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, Jonas 30" Snowstorm 2016 , or the Summer Storm of 2018,

I've been here for you.

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

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

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

Keep Litz doing the People's Business.


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


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


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 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:


My Blog on the Lebanon Daily News site:


LINKED IN Jo Ellen Litz


YouTube posts by Commissioner Litz:  



Taking Action, Getting Results.


NEED HELP?  Try one of these resources:


Human Services 2015 Directory

bullet "No Wrong Door"-2016 Lebanon County Resource Guide

Community Resource Manual,28MB.pdf


Public Officials Directory prepared by LC Planning Department



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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/or 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

Swatara Watershed Association 


ABWA Homepage link

American Business Women's Association

Lebanon County Commission for Women


Woman's Club of Lebanon


Web site paid for by Jo Ellen Litz. 

Meeting Highlights

Votes taken by the Lebanon County Commissioners 2011:

2012 Commissioner Meeting Highlights:  Also visit my Lebanon Daily News Blog: 

Videos are posted to YouTube or WGAL TV

County of Lebanon Job Openings

December 27, 2012

There is no tax increase for 2013.  Commissioners met for the purpose of passing the 2013 budget totaling $89,964,927 of which $35,936,121 is the General Fund.  The budget was on display for the minimum 20 days.  Millage was set at 2.4925%.  Should successful larger assessment appeals cause the General Fund income to drop by 10% or more, the budget can be reopened and equalized in January.

Commissioners also voted on a $3 million Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note (TRAN) to cover expenses during the first three months of 2013.  Two bids were received—1% from Fulton Bank and 1.15% from the team of Jonestown and Fredericksburg Banks.  While the Fulton bid had a Counsel Fee of $1500, their bid was still the lowest, and received the award.

John Shott and Connie Dowhower were on hand for approval of an $11,112 Juvenile Accountability Block Grant to cover some probation employee overtime, equipment, and supplies. 

Commissioners Ames, Litz, and Phillips were joined by Controller Mettley and Treasurer Neuin for the Pension Board meeting.  Minutes, death, and retirement benefits, were all approved for members.  The interest rate will remain at 4.5%, and the class at 1/80th.  Hay Group will print pension statements at a cost of $1.85/statement.  Because of the ARC (annual required contribution), to maintain plan stability, no action was taken to approve a COLA, which would have removed approximately $700,000 from the fund.  Finally, at no cost, Attorneys Topaz, Kessler & Check were retained to monitor and recover amounts due the fund from class action suits.  The firm represents 30 of the 67 PA counties. 

Commissioners signed a state awarded $43,153 DUI Problem Solving Court grant.

Commissioners also approved a $73,129.64 forty-eight month Ford Credit Lease/Purchase agreement with a $1 buyout for a total of three vehicles replaced due to depreciation and high mileage in Planning, Area Agency on Aging, and Cedar Haven. 

A $100,000 Liquid Fuels fund correction for the City Bridges and Distillery Road Bridge in Heidelburg Township was approved.

John Wengert submitted a request for a $10,000 grant for the Rail Trail to work with the Appalachian Trail to improve the Rail Trail website to include activities of all recreational groups in the Lebanon Valley.  A $2000 match requirement will come from the Hotel Tax. 

From the City of Lebanon, Commissioners are awaiting a draft lease for the Area Agency on Aging to rent the Maple Street location directly.

In 2013, the Wednesday Cedar Haven meetings will begin at 10AM, and the Prison Board meetings will begin at 11:30AM. 

Commissioners then met in executive session with Solicitor Snelling concerning Assessment Appeals.

Do you have fond memories of the Swattie?  Please vote for the Swatara Creek at  The winning waterway will receive statewide recognition and a $10,000 grant, which will be used to promote the Swatara Watershed and print additional maps, which are currently exhausted.  A Calendar of Events was part of the requirement to qualify for the honor: Swatara Creek - River of the Year Calendar.pdf

Greta Rank shares her fond memory of the Swatara

December 20-21, 2012

Regular Meeting

Assessment Director Dan Seaman presented three disabled veterans for real estate tax exemption.

Thumbnail20:42 McGrady Outlines 911 Study and

Michael McGrady, MCM Consulting, presented the results of a 911 Needs Assessment Report.  A focus group prioritized EMA and 911 Call Center needs:

  1. The most mentioned items were additional meeting, training, work and storage space, and private office space to work and have private discussions;

  2. Improvements to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system;

  3. Additional dispatchers for training and peak call times; 

  4. A radio system upgrade, which will extend its life by ten years;

  5. Storage and access to central records;

  6. Redundant data and phone paths;

  7. Ergonomic dispatch furniture capable to rise and lower so telecommunicators can stand during extended shifts;

  8. Restroom facility within the 911 Center for use during shutdowns;

  9. Security lock down;

  10. Kitchen and lunchroom due to 24 hour emergencies when employees can’t get home;

  11. Locker area with showers for extended emergencies;

  12. Emergency sleeping area;

  13. Windows to see weather;

  14. Security enhancements;

  15. Continuation of Government;

  16. Press area;

  17. Environmental controls for loss of power;

  18. Secure multiple points of entry.

Four possible outcomes were shared:


Renovate a building as a backup Public Service Answering Point (6500 square feet);


Build a new backup Public Service Answering Point (14,400 square feet);


Renovate a building as a Primary Public Service Answering Point;


Build a new Primary Public Service Answering Point;

While no vote was taken, the last option is cost prohibitive at $200 per square foot verses $149 per square foot to remodel an existing building.  Further, no matching funds were identified to build a backup Public Service Answering Point.  Conversely, matching funds are available to build or renovate a new Primary PSAP.  In the latter scenario, the existing PSAP would become the backup.  The first priority, no matter which option is chosen, is to move the generator out of the flood plain to the roof.

Commissioners appointed Barbara Grumbine to the Ag Preservation Board.

Six buildings were sold from the Repository of Unclaimed Property:


14 LV Court $1;


22 LV Court $1;


3 Towpath Road $100;


61 Sunrise Trailer Court $1;


37 Stonehill Park, Annville $1;


Jonestown Road, Grantville $1.

Four Special Liquid Fuels Requests were awarded:


Cornwall Borough $40,000 to help build the Rexmont Road Bridge;


South Annville $50,000 to help pave roads around the waste water treatment plant;


North Lebanon $20,000 to help repair around a storm water collapse;


Heidelberg $40,000 on Distillery Road Bridge.

Payments on previously approved Comprehensive Plan projects were granted:  Jackson Township $70,000 and Fairlane Avenue Park $24,740.01

Commissioners approved signatory authority to Kevin Schrum for contract amendments under $10,000.  Kevin will then report a listing of these amendments for ratification by the commissioners.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned. 

Metropolitan Planning Organization

Among other items, Eric Mountz provided a presentation on the master plan for North Cornwall Commons Traffic Impact Study. 

Theresa Guirintano will work with Tom Kotay and Jon Fitzkee to have a regional bus consolidation study presentation by PennDot in the near future.

Board of Assessment Appeals

Commissioners heard 14 appeals and approved exemptions for two properties. 

Cedar Haven

Census:  314—88 males and 226 females.

Commissioners voted to move third Wednesday meetings up to 10AM during 2013. 

Prison Board

Census: 377 males and 75 females, 452 total


Unsentenced inmates 228


Work release 50


State sentenced 27


Parole/Probation violations 197


DJ sentenced 11


Sentenced by Court of Common Pleas 18

Community YouTubes: Clips from the Lebanon Valley Mall Point of Light include Chris Earhart singing God Bless America overlaying photos from the Lebanon Daily News, Hector Colon, and others; and people lined up to sign the condolence books.

Sandy Hook vigil extends across Lebanon County  Channel 8 Natalie Redcay Fried drove the length of Route 422 to capture many of the Points of Light.

Pink Polish Nail and Hair Salon, Annville PA

Wreaths Across America

Sherry Capello Receives 2012 Athena Award

Medley of Tunes by Ryan Pelton as Elvis 12 8 12

Ryan Pelton, Last performance as Elvis in PA before The Identical

Lebanon High Show Choir 2012

My Monthly Blog on the Lebanon Daily News site:  The Blog contains a list of the 75 Points of Light that brought our community together on a cold wintry night in December 2012 to mourn the loss of precious children at Sandy Hook Elementary.

December 6, 2012

Creating a New Fiscal Position at the Prison

Juvenile Probation Chief Moves to Prison as Fiscal Officer

For approval, Desiree Nguyen, Lebanon County Human Resources Coordinator, presented a new fiscal officer position at the prison. 

2013 County Budget Presentation:  An $89,964,027 Budget with a millage rate of 2.4925 was approved for display.  The budget is a decrease by $2,183,181 or 2.37% for 2013.  General Fund support to agencies is decreasing by 10.2%.  As state funds stay the same or decrease, some agencies have had to cut funding to providers or look to contraction internal options.  Significant reductions include:


No new debt was incurred for payments in 2012.


Employee health and prescription insurance premiums are increasing by 1.2% or $153,000.  Higher employee copay and deductible schedules, for non-union and retirees, have been put into place.  Prior to these changes, increased costs for health insurance were expected to be $851,000.


Non-union employees will receive a 3% salary increase; Court Related (Teamsters) 2.5%; Court Professionals (Teamsters) was 5%, but are currently in negotiations; Social Services (Teamsters) 2.5%; County Detectives 2%; Correctional Officers (AFSCME) 55 cents per hour; Cedar Haven (AFSCME) 3%; and EMA Telecommunicators (Chocolate Workers) are in negotiations.


Reduction of overtime, mostly at the prison, in the amount of $348,000;


Higher deductibles and health insurance co-pays resulting in $700,000 in savings;


EMA alternate vendor for maintenance of the 911 radio system and towers saving $170,000;


Cedar Haven Food Contract for 2013


Cedar Haven Dietary Staff Shares Views


Edward Schlegel presented a Cedar Haven Nursing Home Dietary Contract, which will be effective 2.1.13 at a cost of $2,263,000, a savings of $500,000+ per year over the three-year contract.  42 employees will be given health insurance through the end of February; provided the opportunity to apply with the new company; and for two years, be given preferential hiring where they qualify for jobs within Cedar Haven.  Further, costs savings are expected from the purchase of raw food from which meals will be prepared. 


Adult and Juvenile Probation Combined


The Honorable Judge John Tylwalk, President Judge, and Adult Probation Director Sally Barry were on hand to request the consolidation of Adult and Juvenile Probation.  In addition to a cost savings, the consolidation will allow a holistic look and treatment of families in the Probation system.


A custodial contract with Service Masters Commercial Service, Harrisburg, was retained at a cost of $194,000 per year (flat) for two years to clean the County Municipal Building evenings at a savings of $80,000 annually. 


The budget includes a $500,000 contribution toward the pension obligation

Two MATP Drivers, Aunt Mel’s and Sue Nietz, were hired to transport people for the Community Action Partnership.

Franklin Shearer and Ed Anspach were reappointed to the Lebanon Transit Authority.

Jonathan Johnson and Diane Brown were appointed to the MHMR Board.

Todd Snovel, the first male, was appointed to the Board of the Women’s Commission.

Commissioners accepted a $3329 PCCD Act 111 grant to implement the Adam Walsh Act. 

Two proclamations were approved:  Donna Eberly Lehman who is retiring on December 19 after 38 years of service with the Chamber of Commerce, and John Kline, who retired as the head of maintenance. 

December 27, 2012, a special meeting will be held to adopt the final budget.  Due to the court ordered countywide reassessment, appeals to the Court of Common Pleas may require a millage adjustment.

November 15, 2012

Maintenance Supervisor John Kline is retiring after 33 years of exemplary service.  He has repeatedly saved the County money with system improvements that saved energy, thus cash.  Commissioners plan to promote from within the ranks.  In preparation for the promotion of Stephen Klein, no relation, hours per week were changed from 35 to 37.5.   

Ronald Miller and Chuck Killian submitted final bills in the amounts of $90,956.55 for Geo Tech Engineering, High Temperature Linings, and Elliot Mc…, and for $70,595.95 for RLS Construction payments on the burn building, which brings total county payments to $500,000.  For construction of the burn building, Litz stated that she voted to fund $254,683.81 from the Comprehensive Plan Implementation Funds, and made a personal contribution of $1500 after her fire.  Based on her understanding of the law, she believes the balance of funding should come from somewhere other than the Hotel Tax.  Therefore, the 2-1 vote was Ames and Phillips voting for the motion, and Litz voting No.  The burn building will not be put into use until April 10, 2013. 

ReAssessment Certification 11.15.12  YouTube

In their last act for the mass appraisal process, more commonly known as the court ordered reassessment, commissioners certified the value of real estate in Lebanon County PA at $9,885,045,000, which is 100% of market value, less public utilities, Clean and Green and non profit parcels.  2,718 or 85% of farms are in Clean and Green.  The figures are within 1.5% of the estimated value built into notices sent to County residents.  To date, 318 people have appealed to the Court of Common Pleas.  All adjusted values will not be known by December 31, 2012.  Therefore, successful appeals are NOT able to be deducted from the known value.  According to Tim Barr of EST, when 15% of properties increase in value, it will be time to reassess again, but not to the extent of this reassessment.  Our new Pictometry and other tracking software must be kept up to date.  The value of all real estate including non-taxables, Clean and Green, KOZs, TIFFs, and Lertas is $12.4 billion.  Anticipated County millage will be 2.49 mills, which will equal the previous tax levy of $24.2 million.

After a beginning Market Value of $94,115,270.71, Stifel Nicholaus representatives Archie and Mike Batistelli and Brent Holland reported that the County Pension Fund stands at $94,394,024 despite a large payout to the Conservation District and a slight market downturn due to uncertainty during the presidential election.  They now expect the market to stabilize.

