Property Management bid $5 on each unit. 

Due to a resignation, the Detectives Office is currently at a compliment of four.

Commissioners certified County funds for the 2011 Farm Preservation Program.  Municipalities donated $75,600.  In addition, commissioners included $81,000 in the 2011 budget to administer and maintain the Farm Preservation Program.  Farms are inspected annually, and staff tracks sales to ensure the integrity of the easement.

Next, Commissioners could not agree upon two Conservation District requests totaling $250,000 for Comprehensive Plan Implementation Funds (Part of a bond designated for this purpose) to be used toward Farmland Preservation.  Because the request was not part of the budget, Commissioner Carpenter did not support any amount.  Commissioner Stohler wanted to grant $30,000 from Category 1 funds toward a farm that ranked 9th out of 24 farms on the Farm Preservation waiting list.  Commissioner Litz proposed awarding $50,000 from Category 3 funds.  She stated that all farms should follow the same rules, which were approved by both the local and State Farmland Preservation Boards.

A Part 2 application from the Cornwall Lebanon School District for a regional Comprehensive Plan was reduced from $50,000 to $37,500.

2010 PennDOT Act 44 Liquid Fuels Funds were closed out at $99,466.20, and the Regular Liquid Fuels Funds unencumbered balance closed at $166,246.28.

Commissioners approved a $126,062 PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency Victim Witness RASA grant.

Randall Ebersole was reappointed to the Lebanon County Health Facilities Authority.

Joyce Daub was reappointed to the Lebanon Transit Authority Board.

Lloyd Early, Adam Hain, and Don Umberger were reappointed to the Ag Preservation Board.

Commissioners declared January 29 as Lebanon Bologna Day in conjunction with the Lebanon Bologna Fest being held at the LV Expo Friday and Saturday this week.  Admission is $2 per person.

Finally, Commissioners approved distribution of free Prescription Drug Cards provided by the National Association of Counties as a free membership benefit.  At a cost of one cent each, Cards will be distributed through tax bills to property owners.  The cards do not have names printed on them, and can be used or given to relatives, tenants…to receive up to 22% in discounts at local pharmacies on prescription medications not covered by insurance.

January 19, 2011

Cedar Haven

Census 305:  87 Males and 218 Females  or an average of 95-97% occupancy

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A $12,500 grant disbursement  (#3 of 4) provided for an upgrade for two new "call bell" systems that were not connected to the bed alarms.

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The Wi-fi system toward paperless record keeping, computers on the nurses floors ,and one module for medical records will be completed in June.

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Per the "Flag Rule," Administrator Schlegel said that there was no fraud and no complaints to report during the annual compliance report to the Commissioners.

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The Department of Education found no deficiencies in the Nurse's Aid classes.

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Roman Shahay, Renova Center, said the two new residents are adjusting well.

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Julie Baum, director of Big Brothers Big Sisters, was appointed to the Renova Center Board.

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Philhaven received approval for a $750,000 pass-through grant to add patient beds.    Philhaven will cover the match in full, and complete administration of the grant.

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Commissioners approved an annual $250,000 maintenance agreement with Harris for MACom to provide tech support for 911.

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Commissioner Stohler presented a letter addressed to Folmer.

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Commissioner Litz presented NACO's drug discount program for consideration.

Prison Board

Warden Karnes requested permission to provide notary services to inmates at a cost of $5 per seal. 

Census 444:  391 Males and 53 Females

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Unsentenced Inmates 147

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Work Release Inmates 56

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State Sentenced Inmates 37

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Parole/Probation Violators 207

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DJ Sentenced 10

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Court of Common Pleas Sentenced 33

January 20, 2011

Regular Meeting

Treasurer Sallie Neuin submitted Coroner Yocum’s request for $5895 in Record Improvement funds to replace paper files with electronic files, which will be accessible 24/7.  Data can be sent or accessed at the scene of a murder, including pictures and death certificates.  After the purchase of the a system for the Coroner, a  balance of $17,480.83 will remain in the Fund.

