People Above Politics

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

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

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

I've been here for you.

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

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

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

Keep Litz doing the People's Business.


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


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


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


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On election day, every vote matters.  You matter!  And I can't win this race without you.


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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.

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Web site paid for by Jo Ellen Litz. 

Meeting Highlights

Votes taken by the Lebanon County Commissioners 2013-14:

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2014 Lebanon County Commissioner Meeting Highlights


On a 2 to 1 vote, commissioners adopted a $67,965,785 2015 County Budget.  $38,677,414 is income in the General Fund from real estate taxes, department charges and such.  The millage remains at 2.4925.  Since a transaction concerning the sale of Cedar Haven was not completed by the time of this vote, and there had been five delays previously, Commissioner Litz voted nay.  Because more than 10% of the General Fund budget would have been impacted, she believed the budget would have had to been reworked.

Next, commissioners held a 2014 Retirement Board meeting.  Controller Bob Mettley and Treasurer Sallie Neuin also participated.  (Steps taken or proposed to improve the fund, other than the sale of Cedar Haven )


The interest rate paid to retirees will remain at 4.5%.


The 1/80th class requiring a 7% employee contribution will remain the same.


At a cost of $1.85 each, Hay Group will prepare Pension Statements.  Commissioner Ames abstained.


No COLA was approved.  The law requires that if a COLA is paid, it would be retroactive. Therefore, instead of costing the pension fund $200,000, it would be $2,270,384.  Senate Bill 1078 seeks to remedy this quagmire. 


Thanks to the hard work of Angel Price, all Cedar Haven employees’ retirements were processed for payment by the end of December.

Commissioners then voted to make the $4,062,995 2014 Annual Retirement Contribution subject to availability of funds.

2015 Budget, Cedar Haven & Pension

Lebanon Daily News Reporter John Latimer asked for clarification on the costs associated with the sale of Cedar Haven.  Previously, having heard questions about the costs associated with selling Cedar Haven, Commissioner Litz shared a list she had been keeping. Her colleagues took exception to provided figures, and said she padded the figures, but in turn did not provide a copy of their calculations to her.  In the end, an audit will provide an account of cash paid out, but may not include the cost of closing out employee benefits in the same line item, and may list rents for Renova Center, storage...separately.


Commissioners, along with Sheriff Klinger, Controller Mettley and DA Arnold met as the Prison Board.

540 Inmates, of which 454 were male and 86 female


Unsentenced 277


Work Release 39


State Sentenced 29


Parole/Probation violators 238


DJ Sentenced 11


Court of Common Pleas sentenced 20

12.18.2014 Regular Meeting

Lt Col Waltman on ACUB at FIG

Lt. Colonel Waltman explained the voluntary Army Compatible Use Buffer Program or ACUB, which utilizes the Conservation Fund to purchase land around the perimeter of Fort Indiantown Gap.  The land is then turned over to the Game Commission.  The Capital Region Water Authority is looking at around 380 acres being sold around the DeHard Dam.  Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation and Manada Conservancy are also partners.  Go to, and under the Environmental tab is more information on the ACUB.

Treasurer Sallie Neuin requested that a new account be opened for Act 89 funding for bridges.

Proclamations for the following retirees were approved:  MaryAnn Alwein in the Courts, Andy Silberman in Management Information Systems, and Deb Shaver in Area Agency on Aging.

Deb Shaver Retires from the Area Agency on Aging

Deb Shaver is retiring after more than 40 years, and attended the meeting.  Deb, Mike Kristovensky, Joe Lecisko, and Carol Levengood comprised the original staff for the Aging Office.  Deb believes her work helped to save lives, and found that very rewarding.

With 17 changes totaling $106,089, Kevin Schrum, Director of MH/ID/EI, presented contract amendments for approval.  There is no corresponding increase in county funding required.

Crisis Intervention’s new address is 229 South 4th Street

Crisis Intervention’s new address is 229 South 4th StreetWhile still near the GSH, on the west side, Crisis will have their own facility.  On behalf of the County of Lebanon, Crisis Intervention is run by Philhaven to provide critical mental health assistance.  Last year, Crisis Intervention had 8,527 cases.  5,215 were handled over the phone while the other 3,312 were walk-ins.

Due to an additional $15,600 in state funding for fuel assistance, Carol Davies, Director of the Area Agency on Aging, presented contract amendments for approval.

Tom Kotay, Lebanon County Planning, presented Phase 9, which is north of Route 22 and Jonestown as well as the Cornwall Trailhead parking lot expansion from 35 to 62 spaces for the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail for approval.  It was agreed to use Wilson Consulting for inspections.  A management agreement to inspect an inlet annually was approved.  Finally, $2000 was put into an escrow account for future reviews by Hanover Engineers, Cornwall Borough’s engineer.

Local Churches Support Pastor Hugo Palacios from Ecuador

Judge Brad Charles introduced Eric Weaver on behalf of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Krall Mennonite Church, and Lebanon Area Free Church who all support Pastor Hugo Palcios and his small town in Ecuador.

Darren Russel received County approval for a LERTA request for an expansion at SID Tool.  A 10-year declining tax abatement would apply only to the 250,000sq’ expansion, which will cost $10M. During the 10-year period, no assessment appeal on the expansion is allowed, or the LERTA will be repealed.

David Schmidt, Penn State Extension West Nile Virus Coordinator, was on hand for approval of a $56,380 grant application for 2015.  Because Lebanon and Lancaster share the coordinator, the grant is down by $12,000 this year.  As a result, the automobile reimbursement will be run through with the Lancaster budget.  67 mosquito positives were reported this past year, but no positives occurred in birds, horses, or humans.  159 areas were treated for mosquitos; 470 traps set; and 5 sprays took place in Myerstown and the Greater Palmyra areas. 

Solicitor Dave Warner and LVEDC Attorney Paul Lundberg found another deed from the dormant Industrial Development Authority, and recommended reactivation under the LVEDC.  They suggested the County would not want to take possession of a bankrupt property with environmental concerns.    The 50-year charter, which was enacted in 1967, will expire in three years.  Commissioners agreed. 

Closing on Cedar Haven Delayed until 12 23 2014

For the sale of Cedar Haven, Solicitor Dave Warner advised that CHR was going to extend the deadline again by putting another $500,000 down, and Dave presented closing documents for signatures.

History of Cedar Haven and County Responsibility for Care of the Poor

Commissioner Litz asked Solicitor Warner to review provided sections of the law (details halfway through CH Blog ), prior to closing, requiring the County to care for the poor.  With aging baby boomers, an increasing population, and no more Medical Assistance beds created by the State, she noted there will be competition for beds, and if Cedar Haven were kept, no additional real estate or building would be needed.  Rather, the fourth floor could serve the County in the future to meet duties assigned by William Penn.  Commissioner Ames asked why she looked for the information on her own, and didn’t request information from Dave previously.  She responded that she shouldn’t have to ask for needed information like deeds to make an informed decision on the sale.  On the “other side of the coin,” Commissioner Phillips objected to spending money to pay the Solicitor to research and answer Commissioner Litz’s questions.  He further questioned why the request only came two days before they were to make settlement.  Litz had information on the deed and law for less than 24 hours.  Due diligence prior to settlement is always in order. 

Commissioners made appointments to:


The Community Action Partnership Board:  Christine Slick, Bob Phillips, Kevin Schrum, Des Miller, Evelyn Lane, Chris Smith, and Claire Weaver. 


The MH/ID/EI Board:  Richard Fields, Dr. Joseph Barber, Charlotte Tumilty, and Betty Beard.

For his new term in office, a lease with Senator Folmer was approved with a 6.8% increase.

Commissioners approved closing at noon on Christmas Eve.

Along with other local officials, Penn DOT, and representatives of the Federal Highway Administration, Commissioners then convened as the Metropolitan Planning Organization, which prioritizes and approves transportation projects: 


One highlight was reaching attainment status for air quality, which reduces paperwork for the MPO.  Businesses putting scrubbers in their smoke stacks, and other environmental upgrades, must be working. 


Also, a sinkhole project is completed. 


Further, at Route 72 in Jonestown, a Dilemna Zone is hosting a Green-time camera to change traffic lights based on traffic at the intersection. 


Due to the Preserve at Cornwall, a new project will include 419 & Cornwall Road. 


Matt Boyer requested that the public participate in a survey for Commuter Services and Lebanon Transit. .  For help finding work commute alternatives, contact 1.866.579.RIDE .


Finally, the 241”S” Curve will receive a coating of Tyro Grip to help reduce accidents. 


The next MPO meeting will be held on February 19, 2015.  Other approved dates include April 16, June 18, August 20, October 15, and December 17.

At 1:30PM, commissioners sat as the Board of Assessment and Revision to hear eleven appeals on real estate. 

Community YouTubes:

Todd Snovel 2015 Chamber of Commerce Athena Recipient

Lebanon Catholic Concert includes a Live Nativity 2014

ACHS Marching Band 2014

One Accord Sings Christmas Carols at the Womans Club of Lebanon

Lebanon High School Chamber and Show Choirs 2014


Nicole Eisenhart, from the District Attorney’s office, presented an $18,062 VOJO-Victims of Juvenile Offenders project modification request to update personnel to include Emily OHare.

Treasurer Sallie Neuin distributed a dog license news release.  License run from January 1 to December 31 annually. or stop by 400 S 8th St., Lebanon (room 103) from 8:30am-4:30pm Monday through Friday.  Other locations include:  Coble’s Bait Shop, Jono Hardware, Little Paws Dog Shop, Dutch Country Hardware, Fox Breeze Kennel, Pet Headquarters, Humane Society of Lebanon County, Richland Shooters, and Speedway Market. 

Attorney Fred Wolfson and Paul Lundeen presented a request to refinance $20 Million for Pleasant View Retirement Community.  The bond does not impact County debt, nor obligate the County to cover any defaults.

Solicitor David Warner presented a Cedar Haven Sale Extension Agreement, which would move the closing date to December 19, 2014 with an accompanying $1 million non-refundable deposit; and another “drop-dead” one-week extension with an additional $500,000 deposit.  A motion passed on a 2 – 1 vote with Commissioner Litz voting nay.

Because the County Commissioners Association of PA provided proof that two grants were paid, one for a call-bell system and another for electronic records that was refused by commissioners when the sale of Cedar Haven proceeded.  Solicitor Warner also said that the owners of record, the Directors of the Poor and of the House of Employment for the County of Lebanon (now known as the county commissioners) do not have to implement two grant agreements to clear the title to Cedar Haven.

Warner also presented information concerning a lien by the county’s former IDA-Industrial Development Authority- for Houck Manufacturing.  Sale of the land is pending.  While Houck said they would sign off on the title, Warner asked whether the IDA should be activated in case other liens surface.  Prior to the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation, Commissioners originally created the Authority to handle business loans.  When dissolved, the balance of their funds were placed into an account held by the commissioners.  Therefore, three options include:  keeping the IDA dormant, re-activating the IDA, or completely dissolving the IDA.  For now, the IDA will remain dormant.

2015 County of Lebanon Budget

Lebanon County’s $67,965,785 annual budget was presented for twenty day display.  Millage will remain at 2.4925.  The General Fund is $41,025,695.  The budget is approximately $30 million less than last year due to the pending sale of Cedar Haven.

$1976 in Liquid Fuels was awarded to West Cornwall Township.

Approved appointments and reappointments include:


·         Antonia Deraco-Martinez to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority;


·         Rita Groy, Gerda Balthaser, and Alicia LaFrance to Renova Center as well as naming Richard Fields as an honorary board member;


·         Wanda Bechtold to the Women’s Commission.

With all of the change that’s occurring, Commissioner Litz requested a planning session to set short and long term priorities for the County of Lebanon.

Hit Counter


James Holtry, Director of Children and Youth, presented $1,447,309.40 in first quarter invoices—Act 148, Title IV-E Placement Maintenance, Title IV-E Adoption Assistance, TANF, and Medicaid-- for payment.  Further, Children and Youth Board appointments included:  Joy Blankley Meyer, Amy Custer, Judy Wimer, Redith Snoberger, and Luz Rosario.

Next, Mike Battistelli and Brett Holland, Stifel Nicolaus,  updated commissioners on the pension plan, which stood at $111,629,495, up 7.6% year to date.  With the transfer of employees to CHR at Cedar Haven, $5,539,609 had been withdrawn and paid to people who wanted a lump sum distribution.  Approximately 70 of 150 eligible retirees left their money in the pension plan, which pays them 4% interest.  To meet future payments to these retirees, Mike and Brett will keep approximately $7 million in cash investments in the retirement plan.

Tourism Progress Promotion and Finances

Mary Foltz presented an update on the new Destination Marketing Organization, an all-volunteer group with a passion for tourism.  They’ve held two Board meetings, a Board Retreat, and adopted bylaws.  Their next priorities are to elect officers, develop a mission statement, and a website.  A President search committee is being conducted through advertising the Lebanon Daily News, PATT website and  A Visitors Guide was produced and distributed.  New events being courted include the Corrigan Sports Enterprises Lacrosse Tournament and Onondaga County Cycling group.  Their next meeting is on December 1 at the 5th Street Mansion at 6PM.  Since the Hotel Tax is placed in Escrow and the new DMO is not approved by municipalities, as required by law, Commissioner Litz asked when the municipalities would be approached.  Further, she asked how the money for printing and distribution of the Visitors Guide was paid, whether it met the threshold of needing to be put out for bid, and if an accounting of expenses was available.  Administrator Wolgemuth stated that he approved the payments.  Commissioner Ames took objection to the questions by Commissioner Litz.

United Way Acknowledges Lebanon County Contributions

Kenny Montijo, CEO of the United Way, and Julie Osborne, Resource Development Director, made a presentation thanking the commissioners and administration for their contributions to the United Way, and pointed out that leadership at the top sets an example. 

Pat Krebs asked for support fo a Bicycle plan for Lebanon County.

Renewal of Senator Folmer’s lease with the County for his office in the Municipal Building was tabled upon request by Commissioner Phillips.

Appointments to the Lebanon County Conservation District Board included Connie Hoffer, Farmer Director and John Poff, Public Director. 

The Almshouse or Poor House predated Cedar Haven

Commissioner Litz presented two wall hangings.  The end of July 2014, I was sitting in former Administrator Schlegel’s office signing Warn Notices for Cedar Haven employees.  Taking a break, I stood up, and walked around the office. 

On the wall I noticed some interesting items.  One was a September 5, 1881  Rules of Government of the Lebanon County Almshouse,” or poorhouse, which was the precursor to Cedar Haven.  Eleven rules are written.

Signed by the Directors of the Poor of Lebanon County, David Boltz, Aaron Brubacher, and Philip Shaeffer, ran a tight ship.  For example, ”Whereas some slothful persons may pretend sickness or lameness, to excuse themselves from labor, such persons shall be examined by the physician, and if it appear by his report and other concurring circumstances that those persons made false excuses, they shall be punished by confinement in the cell, and fed on bread and water, until they comply, or in some other legal way, as the Directors shall determine.”   

The second wall hanging is a picture by Harpels, a prominent photographer and studio in Lebanon County for many years, of the Almshouse dated 1935, probably taken in late fall or early spring when no leaves were on the trees.  Surrounded by a white picket fence, a stately mansion with columns and cupolas stands as the centerpiece of the photo.  Additional houses and barns, of which there appear to be three, or four, also had cupolas.  A team of mules stands hitched in the lane.  Grapevines were supported by a sturdier fence.  One lone sole, a man in a suit and hat, stands in a field, but stories that I heard had workers in the fields tending to crops for their sustenance. 

Since the current Board of Commissioners sat as the Board of Cedar Haven, I wondered if Boltz, Brubacher, and Shaeffer were the first county commissioners who took care of the poor, and Kathy Kirby assisted by contacting the Lebanon County Historical Society.  A reply from Wes Schwenk, Archivist, revealed, “Beginning in 1876, it was decided that elected commissioners would take office all at the same time and they would serve three year terms from that point onward.  By 1879, HH Ehrman, George W Walker, and Samuel Witmoyer took on their roles as county commissioners.  When 1882 came around new officials were elected.  The three names I mentioned previously would have been in office during 1881.”

Not wanting these wall hangings to disappear, Administrator Marcia Krause agreed to box them, and bring them to the courthouse.  Today, I share these historical wall hangings with you, and ask that they be placed on the walls of the commissioner’s office for all to see and appreciate our county’s history. 


Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz

Is there another Delay at Cedar Haven

Administrator Wolgemuth asked commissioners to check their in-box, and stay for an Executive Committee meeting on Real Estate, namely Cedar Haven.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

Community YouTubes:

LCCTC and LVC Joint Program


Colonel Waltman on FIG Tourism, Hotline 861.2007, Scheduled Burns

From Fort Indiantown Gap, Colonel Waltman is a liaison to Lebanon County Commissioners.  Today he updated commissioners on opportunities to partner for tourism—the MWR or Military Welfare & Recreation retirement community at FIG and Carlisle; a hotline 717.861.2007 to learn about artillery practices, controlled burns, and more.  FIG is also cooperating with a ridership study by Lebanon Transit.   Finally, a Joint Land Use Committee will meet on November 12 at 7PM in the East Hanover Township Building in Dauphin County, and on the 13th in at Union Township building, Lebanon County.

Treasurer Sallie Neuin requested a resolution to move a prison account.

Kevin Schrum and Jim Donmoyer, Drug and Alcohol, presented a HealthChoices Behavioral Health Contract Amendment for approval.

Dave Hartman on a Homelessness Coalition in Lebanon County

We don't like to think about it, but yes, there are homeless people in Lebanon County.  Dave Hartman was joined by Troy Williams of Lebanon County Christian Ministries and Claire Weaver of Jubilee Ministries, among others, to receive a proclamation recognizing November 11-15, 2014 as National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. 

Arbor Greene Defaults on a Bond

An Out-of-Town developer of the 200+ Arbor Greene residential development community left residents with unfinished streets and sidewalks in Phases 3 & 4. Commissioners approved bond execution to complete work the LP Partnership, involving David Lentz out of Lititz and Mike Glass, left undone.  Planning Director Bob Sentz and former Director Kris Troup, who is now with North Londonderry Township where the development is located, asked commissioners to move ahead.  The men will bid the work so that the area is safe for children walking to school....

EXPO Allocated funds from Hotel Tax with Divided Vote on 35 Percent

The LV EXPO has a new Executive Director, Pat Kerwin. Commissioners agreed to pay $19,000 in incurred debt, and another $100,000 to improve curb appeal of the facility. However, because facts to substantiate the ask were missing, a 35% cut of Hotel Tax was granted on a divided vote--2 to 1.  Commissioner Litz requested that before deciding a percentage, a short and long range plan with repairs and capitol requests be presented along with real numbers to accomplish these goals, an audit, and the new Marketing Destination Organization’s plan.

Governor Dick from Donegal School District to Clarence Shock Foundation to the County of Lebanon

A $1 million investment will provide $15,000-$30,000 per year to help run Governor Dick, and, in future years, due to the resignation of the Clarence Shock Foundation (SICO),  their three Board positions will be appointed by the county commissioners.  Governor Dick went from Donegal School District to the Clarence Shock Foundation, and now to the County of Lebanon.

MeetingHighlights/Marcellus Shale Grant Packet 2014.pdf

Marcellus Grant applications are now available, and due in the Planning Department by December 31, 2014.

In the afternoon, commissioners reconvened for a third day of budget hearings.

General Election computation was held Friday, November 7 beginning at 9AM.

At 9AM next Thursday, tabulation of votes and write-ins on any late veteran's ballots will take place.

Community YouTubes:


Annville Cleona Band at Hershey Giant Center


45th CCHS 1969 Class Reunion in 2014


Helicopter Repair Training Facility provides Economy Boosting Jobs in Lebanon County


Jason at SailOn Photography


Tim Lambert interviews John Harris at the Historical Society Ball

October was Women's History Month.  Therefore, several events took place in Lebanon County:

Woman's Club listens to Non-Profits to choose a recipient for this year's community service:


The American Red Cross


Lights Fort was built in the 1700s


Lebanon County Christian Ministries


Salvation Army in Lebanon PA

    Program: WhimZee Boutique is on the Best Kept Secrets Tour

ABWA Women's Night Out:


ABWA American Business Womens Association President Jo Ellen Litz


The LV Arts Council Sharon Zook


Delta Kappa Gamma Karen Light


Lebanon Family Health Vicki DeLoatch


Farm Women Betsy Sattazahn


GSH Auxiliary Angie Perlaki


Lebanon County Womens Commission with Kathy Kulbitsky


Margie Yohn ABWA Business Woman of 2014 in Lebanon PA


PEO Jeanne Boltz


PROBE Kathy Verna


Strong Women Penn State Extension Debbie Hartman


Lebanon Womans Club Liz Wentling President

Chamber of Commerce Women's Luncheon:


Athena Panel on Leadership Qualities 2014


Emily Guilliams 2009 Athena Recipient


Marianne Bartly 2007 Athena Recipient


Reidith Snoberger 2004 Athena Recipient


Val Stokes 2006 Athena Recipient


As an official representative of Fort Indiantown Gap, Lt. Colonel Dale Watman attended the commissioner’s meeting.

During the personnel session, Barb Smith was placed on the payroll as the new Prothontary Clerk of Courts, and commissioners approved paperwork with Fredericksburg National Bank giving Barb signatory authority.

Commissioners also temporarily approved Penn State Extension’s request to increase a partime Secretary D employee's work days and hours from 4 days to 5 days per week, seven hours per day.  Increased hours will cease upon hiring/filling of a vacant Pt Secretary D position.

Ames Attacks Litz over Judicial Inquiry

Commissioner Bill Ames took issue with Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz for seeking advice from President Judge John Tylwalk concerning a potential conflict of interest if an Election Board member endorses a candidate for office in an election the Board member oversees.  He attacked her for not coming to him.  In light of the Sunshine Law prohibiting commissioners from deliberating outside of an advertised commissioner’s meeting, Commissioner Litz sought the advice to find out what the law said on the issue.

CCAP Executive Director Doug Hill on the Sunshine Law:


The law creates a three part test by defining a meeting as “any prearranged gathering of an agency which is attended or participated in by a quorum of the members of an agency held for the purpose of deliberating agency business or taking official action.”


Taking these tests in turn, the first is prearrangement. Typically this includes the normal advertised regular or special meetings, but can include other meetings for which the members of the agency received advance notice. It does not include chance encounters, nor does it include other nominally “scheduled” public events such as church services, theater events, and so on. Naturally there is a presumption the agency will not use the opportunity of a chance encounter to conduct agency business, however.


Second is participation by a quorum. This test is commonly met for most county and township boards, which consist of three members and thus have a quorum any time two are present. Because a quorum is so easily established, our analysis of the statute rarely focuses on this test.