Commissioners had to set rates of future elected officials in the Sheriff and Register of Wills offices.  Other Row Offices are receiving a 2.5% raise through 2015, and by salary law at 16 P.S. 11011-10.1, “any salary increase shall be on a percentage basis and applied equally to all county officials…”  Commissioners currently return $111 per pay, and Bob Phillips suggested that Row Officers could do the same.  On a 2-1 vote, salary increases for these Row Offices were set at 2.5% through 2017.  Phillips and Litz voted for the motion, and Ames voted No stating that last year, employees received a zero percent increase. 

Three agreements with drivers for Medical Assistance Transportation for the Community Action Partnership were approved.

Commissioners reappointed three Renova Center Board members—Killinger, Baum, and Burris.

Upon a request from Lebanon Family Health Services, commissioners passed a resolution supporting the Great American Smoke Out.

Community YouTubes:

We Support Our Troops in Lebanon PA--God Bless America!

Hershey Penn State Childrens Hospital Dedicated

Eagle Scouts Justin and Jason Allison

End of the Day, 2012 Presidential Election in Lebanon County

That's Life in Lebanon County, by Bob Phillips

Preserving Farmland in Lebanon County

2012 Conservation District Community Awards

Tim Lambert interviews President James Buchanan

November 1, 2012

Des Nugyen received approval to reclassify the HR officer position to an HR Assistant at pay grade 9.

Following a new State reporting format, Kevin Schrum and James Holtry presented the 2012 Human Services Plan.

John Shott, new CJAB coordinator, and Adult Probation Chief Sally Barry presented a $3,329 grant to update software in order to help implement the Adam Walsh Act and Megan’s Law.  While the State Police will send letters to all currently registered sex offenders, it will be up to the County to register new offenders, which will take 45 minutes-1 hour, in order to collect fingerprints, photographs, Central Booking, the only approved County site other than the State Police.  It would not be cost effective to transport offenders in County custody to the State Police.  If an offender is currently under supervision of a County APO, they shall collect the registration information and forward to the PA State Police.  Since Central Booking has the needed $30,000 Clean Machine, it would be impractical to book offenders at Adult Probation or the prison.  This unfunded mandate will add another burden to a department that costs the County $500,000 annually while bringing in less than $300,000 annually.  Further, the reporting requirements of the Act are retroactive for all offenders.  Finally, new offenses like open lewdness and statutory sexual assault must be documented.  The Act takes effect 60 days from December 20, 2012. 

Shem Heller, Executive Director for the Mental Health Association, received a proclamation declaring November 10-18 as National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week.

Commissioners approved three motions concerning a North Cornwall bridge:

  1. a temporary easement for construction;
  2. in exchange for $400 as an administrative settlement agreement for the (land less than 1/10th acre) to accommodate construction.
  3. deed of dedication in lieu of a condemnation action. 

Ray Bender received approval to apply for $404,604 in CDBG funds from the State.

Commissioners approved a letter of support for Mayor Capello to renovate the historic Kreider Building on north 8th Street for a senior housing project on behalf of Andy Cohen representing Woda Group LLC out of Ohio.  50--one and two bedroom units will be created.  No County dollars will be provided towards this project.  The County is not liable for this funding.  No collateral was provided by the County.  We are simply a conduit for the funds. 

Phyllis Holtry received approval for $40,000 to cover community services like extended rent and utilities for homeless families with children. 

$22,500 was approved for Wilson Consulting to complete a Phase VI Feasibility Study for the Rail Trail from Chestnut Street to Union Canal Tunnel Park.  DCNR is providing $12,500; MPO $5,000; LVRT $5,000; and Wilson Consulting is donating anything needed beyond this amount. 

Five disabled veterans were granted tax exemption.

Dan Kauffman and Juan Rodriguez provided a briefing on Hurricane Sandy; requested that municipalities document and return storm damage assessments for their neighborhood; and shared a HazMat Facilities Report that generated $11,282 in income.  The Red Cross Shelter closed today.  Residents in need of heated shelter due to loss of electricity can seek assistance at the Salvation Army

Members of the Children and Youth Advisory Board being reappointed included:  Mark Hess, Keath Shields, Susan Werner, and Kimberly Miller. 

Gail Smith and Randy Leisure were appointed to the Conservation District Board. 

Commissioners met in executive sessions to discuss union negotiations and personnel. 

Community YouTube Posts:

  1. History of 15-21 E Main St., Annville

  2. Tin Can Unlimited with Marge Kirchner

  3. Revamping Criminal Justice is a Bi Partisan Effort

  4. Terry Madonna on a 2012 Lame Duck Congress

  5. Terry Madonna on Early Voting

  6. Terry Madonna on Compromise

  7. Terry Madonna on the Electoral College

  8. Terry Madonna on the 2012 State House, Senate and Row Offices

  9. Terry Madonna on the 2012 US Congressional Races

  10. Terry Madonna, the 2012 Presidential Race and Electoral College


Cedar Haven

Census 310, 87 males and 223 females or 97%,

To fill open beds, an ad will be run for short-term stays for therapy. 

Commissioners reviewed a 2010 $750,000 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Grant for Philhaven.  The County will act as a conduit for Philhaven to complete a $1,620,000 expansion and renovation project. 

Renova Center

Census is at 23 (2 vacancies)

Residents will participate in Trick or Treat night in Cleona.

The Department of Health took eight samples with family members, and all were good reports.

Verbally, Quest was approved as an adult training facility.  Eight applications were given to Quest.

Prison Board

Census 503, 423 males and 80 females


270 unsentenced inmates


53 on work release


53 State sentenced (This number has doubled.  Act 84 is a new procedure implemented in July, which requires all paperwork 3 weeks prior to arrival at the State Prison.  Only adjudicated prisons will be transported when the State calls to say they will accept a bus load of prisoners.)


235 Parole/Probation Violators


6 DJ Sentenced


28 Sentenced by Court of Common Pleas

October 18, 2012

Renea Lemke Retires from the County of Lebano

Finishing her career in the Treasurer’s Office, Renea Lemke retired from the County of Lebanon.

Presenting his last West Nile Virus report before leaving Lebanon County Penn State Extension Office, Phil Hall will be pursing a doctorate degree.  In 2012, 116 mosquitoes of 639 tested were positive for the Virus, and one person was infected.  1,076 samples were taken at 154 different sites.  Phil applied 123 larval and 36 adult pesticide applications.  Also, to help prevent mosquitoes from breeding, 571 people turned in 4,980 tires totaling 88.09 tons for recycling.  Finally, 2,188 people were educated through personal interactions.  Nice job, and good luck (Dr.) Phil.

Silver Street Development Refinances Lebanon Village Purchase

Redevelopment Authority Director Ray Bender presented Silver Street Developers who purchased the 1974 Lebanon Village low income Section 8 housing project, and would like to refinance the property, using the County as a conduit, in order to replace kitchens in each unit.  Headquartered in Portland, Maine, Silver Street has been in business since 1997, and has redone 10,000 units in their 70 projects located in fifteen states, four in PA, on the east coast.  For financing the project, Prudential receives 4% Rehab tax credits from HUD.  Neither Lebanon County's Affordable Housing Dollars or credit rating will be impacted or encumbered by facilitating this loan. 

Also, Bender requested a Resolution amending the County of Lebanon and South Lebanon Township CDBG programs.  When a local storm water issue arose, West Lebanon forfeited a $45,000 curb cut allocation, which was reallocated to Myerstown ($18,834) and Palmyra ($28,616).  Further, $20,000 for the Lebanon Community Action Partnership Homeless Assistance Program was deleted, but changed to finance a portion of the Welsh Mountain Dental Clinic. 

Finally, Bender asked commissioners to approve an 18% administrative contract in the amount of $75,765 for the County and $43,000 for South Lebanon.

TIF Ends, and County Receives a Refund

LVEDC Executive Director Charles Blankenship and Bond Council Paul Lundeen reported that the Palmyra Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreement expired, and needed terminated.  The County of Lebanon, Palmyra School District, and Palmyra Borough should each receive a refund of General Fund money. 

Union Canal Tunnel Park Master Plan

Architect Ann Yost, Barbara Gaffney and Lebanon County Historical Society Director Tina Valgenti presented a master plan for Union Canal Tunnel Park.  Moving the entrance to line up with Guilford Street and away from the curve in 25th Street; a second pavilion; raising the 1700s Krall log barn; statuary; and creating a canal boat on land for people to explore were part of the vision presented.  Suggestions to incorporate a year-round venue to include ice hockey, ice skating, and ice fishing were suggested as well as widening the berm of Tunnel Hill Road to walk from the south side to the north side entrance and the purchase of a home that is obviously a missing link where mules crossed the hill to retrieve the boat on the other side were also recorded.

Assessment Appeal Auxiliary Boards Receive Recognition

Next, commissioners and Assessment Chief Dan Seaman recognized Assessment Appeal Auxiliary Boards for their months of dedicated service hearing appeals.  Commissioners commended the professionalism, dedication, team effort, and work ethic of each hearing officer.

Commissioners awarded a bid for trail widening on the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail.  Approved FEMA funds weren’t quite enough to complete the entire $128,503.08 project.  Therefore, the BARWIS LLC, Limekiln PA bid was adjusted to $115,040.10.

Stephanie DiVittore was appointed to the Commission for Women.

From the Repository of Unclaimed Property, a $1 bid was accepted from Wonderhoff Homes for a trailer in Palm City Trailer Court, Annville.

Commissioners signed an agreement for a previously approved $50,000 Comprehensive Plan project—the Rockwood Sewer in Swatara Township.

On a two to one vote, a $70,000 bill was approved for payment on the Burn Building, partially from the Comprehensive Plan and partially from the Hotel Tax.  While previously voting in support of almost $300,000 in payments from the Comprehensive Plan Implementation Fund, sighting a lack of documentation on the number of out-of-county fire company visitors utilizing the new structure, Commissioner Litz voted no.  The Hotel Tax requires that funds be used for programs directly and substantially related to tourism.  Litz suggested possible alternate funding for the last $200,000 for the burn building. 

Community YouTube Posts:

bullet NW Elementary to Renovate or Build is the question
bullet PA Deutsch Versumling-Bank Barns-at Ono Fire Co
bullet Paul Harris Fellows presented to Tom Donmoyer and Neal Grimes

October 4, 2012

Due to both increased work load and available funding, Phyllis Holtry, Community Action Partnership, received approval to increase hours for two part-time employees from 25 to 30.

2013 Lebanon County BiCentennial Calendars

The Historical Society presented a copy of the 2013 Bicentennial calendar to each commissioner.  The special edition calendar is for sale at the Historical Society at a cost of $15 each. 

Drug and Alcohol Director Carol Davies presented commissioners with Red Ribbons.  As a symbol of commitment to a drug free lifestyle, Commissioners passed a proclamation declaring October 23-31 as Red Ribbon Week in Lebanon County establishing a drug free community.  Prescription overdoes exceed deaths from cocaine and heroin combined.  Lock your meds; take inventory; educate yourself; and set clear rules and monitor behavior.  Pass it on.

James Holtry presented 4th quarter invoices totaling $920,912.08 for Children and Youth.

Fire School Update 10.4.2012; Fire Prevention Week

Ronald Miller provided an update on the fire school, and presented a $62,149.45 invoice bringing the total paid to $254,683.81.  A mid-November completion date is expected. 

So that commissioners can decide from which category of funds to pay bills for the remainder of their commitment, Commissioner Litz requested a summary of organizations using the fire training tower the year before the old tower closed.  To comply with future audits, in order to utilize Hotel Tax revenue, documentation that the tower experienced substantial use from visitors should be established.

As a result of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 where 250 lives were lost, October 2-8 is Fire Prevention Week.

Tim Barr, EST, presented Reassessment Hearing revised notices and formal decision orders for approval.  Mailings will go out on Tuesday.  There was also a reminder that the Clean and Green deadline for 2013 taxes is October 15.  If the deadline is missed this year, for 2014, an application must be filed by June 1, which would mean two years of payment at the higher rate.

A total of 3,683 formal decisions were approved, 992 informals, 426 withdrawals or abandoned filings…. 

Commissioners authorized payment of the Second Round Debt Service:


$669,148.67 from the General Fund to the 2009 General Obligation Bond at Fulton Bank


$1,085,122.35 from the General Fund to the 2010 General Obligation Bond at Fulton Bank


$70,006.10 from the General Fund to the 2011 General Obligation Bond at Fulton Bank


$386,896.02 from the General Fund to the 2008 Bank Loan Fund.

Community Action Partnership contracts for Medical Assistance Transportation by Ultimate Medical Services--$45 in the City; $75 to Hershey; and $145 out of town, and for Lebanon Transit--$24 in the City; $60 to Hershey; and $105 to other locations.  Philhaven curb to curb trips are $7.57 each; and Crisis Intervention will receive $371,698 for Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol, and Children and Youth.

Commissioners amended the Lebanon County Economic Development grant of $561,425.

Commissioners then ratified a proclamation for Frank Heilman as the Business Person of the Year for the CLA, and declared October as National Domestic Violence Awareness month

Community YouTubes:

Izaak Walton League preserves 300 acres through LV Conservancy

JR Martinez at LVC for Cornwall Manor

Ruth Dietz Receives ABWA Award 9.26.2012

Cornell Wilson, Lebanon County Democrat of the Year 2012

DRT Transportation Breaks Ground Helen Drive, Tuck Business Park

September 20, 2012

Leadership Lebanon Valley Participants at County Meeting

Leadership Lebanon Valley participants from the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce, are required to attend a municipal our County government meeting.  Two students attended today's session.

Barondic Requests that Flags be Flown at District Judge Offices

Sometimes Martin Barondic and the masses agree.  He requested that American flags be flown in front of District Judge offices.  Commissioners concurred. 