Commissioners signed the 2011 Civil Service Compensation Plan for Children and Youth, MH/MR/EI, the Area Agency on Aging, and Drug and Alcohol.

Voter Registrar Nick Yingst presented a Certification of County Maintenance of Effort stating that from our General Fund, Lebanon County is spending in excess of the HAVA grant amount.

Commissioners also approved a HAVA reimbursement report for funds spent on ADA voting machines for the visually impaired.

Adult Probation Chief Sally Barry presented an amended Grant-in-Aid application increasing Right-to-Know request response time (per the courts) from 5 to 20 days.  The changes take effect immediately.

Jason Sweat, from the United States Department of Defense, requested that the commissioners support a land use study around Fort Indiantown Gap by allowing County Planning personnel to provide needed data, which would also count as a 10% required match.  Commissioners Carpenter and Litz voted yes, and Commissioner Stohler voted no.

Barry and Barb Heckard were reappointed to the Lebanon Transit Board.

Special Liquid Fuels allocations were awarded to Jonestown Boro ($9,000) for paving and Mt. Gretna Boro ($10,000) for a retaining wall. 

At 1:30, commissioners sat as the Assessment Board to hear appeals.

January 13, 2011

Charles Wertz presented a $10,000 check for farmland preservation donated by Jackson Township.  2011 pledges from municipalities total $75,600.  The Conservation District will also apply for Federal Farm and Ranchland funds.  Commissioners provided funds to administer the program and annually inspect over 100 preserved farms.

James Holtry, Children and Youth, presented First Quarter Invoices for approval. 

CJAB applied for $28,882 from the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency for imaging and indexing files.

At a cost of $136 per day, the Community Action Partnership received approval for BOYO Transportation Services to provide Medical Assistance Transportation services.

Commissioners approved a $3300 contract with the County Commissioner’s Association of PA to host the County’s website framework. 

A $15,000 annual office lease with Folmer’s office was extended for four years with an annual 3% CPI maximum.

MHMR Director Kevin Schrum will cover the duties of Sue Klarsh, our recently deceased director of Drug and Alcohol.

Jury Commissioner Robert Rothermel also passed away this week.

January 5, 2010

Treasurer Neuin presented 2 Sunrise Court, from the Repository of Unclaimed Property, for a $1 sale plus back taxes of $111 to Margaret Roth.  Commissioners approved the sale.

A $10,000 special allocation for Liquid Fuels was approved for South Lebanon Township to purchase ice control material for the winter season.

Reorganization elections/votes took place:

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Chairman Larry Stohler, Vice Chairman Bill Carpenter, and Secretary Jo Ellen Litz;

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Administrator Jamie Wolgemuth and Solicitor Snelling were retained;

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All county employees were retained;

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A meeting schedule was approved for advertising. 

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 followed by Prison Board at noon;

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Liaison assignments remained the same as 2010;

Stohler

Litz

Carpenter

Area Agency on Aging

Ag Extension Agency

Assessment

Children & Youth

Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development

Building & Grounds

Drug & Alcohol

Lebanon Transit

City of Lebanon

Emergency Management

Conservation District

Elections

Mental Health/Retardation

Housing & Redevelopment

Management Information

Tourist Promotion Agency

Southcentral Local Elected Officials (pending)

Planning

Renova Center

United Way

Women's Commission

Veterans Affairs

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Depository Banks were approved;

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Carpenter will chair the Salary Board, and Litz will act as secretary;

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In addition to adopting a hearing schedule, Carpenter will chair the Assessment Board, and Litz will act as vice-chair;

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Carpenter will chair the Election Board, and Stohler will serve as vice-chair.

Commissioner Litz asked if there was a blueprint, timeline or any other update on the Alternate Pubic Service Answering Point.  There was none.

Commissioners then met in Executive Session to discuss Prison Personnel.

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