Finally, the meeting must be for the purpose of conducting deliberations or official action on agency business. In this respect, the definitions of either “deliberations” or “official action” must be met. Deliberations are “the discussion of agency business held for the purpose of making a decision,” and official action includes (1) recommendations made by an agency pursuant to statute, ordinance or executive order; (2) the establishment of policy by an agency; (3) the decisions on agency business made by an agency; or (4) the vote taken by any agency on any motion, proposal, resolution, rule, regulation, ordinance, report or order.

Area Agency on Aging Supports Caregivers

Area Agency on Aging Director Carol Levengood outlined a Lebanon County Caregiver program to provide financial support like installing a handicap accessible bathroom in a home.  Carol stated that PA is a model for the nation.  82 families have been served with a $160,000 budget.  Carol also received a proclamation recognizing Family Caregivers Month.

Sally Barry received approval for a Juvenile Grant-in-Aid Program Application Agreement as well as a Vigilnet America LLC Professional Services Agreement.   $193,314.22 was provided for partial funding of Juvenile Probation officers.  $3000 remains.

Ordinance 51 was duly advertised in a paper with circulation throughout the County, and adopted by commissioners to raise Hazardous Materials Fees from $40 to $60 per chemical.  This replaces Ordinance 15.

Wellspan seeks Lebanon County Bond Endorsement

Wellspan is acquiring the Good Samaritan Health System and other hospitals throughout Pennsylvania.  As a result, through the General Authority of Southcentral Pennsylvania, Wellspan requested County support for revenue bonds in an aggregate principal amount of up to $300,000,000.  Credit of Lebanon County is not to be used for the security of the Bonds and Lebanon County will have no liability for any payment of principal of, premium, if any, and interest on the Bonds.  Commissioners Ames and Litz voted in favor of the motion while Commissioner Phillips abstained, having a conflict-of-interest as a trustee.

Northern Lebanon County Park Comprehensive Plan Completed

Susan DuBeque, George Kaufman, and Bob Sentz presented commissioners with a copy of the recently completed Comprehensive Plan for Bethel, East Hanover, Jonestown, Swatara, and Union Townships, all within the Northern Lebanon School District.  $29,000 in implementation funds were provided to the group after commissioners completed their Comprehensive Plan, which recommended regional planning.  A website recommendation was already implemented.

Red Ribbon Week 2014

In their effort to educate the public on avoiding drugs and alcohol, James Donmoyer and Robert Count were on hand for the Lebanon County Drug and Alcohol Department to receive a proclamation for Red Ribbon week the end of October—10.23-10.31

Liquid Fuels were awarded to:  Myerstown $3062; North Cornwall $7553; and East Hanover $2801.

A Fredericksburg Disabled Veteran was approved for real estate tax exemption. 

Storage Space approved for the County of Lebanon

In light of the sale of Cedar Haven, commissioners acquired new heated and secured storage space on S 11th Street where voting machines and records will be kept.  The $3000 per month rent will be split among departments using the space.  Cameras will be added to monitor the alarmed facility.  Because it is within walking distance of the courthouse, the site was desirable.

DOH asks for help to Educate the Public about Ebola

By posting flyers in the courthouse, Commissioners received a request from the Department of Health to educate the public on symptoms related to the Ebola virus.




In the afternoon, commissioners met as the Board of Assessment and Revision.

10.15.2014  Commissioners met with the Prison Board

Population stood at 524:  428 males and 96 females


·         Unsentenced inmates  280


·         Work Release  40


·         State Sentenced 13


·         Parole/Probation Violators 259


·         District Judge Sentenced 7


·         Court of Common Pleas sentenced 28

Community YouTubes:

United Way hosts Quest Costume Contest

Terry Madonna on the 2014 Governor's Race


Bond payments for Debt Service were approved as follows:

1.       $682,0048.76 for the 2009 Bond at Fulton;

2.       $1,105,247.50 for the 2010 General Fund bond at Fulton;

3.       $67,868.75 for the 2011 General Fund bond at Fulton; and

4.       $352,653.10 for the 2006 and 2008 Bond at Wells Fargo.

During personnel transactions, Michelle Edris presented a proposal by Phyllis Holtry to restructure Community Action Partnership to replace the fulltime Bridge House Case Manager with a Part Time Homeless Assistance Officer position. 

Stenographer Lisa Mease Retires Lisa Mease was honored for her service to the courts and Lebanon County.  Lisa Mease originally worked for Judge Gates, and retired working as a court stenographer for President Judge John Tylwalk. She was recognized and congratulated for many years of professional service.

As options for care, James Holtry presented 47 Placement Provider Contracts for approval.

Next Generation Farm Loan

Susan Eberly presented a Next Generation loan for purchase of a 103.9 acre farm.  The $509,000 purchase will receive $291,000 from Fulton Bank. 

Jack Cantwell General Frank Smoker Beyond the Call

Commissioners presented Jack Cantwell with a certificate recognizing him on being chosen as the Chamber of Commerce General Frank Smoker Beyond the Call award for his service as an employer supporting the military. Jack has donated his services from his company, Skylimit Marketing, to "Support the Troops," a stocking stuffing project that sends Christmas cheer to troops stationed in Afghanistan and other foreign countries.  The next stocking stuffing event will be held on November 20 at the Friendship Fire Company. 

RSVP Coordinates Volunteers in the Community

Keystone Purchasing Network

Dennis Firestone presented a request to use the Keystone Purchasing Network to replace an underground line at the prison.  Scott Shower, Shower Electric, will help to install the vault for the conduit. Relatively a new consortium, Keystone Purchasing Network pre-bids with contractors and vendors for labor and supplies, which helps to expedite the process for construction. Competitive bidding is required for governments. On a time constraint to provide electrical service to the prison, Lebanon county commissioners voted to try the program. There is no obligation to use them for every construction job.

Cindy Heisey, Ed Kercher, and Tim Shenk were appointed to the Workforce Investment Board.

Two grant awards were accepted:  VOJO for $18,062, and HazMat for $4068.

Commissioners passed a proclamation for Domestic Violence Awareness month. 

Jack Stauffer was recognized for a front page article in the Lebanon Daily News. 

After the regular meeting, commissioners held an Executive Session on Personnel.

Commissioners heard Assessment appeals in the afternoon.

Cedar Haven Contract Extended thru October 31 2014

9.30.2014 So that employees, residents, and family members could attend, a special meeting was Called at Cedar Haven to discuss a request by CHR for an extension of time to purchase the facility.  On a 2 to 1 vote, with commissioner Litz voting naye, the extension was granted for 30 days.  Additionally, at a cost of $1 per month, a lease agreement for CHR to begin operations prior to closure, one with Renova Center, and  one with Eldercare were approved.

Community YouTubes:

Thomas Eiceman worked in the Courthouse at 8th and Cumberand and the Almhouse

Pat Pittinger Coordinated Large Scale Bus Transportation

Cindy Johnston on Monarchs at the Metamorphosis Butterfly House

Pat Gray tells of a Hit and Miss Engine, Hot Chocolate, Toast, and Geese at the Bordner Cabin

Fay Gutshall on an Auction at the Armar Bordner Cabin

Roger Leed, Boy Scout Leader, on the Bordner Cabin

Pat Pittinger on the Bordner Cabin

Skip and Don discuss Theaters, Silent Movies, and Organs

Anna Maria Chavez Girl Scout CEO at Hershey Lodge.

Ryan Pelton the Real Blake Rayne as Elvis and Himself at the Bloomsburg Fair.


Bev Allen and Michelle Voydik want to Raise Chickens in Richland

Bev Allen and Michelle Voydik would like to raise chickens as pets, but Richland Borough Zoning Hearing Board and the Borough Council have voted the request down.  Lebanon County administers the Richland Borough zoning ordinances in consultation with the Borough.  Judge Kline heard an appeal in the Court of Common Pleas.  Allen and Voydik have legal counsel, and more litigation is forthcoming.

Carol Levengood Retires with 42 years of Service to the Area Agency on Aging

Mike Kristovensky, Deb Shaver, and Carol Davies were on hand to wish Carol Levengood a happy and well-deserved retirement after 42 years with the Area Agency on Aging.

Should iPads be used to Identify Voters

Voter Registrar Lori Oliver was on hand for approval of Electronic Ballots.  Lori also asked permission to schedule a demonstration on iPads for use on Election Day.  People would sign in on the iPad, and could offer their driver’s license as identification.  Commissioner Litz summarized an article in the current issue of the County Commissioners of PA publication, which raises cautions.  Among those cautions are that the iPad has a two-year life expectancy after which time there are no upgrades to protect against viruses and hacking that can occur during uploads that would contain voter data.  That data could include the driver’s license information, as well as birth dates and social security numbers.   Further, iPads could be lost or stolen; human error can occur; and ”trouble makers” could try to outsmart the system.  Should iPads be used to identify voters?  Your thoughts?

Chemical Fee Increase to $60

Chemical storage can be hazardous, and must be reported to the County and State.  The same fee has been charged since 1991.  Therefore, John Wilson EMA Director asked for an increase to $60 for the storage of SARA chemicals.  The fee supports the Hazardous Materials Response Team, and is anticipated to bring in an additional $7500 annually.

EMA New World CAD Update

By the end of the year, the State will change their system to require driver and registration checks.  If the County doesn't upgrade their CAD system, information will not be compatible.  At a cost of $7,000, New World will perform an upgrade for Lebanon County.

Notice to Terminate Cedar Haven Employees

In preparation for the sale of Cedar Haven to CHR at 11:59PM on September 30, on a 2 to 1 vote, with Commissioner Litz voting nay, commissioners passed a resolution to terminate employees of Cedar Haven effective September 30, 2014.  WARN notices dated July 28 were issued to Cedar Haven employees; and a 30 day notice was provided to AFSCME.  Renova Center will be leased at a cost of $9683/month; plus $126,000 annually for food; $74,000 for laundry; $14,700 for maintenance; and utilities, which are metered.  Previously, these costs were absorbed by Cedar Haven.  In addition, Eldercare will pay $10.80/sq’.  The Area Agency on Aging has a 90-day opt out for up to five years at a cost of $1,417/month; $2400 for maintenance; plus utilities .

Assessment Chief Dan Seaman presented two disabled veterans for approval for real estate tax exemption.

Change orders for MDJ Garber’s office were approved to relocate a wall, cabinets for storage….  The changes increased the cost from $98,882.92 to $104,747.90.

Controller Bob Mettley requested a resolution of approval for an IRS Determination Letter.

In the afternoon, commissioners heard 21 assessment appeals.


At the last meeting as the Board of Cedar Haven, Commissioners Litz and Phillips heard a report from Marsha Krause that the census totaled 296, 74 males and 222 females.   A job fair is being held from 11-4:30PM.  40 people have not signed up with CHR, but still have time, and may be part-timers.  Once a new administrator is hired, at her request, Marsha will return to the position of Assistant Administrator. 

Commissioners approved six MATP contracts for drivers. 

Roman Shahay discussed two applications to Renova Center.  Both applicants were ambulatory and had a history of aggression and biting.  Commissioners agreed to support whatever decision was made by the advisory Board.  The Department of Health is currently conducting an inspection of Renova, and Life Safety is expected to follow to inspect the building. 

At 11:30AM, commissioners sat as the Prison Board along with Sheriff Klingler, District Attorney Arnold, and Controller Mettley.  Population stood at 541, 441 males and 100 females.  Included in these numbers were 292 Unsentenced inmates;  43 on work release; 25 on detail duty; 18 state-sentenced; 12 sentenced by District Judges; and 25 sentenced by the Court of Common Pleas.  25 violated probation, and 58 violated parole. 

Community YouTubes:

911 Patriot Day Concert Speaker--  Mal Fuller 40 Heroes on Flight 93

Live United from Generation to Generation 2014


Michelle Edris, Director of Lebanon County Human Resources, presented Personnel Transactions and Conference/Seminar Requests for approval.

Michelle also presented a memorandum of understanding involving the sale of Cedar Haven with AFSCME, transferring representation to CHR.

Due to a heavy caseload and an unfilled position, overtime was approved for Sara Lopez in the Public Defender's office.

Brenda Mettley Retires after 36 years as Director of Intellectual Disabilities

Retiring ID Director Brenda Mettley served our most needy citizens with Intellectual Disabilities for 36 years in Lebanon County.  Thank you, Brenda, for your dedication and compassion.

Nichole Eisenhart, Lebanon County Office of the District Attorney, presented a  VOCA Amendment, which will increase by $6,258 over two hears to cover medical insurance for Beth Hoch, and the  2015/2016 RASA Grant, which will decrease by $6,000 to $105,589 for approval.

John Shott, Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB), presented the  Disproportionate Minority Contract (DMC) Initiative to apply for $50,000 in funding over two years to help run the new juvenile center at the old Youth for Christ building.

Carol Davies, Director of the Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging, presented a $146,000 2014 Senior Community Center Grant Application, which, if awarded, would enclose a porch area at the Myerstown Church, which hosts a noon meals site and activity center for AAA.  The Church is donating a $5000 match to the project.

James Holtry, Director of Lebanon County Children & Youth, Sallie Barry, Director of the Lebanon County Probation Services, and Judge John Tylwalk were on hand for the $2,123,713 FY2014‐2015 Implementation Budget containing $693,005 in county share and FY2015‐2016 Needs Base Budget request.

Absentee Ballot Discussion 2014 General Election

Lori Oliver, Lebanon County Voter Registration, presented the Absentee Ballot for approval.  A discussion on the 102nd District ensued.  For the November election, the 102nd seat is hotly contested.  There's a unique body listed on the ballot that has the potential to raise questions on the first screen on Election Day.

Kevin Schrum, Director of the Lebanon County MH/ID/EI, presented 17 changes totaling $42,084 and 8 changes totaling $21,804 respectively in the FY 2014/2015 & FY 2013/2014 Contract Amendments for approval.  Foster Parents will receive an increase in their allocation.  County share is $238,627.

Tourist Promotion Agency Appointments 2014

Mary Foltz, chair of the Tourism Promotion Agency (TPA) Transition Committee, presented recommendations for appointment to the TPA Board of Directors.  A discussion on the appearance of a conflict of interest took place.  Mike Barrett promised to amend the Guiding Principles of the organization to include a stipulation that members must recuse themselves from voting on any appropriation that would go to an organization on which they sit on the receiving Board. 

Notifying the Governor of Prothonotary Vacancy

With the acceptance of the resignation of the Prothonotary, the commissioners took it upon themselves to notify the Governor of the vacant seat.  The law states that he shall appoint a replacement. 

Renting an unused portion of the Rail Trail

Evergreen Secure Storage approached commissioners about storing RVs on an unused portion of the LV Rail Trail.  John Wengert of Rails to Trails agrees that would be an acceptable use of the property.  The $300 per month rent received would be donated to the Rail Trail organization to help maintain the Trail.

Final Vote on Cedar Haven 9 4 2014

While the contract was signed last Wednesday, a final vote on the sale of Cedar Haven occurred this date.  The motion passed two to one, with commissioner Litz voting no to the sale. 

Ag Center Sinkhole

Commissioner Litz made a motion to notify PennDot and to have Steckbeck Engineering review the Ag Center storm water basin, which developed sinkholes, and to have Steckbeck make a recommendation on how to repair the sinkholes and on whether or not the design and his calculations for the basin are adequate to accept additional storm water from Cornwall Road without contaminating ground water if the runoff contains road salt and oil.   The motion died for lack of a second.  Commissioner Ames then moved to ask Steckbeck to review the sinkhole situation.

Commissioners approved a $1,218,736 MATP contract. 

At a cost of $3500, Commissioners voted to proceed with a $3500 Hay Group Actuarial Impact study on the sale of Cedar Haven.  The results of the study are needed to apply for an upgrade in the County bond rating.

CLA Receives $1000 Grant for Outdoor Event

The Center of Lebanon Association is hosting an outdoor event with bands and a beer tasting tent.  They are marketing the event to out-of-county visitors, and asked for $3000 to purchase advertising, but commissioners approved a $1000 donation from TPA funds.  The CLA carries a separate insurance rider for this event. 

Commissioners then went into Executive Session to discuss Personnel issues.


A work session on relocating the Electrical Service at the prison took place.  Keystone Purchasing Network Stephen offers prebid services.   Dennis Firestone, Lebanon County Purchasing agent, introduced Laslo, P.E.—I.B. Abel, Inc., who won the bid for these services in this region of Pennsylvania.


Rich Sahonic inquired about online access to assessment records.

Michael McAuliffe Miller was approved as the partial arbitrator in interest arbitration with the Court-appointed Professional Union for negotiation matters.

Troy Williams presented Lebanon County Christian Ministries' State Food Program contract for approval.

Springwood says the Ag Center Storm Basin is Overbuilt

Tom Richey, Springwood Development, requested a temporary easement in addition to the land that was purchased from the County & Expo for $1, and turned over to PennDOT. At 9:00 minutes on the video, Springwood says that only 1 cubic foot/second for a 25-year storm will be created in runoff from the new impervious surface.  Even though the runoff will drain into the county's basin, which was created in 2003 when the AG Center and their parking lot were increased in size, Springwood says that one, 5-gallon bucket of water will not be noticed in the basin.  At 11:25 Springwood says there is little standing water in the basin.  At 11:45, Discharge is on the northwest corner under Rocherty Road onto Springwood's property.  Commissioner Litz asked for more time to study the plan, and Springwood agreed it would be acceptable, but disappointing.  Commissioner Ames moved to grant the right of way.  The motion passed 2 to 1 with Commissioner Phillips voting with Ames. 

To their $6.9 million budget, Jim Holtry, Director of Children and Youth, requested approval of a budget amendment increasing net County share by $952,882 due to over-expenditures as a result of increased placements and longer stays for Juvenile Probation at a cost of $250 each per day, bringing the budget to $7.9 million.  A Day Treatment Center in Lebanon County at the former Youth for Christ building will help to reduce costs for the coming year from the $250 down to $80 per day.  18-20 youth will perform hands-on projects like gardening and wood-working to see the results of their labor.  Family counseling will also take place.  In addition, County share will be reduced from 60/40 to 80/20.

Dan Seaman, Assessment Chief, presented a disabled veteran exemption for approval.

Carol Davies received approval for $3977 in Area Agency on Aging contract amendments, and $22,844 for three new contracts.

A resolution passed recognizing Childhood Cancer Awareness month.

An easement was granted to PennDOT for a payment of $1,675 to use County property on the NE corner of Sheridan Ave and Route 934 in Annville for up to one year to facilitate bridge replacement.  The property adjoins Lebanon Valley College.  Commissioners will consider a land transfer to LVC at the conclusion of the renovations. 

The Board met in Executive Session to discuss litigation, which is allowed per the Sunshine Act. 

Commissioners sat as the Board of Assessment Revisions to hear 13 appeals.


Commissioners met as the Board of Cedar Haven.   Deb Light and Mindy Peiffer presented personnel requests.

Census stood at 294—74 males and 220 females.


CHR sent their deposit.  Due-diligence is over.  A contract should be done on Friday.  Roof repairs will be completed.  While dental will be provided and an employee’s medical insurance covered, employees will be required to pay a monthly stipend of $831 for a spouse; $537 for a child; $800.42 for multiple children; and/or $1089.92 for a family plan.


A CAP Emergency Shelter grant amendment was reduced from $50,000 to $40,000, and approved with DCED. 


MATP contracts were approved with Boyo Transportation and Carman Pavone.


A $539,073 Renaissance Crossroads PACD Drug Treatment budget was approved.


During Executive Session, commissioners were briefed on the court settlement and pending resignation of Prothonotary Lisa Arnold.

Commissioners met with Roman Shahay from Renova Center.

Commissioners sat as the Prison Board

Population stood at 526—442 males, 84 females.


274 unsentenced


39 on work release


16 State-sentenced


250 parole/probation violators


12 District Judge sentenced


22 Court of Common Pleas sentenced

At their 2PM work session, commissioners met with Hank Stiehl, Mark Zettlemoyer, Bob Mettley, Sallie Neuin, Brian Bradley, Mike Battistelli, and Jay Wenger concerning the sale of Cedar Haven.

Community Videos: 

Dirty Girl Mud Run for Breast Cancer

Ruth Dietz honored upon Retirement by Athena Women 2014

Judge Tylwalk on his Duties Domestics Probation DJs Constables Reporting Centers

NL Rotary Interview with President Judge John Tylwalk

Sheriff Bruce Klingler 8 19 2014

Rob Kale Lebanon County Veterans Director on Vet Benefits

Rotary Golf Tournament at Lebanon Valley Golf Course 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge ALS Lou Gehrigs Disease


John Shott, CJAB Grant Coordinator, presented a $6000 Mental Health First Aid Training Grant for approval.

Dixon Golden Eagle

Frank Dixon and Mr. Scott were on hand to formalize a lending agreement for display of a hand-carved Golden Eagle for the lobby of the courthouse.

Trienniel Plan

John Wilson, Mike McGrady, and Brian Burke presented a new Triennial Plan for approval; a $98,748 EMPB & $15,061 RERF Grant for approval; and a Haz-Mat year-end chemical report.  In 2013, $32,144.18 and in 2014 $43,000 in chemical fees were collected.

Carol Davies presented a $13,000 Senior Center Grant Agreement for repair work of the front steps and retrofitting LED lighting in the auditorium of the Maple street Senior Center.

Sally Barry presented an $818,765 Adult Unit Grant-in-Aid Contract for 80% reimbursement of probation staff.  However, only a portion of the grant traditionally gets funded.

Carl Stumpf, Assessment Office, presented a Disabled Veterans Exemption for Wayne Manarty in South Lebanon Township. 

Susan Eberly and Michelle presented a Next Generation Farm Loan application for both Darryl and Janice Sensenig on their 50.8 acre Heidelburg farm, and for Ben and Tonya Moyer for their 55 acre Jonestown farm.  Each farmer qualifies for a $500,000 loan. 

Commissioners passed a proclamation honoring Larry Bowman upon his retirement for his service to the community as the president of the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Fixed Liquid Fuels were awarded to Cleona $2080; Myerstown $3062; the City of Lebanon $25,477; South Annville $2850; and North Londonderry $8068.

Commissioners appointed Troy A Massey as a student representative to the Drug and Alcohol Board.  Troy attends HACC, and is a veteran studying social services

A $599,381 contract between the County--Community Action Partnership—and Philhaven was approved for Crisis Intervention.

At a cost ranging from $19-$26 per shared ride, contracts were renewed with Lebanon Transit for para-transit service at 15%.  Further, Medical Assistance Transportation contracts ranging from $30-$75 per trip were approved for individuals.  $12 Pharmacy trips were approved.