County & Conservation District Sign Memorandum of Understanding

County of Lebanon , the Ag Preservation Program, and Lebanon County Conservation District signed a memorandum of understanding, which acknowledges the good work of the Conservation District and Ag Preservation Boards and staff, but gives them more autonomy to operate independently.  The County will contribute funds to these programs as they become available.  Effective October 1, six employees of the CD tendered their resignations from the County of Lebanon to transition to Conservation District employees.  Another five employees chose to retire.  Likewise, vacation, sick, and personal days were transferred to the Conservation District for those employees. 

A part time employee was approved for Voter Registration to help carryout the 2012 presidential election. 

Commissioners passed a resolution appointing Dennis Good as the accountant at MHMR and Drug and Alcohol.  Former accountant and current D&A Administrator Carol Davies was on hand too.  Because programs came in under budget, no contribution was required from the County’s general fund budget. 

The success of the DUI court is that only one person has been arrested for DUI after completing a course where 74 of those admitted reached their maximum date successfully, and completed the program.  47 clients are currently in the program.  $125,000 comes from PCCD and PennDOT in collaboration with LVC.

Cedar Haven has Zero Deficiencies--Lebanon Proud

Annually, Cedar Haven, Lebanon County's Nursing Home, undergoes an inspection by the Department of Health.  This year, the 324-bed facility had zero deficiencies, placing it as the number two nursing home in the State of PA.

Commissioners also approved the Drug &Alcohol Fiscal Report.

Megan Ryland Tannner, presented a STOP Continuation Grant Application for approval.  Tony Finkle presented a $184,300 50/50 DUI Court Program for approval. 

The DUI court Grant application dropped from a 3 to 1 year guarantee with an option to extend. 

Dennis Firestone and Mark Wilson were on hand to open bids to widen the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail north of Cornwall to Zinns Mill Road.  Funding permitting, the $100,000 DCNR grant would also cover Colebrook north to Butler Road.  A 10’ width is desired.  Low bidder was BARWIS LLC, Limekiln PA at $128,502.08; Handwerk $197,712.05; Rogele $248,352.75; BR Kreider $249,431.45; and Rutledge Excavating $252,929.80.  The scope of the job will be adjusted with emphasis on the Cornwall to Zinns Mill segment.

Married Women Voting if they Forgot to Change Their Name

Commissioners sat as the Board of Elections to approve layout of electronic ballots and adopt instruction for poll workers concerning accepting women to vote who are married, but forgot to change their last name on their drivers licenses.  In summary, the first name must match either the birth date or address on record.

Phyllis Holtry was on hand for MATP grant agreements.  Welch Dental will not save the County medical assistance transportation dollars.  Rather support for the clinic will save the State funding.  A BOYO Transportation Services contract was presented as well as a $25,625 closeout report for the Emergency Shelter Grant for the Domestic Violence Shelter.  Finally, a resolution and statement of assurance was provided for a $100,000 emergency Solution Grant proposal. 

Jim Holtry, Children and Youth, presented an implementation budget and needs based budget for approval.  Under budget by $505,961 resulted in saving the County $250,412 over the original budget for County share.  No new services or programs have been added. 

William Sullivan presented Juvenile Court Judges grant that has been received since the 1990s.  AT $249,972, 2004 had the highest receipts, and 2012 is the lowest with $173,839. 

At a cost of $40/hour, Eleanor O’Donnell was hired as a Domestic Relations Domestics Title 4D case attorney

At a cost of $175/hour, Tim Sheffy was appointed as legal council for labor contracts, grievances, unfair labor practices….  Staff attorneys will be at a rate of $165 / hour.  The ongoing contract can be cancelled with 90 days notice. 

As a representative for Lebanon County, Frank Kocher was reappointed to the Workforce Investment Board.

Jackie Parker tendered her resignation from the Women’s Commission.

From the Comprehensive Plan Implementation Funds, Commissioners voted to reimburse Quittie Creek Nature Park for a $25,000 land acquisition project.  Likewise, a $55,631.25 bill was paid from the Comp Plan funds for the fire tower, bringing total expenditures to $192,534.36. 

A $134,147 grant application for Lebanon EMA from PA EMA was approved to cover positions.  The 50% match grant totals $268,294.

EMA also had a $7,374 HazMat grant awarded/accepted for a super pass alert system.

Commissioners accepted a $12,458 Victims of Juvenile Offenders PCCD grant for salaries.

A proclamation for the CLA person of the year will be ratified in two weeks. 


Lebanon City 9th Street Bridge Opens 9 17 12

Lebanon Highschool Marching Band - Bridge Dedication 2012

Congressman Holden on the 9th Street Bridge

Gordon Kirkesner on the 9th Street Bridge

McCormick Taylor on Bridge History and Archeology

Bob Hoffman on the 9th Street Bridge

Bryan Smith, First Aid and Safety Patrol on the 9th St. Bridge

Mayor Sherry Capello - 9th Street Bridge Statistics

Northern Lebanon Rotary - One Dime at a Time at the Hinklefest

1st Football Game

TS Lee 1 Year Later Quittie Creek Cleanup

September 6, 2012

During Public Comment, Paul Gundrum shared a flooding issue in his neighborhood. 

Personnel Director Des Nguyen presented the results of an Arbitration Award for the Lebanon County Correctional Facility:  $.45 for 2011, .45 for 2012, and .55 for 2013, with concessions on health insurance premiums, whereby, the union will pay 2% of their gross wages in 2012 and 3% of gross wages in 2013 towards health insurance premiums. 

For Community Action Partnership, Director Phyllis Holtry presented a $1,247,140 Medical Assistance Transportation quarterly report for approval and received approval to hire Danilbi Abreu and Pamela Leahey as drivers; and a $95,338 Human Services Development Fund and HAP quarterly report received certification. 

Planning Director Kris Troup presented a Fort Indiantown Gap Joint Land Use Study consultant contract for approval.  For the 15-month grant, a non-federal 10% match will be provided by Lebanon County.  The study will look at protecting FIG from encroaching development.  The 17,000 acre facility in East Hanover, Union, and Cold Spring Townships in Lebanon County and East and West Hanover Townships in Dauphin County hosts more than 100,000 students and trainees annually.  FIG is Lebanon County’s largest employer, and exceeds $100 million in annual economic impact. 

On behalf of Community Homes of Lebanon Valley, Attorney Fred Wolfson presented a refinancing proposal with Fulton Bank for $3,510,000 at Poplar Terrace with its 71 one-bedroom units and 6 two-bedroom units, and $2,677,600 at Tulpehocken Terrace with 35 one-bedroom units and 11 studio apartments.  The tax-free financing will be run through the Redevelopment Authority.  Interest savings will be utilized to install sprinkler systems, improve access, and handicap restrooms. 

For the November Election, Voter Registrar Nick Yingst provided a sample absentee ballot for review, approval, and mailing. 

On behalf of the Firefighters Association of Lebanon County, Ron Miller presented a report and burn building invoices for payment in the amount of $79,255.02 and $19,906.28.  The total expended from the $250,000 Comprehensive Plan Implementation Fund grant to date is $136,903.11.  There was confusion concerning the Auditor’s statement on the other $250,000 in tourism dollars from hotel tax being spent for this project.  Solicitor Snelling was asked to review Auditor Zettlemoyer’s statement. 

Commissioners signed a $15,018 Radiation Emergency Response Fund grant agreement to purchase three laptop computers for the Western Lebanon County Regional Emergency Management Agency and to calibrate three Ludium Radiation Detection meters provided by PEMA. 

Bridge replacement on Chestnut Street near Dairy Queen in North Cornwall Township is one step closer to completion with right-of-way and a construction easement secured, and a design and bid scheduled to proceed. 

Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss union negotiations for the Court Professionals

August 29, 2012

McGrady Provides PSAP Update 8.29.12

Mike McGrady, MCM Consulting, met with commissioners to update them on wireless 911 funding and progress on recommendations for the backup 911 Public Service Answering Point—PSAP. 

Wireless funding is used to reimburse and incentivize regionalization technology so that we can communicate with the state.  Tier one funds 70% of salaries and benefits and 911 costs.  Tier 2 funds items like CAD and GIS.  Tier three funds consulting and professional services. 

Our radio system is phenomenal, but because it is analog, nearing the end of it’s life.  An upgrade to digital P25 will be necessary. 

Next Generation technology allowing people to send texts and videos is also under review.

With our PSAP recommendation will be a 5-year strategic plan for implementation.  A space survey will help to define what we have and what we need.  Renovation runs $100-$100 per square foot; Construction $160-$180 per square foot, and an unknown factor is cost per square foot at North Londonderry Township.  Also considered will be continuity of government, bathrooms, furniture, number of positions, and parking. 

A sampling of fire, police, and ambulance observations has been completed.  A full report will be presented by October 15.

Ray Bender Explains Affordable Housing Loans in Lebanon County

Ray Bender shared a request for Affordable Housing Funds

Ray Bender reported that Pennsylvania DCED will receive $27,142,501 of CDBG Disaster Funding.  In addition, Luzerne ($15,738,806) and Dauphin ($6,415,833) Counties will receive direct funding.

            DCED must expend 80% ($21,714,000) of its allocation in Bradford, Dauphin, and Columbia, Wyoming and Luzerne counties.  They have requested HUD to add Schuylkill and Lebanon Counties to this list.  To date HUD has not approved this request and has asked DCED to provide certification that such action will not diminish the assistance available to the HUD listed counties.  As such a certification would be difficult to develop; it appears that they will not be added.

The various funding types have counties assigned priority by tier.  Lebanon County is in the first tier for  Housing Funding, the second tier for Economic Development all counties are in one tier for Infrastructure.

            DCED hopes to announce application criteria and dates in September.

            We understand that all housing assistance is likely to be handled from one or two central locations.  We have no requests for housing rehab assistance in the County.  Economic Development and Infrastructure grants will probably be handled on an application basis.

            The Action Plan can be viewed on the DCED web site

Commissioners them met in executive session to discuss real estate with Mayor Capello

Community YouTubes:

Stories from Ono PA, by Hillary Petrozella 

Northern Lebanon Rotary presents gift to Matthews Library

August 15, 2012

Cedar Haven Census 306, 87 male and 219 female. 


Diane Kline, Director of Volunteers, will be retiring. 


September 8 from 10AM to 3PM is the Fall Frolic at Cedar Haven. 

Prison Census 466, 392 male and 74 female. 


Unsentenced 247


Work Release 45


State Sentenced 28


Parole/Probation Violators 238


DJ Sentenced 16


Court of Common Pleas sentenced 19

August 16, 2012

Hotel Tax Liens 

Treasurer Sallie Neuin asked for permission to pay $25 fees to file two claims against properties not remitting hotel tax from hotel tax revenues. The properties are the Lantern Lodge, 19 months delinquent, owing a maximum of $123,714 plus $10,000 in interest, and the Cornwall Inn, 25 months delinquent, owing a maximum of $3,000 plus $400 interest.  Other delinquent hotels have also been billed.  The law provides for a charge per room when required paperwork is not filed along with payment. 

Archie and Mike Battistelli, and Brett Holland, from Stifel Nicolaus as well as Jeff Daidek from CS McKee reviewed the County Retirement Fund, which closed at $96,302,576.

The District Attorney’s Office received approval to apply for the $55,807 RASA—Rights and Services and $12,458 VOJO—Victims of Juvenile Offenders grants. 

Redevelopment Authority representative Betsy Bowman explained that a Palmyra project was not awarded tax credits.  Therefore, it is recommended that the $716,000 be redirected, $205,794.06 to the first-time homebuyer program and $17,655.14 to Housing Rehabilitation.  Also, $492,915 will purchase, rehab, then sell vacant properties identified from the Sheriff’s tax sales in North Cornwall, West Lebanon, North Lebanon, and South Lebanon. 

W Asset Method to Calculate Pension Liability

At the request of Controller Robert Mettley, commissioners voted to approve a previously distributed updated investment policy.    Further, a “W Asset Method” was adopted.  “W Asset Method” uses an entry age to calculate accrued liability, and then amortize it for thirty years.  15 counties have switched to the “W Asset Method.”  The actuary will give an estimate of the unfunded liability around October.  The “W Asset Method” would cover January 1 through the end of 2012.  Also, Pierce Park will perform a pension study at no charge.  Lebanon County will be compared to 44 other counties.  Finally, Lebanon and 44 other counties filed for a voluntary compliance program with the IRS to earn a pass on any findings from review of our plan document.  GASB rules for local pensions will take effect in the 2013 audit.  More pension reporting will be required in the annual audit.  The smoothing method is no longer valid. 

Conservation District Severs Ties with County

Envirothon Students

Envirothon Students 2012

Envirothon Parents and Teachers 

Envirothon Teachers

Students who participated in the Envirothon spoke about their experiences, what they learned, and saving the program run by the Conservation District.  Parents and Teachers spoke about the Conservation District Envirothon program.  Commissioner Phillips thanked everyone in attendance, then announced that the Conservation District, at their request, would sever ties with the County.  Conservation District Board President Don Bollinger spoke on behalf of the Conservation District.  Commissioner Ames shared his view about schools sharing the cost of funding an Environmental Coordinator.  Commissioner Litz believes the community will find a way to work together to provide Environmental Education for students. 

Commissioners approved a contract with Lancaster Youth Intervention Center. 

Commissioners passed Ordinance 45 repealing Ordinance 24 of 1999 to wind up affairs with the South Central Employment Corporation.  Commissioners then passed Ordinance 46 uniting the Workforce Investment Board and Lebanon County with other southcentral counties—Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Perry, and York--to administer Careerlinks.

At a cost of $6500, Commissioners approved a request from MH Director Kevin Schrum to engage Rhoads and Sinon to appeal rates from DPW for support coordinators resulting in a loss of $185,000 per year. 

Commissioners approved an agreement with Supreme Mid-Atlantic to extend the Rail Trail another 1,484’. 

Commissioners approved 1,866 decision orders from the assessment appeals process. 

Jamie Gray Olympian 2012, Lebanon PA  USA, USA, USA

Jamie Gray  More pictures

Jamie Gray shares what it's like to win gold. What a well-grounded young woman.

Commissioners approved proclamations for gold medal Olympian Jamie Lynn Beyerle-Gray, a member of Team USA in the women’s 50-meter three-position rifle shooting event where she set a record of 691.9 points during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England and for Amy Tran Swensen, a two-time Olympian and goalkeeper on the US Field Hockey team in both London, England and Beijing. 

The public is invited to United Way Day on August 29 at 10AM on the steps of the Municipal Building

Community:  Sharon Bartal on the Higby School, West Lebanon

August 2, 2012

Commissioners met at the Expo Center during the Lebanon Area Fair.

Lebanon Valley EXPO founded to Provide Home for 4H Fair

Harry Bachman explained how 4-H was not allowed to own assets.  So, in 1969, 15 farmers went together, and each farmer put up a $5000 note to purchase the 52-acre Bomberger Farm in order to create a permanent facility for the 4-H Fair, which previously operated from tents.  The end result was the Lebanon Valley Exposition Center, a 501C3 nonprofit organization.

2012 4H Fair Queen

Board of Directors for Lebanon Tourist Promotion Agency announced

Harry Bachman, Lebanon Valley Exposition Corporation, announced the formation of a Tourist Promotion Agency board of directors for Lebanon County.  TPA directors are: chairman Ron Fouche, Dennis Grumbine, Warren Parks, County Commissioner Bill Ames, Josie Ames, Sharon Flaig  Kathy Hower, Rita Meneses, and Mary Foltz.  The TPA meetings are open to members who purchase adverting in the tourism booklet or is a member of the TPA.

Commissioner Bill Ames will also serve as an ex-officio member of the LVEC Board of Directors.

Bob Phillips will participate in Farm City Exchange

Commissioners accepted a $51,250 emergency shelter grant for Domestic Violence Intervention.

MATP driver contracts were signed--$40 to Hershey Medical Center, $70 for other out-of-county transports, $25 in town and to Philhaven.

A vote to lease two new Impala vehicles for the sheriff’s department ended in a split vote—Phillips and Ames voted yea, and Litz nay.  Phillips and Ames said the old cars couldn’t be repaired anymore, and between repairs and delaying the purchase of half of the needed bullet proof vests, the budget would not be exceeded.  Litz said that since the two cars weren’t budgeted, one car should suffice.  To transport prisoners, a cage will have to be reused and installed, which may damage the vehicle and need repairs at the end of the lease.  So, rather than a second lease, Litz suggested using a car from another department  to deliver real estate notices and to fully utilize video conferencing to cut down on the number of prisoner transports. 

Commissioners unanimously approved $37,741.81 for permits, architect, and geotech solution expenses for construction of the new fire school.  Comprehensive Plan Implementation funds from the bond issue, not tourist dollars were utilized for this purpose.  Commissioners are awaiting a joint report from the solicitor and CPA on whether the Hotel Tax is an appropriate source of funding for the tower. 

At the close of the commissioner’s meeting, attendees were invited to tour of the Fair.

PS.  Assessment Appeal Officers began hearing appeals this date.

Workshop:  Burn Building Update 7 25 12 

Community Videos: 

Oasis Hair and Nail Salon

Lebanon County Senior Olympics

Sharon Bartal on the Higby School, West Lebanon History

July 18, 2012

Cedar Haven


Census 308, female 221, male 87 

Prison Board


Census:  456 total, male 381, female 75


Unsentenced 112


Work Release 47


State Sentenced 27


Parole/Probation Violators 235


DJ sentenced 11


Sentenced by Court of Common Pleas 28

July 19, 2012

Treasurer Sallie Neuin received approval to move Renovo Center accounts to Jonestown Bank.  Sallie also presented a Record Improvement request for a fixed asset program that will cost between $6500 and $12,500.

Human Resources Director Des Nguyen presented 18 people for hiring as assessment appeal officers. 

Mental Health Director Kevin Schrum presented contract amendments and a budget summary reflecting a 7.6% cut for MH as well as a 9.2% cut for Mental Retardation as implemented with the governor’s newly signed budget.  Seven positions representing $240,000 for Intellectual Disabilities case managers, an accounting position, and an IT position will go unfilled.  Also cut from the budget were unmandated services for Compeer, Avenues, Friendship, Halcyon, Quest, and SARCC.  The overall budget is down $636,000.  Kevin requested not to be included in the first round of pilots to transition into a full-blown block grant. 

Chief Assessor Dan Seaman presented and received approval for four 100% disabled veterans and one spouse for real estate tax exemption.

Adult Probation Director Sally Barry received approval for a 5-year grant-in-aid grant application.

Voter Registrar Nick Yingst received approval for $175,035.82 in HAVA expenses to conduct fair elections.

Community Action Partnership Director Phyllis Holtry was on hand for approval of a $50,591 Community Services Block Grant to assist 10 homeless families to gain permanent housing.  Also, a $50,000 Emergency Shelter Grant to assist another 10 families over a two-year periold received approval.

Troy Williams received approval for a $113,000 contract to purchase food for LCCM to distribute.  Also, in order to purchase food from local vendors and save money, commissioners opted out of using state approved contracted suppliers.

Tim Barr, Evaluator Services Technology, was on hand for approval of the first batch of 1,840 notices to property owners who participated in informal assessment appeals.  5,700 property owners checked their properties online; and completed 15,000 searches.  1,000 people have filed formal appeals, some as a safety net, and they can proceed or withdraw.  500 formal appeals have been scheduled beginning August 2.  A 20-day advanced notice of the appeal date must be provided.  Deadlines to keep in mind:  July 25 is the deadline for the first group of appeals from ELCO, Northern Lebanon, Palmyra, and Annville Cleona school districts to be filed; August 8 is the deadline for Lebanon and Cornwall Lebanon School Districts to file an appeal; and October 15 is the deadline to apply for Clean and Green.

Fred Bogner reviewed Welsh Dental’s need for a $170,000 match to a $1.68 million federal grant for a Dental Clinic.  The 10-year project received an extension until the end of September.  Commissioner Litz asked if the match could be non-cash from a donated building or donated labor.  Fred said he would look into this concept. 

Sally Barry also received a $527,135 Rennaisance Crossroads grant to operate at the VA Medical Center. 

Administrator Wolgemuth received approval to advertise two ordinances to bring Lebanon County into the new Workforce Investment Act partnership between Dauphin, Perry, Lebanon, Franklin, Juniata, and York counties. 

Finally, commissioners approved a proclamation for National Night Out on August 7.

Commissioners will attend an assessment meeting at 60 E Washington St., Myerstown at 7PM this evening; and a Farm Bureau assessment meeting at the Expo tomorrow at 10AM.

July 5, 2012

Commissioners approved contracts with Myerstown Family Practice, EARS, and with four Community Action Partnership drivers.

Grants for approval included:


Acceptance of $30,140 for a Commission on Crime and Delinquency electronic monitoring program; and a


$15,000 Part 2 Coleman Park Comprehensive Plan payment for the City of Lebanon.

Commissioners appointed Wiley Parker to the Community Action Partnership Board.

Commissioners signed a $1 Easement Agreement for the northern Rail Trail between King’s Plantation and the City of Lebanon Authority. 

With the Governor’s new State budget cutting 10% from human services, 20 counties have the opportunity to sign onto the Block Grant concept.  Either way, all counties will be able to utilize any savings from combined audits, hearings, and or written plans.  Commissioners will discuss the options with department heads.

Commissioners then met in Executive Session to discuss a Real Estate lease for the Maple Street Senior Center via the City of Lebanon.

Community YouTube Videos:

The Place to Grow Lebanon PA The City of Lebanon asked for 1-minute submissions.

PA Voter ID with Voter Registrar Nick Yingst in Lebanon County   Discussion on ID for the Presidential Election.

Schaeffer House on National Historic Register 6 23 12 Schaeffer House joins Union Canal Tunnel and Cornwall Iron Furnace for this National Honor.

June 21, 2012

Regular Meeting

Sallie Neuin stated the last week of the flat real estate tax period ends next week. 

Megan Ryland Tanner and Tammy Hankins presented a Victims of Crime Act grant proposal.  Each group: the DAs office, DVI and SARCC received a cut.  The County will drop from $68,031 to $61,915; DVI from $47,970 to $43,667; the Policy Board $46,679 to $42,483 and CRV from $5716 to $5203. 

Kevin Schrum presented a 1-year MHMR-EI Baseline Budget review.  For the thirteen years that Kevin’s been with MHMR, the budget has been relatively flat.  A 10% budget cut may force elimination of some non-mandated social programs like Halcyon, Quest, Compeer, EARS or student assistance.  The baseline budget is $8,223,000, $91.000 less than last year, and requires County support of $677,000.

Carol Davies is the Director of Drug and Alcohol.  She presented provider contract amendments for Compass Mark and PA Counseling, provider contracts, and the 2012 budget.  Total revenue and expenditures equal $1,256,189, which is $72,972 less that last year, or a 5.49% decrease.  Prevention expenditures increased by $41,384, mostly due to fund the Gambling Initiative Act.  Treatment expenditures dropped by $64,560.  DDAP costs decreased b $50,000.  Revenue for DDAP is expected to remain the same, except for the Gambling Initiative.  DPW revenues are expected to decrease by $27,275 or 9.41%.

James Holtry, Children and Youth, presented 20 personal contracts.  Only one slight increase of $10 for psychological evaluations from PA Counseling Services was made. 

Mike Kristovensky, Area Agency on Aging, presented a 4-year plan.

Logons Logo for Lebanon County Bicentenniel

Donald Rhoads, Lebanon County Historical Society, presented Logan who created the winning entry in the 2012 County Bicentennial logo contest.

Dr. Jennifer Lillenstein was appointed to the Women’s Commission.

Drops Fill the Bucket $500 Health Checks cut for Retirees

After careful consideration, Commissioners moved to discontinue $500 annual health insurance payments to 200 retirees.  Instead, the budgeted $101,000 will be used to make a cash contribution to the pension fund.  While a “token” amount, the contribution is a first step toward righting a pension deficit. 


Jim Arey was introduced as manager of PennDOTs Central Office.

Mayor Capello reported that, to avoid heat that could set the concrete too quickly, pouring of the deck for the new bridge in the City will begin at 2AM on July 6, and end at 7:30AM the same morning.

July 11, Penn DOT will meet with local officials and North Cornwall to agree upon off-site improvements; what triggers the next step; and who finances the next step.  A private/public partnership is evolving whereby developers purchase rights-of-way.

On July 17, DCNR Secretary Shake will lead a bicycle ride on the Rail Trail beginning at 8th Street, extending to Cornwall. 

Randy Heilman reported that it is “Dump the Pump” day.  People are encouraged to ride the bus and write an essay on how they saved gas.

Assessment Appeals

Five requests for tax exemption were discussed.

Chief Assessor Dan Seaman reported that 28% of reassessed property values went up; 32% stayed the same; and 40% went down.  Informal reviews begin on Monday at the reassessment center.  Call 1.888.309.0018 to schedule an appointment. 

June 20, 2012

Cedar Haven:

Census:  83 male; 226 female; 309 total

96-97% occupancy.  The waiting list is short.  Direct admissions are accommodated from both the Good Samaritan Hospital and Hershey Medical Center. 

Private Pay rates were increased form $255 to $265 per day.  Approximately 10% of Cedar Haven residents are self-pay. 

A Department of Health Survey for a 5-day review is anticipated.

Administrator Schlegel will consult with Voter Registrar Nick Yingst concerning Voter IDs for residents. 

Renova Center:

Roman Shahay presented contracts for approval:

First Aid and Safety Patrol, $40 per patient bed times 25 beds or $1000.

Fisher Bus, $23.50/hour, up to $24.hour with a minimum of $37.50/day.

Myerstown Family Practice—to be negotiated with Dr. Yemen.

Also, Roman will consult with Reed’s Locksmith to work on security for daytime hours.  Chief Lesher is on vacation, but he will also be consulted. 

Commissioners then discussed union negotiations.

Commissioners passed three motions concerning personnel:


Amended benefits package for the part-time District Attorneys and part-tine Public Defender. 


Removal of one full-time Deputy Sheriff and hiring of two part-time Deputy Sheriffs.


Removal of one full-time Assistant District Attorney and hiring of two part-time ADAs.

Prison Board:

Census:  374 male; 72 female; 446 Total


Unsentenced Inmates 158


State Sentenced 19


Parole/Probation Violators 119


DJ Sentenced 8


Sentenced by Court of Common Pleas 25

The State is pursuing a program to send inmates found guilty of misdemeanor 3s back to county jails, but would pay for housing rather than build new state prisons.  There are over 400 such cases statewide. 

Chaplain Marilyn Nolte introduced Kevin Dobbs as the men’s interim part-time chaplain.  Kevin is a Jubilee Ministries employee. 


Youtube UGI to Expand Pipeline in Lebanon County

UGI:  According to J Michael Love of UGI, PA pipe is to carry PA gas to PA customers.  Lebanon County Commissioners were briefed on UGIs plans to extend gas pipeline in northern Lebanon County.  Previously, a bar of 5800—residential customers were added to UGIs roles annually.  In 2011, that number increased to 10,495, and in 2012 is projected to reach 15,000.  Commercial properties were 1,655 in 2011, and are projected to double in 2012.  Current customers should NOT subsidize future customers.  It costs $750,000 to $1 million per mile to replace old cast iron pipe mains.  UGI is trying to determine if there are enough people and businesses in Lebanon County who would like the main extended.  UGI will coordinate paving with municipalities.  They are looking for easement grants to lower overall cost.  The pipes have a 100 year life expectancy.  A countywide agreement may be possible.  Gas is selling for 40% less than four years ago.  UGI is mandated to purchase the cheapest available gas. 