Community YouTubes:

GLRA More than a Landfill

Lebanon County Coffee Supports Fountain of Life Ministry

Judge Tylwalk on his Duties Domestics Probation DJs Constables Reporting Centers

NL Rotary Interview with President Judge John Tylwalk


Commissioner Litz voted not to approve the minutes, which reflected a sale of land for $1 to accommodate a right turn lane on Cornwall Road.  Her recollection of the vote was to grant a right-of-way.  She also has concerns about impact to a storm water basin. 

Treasurer Neuin requested that a new account with Santander be approved.

Changes in Department Heads were voted upon:  Des Nguyen will be leaving the County.  Michelle Edris was promoted to HR Director.  Bob Sentz is taking over the helm of the Planning Department. 

Commissioners voted to approve a Collective Bargaining Agreement with AFSCME for the prison.  Highlights include a 4-year agreement; wage increases averaging at or below 3% for each of the years of the Agreement; an end to pretax contribution of health insurance premiums, and alternatively, increases in the annual health insurance deductibles and changes to prescription co-pays.

Farmland Preservation Board, John Harrell

On behalf of the Farmland Preservation Board, John Harrell presented a certificate to the Commissioners.  County funding is at $42,500. 

Lori Oliver received a HAVA, Help America Vote Act, certification of County Maintenance of Effort guaranteeing that $181,680 in federal funds were spent to carryout elections.

Inwood Bridge Extension to 2015

Wilson Consulting requested an additional 18 months to complete work on the Inwood Bridge.  For historical purposes, they are being required to measure and record distances between each bolt.

Controller Mettley on buy back leave of absences

Controller Bob Mettley reviewed a request to buy-back leave of absence time.  He confirmed that neither the IRS or County policy require this action, and recommended that no action be taken.

Firemen presented the County of Lebanon a plaque for their financial support

Jamie Wolgemuth presented a firefighter plaque received by commissioners.

State Budget Discussion and Where will the $25 M from Cedar Haven be spent

NOTICE:  The commissioners meeting for July 31 is cancelled.  In its place, commissioners will tour the Lebanon Area Fair with the Fair Board at 9:30am. 

LEPC meeting:  Bryan Smith Overview of First Aid and Safety Patrol

July 17, 2014

Cedar Haven census 300—76 males, and 224 females

Fixed Liquid Fuels allocation were approved:  North Annville $2381 and Annville $4767.

Commissioners approved $1000 from the Hotel funds toward the Chris Kindle Market at Coleman Park. 

For the CDBG and Home grants, Commissioners approved a HUD form appointing Dan Lyons at the Redevelopment Authority to transfer electronic funds on the county’s behalf.

In the interest of public safety, Commissioners approved a Highway Occupancy Permit granting PennDOT delegate authority for traffic planning and design of the intersection at Rocherty and Cornwall Roads. 

Commissioner Litz moved to correct a motion from the last meeting concerning the sale of land along Cornwall Road.  The motion died for lack of a second. 

Commissioners met in executive session concerning union negotiations. 

Renova Center - Roman Shay review: 23 residents reside there, and 2 vacancies occur for Lebanon Residents in need of care.

Prison Board census:  554—459 males and 95 females.  Warden Karnes reconvened a subcommittee on Prison Population Reduction.  Also, Karnes addressed overtime at the prison due to 9 fulltime vacancies.  Finally eight high profile medical cases were reviewed. 

July 3, 2014

150 Petition Signatures to Williams Pipeline

Along with 150 petition signatures,  Lebanon Pipeline Awareness representatives Ann Pinca and Mike Schroeder presented a request for a public meeting with Williams Atlantic Sunrise hosted by Lebanon County Commissioners.  Commissioners had individually requested such a meeting, but to speak with one voice, honored the request of Pipeline Awareness members.  A letter is being sent to Williams.

Jim Holtry, Children and Youth, presented a Human Services Plan for approval. 

Cornwall Road Lane Widening

The corner of Cornwall and Rocherty Roads will see a 15’ x 300’ lane widening.  Because the County of Lebanon is partners with the EXPO at the Ag Center, commissioners reviewed the proposal.  Should the storm water basin need revisions, Springwood Development would bear those costs.

Lebanon Valley Tourist Promotion Agency update 7 3 2014

August 18, 2014 at 6PM in the Municipal Building auditorium there will be a meeting for all interested parties in Lebanon County tourism--hoteliers, B&Bs, restaurant owners, museums, recreation, history buffs...and members of the public at large.  Mary Foltz is chairing the Lebanon Valley Tourist Promotion Agency transition team.  Joining her today were Chris Barrett and Kathy Snavely.  Not pictured are Jim Scott and Jessica Penchard.  They are researching bylaws, number of Board seats, and more.  Eventually the Board will increase to between 9 and 15 members.  Under the guidance of Jessica Penchard, 40,000 guides were recently printed and distributed in Lebanon County an beyond.

Pension Payback Request

The Retirement Board discussed a new request.  With the sale of Cedar Haven, a request to purchase back time for unpaid leave has surfaced concerning the pension.  This is different from military service or buying back time actually worked during a previous stint with the County of Lebanon.  Commissioners referred the request to our solicitor for review.

MH/ID/EI was able to restore $40,000 to amend their budget, which will reinstate a $40,000 Halcyon Center contract. 

Community Youtubes:

Boat Launch Completed by Eagle Scout Austin Barry

June 19, 2014

Evelyn Shaak Retires from the County of Lebanon Assessment Office

Evelyn Shaak worked in the Assessment Office for many years, and as her husband and coworkers looked on, from the commissioners received a proclamation in appreciation for her service, loyalty and dedication.

Carol Davies, Area Agency on Aging, presented 35 contracts for services valued at $1,070,482 and a $3,366,823 budget for approval.

Jim Holtry, Children and Youth, presented 34 Personal Provider Contracts for approval.  While most of the contracts have a zero increase, the few that did increase are covered within the Children and Youth budget.  Invoices presented totaled $669,419.27 for Act 148, Medicaid, and Title IV-E Maintenance and Adoption Assistance. 

Juvenile Day Treatment Center to open 7 7 2014 in Lebanon County

With a projected opening of July 7, 2014, in cooperation with the Youth Advocate Program, Probation Chief Sally Barry and Jim Holtry made a proposal for a Juvenile Day Treatment Center--Community Based Program Option--at the former Youth for Christ building on Sandhill Road in Lebanon County.   Using evidence based curriculum and therapies focusing on education and life skills involved in the juvenile justice system, this is an alternative to placement and provides an opportunity for early release.  There’s a family involvement piece.  A garden, chickens, and wood working shop will provide juveniles with responsibility while learning how to care for living things.  18-20 males will be admitted to the program at a time.  Judge Charles Jones was also on hand to lend his support for the program.  At a cost of $80 per day per juvenile, one placement will save approximately $120 per day, which is 60% reimbursement for placement compared to 80% in a Day Treatment Center.

John Hewlett, Susquehanna Group Advisors, was on hand to review the process of bids for Cedar Haven and introduce Complete HealthCare Resources from Dresher PA.  CHR, the same people who did the study for Lebanon County and showed that we can save a minimum of $4.5 million annually, bid $25.5 million.   Competition was tough.  At $27 million, the highest bidder was Comprehensive Healthcare out of New York; and another bid of $25 million came in from Specialty Care LLC, New York.

Effort to Keep Cedar Haven in County Ownership verses Sell

At one point, we were told that CHR could have saved even more than the $4.5 million managing the facility for us.  On top of CHR making Cedar Haven self-supporting as our manager, Litz shared a plan to pay off the existing pension debt within eight years--no tax increase--which would bring our pension into an acceptable range as stated by Standard and Poors.  Therefore, our bond rating would have righted itself.  Whether it was in past years or in the future, we owe that pension obligation, and by keeping the $1.5M allocation to CH in our budget but designate the payment to pay down the pension obligation, we'd be in good financial shape.  Also, so that the pension obligation doesn't grow, our other departments must include their portion of the pension obligation within their budgets.  Currently, we're not asking for reimbursement to conduct mandated programs.  Without this step, the pension underfunding won't go away.  It is a simple but workable plan, which fell on deaf ears.  At CCAP, the State commissioners association, one of our bond counselors said the plan was good, and he was taking the idea back to his own county. 

Cedar Haven Sold to CHR

Bob Phillips Comments on Selling Cedar Haven

In the end, sighting the ability of CHR to save $4.5 million per the commissioned study if they manage the facility for Lebanon County and their bid of $25.5 million to purchase the property, Commissioner Litz requested that the sale of Cedar Haven be taken off of the table.  However, in a 2 to 1 vote, with Commissioner Litz voting nay, the sale of Cedar Haven to CHR moved forward

John Shott, with Probation, presented an Intermediate Punishment (Crossroads) Grant and a Community Service (Juvenile) Grant Modification for approval.  The revised state budget is $539,073 with a county match of $240,732 for a total budget of $779,805.  A PA Counseling line item reduced personnel from $127,143 to $75,172.  The State reduced the Crossroads grant by $100,000. Eighty percent of funding for treatment is contained within the budget.    Levels 3 and 4 offenders are supervised. 

John Wilson and Brian Burke, EMA, received approval for a $9,524.78 Hazardous Material response Fund grant to purchase protective gear for first responders.

Central Booking Survey Results

Results of a Central Booking survey revealed that 14 municipalities would participate in partial funding of a third shift while five municipalities chose not to participate in the program, and six ( Cornwall, Mt Gretna and Richland Boroughs and Heidelberg and North Cornwall Townships as well as the City of Lebanon) did not respond to the survey. The State assigns each municipality the responsibility for their own police coverage.  Ten years ago, on the promise that the program would be fully funded, a previous board of commissioners agreed to a central booking program as a service to the municipalities to aid in their law enforcement efforts.  With the County continuing to fund $60,000 of a $140,000 loss, in the hope that all municipalities would see value in the service, commissioners extended coverage of an additional $80,000 loss through the end of 2014 so that municipalities would be able to work the cost into their budgets for the number of arrests within their borders.   Over ten years, $4 million should have been collected, but we are repeatedly 30% short due to circumstances beyond our control, which is why we must figure out how to fund the annual $140,000 shortfall.  While a maximum $300 booking fee is assessed, the County is 17th on a State list to get paid, which leaves us short to fund expenses. 

Next, commissioners met with members of the Metropolitan Planning Organization to review the Long Range Plan for roads and bridge repairs in Lebanon County.

At 1:30 the commissioners convened as the Board of Assessment and Revisions to hear nine appeals.

June 18, 2014

Meeting with Administrator Marsha Krause, Commissioners sat as the Board of Cedar Haven.  Census stood at 305, 226 female and 79 male residents.  The Private Pay rate was increased from $275 to $285 per day.  Purchased with funds from the Fall frolic, a new gazebo is being delivered for the Rail Trail. 

Commissioners also met with Roman Shahay from Renova Center.

Commissioners along with Controller Mettley, District Attorney Arnold, and Sheriff Klingler sat as the Prison Board to hear reports from Warden Karnes and his deputies.  Census stood at 529 comprised of 441 males and 88 females. 


299 Unsentenced inmates


17 State sentenced inmates


252 Probation/Parole violators 


15 District Judge sentenced


17 sentenced by the Court of Common Pleas

Community YouTubes

Don Bell NLHS Superintendent

Joel Naroff Economist on the Workforce and Gas Pipelines 2014

Gary Nalbandian Metro Bank 2014

Spectra Pipeline Swatara and Ono Rds 6 11 2014

On Pinterest:  Deck and Patio Dining

June 5, 2014

At the conclusion of today's meeting, commissioners had an executive session/field trip to visit the first of three nursing homes owned by potential buyers of Cedar Haven.

Commissioners voted to implement a contract with Palmeto to post tax claims at a cost of around $20 per posting, which is charged to the property owner.  Pictures document the posting with a date and time, which reduces challenges.  There are approximately 50 postings per year.  Utilizing the Palmeto system will also "free up" Sheriff's Deputies for other duties. 

Union Invitation Voted Down  Des Nguyen reviewed a vote, representing approximately 70 eligible employees in 13 departments, to turn down an offer of union representation by a vote of 45 to 19.  The union has 5 days to contest the results.   

Commissioner Litz instructed her comments in the official minutes to be corrected by inclusion of the following in today’s minutes:

On Page 395, in the third paragraph from the bottom of the page, due to potential contracts/conflicts of interest between the Conservation District and the appointee’s employer, Commissioner Litz voted “Nay.:

Likewise, on Page 395, in the second paragraph from the bottom of the page, due to potential contracts/conflicts of interest between the South Central Workforce Investment Board and the appointee’s employer, Commissioner Litz voted “Nay.”

Dennis Good, fiscal; Kevin Schrum, Director; Jim Donnya, Drug & Alcohol; and Melissa Herr, presented various contracts and budgets for approval.  Mental Health presented three of those contract agreements between the County and PA to run Health Choices; between the County and Performance Care CBHMP for managed care; and between the County and CA Behavioral Health Collaborative.  The Drug and Alcohol budget was submitted for amendment with no funding being requested from the County of Lebanon.

Commodity Rail Flow Study to ID Hazardous Materials John Wilson, Director of EMA, presented a $13,168 Commodity Flow contract for approval.  MCM Consulting will perform the study to track hazardous waste traveling by rail through Lebanon County, and present results at a future meeting.  FEMA provided a $10,600 grant, and the County is responsible for the 25% match. 

James Holtry, Children and Youth Director, presented Juvenile Probation Detention Contracts for approval. 

Liquid Fuels were approved for municipalities:


Palmyra $7320


West Lebanon $781


Jonestown $1,905


Heidelberg $4,069


Millcreek $3892


Richland $1,519


Cornwall $4,112


North Lebanon  $11,429


South Lebanon $9,463


Bethel $5,007


South Londonderry $7,000


Swatara $4,555

Appointments to the Area Agency on Aging advisory board:  Abby Beidler, Social Worker, GSH; Bryan Breidigan, retired/consumer; Jacqueline Kruper, retired/ consumer; Nancy Miller, retired/consumer; Faye Fox, retired/consumer re-appointed; and Commissioner Phillips re-appointed to another 3-year term. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Kathy Wall and Carol Davies updated commissioners on the Age Wave initiative. 


Check out Deck Dining:

May 15, 2014

Treasurer Neuin reported that the Tax and Revenue Anticipation Note was paid off. 

Commissioner Litz moved to correct the explanation to her nay vote on appointments found on page 395 of the May 1 meeting minutes.  Upon rereading the minutes, she observed that her comments were recorded opposite of her statement.  Commissioner Ames second the motion.  Litz voted Aye.  Ames Abstained.  Phillips voted Nay, stating he wanted a solicitor’s opinion on correcting the official record.

Mike Battistelli, Stifel Nicolaus, presented an update on the employee pension fund with a balance of $110,777,689.  A $4,400,000 adjustment was made to bring the investments into compliance with our policy.  $2,200,000 was transferred to CS McKee Fixed Income, and $2,200,000 was moved to Uniplan REIT Investments.  Brad Baker, Sovereign Consulting, discussed his firm’s investments on behalf of the County.

Emergency Medical Services Week 2014

Ralph Backenstoes, Brian Smith, John Wilson, Jim Rittle, Alexander, and others were on hand for an Emergency Medical Services week proclamation.  EMS will be at the Lebanon Valley Mall on Friday, and at Good Samaritan Hospital on Tuesday.  Alexander also presented First Aid and Safety Patrol with the American Heart Association’s Mission:  Lifeline EMS Recognition Award. 

Meet Tyler Shyda, Lebanon County's 2014 Miracle Child

Rik and Andrew Rhoade received a proclamation for Children’s Miracle Network.  Meet Tyler Shyda, Lebanon's 2014 Miracle Child.

Carol Davies presented $47,071 in contract amendments for the Area Agency on Aging.

Danielle Hogg presented a proposal for an update to the County website.  Commissioners gave Danielle a go-ahead.  Since they requested the changes to post information that prompted the upgrade, Probation will be completed first.  Integration of the remaining departments will be rolled out over a period of time.

A previous appointment of Ian Ehrgood as council at Domestic Relations was withdrawn since he is running for State Committee.  John Gragson, was then appointed to the position.

Stephanie Harmon was reappointed to the Resource Conservation and Development Council.

For Community Action Partnership, Cheryl Yates was appointed as a driver for the Medical Assistance Transportation Program.

Commissioners approved a resolution certifying local match of $23,114.50 per quarter for Lebanon Transit services. 

Commissioners approved a proclamation on the 100th Anniversary of Rotary District 7390. 

TPA Transition Team Appointed

A Tourist Promotion Agency transition team was appointed.  Mary Foltz will chair the team.  Other members include Chris Barrett, Jessica Penchard, Jim Scott, and Kathy Snavely. 

A discussion took place concerning appointment of a team to review a sample pipeline ordinance as an addendum to the Comprehensive Plan.  Administrator Wolgemuth will set up a workshop.

At 1:30PM, Commissioners heard Assessment Appeals.

Community YouTubes:

Fallen Police Memorial Service 2014

Lebanon Idol 2014 Finalists

A Rustic Sojourn on the Swatara Creek 2014

May 1, 2014

Jeff Steckbeck supports pipelines and suggests payment

Jeff Steckbeck made a presentation in favor of pipelines, condemning an ordinance that Commissioner Litz circulated stating that it would take some of his land on which he wants to build two homes, and volunteered to serve on a committee to craft a pipeline ordinance for Lebanon County.  Del Voigt, Penn State Extension Agronomist also volunteered to serve on a pipeline ordinance committee.  Commissioners Ames and Phillips stated that they did not discuss or vote upon a pipeline ordinance. 

Realizing that the County did not consider Marcellus pipelines when we created our comprehensive plan, which contains model ordinances, Commissioner Litz forwarded an ordinance researched by Kris Troup to municipalities for their tool box and consideration to discard, amend, or adopt as they see fit.  The memo was from Commissioner Litz only.

George Horn and Gordon Weis Request a Forensic Audit of the TPA

Both George Horn and Gordon Weis inquired about a forensic audit of the Expo in relation to Tourist Promotion dollars.

Treasurer Neuin said that the County TRAN should be able to be paid off with collected revenue.

Megan Tanner Requests Child Advocacy Center Grant

Megan Ryland Tanner presented a $10,000 grant for approval to purchase a camera that picks up soft voices for the new Child Advocacy Center.

Patty Donley and Kelly Smith representing Good Samaritan Health Systems, Heidi McMullan representing Phil Haven, and Peg Wilson representing the VA Medical Center, received certificates for both National Hospital and National Nurses Week.

Daniel Seaman presented two disabled veterans for real estate tax exemption.

Leon Ressler and Carol Checkett received a proclamation for the 100th anniversary of the Smith Lever Act of 1914, which created cooperative extensions.

Judge Kline and Jamie Wolgemuth met as the Election Board to approve a sample ballot. 

Alicia LaFrance was appointed to the Renova Center Advisory Board.

Commissioners signed a 5-year lease with Edward Jones for the Lebanon Valley Agricultural Center bringing occupancy to 100%.  The 1,050 square foot space lets for $1,487.50 monthly, and includes utilities.

Oh Say Can You See by the Lebanon High School Chamber Singers

Amazing Grace Lebanon High School Chamber Singers

2014 Law Day

17 People from 8 Countries Take Their Oath of Citizenship

2PM:  Commissioners attended Law Day and Naturalization Ceremonies.  17 new citizens were sworn in, and 5 new attorneys were admitted to the Bar.

April 16, 2014

Cedar Haven:  96% occupancy or 308 residents, 226 female and 82 male.

A public meeting on the sale of Cedar Haven was held in the Courthouse auditorium at 6:30PM on April 21, 2014.  Five site tours were scheduled for potential buyers.

Ed Schlegel sought permission to purchase $4000 heating/AC replacement units.

A PUC complaint was filed concerning a natural gas bill that was three times higher than normal.

Renova Center:  2 beds are open

At a cost of $1000 per month, a medical contract was approved with Dr. Haggard, Fredericksburg Community Health Center.

A new advisory committee member is needed.

Commissioners were invited to apply for a $25,000 grant from PA DCED to form a Defense Group to advocate for Fort Indiantown Gap.


Commissioner Ames is working with Larry Bowman and Randy Ebersole on an Economic Summit.

Ian Ehrgood was appointed as a staff attorney for Domestic Relations.

A $245,488.75 Liquid Fuels Report was approved for 2013.  The 2014 balance is $132,040.08.

Sally Neuin requested an increase in petty cash. 

Prison:  Census 554, 459 male and 95 female.


308 unsentenced inmates


42 on work release


19 State sentenced


Parole/Probation Violators 233


DJ Sentenced 14


Common Pleas sentenced 21

April 17, 2014

Michael Schroeder and Ann Pinca asked commissioners to oppose the Williams pipeline through Lebanon County.  Commissioner Litz stated that Planning was working on an ordinance for Lebanon County.

Treasurer Sallie Neuin reported that $2 Million of $3.5 borrowed for a Tax Revenue Anticipation Note, TRAN, will be repaid.

Planning Director Kris Troup submitted his resignation. 

Commissioners promoted Marcia Krause from Assistant Administrator to Acting Administrator effective 4.24.2014.  On September 6, 2014, Marcia will move to the position of Administrator. 

Ed Schlegel Retires from Cedar Haven

Ed Schlegel was presented with a proclamation for his years of service at Cedar Haven.

Sheriff Bruce Klingler presented a request to award passes around courthouse security to local attorneys.  He will make the front and rear entrances available with an electronic pass containing the picture of the attorney from 7:30AM-5PM.  He felt this was a personal professional courtesy to licensed attorneys.  The motion passed on a 2 to 1 vote with Commissioner Litz voting nay.

TPA Decertification

Commissioners discussed the tourism presentations and recommendations heard over the last several weeks, and decided to decertify the TPA, Tourist Promotion Agency.  Over the next three months, a task force will convene to make recommendations. It will take letters of support from municipalities representing 50% of the population to accept a new TPA.  Contact Administrator Wolgemuth with your qualifications if interested in serving.

Commissioners signed a lease with the Conservation District for them to continue occupying their current space.  Previously, their lease was through the USDA.

Sue Bowman resigned her seat on the Conservation District Board, and on a 2 to 1 vote, John Popf was appointed to fill the vacancy.  Commissioner Litz voted nay due to a possible conflict of interest if the firm where he worked relied upon services from the CD.

Likewise, on a 2 to 1 vote, Lauren Holubec and Joed Meck were appointed to the Workforce Investment Board.  Their places of employment may also have contracts with the WIB, which could be perceived as a conflict of interest.

A proclamation was issued to the Swatara Watershed Association on the 26th anniversary of their effort to keep our water clean by picking up litter on their overnight sojourn down the Creek.  Even though there is no financial involvement with the proclamation, as an officer of SWA, Commissioner Litz abstained.

The Community concert also received a proclamation on their 80th anniversary.

The Board of Elections, consisting of Jamie Wolgemuth and Judge Kline, convened to approve absentee ballots.  Commissioners, who usually serve on the Election Board, are candidates for county committee, a volunteer position with their respective Parties.  Therefore, they are not permitted to serve on the Election Board this year.