Youtube HS Block Grant in Lebanon County

Human Services Block Grant:  Kevin Schrum stated that he, “His sleepless nights are about the cuts, not the Block Grant.  .”  Almost 100% of MHMRs budget would be in a Block Grant along with 20% of the Drug and Alcohol budget; 7% of the Children and Youth budget; and 8% of Community Action Partnership’s budget.  Kevin will be the point person to receive funds from the State.


The Kool Zone-Chris and Joan Mengel and Family, Jonestown PA

Helicopter Flying Lesson - Chinook Simulator

Joel and Jessie Smith host an Obama Rally in Cornwall PA

DePasquale, Trivedi on Energy

DePasquale, Trivedi on Education

June 7, 2012

Youtube  Sally Hoffman Leads a Presentation on the Maple St Senior Center.wmv

Led by Sallie Hoffman and Sandy Tschudy, a group of citizens came to the Commissioner’s meeting to express their concern over a hostile environment at the Maple Street Senior Center. 

Two critical hires occurred:  Danielle Hogg as the Director of Management Information Systems and fireman Juan Rodriguez as HAZMAT Chief

In preparation for a possible change from categorical to a block grant delivery system for Human Services, Carol Davies and Phyllis Holtry will attend a training session in Lancaster on June 29.

Commissioners granted Treasurer Sallie Neuin permission to bring Colette Aurenz into the office to help process doe licenses for approximately 6 – 8 weeks. 

Maintenance Supervisor John Kline was present as Purchasing Agent Dennis Firestone recommended the award of a floor cleaning machine that uses water rather than harsh chemicals, and will save many hours of work.  Commissioners approved the purchase. 

Voter Registrar Nick Yingst received approval on a Help America Vote Act accessibility report.

Director James Holtry received approval on third quarter invoices for Children and Youth.

Youtube  Reassessment Center to Open after New Values are Mailed.wmv

Tim Barr and Sarah Garner were on hand to report that all calculations are complete for the reassessment.  Assessment notices will be sent in two waives, 56% to four outlying school districts—Annville Cleona, ELCO, Northern Lebanon, and Palmyra on June 15.  Then the other 44% on June 29, which includes the Lebanon and Cornwall Lebanon School Districts.  The millage rate will drop by seven times.  Property before the reassessment had a value of $1.2 billion and after the reassessment a value $11 billion--before Clean and Green.  After Clean and Green, the value of properties comes to between $8.6 and $9 million.  Beginning June 18, a toll-free call center will answer questions and schedule interviews.  The number is 888.309.0018

Property owners have 40 days from the mailing of their assessment in which to appeal their property value.  The hearing center is located at Quentin Circle on Route 72 south of Lebanon (in the complex with Mama Jeans), and will be open from 8:30am to 4:30 pm weekdays beginning June 25.  Computers will be available for public access to data. 

At a cost of $5,000 to the County, Commissioners voted to make Courthouse Online available at no charge to property owners to review neighboring property values 24/7 until the end of December.  Go to the County website--  .

Youtube  Assessment Appeal Board Officers Chosen for Lebanon County.wmv

Commissioners also announced the top twenty list of candidates to serve as reviewers on multiple assessment boardsTraining will take place on July 31 and August 1 by Evaluator Services Technology.  The first twelve are:  Attorney Nicholas Moehlmann; Attorney Irwin Siegel; farm real estate appraiser for EPA Jannette Norris; Fulbright scholar William McShane; former bank appraiser Richard Arnold; retired county appraiser Thomas Reilly; former Chief Perry County appraiser David Ulsh; former City Councilman and army veteran Michael Kitchen; Thomas Lehman, a construction expert who works with site plans, deeds, and variances; architect and surveyor Barry Books; high rise apartment expert Doug Stump; Thomas Davis, engineer and appraiser with Historic Trust background.  The eight alternates are: Suzanne Fry, League of Women Voters; remodeler Clarence Wolfe; tax preparer and EMS volunteer Dennis Miller; professional witness called to analyze large documents, Jennie Lee Harpster-Basiago; CPA Patricia McGuire; Palmyra School Board member Shirley Kresge; Prudential property evaluator Marc Gecker; and real estate appraiser Nelson Ebersole.



Commissioners approved a $25,001 Sobriety Checkpoint Grant for Chief Detective John Leahy in the District Attorney’s office.

Appointments to various Boards occurred:  Drug and Alchol, Rosemary Millgate; and Lebanon Transit, David Warner.

Commissioners also approved an $83,862 match for Lebanon Transit to leverage $1,458,143, as required by federal transit.

An $850 lease with Cleona Borough for District Judge Michael Smith’s office will renew.  Annually, the lease will increase by $25 per month.

A Community Action Partnership MATP driver was approved.

Commissioners signed a CDBG contract.

Commissioners also approved a Supported Housing renewal grant agreement to operate CAPs three transitional houses--$11,408, $13,577 for operations, and $9249 for administration. 

Commissioners reapproved SICOs recommendation of Frank Eichler as a representative on the Clarence Shock Memorial Board.  They also approved reappointment of Mount Gretna resident and retired science teacher Chuck Allwein.

Commissioners approved payment of the 200th Anniversary map from the Metropolitan Planning Organization over a two-year period rather than exhausting Hotel Tax dollars. 

Community Youtubes:

Don and Stephanie Mock wed 5.26.12.wmv

DC Ballou HS Marching Knights at Annville Memorial Day Parade

Safe Boating Week 2012-Wear a Life Jacket.wmv

The Millers Receive the Leon Hoover Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.wmv

Cindy Heisey Receives Chambers Small Business of the Year Award

DUI Court Graduates 70 in Lebanon County

May 16, 2012

Cedar Haven

96% occupancy or 309 residents—83 male and 226 female. 

Ed Schlegel reported that County share, which pays 5% reimbursement, was extended through June 2013.  Previously, counties received an intergovernmental transfer commission. 

It is anticipated that the State will cut their contribution to county nursing homes by 2%.  For Lebanon County, this means a cut of $400,000.

Cedar Haven may be the first nursing home in the county and one of only a handful in the state to eliminate audible alarms on wheel chairs and beds.  They stopped the 200 alarms after careful study.  Instead, stars are placed on client beds and wheelchairs to alert staff that if someone tries to stand, they may need help.  Also, improvements were implemented--like beds that are lowered to 6” off of the ground and more life checks charted. 

Roman Shahay provided an update on Renova Center, which has 22 of 25 beds filled.  Some of the potential clients are mobile, and staff is evaluating who would be the best fit with current residents. 

Missed signatures were applied to the Honeywell contract.

Minor provisions in a Dell lease were approved.

A part 2 Coleman Park Comprehensive Plan application was approved for the City. 

In tax claim, exoneration was approved for a removed trailer in Four Little Acres.


Population 466—392 males and 74 females


165 unsentenced


45 on work release


28 State sentenced (high)


225 parole violators


DJ sentenced 9


Court of Common Pleas sentenced 26

1:15 Commissioners met in Executive Session to discuss union negotiations.

May 17, 2012

Regular Meeting

Commissioners held a night meeting at the new Union Township building.  Commissioner Ames was on vacation.

Archie and Mike Battestelli and Bret Holland with Stifel Nicolaus provided a 1st quarter Retirement Fund update.  The balance on March 31 was $96,860,000, which included $700,000 in withdrawals for retirees.  However, as of this date, the market dropped back to $93,311,341, with another $300,000 paid in benefits.  The fund has paid out anywhere from $1.6 to $3 million a year in benefits.  The portfolio currently invests 54% in equity stock, 36% in fixed assets, 7% in real estate, and 3% in cash. 

Commissioners also approved an updated investment policy with minor changes.  Added under Background, “according to the County Pension Law Act 96 of August 31, 1971”; under Performance Expectations, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus “3%” for average rate of return, down from 6%; under Selection of Money Mangers, “Steifel Nicolaus & Company Inc” was added to assist commissioners with asset management; and under Review of Investment Performance, “Barcalys Aggregate” replaced Lehman Brothers for fixed income series.

Youtube  Assessment Appeals at Bingo Hall

To conduct Assessment Appeal Hearings, Commissioners approved a lease for the former Bingo Hall at Quentin Circle on Isabelle Drive.  The lease will run from June 1 through November 30, 2012 at a cost of $12/sq’.  The 5,000 square foot space will run $32,000 with funds coming from the bond issue for the reassessment.  There is not enough room at the courthouse to simultaneously hold five hearings.  Further, parking is often an issue, and to allow for some evening hours, security staff would have to be on duty. 

Next, Commissioners received approximately 50 applications for assessment hearing officers.  Over the next three weeks, they will review the applications and resumes to choose 20 people for training.  Confirmation should take place at the next voting session of the commissioners on June 6.

Commissioners approved a $12,704 bid from Woodland Contractors to complete a storm water installation at Pizza Hut in Palmyra.  The $10,000 bond balance will be refunded after satisfactory repairs to the storm water system. 

Youtube  445 Foundation--Children's Miracle Network.wmv

The 445 Foundation (former Aluminum workers) is raising money for a good cause.  On June 9 & 10 the Children’s Miracle Network will broadcast from Hershey Medical Center.  This year’s funds will help to purchase two neonatal incubators at a cost of $220,000 each.  Rik Rhoade has been involved with raising the funds since his daughter died in 1990.  $9500 was raised in 2011.  The 2012 goal is to raise over $10,000.  His son is now the president of the former Aluminum worker’s union.  The Rhoade’s lost a daughter/sister in 1990, and are committed to seeing that other families are not alone when their children have life threatening illnesses.  Often, children and their families are sent to Disney World. 

Youtube  EMS Week

Ralph Backenstose was on hand for an Emergency Medical Services week certificate.

Youtube  Mental Health Awareness.wmv

Shem Heller was on hand for a Mental Health month certificate.  The Mental Health Association has identified 10,559 clients served--Philhaven with 9,842 clients from Lebanon County; Ponessa 700 clients; LCCF 271 clients….  Also the Compeer program, which matches a client and a friend, was highlighted.  Currently, there are 30 matches with 15 clients on a waiting list.  Socials are held for potential clients and mentors to mingle.   

Also recognized were Reverend Robert Berger with 50 years since his ordination and Area Agency on Aging retiring employee Susan McGlaughlin who served the County since 1977. 

Community Youtubes:

VITA Refunds almost $900,000 in 2012

Frank Dixon Honored by Salvation Army.wmv

Thomas' Honored as Foster Parents of the Year in Lebanon County.wmv

2012 Swatara Sojourn.wmv

Matthew Dodd Sings on the Swatara.wmv

May 3, 2012

Today is Student Government day, and each elected official as well as department heads were shadowed by an area high school student.  Rachel Baker sat in with Commissioner Ames, and Brian Wawrzyniak sat in with Commissioner Litz.  Commissioner Phillips participated by conference call.

Shadowing other officials were:


Michael Arroyou with Administrator Wolgemuth,


Jorrin Poziemski with Controller Mettley


Lauren Radkiewica with Treasurer Neuin,


Jesse Pitela with Planning Director Troup,


Adam Lough with Human Resources Director Nguyen,


Victoria Siebecker with Chief Assessor Seaman;


Dylan McLaughlin with Chief Adult Probation Officer Barry;


Samantha Morris with MHMR Director Schrum; and


Daniel Black with Drug and Alcohol Director Davies.

County employee Joe Lecisko was honored upon his retirement from the Area Agency on Aging.  Youtube Joe Lecisko Retires from Area Agency on Aging.wmv

Pat Krebs, president of the Lebanon County Bicycle Coalition, was on had for a Bike Month Proclamation.  Youtube Pat Krebs, Lebanon Valley Bike Club, on Bike Safety.wmv

Kris Troup presented a National Fish and Wildlife grant application to hire a consultant who will create a plan for our MS4 storm water team.  No local match is required.  The free technical assistance from three consultants is worth $40,000.

Sally Barry presented a $30,140 electronic monitoring grant; for the 38th year, a grant-in-aid grant and supervision fee; and a $42,000 SCRAM (Alcohol Monitoring) Mid-Atlantic Services contract.  The County will purchase 30 $1400 bracelets rather than renting them, and recover the cost from users of the bracelets. 

For approval, Kevin Schrum presented 27 contract amendments, which did not require any County match.

Sandra Gahres, and Ron Boyer were on hand with other Lebanon County PA Association of School Retirees to present a mock check representing the value of community service donated by retirees.  Youtube Public School Employees Donate Time to the Community

A $15,840.49 HazMat pass-through grant for fees from chemicals, planning, and interest was approved. 

For the prison commissary, Brian Wawrzyniak moved, and Rachel Baker second a 3-year contract at 40.5% commission to Keef.  The previous 3-year contract paid 37% with Keef.  The sale price of snacks and other items remained the same.  Funds are used to purchase necessary items for inmates.

Next, Rogell Inc submitted a low bid of $511,908.67 to complete a section of Rail Trail, and Brian Wawrzyniak and Rachel Baker moved to accept the bid.  Youtube Students Approve a Vendor for Rail Trail Construction.wmv

Dan Seaman presented disabled veterans for real estate tax exemption.  Youtube 100% Disabled Veterans receive Exemption from Property Taxes

An annual $7235.29 3-year lease purchase agreement with a $1 buyout for a 2012 Caravan was approved for Children and Youth.  The purchase will be covered by their current budget. 