At 11AM, the Metropolitan Planning Organization was called to order.  Tom Kotay reported that full funding is in place for the Ironwood Bridge.  On another note, Pat Krebs was concerned that State Parks and businesses are spending large sums of money on bike racks that are not appropriate for bicycles.  Pat Krebs was also dismayed over narrower shoulders on Route 419, the Scenic Byway, which she said do not follow federal guidelines, and makes it more difficult for bike riders.  

At 1:30PM, commissioners convened to hear six Assessment Appeals. 


Assistant Administrator Kathy Kirby presented items for commissioner approval. 

Treasurer Sallie Neuin presented Bond and loan payments for approval:

1.      2009 General Obligation Bond in the amount of $122,048.76 payable to Fulton Bank;

2.      2010 GOB in the amount of $145,247.50 payable to Fulton Bank;

3.      2011 GOB in the amount of $219,068.75 payable to Fulton Bank;

4.      2006 Loan in the amount of $41,504.99 payable to Wells Fargo; and

5.      2008 Loan in the amount of $107,725.60 payable to Wells Fargo.

Live the Green Dot

Jenny Murphy-Shiflett and Mike Ritter were on hand to receive a proclamation for an Assault Awareness & Live the Green Dot proclamation.

John Shott and Sally Barry received approval to submit a $639,849 Renaissance Crossroads grant for a 34-month treatment program to rehabilitate Drug and Alcohol offenders who committed a criminal offense.  Since 2001, the program has operated at the VA Medical Center in Lebanon County.

Nicole Eisenhard presented an $18,062 Victims of Criminal Offenders (VOJO) grant for approval.

David Twaddell, Esquire, Rhoads-Sinon LLP along with Curt Evans, presented a request for a resolution to accommodate financing for Paradise Township Sewer Authority-Luthercare.  The $350,000 Lebanon County portion of the tax-exempt bond will help to renovate 40 S King, Annville.  The total multi-county bond issue of $3.2M will not impact Lebanon County’s credit rating. 

James Holtry presented $1,417,333.30 in second quarter invoices for Children and Youth.

Daniel Seaman requested and received two real estate tax exemptions for 100% disabled veterans.

Carol Davies and Dean Mease reviewed $150,000 in renovations to enclose 966 square’ at the Myerstown Senior Center, and $13,000 in renovations for the Maple Street Senior Center.  For every $5000 invested, the host will guarantee a one-year lease extension.  Otherwise, there is a claw-back whereby the host would repay the Area Agency on Aging.

Tom Kotay outlined $1.365M in Phase 7 improvements to the LV Rail Trail running from 25th Street to Long Lane, a total of 1.7 miles.  On behalf of the County, the MPO will contribute $482,306; PennDot $617,694; LVRT $5,000; and DCNR $260,000.

Charles Sholly Receives Telecommunicator of the Year Posthumously

Attending a special presentation on behalf of Lebanon County’s 27 Telecommunicators were:  John Wilson, Director; Brian Burke, Deputy Director; Eric Fahler, 9-1-1 Supervisor; Jeremy Leffler, Alternate Shift Leader; Breanna Spangler, Alternate Shift Leader; Jeremy Wenrich, Telecommunicator; Scott Krater, APCO President (PA Chapter); Karissa Shatzer, ABC-27 News Reporter; Lori Sholly, Widow of Posthumous honoree Charles Sholly; Emily Ferguson, Mother of Bethany (911 childbirth); Bonnie Bleistine,  Oldest sister of Charles Sholly; Angie and Cindy (unknown last names), Sisters of Charles Sholly; Thad Sholly, Son of Charles Sholly; Trina Sholly, Daughter-in-law of Charles Sholly; and Cooper Sholly, Grandson of Charles Sholly.

911 Supervisor Eric Fahler introduced Lori Sholly, Telecommunicator Charles Sholly’s widow, who received an award posthumously for her husband who talked Mr. Ferguson through his wife Emily’s delivery of Bethany.  Scott Krater presented the award. 

Kathy also presented the following items for approval:

  1. A $14,508 Mental Health First Aid project with PCCD.

  2. A $1000 and a $9000 Juvenile Probation Block Grant application for PCCD for restorative justice service projects. 

  3. A Community Action Partnership request for two Medical Assistance Transportation Drivers.

  4. A Community Action Partnership request to appoint Beth Ann Bares to the CAP Board as well as Kristina Slick, Kevin Schrum, and Des Miller.  Further, Bryan Hoffman, Dennis Firestone, Wiley Parker, and Ben Sutcliff were reappointed to the Board.

  5. A request to appoint the Lebanon County Historical Society as Lebanon County’s official historical society

  6. Gordon Weiss, WLBR, and John Latimer, Lebanon Daily News, inquired about the commissioner’s intentions concerning yesterday’s presentations on the Tourist Promotion Agency.  Any action will be taken at the next meeting of the commissioners on April 17, 2014.

  7. The duo also inquired about public meetings for Cedar Haven.  Six meetings were already held for employees.  Next, it is our understanding that a meeting will be held with residents and families.  After that, meetings will be scheduled and announced for the public.


Bill Owens Economic Study of the LV Expo

Commissioners heard two tourism studies, one from Bill Owens Economics who explained that the Expo is responsible for about 20% of the overnight stays in Lebanon County.  Further, Owens stated that the amount of money spent recruiting venues for the Expo is multiplied when contracted vendors advertise the location of their events as Lebanon PA.  Owens’ report also highlighted the many local and regional uses of the facility, including the 4H Fair, which is a big draw for day trips.  We are indeed fortunate to have a well-run and maintained facility like the LV Expo in our community. 

Chris Barret Target Media Tourism Study

According to Target Media, some of the tourism dollars are used to entice vendors to bring their events to Lebanon County.  The Expo also hosts a web site and produces a tourism booklet.  Even though in 2013 Lebanon County produced and distributed a free Bicentennial map, Target suggests the booklet should contain an orientation map for visitors to find local attractions.  In the past, a map was included in the booklet, but the recent publication lacks such a map.

Community Youtubes:

Eagle Scout candidate Austin Barry Boat Launch Project

Understanding Pension Challenges and How to Fund the Plan


Commissioners Phillips and Litz were physically present.  Commissioner Ames participated in the meeting via teleconference.

George Horn Jr. expressed his displeasure with the County selling Cedar Haven.

Sallie Neuin presented the treasurer’s report.  She stated that the TRAN stands at $3.5 million.  Afterwards, Neuin informed commissioners that the State will once again be canvassing the area to enforce dog license laws.  Fines are $300 plus court costs.  Licenses can be purchased at:

  1. The Treasurer’s Office, 400 S 8th St., Lebanon Room 103;

  2. Fox Breeze Kennel, 4090 Shannamantown Rd., Annville;

  3. Speedway Mart, 1 Speedway Dr., Fredericksburg;

  4. Jono Hardware, 10781 Allentown Blvd., Jonestown;

  5. Cobbles Bait Shop, 777 N 8th Ave., Lebanon;

  6. Dutch Country Hardware, 711 E Lincoln Ave., Myerstown;

  7. Humane Society, 150 N Ramona Rd., Myerstown;

  8. Little Paws Dog Shop, 19 E Main St., Palmyra;

  9. Pet HQs, 501 E Main St., Palmyra; and

  10. Richland Shooters, 207 S Park St., Richland. 

Spayed or neutered dog licenses cost $6.45, and $8.45 for other dogs.  Seniors and disabled persons can purchase the respective licenses for $4.45 and $6.45.  Rabies vaccinations and boosters must also be administered to all dogs and non-feral cats three months of age and older. 

Public Defender Brian Deidrich presented a request to purchase updated Lexus Nexus client management software using $4,975 in record improvement funds, which has a balance of $70,825.08.  Sallie Neuin had notified the commissioners and row officers of the request in writing several weeks ago.  Register of Wills Dawn Resanovich expressed her opinion that she thought the committee consisting of Row Officers and the Sheriff should have recommended the expenditure.  Administrator Wolgemuth explained that the law puts the ultimate decision in the hands of the commissioners.  The motion carried.

Desiree Nguyen presented personnel transactions, and an amendment to the Civil Service Compensation Plan to change the pay grades for Clerk Typist 2 from pay grade 4 to 5 and Clerk Typist 3 from pay grade 5 to 6 in Social Service agency positions effective 3.30.14.  Net cost to Children and Youth is $1200 and zero to MH and AAA.  A pay grade 7 was also created for The Clerical Supervisor.

Restructuring in the Controller’s Office was approved moving the full-time Payables Clerk 1 position from 35 hours/week to 14 hours/week effective immediately.

Judge Tylwalk recommended 5 hours/week additional straight time for Alexis Harter and Rosely Marrero through 4.30.14 in Adult Probation. 

Holly Leahy, MH/ID/EI presented an $11,875 consultant contract for an evaluation by Root Causes Analysis to look at ways to economize services.  Funding will come from HealthChoices.

James Holtry presented Juvenile Probation provider Forensic Psychological Evaluation contracts for approval in the amounts of $480 and $600.

Beth Hoch received a proclamation for Victim Witness Rights Week.

Tom Kotay presented LV Rail Trail Phase 6, in pink below, Planning Study Results from the City of Lebanon to West Lebanon and North Lebanon Townships for approval.  The Trail will cross Route 422 at street level next to UHaul then between Keystone Weaving Mills and PennDot.  Phase 7, in green below, will run from Union Canal Tunnel to Long Lane.  There are currently 125,000 trail users.  The Jonestown section will be completed in 2014; Phase 7 in 2015; and Phase 6 in 2016.  Below is also a picture of a proposed spur, in blue, from Willow Street to Coleman Park to Union Canal Tunnel Park. 

Next, on a 2 to 1 vote with Commissioner Litz voting nay, Susquehanna Corp was chosen to handle the sale of Cedar Haven.  SC will be paid 1.75% commission with a maximum of $275,000 on a $15 million sale.  At a cost of $8400, a similar 2 to 1 vote chose Steckbeck Engineering to complete a survey dividing parcels containing Cedar Haven and the prison.  Matthew Hockley had bid $9500.  Martin Barondic pointed out that the fire school is also on the parcel. 

Commissioner Litz asked consideration to have the following items contained in any contract:

  1. Buyer will not appeal assessment for 10 years.

  2. Buyer will not sell Medicaid beds for 10 years.

  3. Buyer and subsequent buyers must be a licensed nursing home facility.

  4. Set aside $1million for care of the indigent.

  5. Pay back Cedar Haven's share of the 2011 Honeywell $3.855M Bond Issue, which included a boiler plant upgrade; Control System upgrades; building envelope improvements; and Kitchen HVAC improvements as well as new water conservation and lighting fixtures.  Currently, Honeywell's guaranteed payback is $6,099,250.

  6. Provide Renova Center free rent for 10 years.

  7. Buyer will relocate Eldercare.

  8. Set aside adequate dollars to cover Unemployment Compensation.

Standard and Poors downgraded the county bond rating from A- to BBB-.  This means that "the county's access to external liquidity has not diminished but that potential borrowings could result in unfavorable interest costs."  The County has paid all bills.  In fact, "debt amortization (is) faster than average with officials planning to retire more than 85% of principal over the next 10 years."  S&P "could" revise the rating faster if Cedar Haven were sold.  Commissioner Litz believes that we should care and plan for our residents at Cedar Haven, not Standard and Poors. 

Administrator Wolgemuth presented a $270,000 Community Action Partnership contract with DCED for a Community Services Block Grant.

Commissioners approved a $1,728.50/month Pitney Bowes mail lease renewal.  The program replaces green cards used to send certified mail at a much higher cost. 

Commissioners also approved a $3399 annual contract with CCAP for SharePoint web hosting.

Beginning at 1:30PM, Commissioners sat as the Board of Assessment Appeals.  During a recess, Commissioner Litz attended three employee information meetings at Cedar Haven. Commissioner Phillips attended the third shift information meetings around 11PM.  Commissioner Ames was out of town.


A Tire Collection will take place on April 17 at the LV Expo.  The $68,541 PA DEP grant will be matched by the County of Lebanon and local municipalities.  Sometimes labeled, “the most dangerous animal in the world,” the mosquito transmits West Nile Virus.  Tires act as a host to the mosquitoes.  People can dispose of 10 tires at no cost as long as their municipality’s funding holds out.  After that, they can pay $2.50 to dispose of tires.  Tractor trailer tires cost $20 each for disposal. 

Under personnel, Controller Bob Mettley requested restructuring of his office.

At the March 6, 2014 meeting, a majority of commissioners voted to pursue the sale of Cedar Haven.  In Executive Session this date, commissioners listened to two listing agents selected by the majority commissioners to sell Cedar Haven--Toby Seifert from Senior Living and Jay Wenger from Susquehanna Group Advisors.  A decision will be made at the next voting session on 3.20.14.


Administrator Ed Schlegel tendered his resignation from Cedar Haven.  Ed said that he loved his job, and was ready to come to work every day. 

Ten employees at Cedar Haven were given lay-offs. 

Destiny Meyer presented a DUI budget for the District Attorney’s office.  To help offset expenses, Destiny located a $200,000 two-year US Justice grant with a 25% county match.

Sheila Wartluft presented a $25,000 Lenni Lenape Park Grant Wrap-up for Northern Lebanon Township.  The Park, featuring disc golf and a new playground, will be dedicated on April 21 at 1PM. 

Lori Oliver recommended to the Board of Elections that Heidelberg Kleinfeltersville Polling Location be changed to St. Pauls in Schaefferstown, which will now host two polls.  Voters in Kleinfeltersville will receive new voter registration cards in the mail notifying them of the change. 

Dan Chirico, CFO, Bell and Evans, and his Attorney Tim Dietrich returned to finalize a LERTA, Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act amendment request for Farmers Pride DBA Bell and Evans. The 50,000 sq' project will cost $50-$70 million.

Child Advocacy Center

James Holtry outlined a request for approval of a Child Advocacy Center CAC.  County share is $10,026.  The Good Samaritan Hospital and Pinnacle will offset other costs at 618 Cornwall Road.  Opening date is scheduled for July 1, 2014. 

American Red Cross

Mary Ann LeVan updated commissioners on Red Cross activity within Lebanon County.

Marcellus Grants

Kris Troup and Julie Cheyney presented Marcellus Shale Fund Grant Awards for approval.  Ag Preservation, $42,500; Envirothon $10,000; Clarence Shock Forest Stewardship $20,000; Heritage Trail, Phase 3 $9,000; Jonestown Boro Boat Launch picnic table $1200; N Lebanon Township baseball field and storm water improvements $20,000; Annville's S Lancaster Street Park $10,000; N Lebanon's Mill Street Park $10,340; LVRT's John Wengert Memorial Park $12,500; N Cornwall Commons Trailhead $20,000; and S Lebanon's Fitness Area Upgrades $3,876.  With $174,000 available and $210,000 in requests, not all projects were funded. 

Commissioners approved a $2,000/month lease for District Judge Garber in Palmyra.  Two six-year renewals tied to the CPI are possible.

Reappointments were made to the Drug and Alcohol Board:  Sally Barry, Stephanie Falk, Sue Jaros, and Karl Liedtka. 

Williams pipeline received approval to survey boundaries of a County property that contains the Rail Trail in South Londonderry Township between the Turnpike and Lawn. 

Selling Cedar Haven

On a 2 to 1 vote, with the intent of listing with a firm to handle the sale of Cedar Haven, Commissioners Ames and Phillips moved forward by choosing two firms (Susquehanna and Cedar Living Investment Brokers) to present at an executive session next Wednesday.  Commissioner Ames stated that timing is important because interest rates are low.  He also stated that the County will receive $42,412 in taxes annually.  South Lebanon will receive $26,034, and CCHS will receive $236,700.

Another 2 to 1 vote took place by Commissioners Ames and Phillips.  Commissioner Ames brought the resolution to the floor asking state officials to create a law concerning the collection of union dues by governments, but Commissioner Litz cautioned that this case is being heard by the US Supreme Court who interprets the law of the land.  A decision is due late June, and commissioners should use caution to avoid unfair labor practices and interfering with the courts who are constitutionally superior to lawmakers.  Otherwise, we may find ourselves spending taxpayer dollars to defend ourselves in those very courts.  Collection of union dues has been law for 35 years.  The case currently in the Supreme Court is Harris v. Quinn (11-681).  A decision is due by late June. 

Community YouTubes  Meet Inductees into the 2014 Lebanon County Commission for Women's Hall of Fame

  1. Cindy Boman Condor inducted into the 2014 Women's Hall of Fame

  2. Ann Marie Brewer inducted into the 2014 Women's Hall of Fame

  3. Carol Christ 2014 Inductee to the Lebanon County Women's Hall of Fame

  4. Evelyn Colon Inducted into the 2014 Women's Hall of Fame

  5. Cindy Bowman Condor inducted into the 2014 Women's Hall of Fame

  6. Judy Williams Henry inducted into the 2014 Women's Hall of Fame

  7. Elaine Ludwig was inducted into the 2014 Women's Hall of Fame

  8. Kristy Ludwig inducted into the 2014 Women's Hall of Fame

  9. Deb Freer inducted into the 2014 Women's Hall of Fame

  10. Diana Reilly 2014 Inductee into the Lebanon County Women's Hall of Fame

  11. Emily Simone inducted into the 2014 Women's Hall of Fame

  12. Deb Tice 2014 Inductee into the Lebanon County Women's Hall of Fame

  13. Bobbie Warshaw inducted into the 2014 Women's Hall of Fame

Tri Valley Contractors ribbon cutting Tri-Valley Contractors

February 19, 2014

Cedar Haven Census 304:  221 female and 83 male for 95% occupancy.

Tara Kern, president; Bob Sourwine, treasurer; Kerri Dengler, 11-7 rep; and representatives Mandy Emerick and Sheila Klein were on hand to sign a one-year union contract with a 2% salary increase.

Renova Center Census 23.

The Department of Health is here for a Plan B visit.

Prison Census 497:  420 male and 77 female.  Of these, 273 are unsentenced, 34 on work release, 25 on Detail, 28 are state sentenced, 2 are out-of-county inmates, and 235 parole/probation violators.  10 are DJ sentenced, and 25 are sentenced by the Court of Common Pleas. 

Workshop:  Ted Wise made a regional Task Force presentation on the future of 911 services.

February 20, 2014

Regular Meeting

The TRAN stands at $3.5M.

Treasurer Neuin received permission for Belinda Spicer, Colette Aurentz and Ranae Lemke to work overtime beginning March 10 for 8-10 weeks to help process incoming tax payments.

Williams Pipeline thru Union E Hanover N and S Annville S Londonderry Townships

Williams pipeline representatives made a presentation for a new 42” line that will run north to south through the County of Lebanon:  Union, East Hanover, North Annville, South Annville, and South Londonderry Township properties will be asked to host the pipeline, which will carry natural gas.  A 600’ wide corridor has been identified, but the final design will be 50’ wide.  After FERC approves the corridor, Williams does have the power of eminent domain, however laws says they must pay property owners for use of their right-of-way.

MCM consulting was approved to complete a $30,000 regional 911 study for Lebanon County to see what kinds of equipment can be shared between counties. 

Destiny Myers, coordinator, tweaked their grant, but the total is the same.  More dollars were moved to training and travel.

Mike Batestelli and Bret Holland presented a retirement fund update with a balance of $108,913,777.  The 4th quarter paid 18.19% interest.  The benchmark was 15.02%.

A LERTA for the Camp property in Lickdale, which was presented by George Christianson at a previous meeting, was put on hold until language is updated to protect the county from an assessment challenge should the property  be sold.

Dave Warner, Barry Heckard, and Joyce Daub were reappointed to the Lebanon Transit Board. 

Should the County Continue Operation of Cedar Haven or Sell

Commissioners discussed their impressions of the CHR report on Cedar Haven, and asked Administrator Wolgemuth to provide a copy of the report to the Union.

MPO-Metropolitan Planning Organization  Potholes:  Call 1.800.FixRoad

During reorganization, Jo Ellen Litz was re-elected as chair, Bob Phillips as Vice-Chair, and Bill Ames as Secretary.

Tom Drnevich, State Transportation Commission member spoke to the Board.

Municipalities shared their challenges with salting and clearing streets from snow.  Storm drains were being opened in anticipation of rain and snow melt.  The City of Lebanon has 1,156 storm drains.

The MPO Unified Planning Work Program will now include a two-year timeframe instead of the usual one year.  This will reduce the need to update the program annually, which provides continuity on projected funding, and is easier for staff to plan priority efforts and adjust for priority project needs.

The next MPO meeting will take place on April 17 .

February 12, 2014:

gu29E4kOsQI  YouTube  Stevens Lee and Griffin recommended that Lebanon County sell Cedar Haven, and offered a comparison of Cedar Haven with other nursing homes:  Berks Heim, Clinton Susque-View, Cumberland Claremont, Lehigh Cedarbrook, Northampton Gracedale, Schuylkill Rest Haven, and York Pleasant Acres.  Berks County has a positive operating income.  Other counties do not.  While forecasting a deficit in five years, CHR, who manages the Berks home, says more adjustments can be made to correct the forecast.  SLG states that “Cedar Haven has room for improvement by reducing operating expenses by $550,000, and by $3.1 million to break even.  Cedar Haven’s occupancy rate is above the average and median relative to other PA county owned nursing hopes (13th out of 30).  Cedar Haven’s Health rating is also above the average and median relative to other PA county homes.  Cedar Haven’s nurse staffing hours per resident per day is higher than the average and median relative to other PA county owned nursing homes (5th highest out of 30).” 

1Inm9vJruTE YouTube  Saving Cedar Haven will not be painless, but CHR provided a blueprint.  Lebanon County Commissioners paid $5,000 for a study by CHR-Complete Healthcare Resources—to look at financial statements, contracts, staffing…,and interview employees to determine if enough money can be saved to “save” Cedar Haven from sale.  Conservatively, CHR proposed $1,628,063 in new revenue, partially by increasing Medicare beds (which pay $380 per day verses Medicaid which pay $201 per day for long term care) by 10 for 100 day stays; $2,351,996 in Health Insurance savings; $1.19 million on expense reductions; and $16,856 savings in purchases for a total of $5,186,915, which covers Cedar Haven pension contributions for the current year and puts $1000 per bed into a capitol fund for building improvements.  Further, using software and new procedures, CHR identified a way to expedite work flow, increase collections, improve cash flow, and improve services.  Income would net $177,000.  While not all filled, 53 positions would be eliminated with some people trained to move into new positions.  A marketing department would be created.  Attorney Sheffy will review the proposal.  No outsourcing is proposed.  Next week, the union will be offered a copy of the proposal to see if there is interest in working with the County to keep Cedar Haven locally owned.  The changes seem drastic, but if Cedar Haven is sold, a buyer will make these changes, and more.  Commissioner Phillips participated in the presentation by phone

With Administrator Wolgemuth, Commissioners reviewed five models predicting an average snowfall of one foot.  Therefore, Commissioners decided to close the courthouse on Friday, February 13, 2014.  Of course the EMA 911 center will be on duty as will the good staff at Cedar Haven and the prison, which all operate 365/24/7.  Thank you all. 

February 7, 2014: 

Paul Schwab spoke to commissioners concerning the sale of Cedar Haven.

Treasurer Sallie Neuin stated that $1.2 million has been used from the TRAN.  Further, she will begin collecting taxes for North Londonderry Township, and received approval to open a checking account dedicated to these funds. 

S Lebanon and N Cornwall and N Lebanon Comprehensive Plan and Fire Co  YouTube

Kurt Culp spoke on behalf of three municipalities to report on a $37,500 grant provided by commissioners.  The countywide comprehensive plan completed a few years ago suggested an outcome to encourage municipalities within a school district to share a local plan so each municipality did not have to provide for each and every type of use--commercial, mining, farming.... South Lebanon, North Lebanon, and North Cornwall recently completed their joint plan while retaining some of their own ordinances.  Dropping out of the plan were West Cornwall, Cornwall, and Mt. Gretna.

Curt also suggested that the Prescott and Avon fire companies might be merging. 

Commissioners exonerated Lickdale Fire Company from taxation on rental income, which was invested into the fire company.  Further, as a disabled veteran, Joann Arnold was exempted from real estate tax.  Finally, John Zabadack, Wheatland Circle, received a slight reduction in his assessment to $513,400.

Coroner Report 2013  YouTube

In his annual report, Dr. Jeffrey Yocum, Lebanon County Coroner, reported on 2013 deaths in Lebanon County.  This year, the 23 suicides in one year Is the highest number on record. The next highest year for suicides was in 2008 when there were 18 suicides.

All total, there were 637 cremations in 2013.

Commissioners acknowledged a question from the press concerning movement on a Cedar Haven union contract, which may be voted upon at the next commissioner’s meeting where a Cedar Haven representative will have the opportunity to attend.

Commissioner Phillips chaired the Board of Elections to approve two new polling places.  The Lebanon School District requested the move from two City elementary schools in the 8th to Hebron UMC, 451 E Walnut St., Lebanon and 2nd Ward to Messiah Lutheran Church, 1800 Oak St. Lebanon PA. 

From the Senior Deputy Attorney General, commissioners and election boards received the following instructions:

Plaintiff Brian Villa raised a constitutional challenge to the circulator residency requirement set forth 909 of the Election Code (25PS 2869).  A similar Election Code residency requirement was struck down as unconstitutional in Morrill v Weaver, No 02-1947 (ED Pa) where minor party candidates attacked the constitutionality of the language of 951(d) 25PS 2911 (d)).  Following a Bench trial, with Attorney General Kathleen Kane, the Court issued an order and opinion striking down this provision as unconstitutional.  224 F.Supp.2d 882 (2002). 

Buckley v American Constitutional Law Foundation, Inc, 525 US 182 (1999), addressed the challenge with, “the strict scrutiny standard applied, requiring the Secretary to establish compelling reasons for the residency requirement.  Four general categories:  a fair and orderly election; ascertaining the true will and promoting the interest of the people; validating the petitioner’s signatures; and securing the affiants’ availability to resolve conflicts concerning signatures.  NONE of these interests were close to compelling.”

The Court issued a permanent injunction barring enforcement of the circulator residency requirement as set forth in 951(d).

Because the Commonwealth Court of PA continued to hold the residency requirement constitutional, noting they were not bound by federal court ruling to the contrary.  The confusion was resolved by In re Stevenson, 615 Pa. 50, 40 A.3d 1212 (2012), where the PA Supreme Court ruled, that “the Morrill injunction was binding upon the Commonwealth. “

Under the circumstances, “blindly fighting the lawsuit would seemingly accomplish nothing but exposing the Secretary to a judicial injunction and payment of attorney’s fees and costs.”

The Office of Attorney General “verbally recommended ceasing enforcement of the circulator residency requirement contained in Section 909, for all offices, and revision of the form of the circulator’s affidavit prescribed by her and the instructions that relate to nomination petitions.”

In conclusion, each County Court DOES NOT make up their own rules.  This was decided by the PA Supreme Court. 

A $1 bid for a property in the repository of unclaimed property was approved for 2202 Palm City Trailer Court, Annville,  $210.32 in taxes were forgiven.

Commissioners made appointments to the Commission for Women—Laurie Funk and Linda Jackson.

Commissioners approved a $150 farm lease for a one-acre parcel in South Annville.

Commissioners also approved a PEMA application for EMA, which will reimburse 50% of salaries and benefits.  Also, Brian Burke was promoted to Deputy Director in EMA. 

John Wilson reported on the recent ice storm.  At the peak of the storm, MetEd reported 4400 Lebanon County homes were without electricity.  At 10:30AM, this morning, 1400 homes remained without power.  The most severely hit municipalities included Mount Gretna, Cornwall, and South Londonderry Township.  PP&L had 79 outages. 

February 6, 2014

New Sheriff Bruce Klingler addressed the use of constables or sheriff deputies to serve warrants in Lebanon County.  Presently, the deputy sheriffs issue warrants for the Court of Common Pleas as well as for District Judge Michael Smith.  The other District Judges use constables.  With a relatively new change in the law, constables are permitted to charge for serving multiple warrants at the same time.  Therefore, the costs for serving of warrants have increased dramatically.  With benefits, the Sheriff thought that it might cost just as much to hire multiple fulltime deputies. Commissioners asked for comparables with other counties using full or part-time deputies to serve all warrants.

Community YouTubes:


Henry Shuey on the History of Mt Nebo aka ONO PA


Over the Rainbow with Laura Shuey

January 15, 2014

Bell and Evans Applies for a LERTA  YouTube

Since 1984, Bell and Evans operated a poultry plant in Fredericksburg—30 years. They would like to expand their plant to meet rising market demand. To make the project work, they are seeking a LERTA for Keystone Pr...otein at 568 Chestnut Hill Road, which they would purchase. They would build a 16,000 square foot food processing facility, which would be operational in early 2017. Total project cost may hit $50 million and employ 1000 people. Further, a new 55,000 square foot Hatchery is scheduled to open at the same time. This facility will employ an additional 30 people, and cost around $10 million.
They shared two important points:
1. Esther’s Diner will stay open. They are investing money into this local icon.
2. Perdue is a separate business. Yesterday, Perdue announced a closure. Bell and Evans is thriving, and plans to build their building to stay in the community for the next 40-50 years. For their employees, they provide full medical coverage with no deductibles, and an onsite clinic. In fact, they would like to hire some of the employees from Perdue.

During the course of the meeting, Administrator Wolgemuth received a message that Perdue announced closure of their Fredericksburg plant.  Commissioners spontaneously called the company to thank them for their many years of providing jobs in the community, and to ask if there was anything that would change their minds to stay in the area.  Administrator Wolgemuth pointed out that the Sunshine Law allowed for an executive session to discuss or review agency business that would “potentially violate a lawful privilege or information and confidentiality recognized by the law.”

January 2, 2014

A Reorganization Meeting took place; Democratic Minority Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz was nominated to serve as Chair of the Board; Bob Phillips as Vice Chair; and Bill Ames as Secretary.  Jamie Wolgemuth was reappointed as County Administrator, and Dave Warner as Solicitor.  The same officers were elected to the Salary Board.

During 2014, Public Meetings will take place the first and third Thursday monthly in Room 207 of the Municipal Building, 400 S 8th St., Lebanon PA at 9:30AM until all business is conducted.

Further, the third Wednesday of each month, commissioners will meet at the County Nursing Home, Cedar Haven starting at 10AM, then at noon, meet at the Prison.

In addition, commissioners will meet each Wednesday at 1:30PM for work sessions.

A special meeting will take place at the EXPO on July 31 to celebrate the Lebanon Area Fair.

The public is invited to attend all advertised commissioner meetings.  To speak on the agenda, please call 228.4427 in advance of the meeting for a designated time.  Only meetings exempted by the Sunshine Law, which covers topics like union negotiations, real estate transactions, and lawsuits take place out of the public view.  Outside of a duly advertised public meeting, the Sunshine Law forbids a majority of commissioners from deliberating on a topic that may come to a vote.

Liaison Assignments include:





Building & Grounds


Ag Extension Agency


Area Agency on Aging


Central PA Energy Consortium




City of Lebanon


Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development


Children & Youth


Community Action Partnership


Conservation District


Emergency Management & Long Term Disaster Recovery




Drug & Alcohol


Housing & Redevelopment


Lebanon Transit


Geographic Information Sys


Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities


Tourist Promotion Agency


Management Information


Renova Center


Southcentral Local Elected Officials (LEOs)




Women's Commission


United Way


Veterans Affairs

Depository Banks were approved.

Per State Law, due to her tenure on the Board, Commissioner Litz was elected to serve as the chair of the County Board of Assessment Revision of Taxes.  Hearing dates were set:  January 16, February 20, March 20, April 17, May 15, June 19, July 17, August 21, November 20, and December 18.

Commissioner Ames will chair the Election Board.

During the regular meeting, Dennis Firestone, Danielle Hogg, Jay Nelson were on hand to open bids for Installation of a Fiber Optic Network.  $36,000 was budgeted.  Bids were received from:

CSESI Inc, Silver Spring PA $47,745; Linktech Inc, West Reading $40,000; Fiber Optic MarketPlace, Breiningsville $41,700; Choice Communications, Myerstown $31,839; and NX Utilities LLS, Norristown $49.598.21.  Providing the low bid from local contractor Choice Communications meets all bid specifications, commissioners moved to award the contract without delay.

A Proclamation was approved for Paul Baker who is retiring from the Lebanon Daily News.

Commissioners adjourned the meeting, and attended the swearing in ceremony where Voter Registrar Lori Oliver read the Certificates of Election for new Sheriff Bruce Klingler and City Councilman Wayne Carey.  Also getting sworn in for another term were:  District Judge Maria Dissinger; Dawn Resanovich, Register of Wills; David Arnold, District Attorney; Mayor Sherry Capello; and Tony Matula, City Councilman.  President Judge John C. Tylwalk and the Honorable Judge Samuel A Kline shared the honors to administer the Oath of Office to those elected.

December 26, 2013

Commissioners approved a $3993 payment from the Record Improvement Fund for the purchase of a Form Flex Electronic Form Suite from DRV Tech for use by the Treasurer. 

A proclamation was awarded to Sheriff DeLeo who is retiring.

Commissioners passed the 2014 budget on a 2 to 1 vote. The millage is 2.4925Believing the pension ARC obligation should be more fully addressed to avoid falling below 70% funding, which could result in a downgrade in our bond rating, Commissioner Litz voted Nay.

An MTP contract was approved with Daniel Hurtt.

December 19, 2013

9:30AM Regular Meeting

Barondick Wants to Sell the Prison, but Nobody is Buying YouTube

Martin Barondick would rather see the County sell the prison than Cedar Haven.  However, at this time, there is no market for companies purchasing prisons in Pennsylvania. 

Long time employee and Deputy Director John Wilson was named the Director of the Lebanon County Emergency Management Agency EMA.

LERTA Approved for Logistics Park in Union Township YouTube

To be competitive with industrial parks in Berks County, Jeff Camp, Vision Properties, and Dan Hudson, Pantoni Associates, joined Attorney George Christianson to request a LERTA from Lebanon County Commissioners.  Currently at $35,000, with land improvements, the combined annual taxes on the parcel will be $81,000, and increase each year for the next ten years until the tenant pays full value.  This project will generate 1,000 jobs in Lebanon County.

Nursing Homes are Not Exempt from Taxation YouTube

Chief Assessor Dan Seaman presented Bethel Point Foundation for an assessment decision.  Because it was determined the HUP Test was not met, the nursing home was turned down for tax exemption.

John Shott received approval to submit a $10,000 Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Application to support the Criminal Justice Advisory Board recommendation to obtain funding to support overtime for probation officers, inspect their van, and purchase fuel.  County match is $1,269.

IRS Determination Letter YouTube

Controller Robert Mettley presented a request to the Retirement Board to join 52 other counties who are represented by Hay Group, to participate in a voluntary IRS program to amend the county retirement plan in order to receive a Determination Letter exempting the pension fund from taxation.

Disaster Recovery Group Closes Out TS Lee becomes VOAD and CERT and John Wilson new EMA Director YouTube

Paul LeVan and Don Beatty presented a final report for the Lebanon County Disaster Recovery Group.  The Group will transition into a VOAD and CERT to serve as part of the County Response Team to assist EMA with emergencies.  Members will be trained in CPR and other skills.  Churches often provide youth teams to participate.  After Tropical Storm Lee, 4000 FEMA claims made Lebanon County the third largest county hit in the State. Don led 200 volunteers to repair 114 homes over two years.  The group cleaned out and repaired basements with $26,000 in grant money to purchase supplies. Residents paid what they could, but people were often elderly, disabled, or financially unable to complete the repairs.  The last home was finished on October 3, 2013 in Annville.  Volunteers came from as far away as Maryland, and were often treated to Lebanon Bologna. 

Bill Carpenter and Don Lesher request match for Rail Trail YouTube

Businessman Don Lesher and Former Commissioner Bill Carpenter asked the current Board of Commissioners for a $10,000 per year commitment for five years for a total of $50,000 from the Hotel Tax to put toward a $430,000 match to leverage $3.7 million in DCNR grants over eight years to complete the northern Lebanon Valley Rail Trail from the Union Canal Tunnel Park to Lickdale.  A study revealed that 5% of trail visitors stay in local hotels.  The Hotel Tax brings in about $200,000 each year.  Commissioners turn over one-half of the tax to the Tourist Promotion Agency, and fund other tourism projects with the balance.

11AM  Metropolitan Planning Organization 

Because of Act 89, Lebanon County should  receive an additional $4 million for road and bridge projects.  Normally, Lebanon County would receive $8-$10 million.

Matt Boyer, SC PA Shared Ride Program Coordinator on the Job 1 Year and Expanding the Program YouTube

With the State’s blessing, Matt Boyer, Shared Ride Program Coordinator for 9 counties in SC PA, is visiting neighboring rural MPOs to share his successful program to get people to work:  Scranton/Wilkesbarre; Schuylkill/Monroe Counties; Lehigh Valley Transit; and Luzerne/Lackawanna Counties.  Matt is celebrating his one year anniversary on the job. 

General Permit Application to ReDeck Bunker Hill Bridge YouTube

An overlook viewing platform will be established on the LV Rail Trail utilizing the old Bunker Hill Railroad Bridge over the Swatara Creek.  To accomplish this goal, DEP is requiring a General Permit should access to the Swatara be needed.

Gateway Signs Welcome People to the City of Lebanon YouTube

The CLA would like to refurbish/replace existing Gateway Signs welcoming visitors to the City of Lebanon.  A new sign will be installed on the eastern end of the City.  Up to $21,000 includes the cost of the signs, installation, permitting, and landscaping.

Within City Limits SR72 and SR422 are Maintained by the City of Lebanon YouTube

The recent snow raised the question of who maintains the State Routes like 72 and 422 within City limits.  According to Mr. Sloan with PennDot, years ago, the City took over these Routes, and is responsible to both repair them and remove any snow.

Lebanon Transit will be acquiring 43 bus shelters at a cost of $3000-$6000 each as well as over 100 new bus stop signs.  Installation will occur over the next year.

Community YouTubes:

Toys for Tots with John Gingrich LT and Santa Claus at the Lebanon Armory

2013 Lebanon Idol Winner Jonathan Shuey at Lebanon Rotary Christmas

LEPC Tours Lebanon Seaboard

Center for Dental Sleep Medicine opens in Jonestown PA

Ruth Koup 2013 LV Chamber of Commerce Athena Award Winner

Gift and Associates Myerstown PA

December 18, 2013

Cedar Haven:  Census 308; 86 male and 222 female.

Discussion took place concerning a $63,000 electronic medical records grant awarded by CCAP.  The amount covers one-half of the total cost for the software, hardware, and wiring.  If the Home were sold within two years of the grant award, the money would have to be returned.  The County will not submit a request for payment until after the CHR study is completed.

As an alternative, at a cost of $39,000, Point and Click Care will supply software from February through October.

DPW investigated a complaint concerning a resident sliding from a lounge chair.  There was no injury.  A Plan of Correction occurred within 1.5 hours.

Four burial plots were donated for Grandview Memorial Cemetery. The County now holds 20 plots. However, Interment at the facility is cost prohibitive.  An effort will be made to negotiate a solution.

To complete the internal study of Cedar Haven operations, CHR requested financials like two-years worth of audits; employee wages and benefits, schedules, vacation, holiday, sick time, personal leave; union, therapist, pharmacy, lab and provider contracts; fire drill plans; and menus, and diets.

Griffin Financial will also perform a table top evaluation that does not look at internal documents.  Rather, their exercise compares Cedar Haven to  other nursing homes using public records.

Roman Shahay presented a report from Renova Center.  Census is at 23 with two openings.

Ed Kercher was appointed to the Workforce Investment Board.

Gloria Brown and Michael Arnold were reappointed to the Renova Center Board.

Ann Thompson and Sarah Fuller were reappointed to MH.ID.EI.

Donald Bliss and Trisha Davies were appointed to the Library Board.

Prison Board:  Census 469; male 395, female 76.

December 4 & 5, 2013

SAM Operates the Schuylkill County Nursing Home

Susquehanna Advisors Group on Cedar Haven 12 4 13

Concerning the future of Cedar Haven, Commissioners heard a presentation from Service Access Management (SAM) and Susquehanna Advisors Group.

Residents of Mt Gretna inquired about the proposed Sunoco Logistics Mariner Pipeline.  In order to take a proactive approach to speak with one voice and show strength in numbers during negotiations, Commissioner Litz requested that the commissioners take a leadership role in appointing a task force consisting of a member of the LC Planning Department, Conservation District, interested municipalities, land owners, conservation groups, and a representative from Sunoco Logistics.  She further stated that increased numbers of pipelines speak to public safety, which is the duty of commissioners.  No action was approved.

Assistant Planning Department Director Bob Sentz and Rick Bolt, County Engineer, presented an amended Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance to separate out the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), which has frequent updates.

John Willson, Deputy EMA Director and Michael Rerick, MCM Consulting, presented an updated Hazard Mitigation Plan, which was completed at a cost of $56,000 over a period of 18 months.  The last plan was completed in 2008.  A pdf summary of the Plan will be posted online.

2014 Budget, includes a discussion on pension and Cedar Haven

The $91,631,546 - 2014 County Budget was introduced, and will be on display for 21 days in the commissioner’s office.  While previously projecting a 5% increase, due to a $500,000 contribution from Judge Tylwalk’s court fund, a budget was passed for the sixth year in a row without a tax increase, which also utilized carryover from an insurance refund.  Millage remains at 2.4925.  Commissioner Litz pointed out that GASBY will shortly require pension obligation to appear on audit reports, and that we should be addressing the 2014 Annual Retirement Contribution ARC to the best of our ability by continuing with the proposed 5% increase to minimize adding to the pension deficit.  This motion failed on a two to one vote.

CHR Cedar Haven Study Approved

A $5,000 contract was approved with Complete HealthCare Resources to perform a study on the operations at Cedar Haven within 30 days of receiving our data, including:  revenue and expenses; Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements; Room and board rates, bed tax assessment per Medicare day; wage and benefits, health insurance, pensions, market area opportunities for specialized services; financial impact of areas of identified opportunity; projections concerning anticipated reimbursement changes; and opportunities for financial improvement through expense reduction or revenue enhancement. 

Two actions were taken for Community Action Partnership, one concerning Homeless staff for $11,408 and $13,577, and the other for a 4th quarter amendment to the CDBG for senior day care, security deposits, first month rental assistance..., which went from $126,494 to $531,494.

Commissioners approved a proclamation for retiring Officer Dan Erdman of North Cornwall Township.

Community YouTubes:


A Sense of Community in Lititz Lebanon Accomplished thru Zoning Ordinances


Clay Music

November 21, 2013

A collective bargaining agreement was approved between the County of Lebanon and the Detectives’ Union with these parameters:  a 2.5% wage increase in 2014, 2.75% in 2015, 3% in 2016, and 2.75% in 2017, as well as increased deductibles and co-pays for healthcare. 

Kathy Nissley and Nathan Brady joined Shem Heller, Director of the Mental Health Association, to discuss community support programs funded by the block grant.

Kevin Schrum was on hand for approval of the Human Services Plan.

James Holtry presented $1,216,312.40 in first quarter Children and Youth invoices for approval.

Michael Battistelli and Brett Holland reviewed third quarter statistics for the Retirement Fund.  As a result of a 15.48% performance and after $4.2 million was removed, the balance increased from $103,601,000 to $106,768,053.  Asset allocation includes 63% stocks with a range of 50-60% recommended, 27% bonds with 30-40% recommended, 6% in REATS or Real Estate investments with 0-10% recommended, and 4% cash with 0-10% recommended.

Dan Seaman, Director of the Lebanon County Assessment Department, presented 4 disabled veterans for approval to exempt their real estate tax.  Lebanon County has approximately 150 disabled veterans who are exempt.

Carol Davies received approval on Contract Amendments.  $357,000 was approved for in-home services, which helped to clear 20 people from the waiting list, serve new people evening meals, and provide frozen meals for weekends.

Richard Worley, received approval on a $193,314 grant-in-aid.

John Shott provided an Intermediate Punishment/Electronic Monitoring  Grant Modification, which will allow purchase of a $2,000 tablet with WiFi for the on-call officer.

On behalf of the District Attorney’s Office, Nicole Eisenhart provided $111,614 in RASA and $18,355 in VOJO program requests.

Mark Zettlemeyer, Reinsel Kuntz and Lesher reviewed the 2012 Audit Report.  $37 million generally plus $15 million at Cedar Haven are attributed to assets for Lebanon County.  Unfortunately, with the pension deficit, liabilities total $64 million.  Therefore, the bond rating was negatively impacted.

Lee Hitz Miller was appointed to the Women’s Commission.

Frank Harvatine withdrew from the RC&D, and Jared Boger was appointed to fill the seat.

Outlining activities, a HazMat Annual Report was approved for PEMA.  $11,700 goes toward operations.  There are 33 SARA facilities holding 202 chemicals in Lebanon County.  $8,080 in reporting fees were collected.

Commissioners passed a proclamation honoring Ray Bender for 43 years of service.