A deadline of May 15 was set to accept applications to serve on Auxiliary Assessment Appeal Boards.  Youtube  May 15 Deadline to Apply to Serve on Assessment Appeal Board

A proclamation was passed supporting the Swatara Sojourn and litter cleanup.  Youtube  Swatara Sojourn Receives Support from the County of Lebanon.wmv

Community Youtubes:

  1. Your Photo Place, Quentin Rd., Lebanon PA

  2. New Lebanon County Attorneys

  3. Bert Breit

  4. 5th Ave Falcon Singers

  5. Chaplin Fulmer opens Law Day ceremonies with Prayer

  6. 2012 New Citizens in Lebanon County

April 18, 2012

Cedar Haven

Census:  86%, 310 residents--227 female and 83 male


May 6-19 will be PA Nurses Week and National Nursing Home Week.


The Spring Fling netted $2140 for resident entertainment and garden supplies.


UMR reviewed resident charts, and Cedar Haven received the best report ever.


A Cost Report was accepted on first submission.  Gary completes these reports at no extra cost to the County.  Normally, Homes pay $50,000 to $70,000 for an outside contractor.

Renova Center

23 of 25 beds are filled.  Three potential residents are being evaluated. 

Commissioners also met in executive session to discuss personnel. 

Prison Board

Census:  491--407 male, 84 female.


160 unsentenced


45 on work release


27 State sentenced


233 parole/probation violators


12 DJ sentenced,


32 sentenced by Court of Common Pleas

Ken, a SW Elementary principal, is teaching prisoners, and 25 of 28 participants recently achieved their GED.  Inmates must commit to 6-8 weeks of training.  This is the fourth round of this successful program.  Graduates are more likely to be employable, and are less likely to return to prison.  Ken is pursuing a doctorate degree. 

April 19, 2012

Regular Meeting

Commissioner Phillips joined Commissioners Ames and Litz via conference call for today’s meeting.

Anne Hall, System Administrator for the Lebanon County Library System, introduced the PA Forward Initiative, known locally as the Family Literacy Partnership of Lebanon County.  In the past, 1000 free books were distributed to children at the Lebanon Valley Mall.  The Initiative strives to brand materials to align with five literacy programs:  Basic, Information, Financial, Health, and Civic and Social.  May is ‘Get Caught Reading Month.’  During the Civic segment, a ‘Candidate College’ may be run.

Ray Bender, Director of the Redevelopment Authority of Lebanon County, presented $333,765 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) proposals for the County of Lebanon: $32,000 for Annville sidewalks; $53,000 for West Cornwall sidewalks, $53,000 for Myerstown Curb Cuts, $50,000 for Public Facility Improvements at Cedar Haven, $20,000 for homeless assistance, $53,000 to West Lebanon for storm sewer, $2688 toward low and moderate income families purchase of homes, $10,000 toward low and moderate homeowner housing rehabilitation, and $60,077 for administration and planning.  South Lebanon will received $33,470 for street improvements, $79,088 for improvement of Hebron alleys, $10,000 for low and moderate housing rehabilitation, $10,000 for low and moderate income families to purchase homes, and $21,751 for administration and planning.

Ray’s total 18% Lebanon County administrative request is $78,221.

Dennis Firestone, Mark Wilson, and John Wengert were on hand to open bids for Phase 5 of the Lebanon Valley Rails-to-Trails for six at-grade crossings from 8th to 12th Street as well as Walnut and Chestnut Streets.  The Red Horse Battalion donated about $100,000 in labor to pave the ¾ mile, and DCNR contributed $175,000.  Bids came from Rogele at $511,908.67; Clearwater $555,768.40, Bertolet $570,077, and Doug Lamb $637,711.40. 

Phyllis Holtry, Lebanon Community Action Partnership, presented a contract amendment for approval to withdraw $125,000 in State funds as a result of denial by the previous Board of commissioners to carryout a State request to serve the Spanish speaking population at or below 125% of the poverty level with extended rent assistance and utility assistance to prevent homelessness and/or provide rapid re-housing.  We were serving youth aging out of foster care.  County allocation was reduced by $64,999.

Tim Barr and Dan Seaman were on hand to report that all properties have been visited to collect data for the reassessment.  Data entry and evaluation continue.  Notices of assessment evaluations will go out in the mail in June 2012. 

You Be the Judge—on Assessment Appeals Youtube You Be the Judge--on Assessment Appeals.wmv  6:24

That’s right.  If you’re an interested or retired citizen of Lebanon County who is familiar with our landscape, you may be a perfect fit for a temporary position on one of four Lebanon County Assessment Appeal Auxiliary Boards.  A minimal Per Diem is offered, probably $50 for one-half day and $100 for a full day.  One to one-and-one-half days of mandatory training will take place for twenty (20) Lebanon County residents.  The three county commissioners will serve as the primary Assessment Appeal Board, and the four Auxiliary Boards will consist of three members each.  The remaining eight people will be floaters to substitute for people who are ill, on vacation, and the like.  Because of a conflict of interest, active attorneys and realtors need not apply.  However, retired professionals are encouraged to apply.  Further, because this is a true citizen review, not government against the people, truly interested, articulate and fair minded individuals are encouraged to apply.  Hearings will take place July through October 31, 2012.  All Boards will be supported by County staff and have access to records to make a fair and impartial decision.

Commissioners approved payment of $176,010.91 for a 10% retainage fee stating that EST has satisfactorily completed data collection. 

Sally Barry, Chief of Adult Probation, presented a $731,343 Renaissance Crossroads grant application for approval.  For the 11th year, Crossroads has operated from the VA Medical Center.  76 people have completed 22 months of treatment with a 50% success rate.  Costs are offset by not paying for people to go to jail, be prosecuted through the courts, for probation efforts….  Clients also participate in community services such as setting up for the GSH Street Fair and readying of the Sue Klarsch garden at the Lebanon Treatment Center.  Sue is the former Director of Drug and Alcohol.

On behalf of a request from Tina Washington, Commissioner Litz moved to provide proclamations of recognition for Rev. Vanessa Owens, Founder and CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Center where she provides mentoring programs, homework assistance, family counseling, and is constantly recognizing others; and Mrs. Carol Hayes Johnson, a member of the only and oldest African-American family in eastern Lebanon County years ago.  Carol has a bill of sale from 1933, the year she was born, for a car purchased by her father.  Nine of her eleven siblings graduated form college.  Carol retired from the Veterans Administration Hospital, and currently works part time as a medical transcriber.  She also serves as Director of music and organist at St. John AME Church in Lebanon, teaches piano lessons for free to church members and others, sings in surrounding counties, and visits sick and shut-ins.  The awards will be presented by the Links, Incorporated, a regional organization committed to public service and the pursuit of charitable endeavors, on Sunday at the PA State Museum. 

Metropolitan Planning Organization

At 1PM,  Commissioners met with other members of the MPO to discuss road and bridge projects as well as Marcellus Shale fees that will aid in these endeavors. 

Mayor Capello provided an update on the 9th & 10th Street Bridge, and Paul Fetterer updated everyone on the Schaefferstown Bypass, which extended its completion date from 4.30.12 to 7.19.12.  Utilities and a solid bed of limestone caused the delay. 

The City will also receive an additional $11,500 for Safe Routes to Schools to meet ADA requirements. 

Bike to Work week takes place May 14-18.

Red lights and poles being replaced along the Route 422 corridor will bring signaling into compliance with current crash and high wind requirements

Community Youtubes:

The League of Women Voters of Lebanon County and WLBR Radio 1270's Laura LeBeau quizzed 102 PA House candidates Tom Hawk, Joe Eisenhauer, and incumbent Rose Marie Swanger. Jennie Basiago, the announced Democratic write-in candidate, did not have a primary opponent. Therefore, she was not questioned.


102 Candidates Opening Statements.wmv


102 Candidates on Year of the Bible.wmv


102 Candidates on the Castile Doctrine.wmv


102 Candidates on Equal Pay.wmv


102 Candidates on Liquor, Constitution, and Term Limits.wmv


102 Candidates Parttime Legislature, 2-year Budget.wmv


102 Candidates on Party Influence.wmv


102 Candidates on School Vouchers.wmv


102 Candidates on Union Negotiations.wmv


102 Candidates on Voter ID.wmv


102 Candidates Closing Statements.wmv

Youtube Red Devil Ducks

Youtube Blue Eyed 6 pitched to Hollywood; Seeks Investors.wmv

April 5, 2012

Commissioners moved to make bond payments as follows:

Withdraw $134,148.43 from the General Fund and pay the 2009 Obligation Bond at Fulton Bank;

Withdraw $165,122.39 from the General Fund and pay the 2010 Obligation Bond at Fulton Bank;

Withdraw $218,567.38 from the General Fund and pay the 2011 Obligation Bond at Fulton Bank;

Withdraw $63,526.27 from the General Fund and pay the 2006 Obligation Bond at WellsFargo Bank;

Withdraw $136,136.13 from the General Fund and pay the 2008 Obligation Bond at WellsFargo Bank.

Deputy Area Agency on Aging Administrator Joe Lescisko tendered his retirement after 38 years of service.

Jenny Shifflet, Sexual Assault Resource and Counseling Center, received a proclamation.  One in five women are sexually assaulted.  SARCC served 400 clients last year. 

Kevin Schrum, Carol Davies, and Holly Leahy presented Proposed HealthChoices Reinvestment Projects for approval:

1.   $53,500 startup funding for an outpatient substance abuse clinic;

2.   $58,031 to expand Crisis Intervention;

3.   $212,241 to expand support Partners in Progress by ten beds; and

4.   $425,275 for a Fair Weather Lodge for 4-8 recovering individuals to start a business that would sustain the Lodge from their rent and profits. 

Chief Assessor Dan Seaman presented three 100% disabled vets for exemption from real estate taxes

Commissioners passed Ordinance #44, an unconventional gas well impact fee, should drilling of Marcellus shale occur in Lebanon County.  Lebanon County will receive between $40,000-$60,000.  If a well is drilled, over fifteen years, at a diminishing rate, additional funds will be divided 35% to Lebanon County; 37% to the host municipality; and 27% spread among all municipalities in the County.  At-risk bridges will be funded.

The Lebanon County Historical Society was reappointed as the County’s official Historical Society.

John Harrell and Curtis Martin were appointed to the Ag Preservation Board.  Tim Sheffy and Richard Moore were reappointed to the same Board. 

Susan Killinger, Kay Litman, Bonnie Loy, and Marilyn Nolte were appointed to the Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board.

Des Miller and Bryan Hoffman were appointed to the Community Action Partnership Board as well as Daryl Smith who was reappointed.

Commissioners passed a proclamation honoring Francis D. Hemler for 47 years of service

May 6-12 was designated national Hospital Week, and a proclamation was adopted for the GSH, VA, and Philhaven hospitals.   

May 6-12 was also designated as national Nurses Week.

A motion passed to print 25,000 - 200th Anniversary road maps at a cost of $8644 at Colortech.  The map will be paid from MPO and/or Hotel tax funds.  A future discussion will decide if maps should be sold or given away at no cost. 

March 15, 2012

Bev Earnfield retired after 42-years with our Children and Youth Services where she worked as a Casework Supervisor overseeing the adoption of over 400 children.  Youtube Bev Earnfield Retires with 42 years in Children and Youth.wmv

RN Diane Ferguson attended the meeting, and proposed a countywide effort to collect pharmaceuticals on April 28, 2012, and every six months after that.  Please do NOT flush medicine down the drain or toilet.  The mix of chemicals in our water supply can have adverse effects on both humans and animals.  The Drug Enforcement Agency suggests printed posters and billboards that can be used to promote the program.  Three previous collections were coordinated under the District Attorney.  Collections normally run from 10AM – 2PM.  Youtube Recycle Pharmaceuticals at Police Stations on April 28, 2012.wmv

James Holtry, Director of Children and Youth, presented invoices of $688,000; and 43 contracts were approved.

Martha Gregory, 4H Development Education for Penn State Extension, received a proclamation celebrating both 4H Week in Pennsylvania and the 100th anniversary of 4H, which was started in 1912 in Mercer County.  Lebanon County has over 1000 4H members.  Youtube 4H Celebrates 100 Years.wmv

Shem Heller, Mental Health Association, presented Project Keystone, a nine-month follow-up program sending four counselors to the 4,000 homes impacted by Tropical Storm Lee.  22 counties were impacted by the storm.  Fewer than 14 counties will participate in Project Keystone. Youtube Counseling after Tropical Strom Lee.wmv

Nick Yingst, Voter Registrar, presented a revised electronic ballot for county certification.   Youtube Out of Time to Wait on State, Lebanon Certifies Ballot.wmv

Nick also discussed the Voter ID bill.   Youtube  Voter ID Impact on Counties.wmv

Dan Kauffman, EMA Director, presented a Hazard Mitigation Plan for approval.  2008 was our last HM Plan, which is good for five years.  A PEMA grant was applied for.  Commissioners voted to award preparation of the Plan to MCM at a cost of $49,000.  Youtube Hazard Mitigation Plan Award.wmv

Dan also presented suggestions for use of a $54,000 Exelon Planning Grant.  A paging base will be installed in South Londonderry Township at a cost of $18,000; a $15,000 CAD data mining module purchased; Long Term Disaster Recovery Group seed money of $8,000; and the balance used towards payment of our Needs Assessment/911 study.  Youtube Exelon Grant for EMA.wmv

John Wengert and Mart Wilson presented a redesigned Cornwall Trailhead DCNR Grant Application to increase parking from 40 to 69 spaces.  Youtube Rail Trail submitting a DCNR Grant.wmv

Commissioner Ames was appointed as the RC&D liaison.  Bob Sentz will act as Ames’ alternate.

A Memorandum of Understanding appoints CCAP as administrator of the Prison inmate medical cost containment program.  CCAP will recoup one-half of inpatient hospitalization costs for the County.

For the Community Action Partnership, private drivers were approved. 

Commissioners passed a proclamation for 100 Years of Girl Scouting.  Youtube Girl Scouts Celebrate 100 years.wmv

Finally, commissioners approved advertising of a Marcellus Shale ordinance.