Community YouTubes:


Ephrata Bank Opens 1st branch in Lebanon PA


Commissioner Barbara Cross on the Cumberland County Nursing Home, a 5 Star Facility


PA Federation of Democratic Winner Honorees 2013


Joe Giles Honored as Chair of the Democratic Caucus at CCAP


Retiring American Flags with Respect


Comfort Inn Renovated Lickdale PA


Rotary 7390 SC PA Youth Exchange Presentation of Country Flags at the Foundation Dinner 2013


Lobbypalooza Primary Election Democratic Gubernatorial Forum 11 15 13


Veterans Day Tribute 2013


2013 Budget, Cedar Haven, and Pensions   Gordon Wise, WLBR 1270AM Radio host interviews commissioners concerning their upcoming budget, Cedar Haven, and pensions.

Cedar Haven census 305:  221 females and 84 males.  87% occupancy.

Prison:  504 census:  422 males and 82 females.

Age Wave Initiative:  Volunteer professionals are addressing demographics of aging Baby Boomers and the varied services that will be needed over the next 20 years in housing, transportation, employment/training/volunteerism, and healthcare/long-term care, and who will make and pay for these changes. 

Sunoco Plans a Second Pipeline Through Lebanon County  Please turn your volume up. Donald Zoladkiewicz, the speaker from Sunoco Logistics, has a low voice that did not pick up well, but anyone who lives south of Route 422 in Lebanon County should be aware that Sunoco Oil Company would like to complete maintenance on the Mariner East, an existing pipeline within 6-8 months to include pressure testing to increase from 700 to 1400 psi for liquid gas.

@9:25, Phase 2 would add an additional gas line within the existing right-of-way. The corridor is identified, and may have to be expanded. Easements date back 70+ years. A typical right of way should be 50' wide, but some agreements are only 30' wide. A new line must be 20' from the existing line for 360 degree access. They will identify sensitive environmental data and preserved farms. In some cases, They will do alternate routing.

Carst topography is a consideration, and geological studies must be done. In some cases, the pipeline runs close to homes. The vast majority of this material goes to the Gulf Coast, 60%, and some goes over seas, 40%. It also supports the plastic industry. A map at the meeting that was requested to be returned, contained the pipeline route, which runs through both Governor Dick and Middle Creek Wildlife Refuge.

Project 25 Looks at Sharing EMA Radio Systems  Tony Salonga, Motorola Soutions, made a proposal to replace end-of-life radios for EMA.


Shem Heller, Mental Health Association of Lebanon County, received a proclamation to declare November 17 as National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week.

Transportation Summit for Lebanon Metropolitan Planning Organization MPO

Route 422 Signal Maintanance

From the Planning Department, Director Kris Troup, Tom Kotay and Jon Fitzkee presented a request for commissioners to use Liquid Fuels funds to maintain mechanics for a Congested Corridor Improvement Program (CCIP) on Route 422 from Cleona Borough through Palmyra Borough.  The capital project cost $3.2 million to install coordinated traffic signals in the corridor into a responsive, integrated system resulting in fewer angle, rear-end and T-bone accidents.  Municipalities along the corridor will pay for electricity used by the lights. 

To complete an Economic Impact Study of Tourism in Lebanon County, a contract was awarded to Chris Barrett, from Hershey.  At a cost of $26,000, Target Media, his firm, will complete a strategy and analysis of situational problems and or opportunities in order to recommend a course of action.  Funds will come from Industrial Development Authority dollars, and will take 10-12 weeks to complete.

Also from Industrial Development Authority funds, Owens Economics will complete a $13,200 study of the Lebanon Valley Expo Center and Fairgrounds.  Facility Operations, Event Sponsor and Promoters, and a fiscal and economic benefits analysis will be contained in the final report.  This study makes good on a 10-year old promise to complete a fiscal analysis, and couldn’t be more timely with development scheduled in the area. 

John Shott received Commissioners approval for an $11,000 PCCD Mental Health First Aid Grant Application and Modifications to IP Grants to help first responders in law enforcement to recognize signs of mental illness or distress in persons, and how to respond effectively until professional help arrives.

Commissioners also approved an application for two Intermediate Punishment Grants, Renaissance Crossroads at $57,985 and Electronic Monitoring at $8,408.

From Fulton Bank, at a fixed rate of 2.82%, Redevelopment Authority Director Ray Bender requested an amount not to exceed $1,400,000 for refinancing of a Palmyra Inter-faith Housing Council Project.

Until an attorney reviews documents for any added County liability, Commissioners tabled a request by the Housing Authority concerning a request for $114,000 to complete removal of an underground storm water retention system from beneath a parking lot at Palmview Apartments, a public housing project.

Liquid Fuels were reviewed and amended. 

Veterans, Record Your Honorable Discharge Papers at the Courthouse

Lebanon County Veterans Affairs Director Rob Kale and Recorder of Deeds Donna Lutz were on hand to request a proclamation for "Record Your Veteran's Discharge Month" whereby, at no charge, Honorable Discharge papers (DD214) will be verified and recorded in the Courthouse for safe-keeping and easy access when applying for veteran's benefits, a "V" marked driver's license....  To often, these important documents get lost or destroyed in moving, fires, floods....  Currently, it can take 45 days to receive a certified copy from the National Archives.  Further, while only one official copy is presented to a veteran, throughout their lifetimes, numerous certified copies are requested.  Normally, the County will provide certified copies on the same day.  The documents will NOT be available to the public.

Commissioners awarded a bid to Lobar in the amount of $291,126.85 for Bridge Maintenance, including the Spruce Street Bridge in Annville.

Commissioners will participate in the Commonwealth's HealthChoices Behavioral Health Program, which was modified to include current poverty adjusted gross income guidelines.

EMA Study to share Equipment

The County of Lebanon will participate in a Public Safety Answering Points "Regional Shared Services"  Wireless Funding assessment.  The State will fund the study for P25 compliance.

Reappoinments to Children and Youth included:  Val Grimes, Dave Lauver, Fred Wolf, Linda Wendell, and Michelle Kauffman.

Joe Eisenhower resigned from Lebanon Transit, and Administrator Wolgemuth will review applications on file for interested parties. 


Pennsylvania Dutch Hex Signs

Farm City Exchange with Laura LeBeau and Kristen Grumbine


At the regularly scheduled commissioner's meeting:


Attorney Dave Warner, Buzgon Davis Law Firm, was presented with a proclamation for recognition by the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal as a 40 under 40 award recipient from Lebanon County. 


Drug and Alcohol Department Head James Donmoyer and Robert Count presented Red Ribbon Week shirts and information during the 27th year of the program for 13,000 schools.  Take the “A Healthy Me is Drug Free!” campaign pledge:  I pledge to be drug free and support the Red Ribbon campaign against drug abuse.  If a parent, I will stand with my child and support their effort in remaining drug and alcohol free.  Also, I will talk to my children about the dangers of drug abuse; set clear rules for my children about not using drugs; set a good example by not using illegal drugs or medicine without a prescription; monitor my children’s behavior and enforce appropriate consequences so that our rules are respected; and encourage family and friends to follow the same guidelines to keep children safe from substance abuse. 


Dennis Firestone and Bill Wilson opened bids for bridge contract maintenance.  Lobar, Dillsburg bid $296,126.65; Bill Anskis, Elysburg, bid $474,931.10; Bi-State, Easton, bid $580,974.25; Trinity Excavating, York, bid $366,794; and Mar-Allen, Ephrata bid $474,874.  Dennis will review the bids for compliance with the Request for Proposal, and make a recommendation at the next commissioner’s meeting. 


Providing that County property assignments for grass cutting, leaf cleanup, snow removal,… are completed first, and the Township is willing to pay for expenses like inmate reimbursement, a representative of North Cornwall Township asked if prisoners would be available to help with tree removal remaining from the impacts of Tropical Storm Lee.  Jamie will discuss the issue with the Warden.


Michael Battistelli and Brett Holland, Stifel Nicoluas, presented a recommendation to change fund managers for large growth investments from Rushmore to Wedgewood


Fred Wolfson and David Twadell presented a request for Lebanon Health Facilities Authority to facilitate a $16 million tax-exempt bond for Cornwall Manor.  This is a Citizens bank loan at 3.15%.


James Holtry, Children and Youth, presented a $13,000 budget amendment

At 11AM, commissioners met with the Metropolitan Planning Organization MPO concerning Road and Bridge projects:


The MPO Board approved a Transportation Improvement Program TIP amendment for $1.3 million under the new City bridges, which are over the railroad tracks.


Mr. Mike Keiser, District Executive for our PennDOT District 8, reviewed bridge postings.  The 9th & 10th Street Bridge projects are completed, and the Schaefferstown Bypass is open with only tree plantings remaining to close out the project.  Other amendments included adding $27,841 State Act 3 funds and $9590 local funds for the purchase of Garage-Utility work which includes replacement of mounted hose reels in the garage area; adding $100,000 state Act 341 (1516) funds for the purchase of 3 shared-ride vans; and adding $49,495 in State Act 3 funds and $1705 in local funds for the purchase of security cameras at 200 Willow Street and Schneider Drive. 


Gannet Flemming presented a Congested Management Process CMP plan update.  Take the survey at .


The MPO also heard an update on the PA Route 241 Road Safety Audit, which is completed and will be a foundational document for short, medium, and long-term improvements. 


Among 40 administrative actions, 7 phases were added, including the US 422 Sinkhole final design, utility and right of way phases.  Funds are available in the Highway Reserve.  This project involves the rehabilitation of approximately 1200 feet of US Route 422 in Palmyra Borough and N Londonderry Township by constructing an underground bridge to remedy recurring sinkhole activity.  3 phases were removed.


The next MPO meeting is scheduled for December 19.

At 1:30PM, commissioners heard assessment appeals

10.16.2013 Prison Board

Census:  474, 396 males and 78 females.


Unsentenced, 276


Work Release 31


State Sentenced 29


Parole/probation violators 202


DJ sentenced 13


Sentenced by Court of Common Pleas 18

Cedar Haven 95-96% occupancy


Census 299-80 male, 219 female


Two union negotiation meetings were held.


Dietary is working well.  Tim Sheffy will present an oral argument on October 25.  A decision should be available 60 days later.  Nine employees were rehired by the vendor. 


Staff had numerous retirement questions.


The Department of Health gave Cedar Haven a 4.5 out of five star rating because of staffing.  Surveys can be found online.


Except on holidays, Cedar Haven has no mandatory overtime.


An MATP driver, Carlos Esevedo, was approved.


Women’s Commission member resignations from Jen Lilenstein and Judy Sharp were approved.


Mike Bachleda asked for funding reimbursement for a Hotel sign at the 501 intersection, but tourism dollars are normally dispensed for group efforts and non-profits. 

Renova Center:  Life Safety Plan of Correction approved. 

Waiting on approval on Plan of Correction from the Department of Health.

October 3, 2013

Judge Gus Kline replaces Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz on the Election Board

As an announced Gubernatorial candidate, Commissioner Litz inquired whether she should step down from the Election Board this year or the beginning of 2014.  While he couldn't find any case law, Solicitor Dave Warner said that the law suggests an immediate implementation.  President Judge John Tylwalk agreed, and appointed Judge Gus Kline to fill the open position.

The Election Board approved electronic ballot layout for the 2013 Municipal Election.

Suicide Prevention

Kevin Schrum, Holly Leahy, and Dr. Yocum presented suicide prevention information.  So far this year, there were 15 suicides, mostly middle-aged males, in Lebanon County.  If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call Crisis Intervention at 274.3363.

Kevin also submitted Mental Health.ID.EI contract amendments, including both a $15,444 increase in 2012-13 and a decrease of $8723 for approval.

Watershed Forum at Acorn Farms in Mt Joy

Stephanie Harmon informed commissioners about an upcoming Watershed Forum from 9AM-noon on October 26 at Acorn Farms, Rt 283, Mt Joy, Lancaster County.

Emergency Shelter Generator Grant

PEMA awarded a $41,500 grant to Lebanon County Commissioners to purchase a mobile generator for our Emergency Management Agency to use at emergency shelters.  During Tropical Storm Lee, a backup generator was needed at the LV Expo, but our request wasn't able to be filled when so many counties were in similar need. 

Also, commissioners applied for $120,310 in partial salary reimbursements. 

Commissioners voted to allow Tom Kotay and John Fitzkee to review highway occupancy (curb cut) applications in cooperation with PennDOT.

Deb Brough was approved as a Medical Assistance Transportation Plan driver. 

WODA Group loan to Refurbish Kreider Commons on 8th St

Mayor Sherry Capello requested a letter of support and availability of a $100,000 Affordable Housing loan for Andy Cohen and the WODA Group to refurbish the old Kreider Shoe factory on N 8th Street into 50 one and two bedroom apartments to be known as Kreider Commons. 

Administrator Jamie Wolgemuth presented Debt Service payments for approval:


$668,798 from the General Fund to the 2009 General Obligation Bond for interest and principle;


$1,098,022.42 for interest and principle to the 2010 Bond in Fulton Bank;


$69,068.64 for interest only on the 2011 Bond;


$320,000+/- for loans with Fulton Bank to cover interest and principle for the 2006 and 2008 Bonds.

A $2,801 Liquid Fuels award was given to East Hanover Township.

After decades of loyal and dedicated service, Mary Louise Sherk resigned from the Library Board, and Sam Abram was appointed to the Board.

Two proclamations, one for the American Business Women’s Association for Business Women’s Week and another for the 40th anniversary of Lebanon Family Health were approved.

Commissioners then met in Executive Session to discuss personnel. 

Community:  Dave Allard heads a TENORM Study for DEPs Low Level Radioactive Waste Division to test for radioactivity in our drinking water.  DEP Studies Fracking for Low Level Radioactive Waste

September 19, 2013

Regular Meeting

Commissioner Phillips was absent. 

Treasurer Sally Neuin received permission to collect taxes for North Londonderry Township.  This brings the number to fourteen municipalities using the services of the County Treasurer who provides regular office hours, as well as an online and credit card payment options.

Ray Bender presented $285,257 in 2013 Community Development Block Grant Allocations for consideration:  Sidewalks for Annville and North Cornwall; Curb Cuts for Myerstown; Public Facility Improvements for Cedar Haven; Public Service for Volunteers in Medicine; Homeownership; Housing Rehabilitation; and Administration and Planning.  It is noted that due to his position on the Board of Volunteers in Medicine, Commissioner Phillips was advised to abstain from voting on this proposal. 

Nichole Eisenhart presented a $184,310 VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) grant proposal for the District Attorney’s office.  Some current line items were moved and new items added.   No new dollars are included in this proposal. 

Destiny Barker presented a $163,509 DUI grant project modification and continuation application.  County share is $122,632. 

Board of Assessment Appeals

At 1:30 Commissioners heard assessment appeals.  Also, as the commissioner with the longest tenure, Jo Ellen Litz was elected chairman of the Board, and Bill Ames vice-chair. 

September 18, 2013,

Cedar Haven

Census 305:  222 females and 83 males. 

A good Life Safety inspection took place.  All suggested corrections were completed within 14 days.  For example, a burned out light bulb was replaced on a generator.

Eleven people returned to Dietary, and are working under the contractor’s supervision. 

The Fall Frolic was a success.

The Department of Health did their survey in August.  Cedar Haven was applauded for their ability to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs. 

Roman Shahay presented a report on Renova Center.  They too were experiencing Life Safety and Department of Health inspections, but simultaneously. 

Commissioners approved a proclamation for the Center of Lebanon’s Business Person of the Year.

To the Commission for Women, commissioners approved new members Sage Schott Reed and Stephany Feld. 

A $5,656 Emergency Management Agency grant for Hazardous Materials Response was approved to replace an inflatable boat and trailer.  The existing boat was used extensively during Tropical Strom Lee, and has been patched multiple times.  The boat is also used to float boons to capture oil and chemical spills. 

Once again, commissioners reviewed the $594,870 Children and Youth budget, which increases the current County Share by $594,870.  Jim Holtry and Sally Barry met with State officials to request additional funding.  For the next fiscal year, providing the State approves a submitted budget, County share will drop by $178,304. 

Prison Board

Census 491:  72 females and 419 males

Workshop:  Commissioners listened to two Tourist Promotion study proposals, one from TargetMedia, and one from Dana, to provide an economic impact study and branding for Lebanon County. 

September 4, 2013

Brian Long presented an overview of Link to Aging and Disability Resources.  Brian stated that there are 52 Links in Pennsylvania for people over 60, and the disabled. 

September 5, 2013

Abigail Jarboe addressed commissioners concerning Domestic Relations. 

Harry Fenton and Pat Krebs spoke on behalf of the bicycle coalition to request a bike rack in front of the courthouse.

Telecommunicator Union Contract YouTube

Commissioners approved a union contract with the EMA Telecommunicators and Chocolate Workers Union, Local 464.  There is a 2% rate increase for 2012 and 2013, a 2.5% increase for 2014 and 3% for 2015.  Employees will contribute to health insurance costs, deductibles, co-pays for doctor visits and prescriptions as well as a transition to a 12-hour shift work schedule. 

Lori Oliver presented the 2013 General Election Absentee Ballot for approval.

Phyllis Holtry presented MATP and a flat-funded Work Ready Program for $144,232 with DPW for approval. 


At a cost of $377,298, a Philhaven contract was renewed for the Crisis Intervention program. 


Central Medical received an MATP contract.  A $916,808 assurance of compliance was signed.  The budget increased by $10,062.

Child Death Review Team YouTube

Dr. Bartra, Dr. Yocum, and Janet Bradley provided an overview of the Child Death Review Team, which aims to review circumstances of child deaths to learn how to prevent future child deaths and serious injury.  99 cases were reviewed between 2008 and 2012.  The leading cause of death, 57%, was due to natural causes (born premature, congenital, or cardiovascular).  22% of deaths were accidents, with motor vehicles responsible for the largest percent being males 1819 years of age.  Six percent were suicides; 2 homicides; 8 unknown; and 4 undetermined or pending. 

Super Storm Sandy Strike Team  YouTube

Bryan Smith and Janet Bradley brought members of the Superstorm Sandy Strike Team for recognition.

Dennis Good and Carol Davies presented Elmcroft who turned over a $600 check for meals and wheels administered by the Area Agency on Aging. 

Further, the 2012-13 Annual Fiscal Report was presented as well as 2012-13 Actual Revenues and Expenditures and a DDAP Report.  Next, both 2012-13 and 2013-14 Contract Amendments were submitted to commissioners for approval.  Total Agency expenditures were $1,149,362 in 2012-13 or $106,827, 8.5% under budget.  However, this will benefit the State, not the General Fund.

LLERTA for Bethel YouTube

Joseph Achenbach, Trammell Crow Company, and Attorney Tim Horstmann requested a LERTA for an unnamed  Bethel Township property projected to contain a one-million square foot building to the south of Route 22, across from the racetrack.  Employees could be as high as 1200.  Commissioner Litz is grateful for jobs and an enlivened economy. Knowing that Bethel is a water deficit area and Tenaska will need 500,000 gpd, Commissioner Litz also wondered if there was adequate water supply, and was told that they are in negotiations with the Fredericksburg Sewer and Water Authority.  The sewer authority just sank a new well, which will accommodate 2/3 of their needed water supply.  At full build-out, they will need 13 EDUs.  Convinced that they could not break ground if the water supply is not adequate, she voted for the LERTA.  Taxes will continue to be paid on the land.  Any buildings must be constructed within three years.  The ten-year time-clock starts when the building is completed.

Marcellus Shale Grants for Lebanon County  YouTube

Kris Troup presented a Marcellus Grant program for Act 13 Funds.

Jim Donmoyer received signatory for contracts with Drug and Alcohol. 

Commissioners received a $20,500 grant award for PCCD for Juvenile Victim Witness salary and benefits reimbursement.

$790,596.46 in Fourth Quarter invoices were presented for Jim Holtry.

A $46,500 MCM Consulting contract was renewed with Mike McGrady to complete a $46,500 3-year Triennial Plan for EMA.

Inwood Bridge Contract Amendment  YouTube

For Inwood Bridge, Commissioners approved a $20,500 Liquid Fuels payment as their share to match federal and state dollars.  In a related matter, Wilson Consulting will receive a $410,000 contract to facilitate pre and final design, and oversee construction. 

Workshop YouTubes:

Placement of Juvenile Offenders

Should a Blighted Property Ordinance be by Municipality or County wide

Land Bank Advantages are Small

Community:  YouTube

Farm Bureau Visits Honey Bear Orchard in North Annville

August 15, 2013

Cedar Haven Arbitration Appeal 8 3 2013  YouTube

Commissioner Ames explained an appeal to an arbitration award at Cedar Haven, the County Nursing Home.

Raymond Bender presented Community Disaster Block Grant Recovery Funds for approval.

Mike Batestelli and Brett Holland, Steifel Nicolaus, with a Pension Report  YouTube

Mike Battistelli and Brett Holland, Stifel Nicolaus & Company, presented a pension report.  Even though $3 million were withdrawn to pay benefits to retirees, the pension fund grew by another $2 Million to $103,150,691, an overall 7.63% return. 

Brentwood Industries Presents a Check to AAA for Meals on Wheels  YouTube

Patty Boeshore was on hand to present a $500 check from Brentwood Industries to the Area Agency on Aging for the Meals on Wheels Program.  Director Mike Kristovensky was on hand to accept the check.

James Holtry presented Children and Youth Contracts for approval.

Lebanon County Applies for Human Services Block Grant Program  YouTube

James Holtry, Kevin Schrum,, and Carol Davies received approval to submit a letter of request to be included in the State Block Grant Program for Human Services.

Daniel Seaman presented three disabled veterans for real estate tax exemption. 

Lebanon Food Bank Buys Local Products  YouTube

Troy Williams received authorization to purchase food from local vendors like Laudermilch Meats and Swiss Premium Dairy rather than through the State contract for the Lebanon County Christian Ministries.  The main food distribution point for LCCM allocating $300 for a ten-day period for a family of four is located at 250 S 7th St., Lebanon with other points located at Trinity United Methodist Church in Lickdale, Newmanstown, Country Cupboard in Palmyra, and St. Luke’s in Schaefferstown.  JOY in Jonestown is not currently affiliated with LCCM.  However, clients are referred between the two programs.  The $113,000 allotment includes noon meal sites.  Lebanon County received a 29% increase in State funding, which puts the allotment back to a 2-year pre-cut revenue balance.

Further, two assessment appeals where decided to set the value of real estate .

Jullian Copeland, attorney for Mid Pen Legal Services, received an appointment  to the Children and Youth Advisory Board.

Commissioners approved four contracts for the Community Action Partnership Medical Assistance Transportation Program.  Boyo and Curtis Montez will receive $75 for out-of-county trips, $40 to Hershey, $25 within the City of Lebanon, and $30 to Philhaven.  Lebanon Transit charges $19 each way $22 up to ten miles, and $26 over ten miles.  Philhaven charges $7.57 round trip. 

District Judge Garber's Office will be Housed in the new Palmyra Boro Buidling  YouTube

Beers and Hoffman Engineers and Architects completed Magisterial District Judge Garber’s office drawings.  Change orders reduced the price from $110,000 to $98,882.92.  While not in the budget, the County must provide new quarters since Palmyra Borough is constructing a new building.  Rent is being worked out. 

A proclamation was signed for retiring Area Agency on Aging Director Mike Kristovensky.  Mike worked for the County for 39 years.

Based on the 2010 census, liquid fuels taxes were calculated for municipalities.  The big winner is North Londonderry going from an allocation of $2910 to $8068.      Six municipalities’ census dropped, thus liquid fuels were proportionally reduced:  East Hanover, Heidelberg, North Annville, Union, Mt. Gretna, and West Lebanon.  Other municipalities went up, some doubling their allotment

Community YouTubes:

Wenger Meeting House Restored 8 16 13

Cornwall Iron Furnace Beer and Wine 8 16 13

Presque Isle State Park Tour Erie PA

Teach Me Cups

Ms Senior PA 2013 was held at Dutch Apple Dinner Theater, Lancaster PA

GT, Congressman Glenn Thompson on Gas Wells

Coleman Park Mansions and Men

Mr & Mrs Edward Eisenhour tie the knot at Fort Indiantown Gap Bike and Car Show

Captain Dave Ravegum and Crewman Vince Tricamo Steer The Lois Meilly on the Union Canal

Dreamscapes Water Garden and Butterfly House

Korean War Veterans 60th Anniversary 6 23 2013

WalMart Lebanon is Re Dedicated after 17 years

August 1, 2013

Commissioners met at the Lebanon Area FairKen Sellers, Expo Board Chairman, welcomed everyone.

Curtis Martin, Lebanon Farm Bureau president, was unable to attend, but his comments were read for the record.  Farm Bureau applauded commissioners for implementing Clean and Green and for continuing to preserve farms within budget constraints. 

Nadine Moore introduced the 2013 Fair Queen Kortney Balmer who conducted a tour of the Fairgrounds after the meeting.

Jury Commissioner Franz Messerschmidt requested to go to his elected official's conference.  Commissioner Litz pointed out that the County Code found in Purdons Statutes states that the County shall pay for conferences of elected officials.  Commissioners Ames and Phillips voted against payment due to an untimely request that did not meet County protocol.

Lori Oliver, Voter Registrar, presented a new $65,000 programming and maintenance contract with ES&S for approval.  At a similar cost, the new contract replaces the previous three-year contract.

At a right-to-be-heard hearing for farmland preservation, Angie Foltz, Conservation District representative, presented a 7.42 acre farm owned by two brothers, Andrew Zimmerman and Mike Lyons.  Adjoining a farm that is already preserved, their easement along Russell Road in North Annville and North Lebanon Townships is a donation to the County.  Commissioners must pay $1 for the easement.  The only other costs are $2250.21 for an appraisal and legal fees.  Lebanon County has preserved 17,039.21 acres on 171 farms, 7th overall in the State.  Five more farms are in the process of preservation. 

Dr Christopher Sciamanna, HMC, Band Together  YouTube

Dr. Christopher Sciamanna, Hershey Medical Center/Penn State College of Medicine presented a $3 million CMS Healthcare innovation “Band Together” grant proposal for Lebanon County.  4,000 senior citizens would use resistance bands to exercise over a 3-year period.  Socialization and reduced healthcare costs are expected outcomes.  A total of 50 senior centers, senior housing complexes, and the Area Agency on Aging would provide free space, free resistance bands, and train the trainers.  If the federal government awards the grant on April 14, 2014, the program must be up and running within one year.  Lebanon was chosen because of it’s smaller size, which is affordable to both implement and track reduced healthcare costs for Medicare and Medicaid.  If successful in reducing healthcare costs Lebanon will serve as a model for the nation.  Longevity of a successful program would be funded through Medicare.

Lebanon County received a $56,979 grant award from PCCD for Victims of Crimes.

Lebanon County was also awarded $15,067 for the TMI EPZone to purchase laptops and printers to record radiation emergency response findings. 

July 18, 2013

Regular Meeting:

Cedar Haven Food Service Arbitration Decision  YouTube   At Cedar Haven, to help balance the budget, food service was contracted out to save $500,000 annually. An arbitrator said that move was not in good faith, and the employees should be reinstated. Most employees were already placed in other jobs within Cedar Haven, and retained their benefits....

Treasurer Sallie Neuin presented a State notice that they will be sending State Dog Wardens to canvass Lebanon County throughout the month.  State law requires all dogs 3-months or older to be licensed by January 1 annually.  The fee is $6.45 for spayed or neutered dogs, and $8.45 for other dogs.  Older adults and disabled persons may purchase a license for $4.45 for spayed and neutered dogs and $6.45 for others.  Also, these dogs and non-feral cats 3-months and older must have rabies vaccinations. Violators can receive a maximum $300 citation plus court costs.  Purchase a license online at or at Fox Breeze Kennel, Annville; Speedway Mart, Fredericksburg; Jono Hardware, Jonestown; Cobbles Bait Shop, Lebanon; Dutch Country Hardware or the Humane Society, Myerstown; Little Paws Dog Shop or Pet Headquarters, Palmyra; or Richland Shooters, Richland. 

Voter Registrar Lori Oliver presented $171,795 in Help America Vote Act spending documentation for certification.  By the end of the year, more than $181,680 will be spent on elections.  Further, commissioners voted to change the polling location for North Londonderry West to Trinity UCC, 40 W Pine Street, Palmyra.

Commissioners approved District Attorney Dave Arnold’s request for Dave Drescher to serve as a Special Assistant District Attorney at the cost of $1 per year.

Richard Worley and Suzanne Miller presented an $819,577 5-year grant-in-aid application.  Lebanon County traditionally receives $71,000 annually.  Further, a PCCD $50,928 electronic monitoring Grant-in-Aid agreement was approved.

Lebanon Valley Economic Development Director Susan Eberly presented a Keystone Opportunity Zone in the Aspens Park for approval.

Commissioners approved an amendment to a management service agreement between Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and Perry counties for Mental Health and Individual Disabilities and Drug and Alcohol providers.  Instead of 22.2%, administration will be 21.38%.  Collaboration will drop from 69.65% to 68.58%. 

25 private drivers were approved for the Medical Assistance Transportation Program.

Board of Assessment At 1:30PM, commissioners heard real estate assessment appeals.

July 17, 2013

Cedar Haven:  Population 88 males, 221 females for a total of 309.

Medicaid received a 2% increase, which was already figured into Cedar Haven’s budget.  Daily reimbursements will rise from $197.20 to $208.18.  Actual cost per resident per day is $247.  Cumulatively, that’s a $12,000 per day loss.

Renova Center:  Director Roman Shahay reported that residents were presented with Renaissance Fair tickets.  Also, a new resident was approved for admission. 

For MHID, Commissioners approved a $5,000 private donation to purchase tablets, which will allow electronic entry of reports while in the field.

Prison Board:  Population, 397 males and 63 females for a total of 460. 

Community YouTubes:


Captain Dave Ravegum and Crewman Vince Tricamo Steer The Lois Meilly on the Union Canal


Homestead Ice Cream Parlor in Coleman Park


Fredericksburg Eagle Hotel History and Rennovations 2013

July 3, 2013

As Mike Kristovensky prepares to retire, Carol Davies, who worked in the Department previously, was hired as the new head of the Area Agency on Aging. 

Another applicant will be offered the head of the Drug and Alcohol Program.

Envirothon Debriefing  YouTube

Stephanie Harmon and Larry Taylor debriefed the Envirothon for the commissioners who provided $10,000 from the Marcellus Shale Tax receipts to educate our youth on good conservation practices.

Citizens in North Londonderry West will vote at a New Location in their District  YouTube

Lori Oliver was on hand to propose a new polling place for North Londonderry West to move to the United Church of Christ within the boundaries of the municipality.

Also impacted by the new and smaller Palmyra Borough building is District Judge Garver’s office.  However, a contract was negotiated for the Judge to remain in the Palmyra Borough building where police protection is available.  At an estimated cost of $8500, Beers and Hoffman Architects will design the office.  Schematics cost $1200.

A $521,864 Renaissance Crossroads grant was approved for program housed at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital.

Commissioners approved a $1,000 Hotel Tax grant for the Christ Kindle Market to be held to benefit Coleman Park.   

A DEP submerged license agreement for a County-owned bridge over the Quittapahilla Creek on Valley Glen Road in North Annville Township was approved. 

Wilson Consulting is approved for a supplemental reimbursement agreement for additional design work to rehab the County-owned Inwood Bridge.  The federal government will pay 95% of the $400,000 project or $380,000.

The County processed a pass-through fist draw of $750,000 for an assistance project for Philhaven’s expansion.

Compliance with IRS Rules for the County Pension Plan  YouTube

For IRS compliance, Robert Mettley presented a Retirement Fund Plan Document for approval. 

Community YouTubes:


Jo Ellen Litz discusses her announcement for PA Governor


5th Phase of the LV Rail Trail opens at 9th Street by Fisher Park


Dave Materness on Camp Bashore and a Northern Tier Regional Fire Compay


Swatara Eagle Family Babies 9 weeks 6 9 13


Gerry Boltz Monroe Chapel


Gerry Boltz at 94 remembers the Bordner Cabin


Sen Bob Casey Jr

June 20, 2013

Bunny Yinger Promotes Bed and Breakfasts, Questions Tourism  YouTube

For Children and Youth, James Holtry presented 1st and 2nd Quarter invoices totaling $79,309.68 and 3rd Quarter invoices in the amount of $1,109,247.12 for approval.

Kevin Schrum and Jeff Fenice presented $80,554 in Provider Contracts for Mental Health/Disability Services.  This amended figure reduces county support by $14,057, and for the first time, includes a $31,000 retirement contribution reimbursement from state funds, which would not come from the General Fund.

$50,000 Emergency Solutions Grant  YouTube

Commissioners approved a $50,000 PA Department of Community and Economic Development Emergency Solutions Grant to cover salary and supplies for Domestic Violence Intervention, which operates a 30-day 25-bed Emergency Shelter in Lebanon PA.  Lebanon Community Action Partnership will administer the grant for the County.

Unified Case Management for Probation  YouTube

Sally Barry stated that Probation is on a new Unified Case Management System, which provides data quality for criminal justice and eliminates redundancy between Probation, the District Attorney’s Office, and Prison and establishes a unified standard.  The system was created by the County Commissioners Association of PA.  As a pilot County (the 3rd, preceded by Blair and Perry), a $4700 implementation fee was waived, and both a $772 license and first-year user fee of $70 for each operator was paid by the Court.  However, Danielle Hogg in Management Information Systems needs a license.  Commissioners approved the $772 and $70 payments for MIS.  In future years, this fee will drop to $30.

Driving Impaired Checkpoints with Detective Leahy  YouTube

Detective John Leahy submitted a $25,000 Impaired Driving grant for approval.  The PennDOT grant is similar to the former DUI-Driving Under the Influence-grant, which stops cars near bars to check for inebriated individuals.  Sometimes drugs are found too.  So, the name of the grant was changed. 

From the repository of unclaimed property, Swatara Township purchased a piece of land on Dumas Lane for $531.51 (the back taxes).  The land was part of a buyout of a flooded property. 

S Lebanon and Maple Street Senior Centers Merged  YouTube

With ten seniors and no center manager, Mike Kristovensky and Deb Shaver proposed merging the South Lebanon Senior Center with the Maple Street Senior Center making five shelters instead of six shelters.  The travel distance is three to five miles for seniors.  The bus is also available for transportation.  $26,000 would be the gross savings.  However, Senior Center Managers are devoting more time to the job than the current 26-hour week.  Therefore, hours will be raised to 29.5 for all center managers.  The net savings will be $11,137, which will be put into serving clients on a waiting list for both day and personal care.

Dave Warner asked to raise payments for Court appointed client defense from the current $50 to $175 per hour.  It is believed that the $50 payment was established by Court order by President, now Senior, Judge Eby somewhere in the 1990s.  Some attorneys would prefer a flat rate for each type of case.  The law says the County shall pay a reasonable fee.  Is a reasonable fee the same as the going rate?  Do attorneys do due diligence to inform themselves of the going rate when they set up shop in Lebanon County?  Put another way, does the cost of doing business in a County include court appointed client defense?  Dave Wingert suggested that clients pay a $1 fee so that they have buy-in into their defense.  Public Defender Bryan Diedrich said he would fall on that sword. 

Due to the 4th falling on a Thursday, the next regular commissioner’s meeting will be held on Wednesday July 3.

At 1:30PM, commissioners sat as the Assessment Appeals Board.  Eight cases were on the schedule.

June 19, 2013

Cedar Haven

Census:  Male 88, Female 219 = 307 Total.  The occupancy rate is 96%.

Private Pay rates were set at $275 per day.

Unless an extension is granted, an unfunded mandate known as a Claw Back will require Lebanon County to make all medical records electronic by 2014.  Administrator Schlegel requested permission to submit a grant request for up to the full reimbursement of $120,000 to accomplish this mandate.  The grant was paid by Blair County when they sold their nursing home after agreeing not to sell for two years.  The grant must be used within twelve months. If awarded less than the $120,000, the County will have to make up the difference.

The GSH Lab has been providing lab work for 31 years, however, they don’t provide MXI xrays, which are electronic.  Negotiations for these services are ongoing. 

Commissioners approved a modified form for use of Monument Park. Because of repeat complaints by neighbors, amplified music will be prohibited. 

A $150 per year lease with Loren Horning was approved to farm a one-acre lot at 934 and Church Street.

Commissioners approved a SAVIN Victim notification program. 

Renova Center

Roman Shahay said the census is at 22. 

Commissioners approved contract renewals with DB Fisher.

First Aid and Safety will provide service for $40 per bed.

Ephrata EARS Day Program is $355 for fifteen minutes.  Physical therapy is $60 and Speech $24.50 per hour. 

Myerstown Family Practice will continue to deliver service for $24.50 per hour. 

Prison Board

Census:  372 male, and 56 female = 428 total.

June 6, 2013

Redevelopment Authority Representative Betsy Bowman presented revisions to the Community Development Block Grant budget. There were no cuts.  Rather, excess funds were moved from Cornwall sidewalks to Cedar Haven and Annville, where there is a need.

Drug and Alcohol Director Carol Davies presented $88,297 in contract amendments and provider contracts for approval.  Further, Michael K Weirich RN was appointed to the D&A Board.

Assessment Chief Daniel Seaman presented the properties of disabled veterans Pam Brown, Tony Suiter, and Rob Zahn for exemption.  Dan also reports that 15-20 properties remain unsettled from the Reassessment.  Only one property is residential, and the rest are commercial.

Because of new Gasby rules, Controller Mettley presented a revised Mortality Table prepared by Hay Group.  The current chart is from 1983.  The 2013 chart was recommended because people are living longer.  The change increases the pension debt by $177,000.  Most PA counties are in compliance.

Brian Diedrich Appointed to Defend Bradley Martin  YouTube

Due to ineffective council, the Supreme Court returned a convicted killer’s cases to Lebanon County.  Judge Eby assigned Public Defender Brian Deiderick the job to represent Bradley Martin who killed Palmyra florist Guy Goodman.  Deiderick presented a request to copy 30 cases of files on Bradley Martin.  At a cost of $15 per hour, Commissioners approved Temp Force Agency to perform the duties.  District Attorney Arnold will be provided the opportunity to review potential personnel.

Commissioners then met in executive session.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful  Please keep this going by sharing the link. The leader in the Keep PA Beautiful video contest only has about 89 votes. Swatara Watershed Association could use the $300 first place prize for our clean water projects. Recently, Swatara jumped to 41 votes, but we're still in fourth place. 2nd and 3rd place, which have a prize award of $150, have around 53, and 45 votes.  With your help, we can place or win.  Thank you again for your consideration and helping to spread the word, please.

Community YouTube Videos:


Chief Harold Easter, Vietnam War Veteran


The Mt Gretna Tabernacle, a National Treasure


Jessica Weidman and Judy Henry's Movement Laboratory

Swatara State /Bordner Cabin YouTubes :


Marsha Spitler Knew Armar Bordner


George Kaufman on Armor Bordner


Swatara Sojourn and Litter Cleanup 2013


Swatara Sojourn and River Cleanup 2013


Conrad Weiser, Bob Morris, at Bordner Cabin


Swatara Eagles at Five Weeks 5.5.2013

Business YouTubes :


Gabby's Italian Bistro


Ed Kercher - Kercher Machine Works - Small Business Person of 2013


Jonestown Bank at 140, Bank on a Smile


10th Anniversary Lebanon Idol


Mike Wilson, The Vineyard at Hershey


Palmyra Bowling - Doug and Amy Eicerman

Berks County Tour YouTubes

bullet Who is on First Still Funny
bullet Wild Bill Band of Brothers

May 16.2013

Student Government 2013

As part of Student Government, High school students Jessye Grieves-Calson, Julia Melnik, and Erikson Gonzalez took over Lebanon County Government (under the watchful eyes of Commissioners Ames, Phillips, and Litz) for a day--listening to presentations, making motions, and voting.  Likewise, students shadowed other elected officials like Sallie Neuin and department heads like Des Nguyen.  Ian Stewart shadowed administrator Jamie Wolgemuth.

Representatives from the District Attorney’s office received approval to submit an $18,244 Victims of Juvenile Offenders (VOJO) grant.

Ralph Backenstoes and representative of Lebanon County Ambulance Associations, were on hand to receive a proclamation in celebration of Emergency Medical Services Week.

Ric Rhode on the Children's Hospital at Penn State Hershey Medical Center  YouTube

Ric Rhode received the 21st proclamation from Lebanon County Commissioners in support of children in the hospital at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.  This year, Children’s Miracle Network will raise funds on June 1 and 2.  Ric’s 445 Foundation turned in a $10,000 check last year. 

Pension Report 5.16.2013  YouTube

Archie and Mike Battestelli and Brent Holland of Stifel Nicolaus presented a pension report to Lebanon County Commissioners--up from $1.1 to $1.5 million.

Wilhelm Avenue Realignment  YouTube

For the purpose of taking the dog leg out of a turn onto Wilhelm Avenue and eliminating a red-light as traffic increases due to development, at a cost of $165,000, Lebanon County Planning Department made a recommendation to purchase the home at 1320 Cornwall Road, Lebanon.  Also, Lebanon School District will forgo a small corner of the athletic fields, and Stephen and Patricia Gaidos will turn-over a small area to the rear of their property in exchange for land servicing Wilhelm Avenue.  Two red-lights would cost $2.4 million while the home, relocation and one red-light will cost about $1.4 million.

Susan Eberly, New President of LVEDC  YouTube

Susan Eberly, newly appointed president of the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation, addressed commissioners to request support to renew Keystone Opportunity Zones (KOZs) in Lebanon County.

Purchasing Agent Dennis Firestone recommended awarding a printing bid to Phillips Office Supply.

A vote took place to eliminate the office of Jury Commissioners in Lebanon County.  At a cost savings of $2000 per month, printing is to be delivered to each department.

Commissioners approved an application for a $15,490.60 PEMA matching grant for HazMat funding. 

Student commissioners approved a letter of support for a $900,000 loan through the Affordable Housing Program for the Rescue Mission.

Student commissioners designated the Lebanon County Historical Society as our official historical society.  This designation will provide state funding for operations.

Student commissioners approved a proclamation for her many years of service on the Housing and Redevelopment Authority and Mental Health Advisory Committee Boards.

Student commissioners approved three proclamations, two for the Chamber of Commerce:  Ed Kercher for Business Person of the Year; Doug and Amy Eiserman for the Leon Hoover Entrepreneurial Spirit Award; and one for retiring County Detective Rick Rodwanski. 

May 8, 2013

First, Commissioners listened to health insurance company representatives.

Next on the agenda, Commissioners invited state and federal representatives to a meeting on the Windsor Crossing sinkholes.  Representatives of North Londonderry Township also attended the meeting.  Residents passionately asked for help to repair damage left by Tropical Storm Lee.

While understanding their situation, Commissioners and Township solicitor Keith Kilgore explained that they are not in a position to repair sinkholes for many reasons including but not limited to:

  1. What is done for their sinkholes must be done for hundreds of other sinkholes across the county;
  2. Purdons Statutes do not place sinkhole repair as a county or township duty;
  3. The window of opportunity to have FEMA purchase properties elapsed on December 31, 2012. 

To help people in the future, Commissioner Litz suggested legislation that makes any water retention basin the responsibility of a homeowner’s association.  If 40 homes create additional impervious surface, thus increased water runoff, logically, should these homes not share in the responsibility to maintain and insure a water retention basin as a common area rather than let it run downstream to a single property owner?  Further, should these same homes install best management practices on their lots to retain rain water in rain barrels and cisterns for future use or return it to their ground through a rain garden?  Not only is there a conservation advantage to installing these practices, there is an economic incentive too.  By not using gallons of water piped to or from their properties by authorities, home owners who reuse rain water are lowering their water and sewer bills. 

Finally, Commissioners listened to Dennis Grumbine’s request for an economic impact study for the Lebanon Valley Exposition Corporation.  Commissioners explained that a tourism study is being bid, and that his request may be incorporated into that scope.

May 2, 2013

Commissioners issued proclamations for:


National Hospital and National Nurses Week to William Mulligan, Patty Donley, and Joyce McKenzie, representatives of the Good Samaritan Health System; Heidi McMulland and Judy Warner from Phil Haven Hospital; and Dr. Kanan Chatterjee and Ms. Margaret Wilson from the VA Medical Center;


Ed Schlegel and representatives of Cedar Haven for National Nursing Home Week and PA Nurses Week;


Shem Heller and representatives of the Mental Health Association for Mental Health Month; and


Dennis Grumbine, Sharon Flaig, Ritz Meneses, Kathy Hower, and Jessica Penchard from the Tourist Promotion Agency for Travel and Tourism Week.

Because our equipment is five years old and ready for replacement and he wanted to explore the possibility of cost savings, Dennis Firestone presented bids for printing services from:


Office Depot $6,348.78 monthly;             


Phillips Office Solutions $6,350 monthly; and


Xerox Corporation $8,851 monthly. 

Dennis will review the bids for accuracy and consistency with bid requirements, and return at our next meeting to ask that commissioners award a bid.

Assistant Chief of Assessment Karl Stumpf presented two disabled veterans for exemption from real estate tax.  Then, after Karl presented his findings, Commissioners also decided on a previously heard case at Alden Place property.