Administrator Wolgemuth updated commissioners on claims filed with PEMA/FEMA after Tropical Storm Lee.  Wolgemuth was designated as the agent to negotiate the claim on the County’s behalf. 

Commissioners then met in Executive Session to discuss Union Negotiations and Real Estate. 

At 1:30 Commissioners met for an update on Assessment Appeals.  Today, EST finished data collection of residential units. 

Community:  Youtube Women's Volleyball 3.10.12.wmv

March 1, 2012

Commissioners approved military ballot layouts.  There are challenges to six candidates, but the law states that ballots must go into the mail by March 9.  The last challenge won’t be heard until March 19.  These challenges include a challenge to President Obama; and Republican candidates David Christian for US Senator; Frank Pinto for Auditor General; and Janice Kearney, Gary Day, and Antonio Simao for Republican Delegate to the National Convention,

Commissioners listened to Mayor Sherry Capello, LVEDC president Charles Blankenship and vice president Susan Eberly as they pitched a LERTA for the north side of the City of Lebanon.  To spur economic development, the County of Lebanon joined the City of Lebanon and Lebanon School District in approving a LERTA district, which eliminates real estate tax on commercial and industrial property improvements, on the north side of the City of Lebanon. In the past, only one parcel was evaluated and approved at a time.  Youtube

Only 837 Commercial or Industrial properties; out of 5,108 Total Properties are eligible.

The LERTA will cover 800.43 Acres of C/I properties of 1,628.30 total Acres.

Commercial/Industrial Properties; All Properties
Assessed Value 45,667,500; 82,765,000
County Tax $913,350.00; $1,655,300.00
Municipal Tax $1,141,687.50; $2,069,125.00
School Tax $5,494,256.93; $9,957,457.15
Total Tax $7,549,294.43; $16,681,882.15

Appeals will not void a LERTA property.

Reassessment will most likely lower many City property taxes.

The County has not raised taxes for several years. Because of the reassessment, we have a 10% cap.

The Governor has indicated the budget will be harsh on counties. At this point, we don't know what that means. We are mandated by law to carry out Human Services, transportation, emergency dispatch and response, investigation of crime scenes, hosting of court proceedings, incarceration, rehabilitation and other services. Existing revenue will continue to be paid. New revenue will come in starting in year four, and in full after year five.

There will be an application process.

LERTAs start after a building or repairs are completed. The City LERTA does not end, unless the governing body repeals the program. A successful business could expand more than once, and receive a LERTA each time.

Because KOZs end in 2013, and a new building won't be done by then, there no "Double Dippers"—properties with other active abatements on them now—KOZ, TIFF.

LERTA: Local Revitalization Tax Abatement Areas eliminate real estate tax on commercial and industrial property improvements or new construction. Generally, major improvements to a property will trigger a property reassessment by the County Assessment Office. LERTA provides a five (5) year abatement (100% for 3 years and 50% for each of the remaining 2 years) that RUNS WITH THE LAND, so subsequent owners, within the five (5) year abatement period will still benefit from the abatement incentive.

Commissioners passed a resolution honoring Women’s History month.

Ray Bender presented South Lebanon’s $466,255 CDBG budget for amendment to allow repair of alleys in Hebron.

From State Growing Greener funds, Swatara Township received $500,000 towards their sewer project in the Mountville/Rockwood areas.  Soils in this area are not conducive to proper filtration and drainage.  Around 1980, hepatitis was in the ground water.

Commissioners also approved an agreement required by the Federal Transit administration as part of Lebanon Transit’s recertification process. 

A resolution to share with congressional leaders outlining transportation enhancement dollar uses was prepared.  The Rail Trail, City sidewalks, Annville Downtown, Coleman Park, and Lickdale intersection are just some examples.

Commissioners approved a $3399 Sharepoint contract for the County Commissioners Association of PA to host their web site.

Commissioners also approved a $150 farm lease with Loren Horning for use of an acre of ground near Route 934.

Commissioner Ames moved to provide up to $10,000 from Hotel Tax funds to the Lebanon County Historical Society to organize and execute a 200th anniversary celebration for the County of Lebanon.   Youtube

February 29, 2012

Commissioners heard from Workman’s Compensation Carrier, Eastern Insurance, Greg at Zinn Insurance Agency, Lois, and Melissa Light.

Chuck Wertz and Leigh Beamesderfer presented information on Gypsy Moth, and will notify municipalities that Lebanon County will not be participating in this program.

February 16, 2012

At 10AM, Commissioners met in Executive Session to discuss litigation. 

At 11AM, Commissioners recorded Casting of Lots to determine ballot position in the Spring Primary Election.

At noon, the Metropolitan Planning Organization met where Commissioner Litz was elected chair of the MPO; Commissioner Phillips Vice Chair; and Commissioner Ames Secretary. 

The MPO held a discussion concerning elimination of MPOs under 200,000 population.  PennDOT, the Federal Highway Administration, municipalities, the County, Chamber of Commerce, Lebanon Transit and others feel it is important to retain the current relationship, which gets feedback from all entities in the planning of roads and bridges throughout Lebanon County. 

Youtube  Schaefferstown Bypass moving forward during Mild Winter.wmv

At the 7PM meeting held at Cornwall Borough, Martin Barondic, who occasionally attends Lebanon County Commissioner meetings to voice his opinion about various topics, spoke about YouTube videos of meetings, prayer, and decorum and civility during meetings. 

West Nile Virus Coordinator Phil Hall provided an update on the pesky mosquito’s cycle, and received approval for a state application, a $67,300 grant to fund his position.  Further, Phil announced a tire collection to take place on March 30 at the Lebanon Valley Expo, 80 Rockerty Road, Lebanon.  Last year, 564 people disposed of 5,249 tires.  People must provide proof of residency.  Since each municipality has a limited number of dollars available to cover disposal, preregistration is recommended.  12 regular or 2 large tires off of the rims are allowed per person, or individuals can pay $2.50 per tire for disposal over the limit. 

EMA Director Dan Kauffman introduced Mike McGrady, a professional consultant who will help Lebanon County prepare a vision for Next Gen 911, which incorporates texts, pictures and movies sent to 911; as well as backup PSAP needs; and a paging base. The $59,995  study will be completed within six months.  $36,275 will come from wireless Act 78 Funds, and an Exelon grant will help to fund the remainder of the grant.  Narrow Band Digital Paging will lose coverage, and a $17,000 base will need added in South Londonderry Township for full coverage.  Youtube  Mike McGrady to study Lebanon County 911.wmv

Also, commissioners approved an application for recertification of the HazMat Team who responds to 80-100 calls per year.  Recertification is required every four years when equipment is calibrated, and PEMA makes inspections. 

Planning Director Kris Troup introduced Jason Sweat, Project Manager—Office of the Secretary of Defense/Office of Economic Adjustment.  One of our largest employers and land owners is Fort Indiantown Gap, which is owned by the State of PA. Lebanon County will partner to complete a study of issues impacting FIG. Parking lights at Penn National, "gating" Fisher Avenue, and other issues will be explored.  Youtube  Fort Indiantown Gap Joint Land use Study with Lebanon and Dauphin.wmv

On this date, the County was formed 199 years ago.  Commissioner Litz moved to allow Planning staff to bring forward the names of people willing to serve on a 200th Anniversary committee.  Further, the Planning Department would be allowed to help coordinate and promote events for 2013. 

Appointments were made to the Community Action Partnership:



Dennis Firestone,


Joe Kristobak


Ben Sutcliff

1 Year


Rich Field


Kristine Slick


Kevin Schrum

Kris Gebhart was appointed to the Health Facilities Authority. 

Mayor George Kauffman was appointed to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

Commissioners also approved a contract with Philhaven Hospital to operate Crisis Intervention at a cost of $325,000.  Departments sharing in the financing of CI include $22,075 from Mental Health; $71,925 from Community Action Partnership; $23,500 from Drug and Alcohol; and $7500 from Children and Youth. 

A contract was approved with Richard Fake to provide Medical Assistance Transportation P services.  The fees cost $65 out-of-county, $35 to HMC, and $20 in the City or to Philhaven.

Commissioners signed an amendment for 21st Century’s reassessment contract to reflect a name change to Evaluator Services Inc., and to incorporate recent changes in the law. 

Dan Seaman forwarded the names of two 100% disabled veterans qualifying for real estate tax exemption:  Cliff Beach and Richard Wike.

Commissioners granted permission to Verizon to enter their North Cornwall property off of Chestnut Street to replace a phone pole.  

Commissioners also accepted an easement from the Northern Lebanon County Authority to expand the Rail Trail 35’ x 1003’ north of Market Street along the Swatara Creek in Jonestown. 

A farm lease with Ken Reist was approved for use of a 10-acre parcel of land off of East Walnut Street near the Lebanon County Career and Technology Center along Metro Drive. 

February 15, 2012

10:30AM - Cedar Haven is at 96.5% occupancy

Census 307—82 males and 225 females

The 2009 audit was good.

The State budget will reflect a 4% Medicaid budget cut equal to $800,000, which means that the County will be short $400,000 in 2012 if things don’t change.  During 2010 and 2011, nursing home funding was flat lined.

Commissioners approved Tony Hinkle for admission to Renova Center.  Pending positive outcomes of tests, Jeffrey Buchanan was also approved for admission.  Two openings remain in this 24-bed medical complex for people with IQs less than 60 and multiple medical complications. 

Noon—Prison Board


474 total:  388 males, 74 females


Work Release 44


State Sentenced 27


Parole/Probation Violators 222


Number of Parole/Probation Violators on new Temporary Detainer Policy--Hot Urine Alcohol/Drug Use 29


DJ Sentenced 12


Sentenced by Court of Common Pleas 33

1PM—Doug Hill, Executive Director of the County Commissioners Association, along with John Sallade, Managing Director of CCAPs insurance programs, provided overviews of issues to the commissioners. 


Youtube  Will the County Prothonotary Position be Eliminated.wmv


Youtube  Ag Law with Attorney Ross Pieffer.wmv  On 2.9.12 at the Lebanon Expo, Attorney Ross Peiffer explained Ag Law to farmers during a Crop Conference...Clean and Green. Farmers got to see equipment and participate in credit programs.


Youtube  Morrissey.wmv  Appliance Store south of Myerstown 

In Myerstown on 2.7.12, Tom B. Morrissey appliance opened on the corner of Route 501 and ELCO Drive. The relocated store is larger and run by a local family--the Morrissey's--including mother Mary. Stop in to see there stoves, refrigerators, televisions, and more.

Youtube  2012 CCAP Priorities by Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz.wmv 

In Harrisburg PA on 2.8.2012, President of the County Commissioners Association of PA and Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz presented the top ten priorities for county government:
• Human Services Block Grant funding,
• Transportation,
• A Marcellus Shale tax,
• Supporting new revenue opportunities and increasing tax fairness,
• Implementing assessment reform,
• Maintaining and improving 911 services,
• Improving district attorney funding,
• Strengthening conservation districts' relationships with DEP,
• Continuing to enhance oil and gas pipeline safety, and
• Restoring the county recycling fee.

New is my Lebanon Daily News Blog:  Recent Youtube Posts

bullet Oh, Martin
bullet 2012 County Commissioner of PA Priorities by Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz
bullet 2012 PA Budget

February 2, 2012

For approval, Carol Davies presented a $67,320 Amendment (#4) to a contract between the Department of Health and the County.

President Paula Doney and Secretary Nori Fisher presented an annual report of projects completed by the Women’s Commission—from a new logo and Women’s History articles to the Glass Slipper prom dress sale, Hall of Fame, and compilation of contact information on Women’s groups in Lebanon County.  Youtube Women's Commission 2011 Annual Re

Dr. Yocum’s Coroner Report:  Cremation 440; Natural deaths 141; Accidental 24 of which 18 were motor vehicles, 1ATV, 1 Tractor, 3 asphyxia, and 1 fall with two death rulings pending.    1 homicide and 14 suicides of which 9 were gun shots, 1 train incident, 1 motor vehicle accident, and 2 asphyxiation.  The good doctor introduced Deputy Coroners Doug Leiby and Greg Buck.  Dr. Yocum's 2011 Coroner's Report

95% of the County tax parcels have been visited to collect data for the reassessment.  There are 2700 parcels left to visit.  Notices should be in the mail the second week in May.  Timothy Barr and Gene Porterfield announced a name change from 21st Century to Evaluation Services and Technology Information, an employee owned company.  Tim’s dad, Dr. Barr, retired.  At issue was a request to sign a new contract, which would include the name change, a law change, and an increase in price for certain services, which the County was not currently using.  Commissioner Ames was not in favor of signing a new lease.  Commissioner Phillips asked Solicitor Snelling to compare the two lease, and Commissioner Litz suggested an amendment to the existing lease would suffice.


Youtube 21st Century Appraisals now Evaluator Services Technology


Youtube 21st Century becomes Evaluator Services Technology 2

Public meetings will take place at 7PM in the following high schools:  May 1, Annville Cleona; May 2, Lebanon Middle School; May 3, ELCO; May 7 Cornwall Lebanon; May 8, Palmyra; and May 9, Northern Lebanon.

Bill Sullivan presented the annual Gatekeeper Program grant of $11,300 of which the County share is $1,112.  First time offenders have an opportunity to work off charges that would get filed in the Clerk of Courts Office.

Pat Salmon, of Honeywell, an American Company, wrapped up the $3.6 million energy savings project, and commissioners signed-off on an acceptance document.  Not only is the County guaranteed to save $4.6 million and energy over the next 20 years, safety was improved.  For example, lighting in the parking lot is brighter, and water can be shut off to sections of the prison to conduct searches.  The project came in on time, on budget, and had no change orders.  The efficiencies are working so well that two utility companies already came to check if there were problems because of the reduced use of water and gas.  Salmon also relayed that the savings reductions were 15.2%.  To take advantage of the interest reimbursement offered by the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation, savings would have had to reach 20%.  Honeywell is also evaluating some old transformers that may be a separate project. 

Commissioners also accepted a $136,832 DUI Court grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).

Similar to Liquid Fuels, Commissioners heard the Act 44 Tax Fund report, which was supposed to be used to distribute tolling money.   Since tolling I-81 did not go through, Penn DOT uses the fund to distribute other funds, and the County will use this money toward the County share of the Inwood Bridge replacement.  The balance stands at $123,794.

Next, commissioners approved an $11,207.79  Hazardous Materials Response Fund (HMRF) equipment grant to purchase items like scene lights, gps units, a line thrower, ice machine, and batteries. 

Commissioners approved a $10,000 Comprehensive Plan grant agreement with the Historical Society for the erection of the Krall Log Barn at Union Canal Park.  This is the final step in the appropriation process.  All other Comprehensive Plan Implementation funds are committed.

Commissioners approved a NACO agreement for participation in the Prescription Program Revenue Sharing.  $1 from each prescription comes back to the County to help to offset distribution to mail the cards and NACO dues.

At a cost of $60,000, from Carl G. Lex and Judy K. Lex, his wife of Mechanicsburg, York County, Pennsylvania, Commissioners approved the purchase of 22.1 acres of mountaintop land in East Hanover Township.  Previously, commissioners had a rental agreement for $6,000 per year for a 911 tower on the Blue Mountain.  The potential exists for the County to host and receive a fee from companies for other satellite dishes on the tower. 

Finally, Commissioners signed a letter of support to keep the FSA office open for the farm community. 

Community:  Lebanon County Career and Technology students participated in an ice carving contest at the Lebanon Bologna Fest. Youtube LCCTC Ice Carving Contest.wmv

February 2, 2012 Kris Troup presented his Department at the Wednesday Workshop.  In the following videos, you can learn more about County Planning and the many programs they administer for municipalities.  County Planning runs on fees for services.  Youtubes


History of Lebanon County Planning..wmv


Administering Zoning for 16 Municipalities.wmv


Subdivision and Land Development.wmv


Building Code Inspections.wmv


Sludge Judge.wmv  On-lot sewage systems are to be pumped every three years UNLESS a hauler's test reveals there is a measurement of less than 1/3 depth of solids and scum. 


Gordon Sheetz oversees Sewage Enforcement in Lebanon County.wmv


History of Sewage Enforcement in Lebanon County.wmv


Gordon Sheetz on Sewage History thru Delegated Local Agency.wmv


Jon Fitzkee presents an overview of MPO-Transportation .wmv

January 25, 2012, Voter Registrar Nick Yingst explained the Voter ID bill and absentee ballots. 


Youtube  Will Voter ID be an Unfunded Mandate on Counties.wmv


Youtube  Absentee Ballots.wmv

January 18, 2012

Commissioners met at Cedar Haven. 

The occupancy rate is 94% with a census of 300—81 male and 219 female.

Administrator Schlegel reported that this year, state audits are being dome in the Office of Long Term Living verses on site.  Documents are being mailed, emailed, and faxed as needed. 

Roman Shahay reported that Renova’s census is at 23.  One person left, and one person passed away.  A memorial service was held for Darla on Thursday at 1PM in the Cedar Haven Chapel. 

Commissioners passed a resolution to amend Renova's procedure for admittance to include the statement, "Admission is at the discretion of the commissioners.” 

Commissioners also approved Sally Barry’s request to allow the Drug and Alcohol Commission to plant a Serenity Garden in honor of former Director Sue Klarsch. 

A contract discussion took place concerning a name change for 21st Century to Evaluator Service Technology.  Completion of Data Collection is nearing when Commissioners will release a $149,000 retainer. 

Next, the Prison population stood at 462—388 male and 74 female. 

January 19, 2012 Commissioners met in regular session.

The meeting opened with a moment of silence.

Treasurer Sallie Neuin presented bank resolutions for Jonestown and Fulton Banks, and asked the commissioners to sign these documents. 

Voter Registrar Nick Yingst presented a HAVA Certification of County expenditures in excess of the HAVA 1994 threshold. 

Youtube  LVEDC Green Energy Bonds.wmv

Commissioners approved a request from Susan Eberly for the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation to administer a “Qualified Energy Conservation Bond Program” for Lebanon County.  The program provides 70% interest rate subsidy for projects having a “qualified conservation program.”  The QEBC volume cap of $1,337,618,84 was awarded to Lebanon County under federal law.

Chief Clerk Wolgemuth presented Lebanon County fixed allocations for Liquid Fuels to Cornwall, $3044; West Lebanon, $796; Jackson, $5112; and Richland, $939. 

Commissioners approved the Annual Certification of Funds for the 2012 Farmland Preservation Program in the amount of $81,600.  Nine municipalities contributed to the fund. 

Commissioners appointed Brenda Phillips, Joe Isenhauer, and Allen Freed to the Lebanon Transit Board.  Phillips abstained on the vote to appoint his wife to the Board. 

Commissioners appointed Angel Price, Treasurer; Mary Louise Sherk, and Bonne Wolgemuth to the Library System Board. 

Youtube  Lebanon Transit Appointment.wmv

Commissioners signed a $25,000 Comprehensive Plan grant agreement for Quittie Park’s acquisition project. 

Commissioners also approved the 2011 Annual report of Liquid Fuels activity:  $520,579.65 committed, and $118,653.21 uncommitted.  Another $250,000 will be awarded to Lebanon County during 2012. 

Commissioner Litz presented an overview of benefits from the County’s NACO membership, including saving County residents $32,784.25 in prescription costs.  Sixteen times, NACO provided direct assistance, materials or information to officials or staff.  Annual savings as a US Communities Participant was $605.  NACO lobbying increased, maintained, or created funding through lobbying for PILT, $2130 and SCAAP, $13,195 in 2011.  Subscriptions and eNews are provided as well as Educational and Professional Development. 

Youtube  Commissioner Bill Ames' Certificate Program

Commissioner Ames announced that the commissioners will award certificates of appreciation to businesses opening or marking milestones in the County.

Youtube  Cell Phone Use during Meetings.wmv

Commissioner Litz requested that a policy statement read at the beginning of the meeting be amended to state that cell phones should be placed on vibrate or turned off.  Many people in the room are on emergency call 24/7, and today’s phones are used for research. 

Youtube  Reopening the Budget.wmv

Reporter Gordon Weiss asked if we were going to reopen the budget.  The commissioners did not have plans to do that at this time.  The deadline is February 15.  Weiss also wondered if a payment would be made to the pension plan.  Commissioner Litz explained that a work session is schedule to craft a stabilization plan with professional advice. 

Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss personnel. 

January 5, Regular Meeting

The new Board of Commissioners--Bob Phillips, Bill Ames, and Jo Ellen Litz, opened the meeting with a moment of silence, and plan to open future meetings in a similar manner. Kathy Pflueger objected.  Youtube

Voter Registrar Nick Yingst requested an affidavit certifying County Political parties.  In Lebanon County, Republicans, Democrats, and Patriots meet a vote threshold, but the Independent Patriots do not have enough statewide registrations so cannot be included on the Primary ballot. 

Amy Mozzella di Bosco presented an Electronics Recycling Program.  Act 108 bans acceptance of electronics by landfills.  The Center will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30AM-3:30PM, and Saturday from 8:30AM-11:30AM.  No dumping license is required.  Materials are taken to AERC in Allentown.  For more information, visit Youtube

$3695 in Liquid Fuels were approved for Swatara Township.

The Tax Revenue Anticipation Note was executed with a required initial draw of $100,000.

Commissioners met in executive session to discuss contract negotiations. 

January 4, 2012 

Workshop with 21st Century

Lebanon County is under a court ordered reassessment.  Data is constantly changing. 

Assessments are based on 100% of market value on January 1, 2012.  There is a 10% budget cap in 2013.  Values have decreased 15% since 2008.


There are 46,000 residences, and 55,000 total taxable parcels. Residential values are impacted by effective age, stories, style, condition and size.

A possible scenario for Lebanon County may look like this:

1.    Assessed value before reassessment $1.2 billion; after $8.4 billion.

2.    Mills before 20; Mills after 2.86.

3.    Total tax revenue before $24 million; after $24 million.

Clean and Green;

Deadline 10.15.2012.

Large vacant parcels over 5 acres can apply, but need gross agricultural income of at least $2000.

Parcels that qualify for Clean and Green will see a reduction in their real estate taxes by 30-50% or more, depending on the number of buildings on the property.

Clean and Green is based on use, not zoning.  In Lebanon County, we have 5000 farms.


There are approximately 4,000 commercial properties.  Sales price should be considered but not controlling.  It takes two-three years of sales to see a pattern for a neighborhood.  That being said, location, location, location is a factor too.  Further, for commercial properties, the cost to build, less depreciation, is a method, and the income approach is a third method.

Fee appraisals can vary 20% from one appraiser to another.  You never get a zero variance.

Fee appraisers can't give an appraisal without income information, and the county has requested similar information.  Fee information provided is not used directly to calculate your assessment.  Rather, the purpose of the income statement is to figure out the current average rental price per square foot.  If you charge lower than market and choose to provide your data, you will help the county average to come down.

Information provided is strictly confidential, and is protected under the privacy act.  If you don't respond, you are not penalized.

Some people question why the firm needs to know if appliances are included.  It is to make an allowance for replacement of worn out appliances.

Your tax bill will include both the old and new assessed value, which will be dramatically different, but your bill will also include your old and new combined tax for your municipality, the county, and school district.  In other words, you can see if you are one of the third of people whose taxes will stay the same, go down, or go up.

Taxes are a legitimate expense on income.  Future tax is factored in later on in the process.

Appeals can be based on Market Value/Common Level Ratio or Equity for uniformity--the Downingtown Case.

Mike Russel is in room 110, and can answer questions.  Phone 717.228.4423.

Next Wednesday’s workshop will be with EMA, and the Housing and Redevelopment Authority will be on January 18. 

January 3, 2012

Sine Die, the last meeting to close out the year and terms of the Board of Commissioners consisting of Carpenter, Stohler, and Litz took place at 10AM.  Votes included approval of the minutes for Salary Board, Assessment Board, the Board of Elections, and County Board.

At 10:30AM, a new Board of Commissioners consisting of Bill Ames, Jo Ellen Litz, and Bob Phillips was sworn into office by President Judge John Tylwalk.

At 12:30PM, the new Board of Commissioners met to elect officers.  Bob Phillips was elected chairman, Bill Ames vice chairman, and Jo Ellen Litz secretary.  Jamie Wolgemuth was reappointed as the Chief Administrator, and Penny Snelling was reappointed as the solicitor.    All employees were rehired to their respective positions. 

Lebanon County Commissioners approved one night meeting per quarter. Every Wednesday, commissioners will meet in a work session to learn from Department Heads, Benefit Providers and professional vendors.  Youtube

Thursday Meeting dates were set for the coming year:


January 5 & 19 at 9:30AM;


February 2 at 9:30AM;


February 16 at Cornwall Boro, 36 Burd Coleman Rd., Cornwall at 7PM;


March 1 & 15 at 9:30AM;


April 5 & 19 at 9:30AM;


May 3 at 9:30AM;


May 17 at Union Township, 3111 SR72, Jonestown at 7PM;


June 7 & 21 at 9:30AM;


July 5, 19 & 26 at 9:30AM (the 26th at the EXPO);


August 2 at 9:30AM;


August 16 at Jackson Township, 60 N Ramona Rd., Myerstown at 7PM;


September 6 & 20 at 9:30AM;


October 4 & 18 at 9:30AM;


November 1 at 9:30AM;


November 15 at N Londonderry Township, 655 E Ridge Rd., Palmyra at 7PM; and


December 6, 20 & 27 at 9:30AM.

The third Wednesday of each month, commissioners will meet at Cedar Haven at 10:30AM and the Prison at noon.  Other Wednesday’s, commissioners will meet at 1PM in the commissioner’s meeting room 207 to explore issues in depth.

Liaison assignments were announced:

Ames                                                   Litz                                          Phillips

Assessment                                   Children & Youth                   Area Agency on Aging          

Building & Grounds                         Cooperative Extension            City of Lebanon

Cen Pen Energy Consortium              Elections                              Drug & Alcohol

Chamber of Commerce                     EMA                                     Com Action Partners

Conservation District                       GIS                                      Housing Redevelopment

Economic Development Corp             MIS                                      MHMR

Lebanon Transit                              Planning                               Renova

LV EXPO/TPA                                  Women’s Commission            United Way

SC Local Elected Officials                                                            Veteran’s Affairs

Phillips will chair the Salary Board; Ames vice chair; and Litz secretary.

Ames will chair the Assessment Board; Litz vice chair; and Phillips secretary.  Appeals hearings will take place on:


January 19


February 16


March 15


April 19


May 17


June 21


November 15, and


December 20.


To hear reassessment appeals, additional boards may be appointed to sit from June 25 through October 31.

Litz will chair the Board of Elections/Registration Commission; Ames vice chair; and Phillips secretary. 

Commissioners voted to become members of the National Association of Counties.  Dues are $2500 annually, which benefits residents through a prescription drug program; provides a lobbying voice on national issues; a grant writing service; a food bank that all municipalities may utilize to purchase goods at a discount; purchasing discounts…, and commissioners expect to save more than the cost of the dues throughout the year.

Finally, commissioners reinstated teleconferencing as a means to participate in meetings. 

Wednesday, January 4, commissioners will meet at 1PM to hear from 21st Century on commercial reassessments.

Thursday, January 5, commissioners will meet at 9:30AM for voting matters

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