April 18, 2013

Inwood Bridge  YouTube

Mark Wilson  presented a $95,449.90  request of which $4,772 would be a local liquid fuels match to approve a supplemental cost to rehabilitate the 150’ long 1899 Inwood Bridge to a 15-ton rating, which would accommodate cars and ambulances, but not fire trucks across the Swatara Creek just south of Swatara State Park.  The bridge will be removed and rebuilt off-site, and a new deck installed.  The decorative compression members will be preserved.  The cost will be comparable to replacement.  Inwood Bridge did not flood during Hurricane Lee while bridges south of this point did flood.  Mark plans to rebuild the abutments, and raise the bridge another foot, which will also allow debris to flow more easily under the bridge during storms.  Homes on the east side of the Swatara would no longer be stranded during floods.  After the vote, for the purpose of firefighting, it was suggested that pvc pipe or an equivalent, be connected to a dry hydrant on the west bank and run underneath the bridge.

The Bicentennial Committee was present, and awarded certificates of appreciation for their hard work in organizing the Expo event held earlier this year. 

Voter Registrar Lori Oliver presented examples of the Primary electronic ballots for approval.

Further, Lori requested two days of training from ES&S at a cost of $3,150.

Children and Youth Director James Holtry presented $1,079,925.57 in Adoption Assistance, Placement Maintenance, Act 148, TANF, and Medicaid invoices for payment.

Commissioner Ames shared a framed re-enactment of the fire school dedication.

Crime Victims Right's Week 2013  YouTube

Beth Hoch received a proclamation for Crime Victim Rights Week, April 21-27.

Kevin Schrum and Carol Davies received approval for an amendment to Health Choices.

Two MATP agreements were approved for the Community Action Partnership, one for a driver, and one for Central Medical to transport wheel chair clients curb-to-curb.  The contract pays $3.50 per mile and $7 per quarter hour for an attendant. 

Also, Claire Weaver was appointed to the CAP Board.

Cindy Heisey and Ed Kercher were appointed to the Workforce Investment Board. 

Swatara Watershed Proclamation  YouTube

Commissioners passed a proclamation in support of the May 4 & 5 Swatara Sojourn.

In the afternoon, Commissioners heard 12 assessment appeals.

April 17, 2013

Cedar Haven

Census 302, 89 maes and 213 females

Renova Center

Census is at 22.  One resident passed away this day.

Judges Tylwalk and Jones as well as Sally Barry and Jim Holtry presented an enhancement strategy based on practice to reduce recidivism.  Over 50 counties have implemented this practice using 8 principles of effective intervention.  Key is a risk and needs assessment tool to establish appropriate levels of intervention in order to better allocate resources.  25 juveniles currently are required to receive both an immediate and six-month evaluation.  Short term, this will be extra work for staff.  Long term, recidivism should be reduced.  The County budget will not be impacted.  The assessment will also allow the practice of holding placement centers accountable for programs to rehabilitate the youth. 

Lebanon Transits annual $88,055 allocation, payable in $22,013.75 quarterly

Prison Board

Census 455, 395 males and 60 females


Unsentenced Inmates 233


Work Release 43


State Sentenced 34


Parole/Probation Violators 206


DJ Sentenced 8


Common Pleas sentenced 19

Warden Karnes requested that minimum room and board costs for self-employed inmates on work release be increased to $200 per day, up from $150 per day.

The daily cost to house a prisoner is $43.30.  Because fees for prisoners who are employees were not proportionally increased, a discussion ensued. Minimum rates for employees are $70 per day.

Community YouTubes:


Swatara Eagles 4.11.2013


Man Dancing


Splat Art Studio, Megan Winslow, owner


AAA Senior Center Reopens in Lebanon PA


Sinkholes Formed Where Limestone Dissolved

Farm Family Safety Day YouTubes


How to Save Your Brain


Farm Family Safety - Grain

Democratic Dinner YouTubes:


Democratic Governor Candidate John Hanger


Democratic Governor Candidate Max Myers


Democratic Lt Governor Candidate Brad Koplinski


Democratic Governor Candidate Max Myers


Democratic Candidate Introductions Spring Fling 2013


Democratic Candidates Cesar B and Cesar F Liriano

April 4, 2013

Due to a change in signatory authority in her office, Treasurer Sallie Neuin presented Fredericksburg Bank authorizations for Commissioner’s signatures.

Also, Bond payments were approved for:

·         2006 at Wells Fargo in the amount of $138,424.32;

·         2008 at Wells Fargo for $58,709.19;

·         2009 GOB at Fulton Bank for $158,022.50;

·         2011 GOB at Fulton Bank for $220,006.25.

Desiree Nguyen presented a request for Probation Director Sally Barry to allow three employees to work 5 additional hours per week, for a period of ten weeks.  Since two positions have been vacant, the office will come in under budget. 

John Harrell presented a certificate of thanks for commissioner’s donation of $42,500 for Farmland Preservation.  

Jenny Murphy Shifflet presented an update on Sexual Awareness Month, and provided information on how adults can help children.  She also brought along red high heels, and Commissioner Ames put on a pair to kick off the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” campaign.

Next, Anne Hall, Lebanon County Library Systems, received a proclamation for National Library Week. 

MHID Director Kevin Schrum presented seven changes or amendments to two contracts, the one totaling $17,950 for the 2011-12 budget year, and the other totaling $120,959 for fiscal year 2013.  Because the changes do not impact the County’s General Fund, Commissioners approved the requests.

Further, Mary Louise Sherk, who served the MH Board since 1995, resigned.  Her resignation was accepted with regret.  Two appointments, Betty Beard and Rev. Alan Smith from the Church of the Good Shepherd, were appointed to fill vacant positions.

Because the County was awarded approximately one-half of grant requests, Drug and Alcohol Director Carol Davies presented two contract amendments for $35,535 in gambling grants awarded to the County.

Probation Director Sally Barry provided Centennial’s Professional Services Agreement Addendum, reducing costs 25 cents per day for a total of $5.25 per day for electronic monitoring and ankle bracelets. 

CJAB Grant Writer John Shott sought approval for a $743,339 Renaissance Crossroads Grant for PA Counseling to administer the drug treatment program at the VA Hospital.  A second request for a $59,336 restrictive intermediate grand for Electronic Monitoring also received commissioner approval.

Lori Oliver  YouTube

Commissioner Litz presided over the Board of Elections.  New Voter Registrar Lori Oliver provided sample 2013 Primary Election Ballots for approval.

Rail Trail Phase 6-7.pdf  YouTube

Jon Fitzkee and Tom Kotay were on hand to ask for approval of a $363,068 DCNR grant and a resolution for Phase 6 to implement construction extending the Rail Trail from Chestnut Street to the tunnel behind the Lebanon Valley Mall.  Also included in this grant will be study of the spur, which will be studied in phase six and implemented in phase 7, connecting the main rail trail to Coleman Park.  Using the Transportation Improvement Program, the County MPO will provide a match of $363,410.

Deputy Housing Director Sue Bowman received certification of the Housing Plan, which will conduct an energy audit, install windows and more roofs on Housing projects.  Currently, Stevens Towers is getting a new roof.

April 3, 2013

A group of citizens concerned about sinkholes that formed after Tropical Storm Lee attended a Lebanon County Commissioner meeting in search of a solution on the western end of the County. Commissioners listened to their concerns for safety, water entering the sinkholes, and the visual impact, and said that properties were purchased by FEMA after the storm, but that window of opportunity closed on December 31, 2012. Impacted property owners were notified that a clear title search should be submitted to the municipality prior to 12.31.2013 for inclusion in a purchase program. At the time of installation, this storm basin was constructed to specifications, which are more strict today.  While sinkholes occur east to west along the Route 422 corridor through Lebanon County, citizens working with government may be able to reduce impacts from future storms by installing rain gardens, cisterns and rain barrels on their properties and by impacting legislation that does not place a retention pond for a development on private land. Rather, because each house adds impervious surface on the Earth, thus more storm water runoff, perhaps basins should be common property for a homeowners association to maintain. Traditional repairs to a sinkhole would be to place large stone into the throat of the sinkhole, topped with smaller stone, and capped with clay that will expand and contract with moisture.

Commissioners will continue to work with state and federal elected officials.

Community YouTubes:

Amish Market Exit 85 off Interstate 81

City introduces Business Investment Districts YouTubes:


Mayor Sherry Capello Introduces BIDS


Malcom Johnstone on BIDS


Julie Fitzpatrick on BIDs


Segways, Ambassadors, Escort Service

Lebanon Levi Mania 3.24.13 YouTube

Columbia County Bicentennial  YouTube

March 21, 2013

Regular Meeting

In an effort to reduce costs for the County, Commissioners approved a change in weekly hours for the fulltime secretary at the Extension Office from 35 hours to 28 hours per week as discussed during the 2013 budget hearings.

Lori Oliver was hired as the Chief Clerk of Elections.  Lori has an MBA, has worked for both DEP and PEMA, has extensive computer knowledge, and is a professional trainer.  She begins her duties on Tuesday.

A part-time assistant district attorney position was eliminated, and Nichole Eisenhart, Megan Ryland-Tanner, and Pier Hess received raises. 

The salary board transactions were approved by a 3-1 majority vote. 

Daniel Kauffman received approval on four items:


An Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) update using a PEMA template that reduces from 23 to 15 the number of required people to service the Emergency Operations Center; plus minor corrections;


A radiological Emergency Response Procedures (RERP) update (Juan Rodriguez replaces Mike Pavelek as our radiological officer);


A $58,650 Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Resolution (no cost to the county); and


An Emergency Management Performance Grant change due to the retirement of Frank Hemler.  The change will maximize reimbursements for Jon Wilson and the fiscal assistant’s salaries. 

Standard and Poors Rating, A- YouTube Commissioners will wait until they can save a minimum of $200,000 to refinance their 2009 General Obligation Bond.  Commissioners share a Standard and Poors Rating rating of the County’s bond from an A to an A-.  While the County has a stable tax base with strong wealth and good income levels, and a moderate debt burden, the pension is funded at 70%, and there are rising transfers from the general fund in support of the county’s nursing home, which “seems unlikely to abate in the near term.” 

At this time, Commissioner Litz noted that our staff at Cedar Haven is top notch, and asked Cedar Haven employees to share any cost-saving measures.  She was saddened by S&P not recognizing that the County just went through a court-ordered reassessment, which required a loan of $2 million, and was mandated to be revenue neutral.  Raising taxes would have sent a conflicting message to citizens.  Instead of raising taxes, commissioners chose to live within our means.  Instead of being commended for being frugal, they were chastised.  We have lower dept per capita than our neighbors, didn’t miss any TRAN payments, and paid the TRAN back early. 

Also, the negative arbitrage set aside to pay investors through 2014 will drop by $8,000 per month.  Commissioner Phillips stated that an A- is still a good rating.  Commissioner Ames stated that this decision was based on 2011 decisions.  This Board will continue to do what is necessary, make difficult and responsible decisions.  We're on the right track.  There will be public scrutiny of this process, but I hope people will look at the entire picture and not hold this Board accountable for the rating. 

S&P will review our books again at year end.  A refund is expected from an insurance carrier, and, among other measures, this new Board of commissioners has already made adjustments to stop medical payments to retirees, instead depositing the $101,000 into the pension fund and budgeting another $500,000 payment.

To the Commission for Women, the following members were reappointed for another term:  Cheryl Batdorf, Loreen Burkett, Loren Hollubech, Bonnie Loy, Sue Werner, and Kim Kreider Umble.

To the Area Agency on Aging advisory council members were appointed: Tom Reilly, Chris Rocknage, Margaret Stohler, Sue Hein, and Jan Fryer.

Commissioners approved three contracts:


Danielle Powers and Bob Collins as Medical Assistance Transportation drivers; and a


Domestic Violence Intervention emergency shelter program.

Finally, a proclamation for the First Aid and Safety patrol was approved. 

Assessment Board:  Five appeals were considered.

March 20, 2013

Cedar Haven


Census:  303:  86 males, 217 females; 94% occupancy


Warehouse deliveries staff will become fulltime.


Residents at a meeting requested more pot pie, liver and onions, and sausage patties.


As a matter of policy, no one is hired by Cedar Haven until after they pass a background check.


Every three years, Cedar Haven undergoes a Social Security audit.  An audit is scheduled for April 10 and 11.


Easy-Mar, a new tracking software for medication, is intuitive, and after minimal training, staff adjusts quickly.


UMR inspects every three-four months.  No problems were recorded. 

Renova Center Census:  23, 2 vacancies, with one referral from GSH.

Dennis Firestone discussed document reproduction, and will gather additional statistics by April 16 for review.  The current printer made 10,000,000 copies.

Biennial TMI exercises will take place April 16. 

Rather than paying our new solicitor preparation time, Tom Long will close out the reassessment appeals, of which approximately 50 remain, at a rate of $150 per hour. 

At a cost of $1575 per day, ES&S will program the PEBs for the Primary.

Prison Board

Census 458:  392 males, 66 females


Unsentenced 219


Work Release 46


State sentenced 37


Parole/probation violators 200


DJ sentenced 13


Court of Common Pleas sentenced 32

On a 4-1 majority vote, a pregnancy policy was adopted.

Community YouTubes:


10,000 Friends-Congratulations Lebanon Daily News


Seamus CarMichael Sings to the Woman's Club


PA Secretary on Aging Brian Duke discusses Sale of Lottery


Maple Street Laundromat - Tony Mull


Michelle Brummer on the Northern Lebanon Recreation Plan

February 7, 2013

Commissioners approved a Collective Bargaining agreement with the Teamster’s Local 429 involving the Court Appointed Professional employees, effective January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014.  A 3% wage increase, higher insurance deductibles from $200/$400 to $250.$500, and increased prescription co-pays from $7/$15/$40 to $10/$20/$30 will take effect on May 1, 2013.

Dr. Jeffrey Yocum provided an annual State of the Coroner’s Office address.  During 2012:


Cremations totaled 487.  Each cremation must be reviewed and approved by the Coronoer.


Accidental deaths, where no note was left behind, numbered 16.


Of these accidental deaths, 10 were motor vehicle accidents, 5 drug related, 1 fall, and 2 undetermined.


4 homicides, and most troubling, 


15 suicides—10 by gunshot, 4 by hanging, and 1 drug related. 

In his final appearance as the Voter Registrar, Nick Yingst presented three items for approval:

Political Party Certification, which allows the Republican and Democratic parties to place candidates on the Primary ballot; HAVA Maintenance of Effort certification guaranteeing that Lebanon County did not spend over the established threshold; and closeout of the Help America Vote Act grant reports. 

Kevin Schrum presented a name change for MH/MR/EI to Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities/Early Intervention or MH/ID/EI.  Sue Fuller, vice chair of their advisory Board and Brenda Mettley also supported the name change. 

Board appointments were made:  Amy Leonard, Housing and Redevelopment; and Michale Fry, August Stoner, Jennifer Shay, and William White to Drug and Alcohol.

Commissioners certified that 911 Act 78 dollars were used for purposes designated.

Commissioners also approved a $69,519 DEP W Nile Virus Grant. 

March 7, 2013

Treasurer Sallie Neuin received approval for up to 280 part-time hours to help process taxes.

The Board of Elections convened to adopt the 5th Ward East as a Polling Location at the United Methodist Church.  No public comment was heard.

Refinancing of the $9,226,898 2009 Obligation Bond will save the County $260,506.The County’s total debt load is $32,571,774 or approximately $252 per capita, which is low compared to other counties.

Carl Stump presented nine Reading Railroad properties purchased for $40,000 with a DCNR grant to request tax exemption for the Rail trail.

District Attorney David Arnold presented a $113,958 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant for personnel, equipment, and supplies.

Larry Taylor presented a $10,000 grant request to get the Envirothon back on course.  Commissioners approved $10,000 from Marcellus Shale funds, which will be used for elementary buses and to reimburse Stephanie Harmon for her work on the Envirothon.  Next, year, commissioners requested that there be a match to any funding the County might supply.

John Shott, Criminal Justice Advisory Board, presented a $51,000 grant modification for the Drug and Alcohol Rennaisance Crossroads program. 

Phil Hall and Fuzzy made an appearance to promote the April 12 Tire Collection to be held at the LV Expo, 2120 Cornwall Road, Lebanon PA from 8AM-6PM12 auto or two large tires can be accepted from a household, but once a municipality's limit is reached, there is a $3/tire charge.  Preregister 675.2077.  Identification to show residency is required.

February 21, 2013

County Pension hits One Hundred Million Dollars  YouTube Archie and Mike Battistelli and Bret Holland— Stifel Nicolaus & Co.--, and Kevin Kurank, a Washington Crossing representative, were on hand to let Lebanon County know that, for the first time, our pension plan exceeded the one hundred million dollar mark.

New City Polling Location  YouTube Next, Nicholas Yingst and Jo Ellen Sohn were on hand for the Board of Elections to convene in order to change a polling location from the 9th ward back into the bounds of the 5th ward City District.  The new polling place will be located at Bethany UMC.

Then, James Holtry—Lebanon County Children & Youth—presented  FY 2012-2013 contract amendments for approval.

Women's Commission 2013 Annual Report  YouTube Kathy Kulbitsky—president of the Lebanon County Commission for Women—along with vice president Maria Dissinger and secretary Vanessa Fischer presented an annual report, which highlighted the good work of LCCM starting a Homeless Shelter.  The report also highlights the annual Glass Slipper prom dress sale for high school seniors and the Hall of Fame to induct ten women for their contributions to the community.

Dave Warner, Buzgon Davis  YouTube At a rate of $150 per hour, Commissioners hired a new solicitor, David Warner, Buzgon Davis.

Commissioners approved a sharepoint contract for CCAP to host the County's web site at a cost of $3990 annually.

At 11: 00 a.m., the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) ‐ Policy Committee Meeting took place.  Commissioner Litz was re-elected as the chair; Commissioner Phillips as the vice-chair; and Commissioner Ames as the secretary.

A Unified Work Plan was approved.

Also, approval was given to proceed to Phase 2 of the PennDOT Study titled SC PS Public Transportation Regionalization Study.

Finally, at 1:30 p.m., Lebanon County Board of Assessment appeals convened to listen to properties not in compliance.  Also, for the sum of $100, a trailer at 438 Palm City Park was sold from the repository of unclaimed property.

February 20, 2013

Cedar Haven    Commissioner Ames absent.  Census 303--86 males and 217 females.

The Department of Education found zero deficiencies in the Certified Nurse Assistant's program.

Commissioners discussed a first ever late sewer payment for South Lebanon Township.

Dietary update--meals are getting good reviews from residents.  Meals are served from 7AM-9:30AM in the dining room.  Residents are responding well to this option, which may be extended to dinner in the future.

Roman Shahay reported that the Renova Center census is at 23.  The two vacancies were offered to three local families, but none of them are quite ready to make the transition for their children. 

A trailer at 24 Lindle Lane, Lebanon was sold from the repository of unclaimed property. 

Commissioners ratified a proclamation for Andrea Anspach who retired as the president judge's secretary. 

Commissioners approved $20,000 for a matching grant to restore the Chestnut Street Log House.  If matching funds are awarded by the State, the County share would be made over a two-year period from either or both the hotel tax tourism dollars and/or the Marcellus shale fund.

Phyllis Holtry requested a $67,500 DCED amendment for salaries and rental assistance to support Crisis Intervention at Philhaven. 

Prison Board     Commissioner Ames, Sheriff DeLeo, and DA Arnold absent. Census 499--430 males and 79 females.


Unsentenced inmates 170


Work release 38


State sentenced 47


Parole/probation violators 223


DJ sentenced 13


Court of Common Pleas sentenced 30

February 16, 2013

Lebanon County Bicentennial 2.16.13  YouTube In a ceremonial and business meeting at the 200th anniversary of Lebanon County, Commissioners Ames, Litz, and Phillips dressed in period costume.  The men had wooden walking sticks, ruffled shirts, top hats and tails.  Commissioner Litz had a lace black dress with a purple underlay.  The long sleeves came to a point on the back of her hand, and fine button closures fastened the sleeves.  She had feathers in her hair, and a reproduction period fan made of peacock and black chicken feathers.  In addition to making the fan, she held a handmade purple draw-string purse with a black tassel extending from the bottom center.  In addition to a long necklace with faux pearls painted with flowers, she wore a black beaded necklace that draped her neck.  A shear black fringed shawl and black fingerless gloves were available to finish the ensemble. 

Bicentennial chairman Don Rhoads greeted guests, and presented a framed statement  that was read into the Congressional Record by Congressman Charlie Dent.  Dent and Congressman Gerlach were also on hand to wish Lebanon County a happy birthday.

Treasurer Sallie Neuin used equivalent 1813 dollars to translate her current report. 

Redevelopment Authority Director Ray Bender presented a new brochure to promote Lebanon County, and inform municipal leaders of the Authority’s services.  Further, a $90,000 CDBG amendment to utilize remaining funds from West Lebanon Township’s sewer project and the First-Time Homebuyer program was redistributed for Cedar Haven improvements.

Next, Firemen were on hand to present a final report on the Burn Building behind LCCTC.  The building was completed December 5, and will begin training on April 6, 2013. 

Finally, Palmyra Mayor Fred Carpenter presented a proclamation to Commissioners.

Community YouTubes


Michelle Brummer on the Northern Lebanon Recreation Plan


Juniper Village, 1125 Birch, Lebanon PA


Marion Pauline Light Hess, PFC, Marines, WWII

February 7, 2013

Commissioners approved a Collective Bargaining agreement with the Teamster’s Local 429 involving the Court Appointed Professional employees, effective January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014.  A 3% wage increase, higher insurance deductibles from $200/$400 to $250/$500, and increased prescription co-pays from $7/$15/$40 to $10/$20/$30 will take effect on May 1, 2013.

2012 Deaths-16 Accidental, 4 Homicides, and 15 Suicides in Lebanon County  YouTube

Dr. Jeffrey Yocum provided an annual State of the Coroner’s Office address.  During 2012:


Cremations totaled 487.  Each cremation must be reviewed and approved by the Coroner.


Accidental deaths, where no note was left behind, numbered 16.


Of these accidental deaths, 10 were motor vehicle accidents, 5 drug related, 1 fall, and 2 undetermined.


There were 4 homicides, and most troubling, 


15 suicides—10 by gunshot, 4 by hanging, and 1 drug related. 

In his final appearance as the Voter Registrar, Nick Yingst presented three items for approval:  Political Party Certification, which allows the Republican and Democratic parties to place candidates on the Primary ballot; HAVA Maintenance of Effort certification guaranteeing that Lebanon County did not spend over the established threshold; and closeout of the Help America Vote Act grant reports. 

Intellectual Disabilities, not the R word  YouTube

Kevin Schrum presented a name change from MH/MR/EI to Mental Health/Intellectual Disabilities/Early Intervention or MH/ID/EI.  Sue Fuller, vice chair of their advisory Board and Brenda Mettley also supported the name change. 

Board appointments were made:  Amy Leonard, Housing and Redevelopment; and Michael Fry, August Stoner, Jennifer Shay, and William White to Drug and Alcohol.

Commissioners certified that 911 Act 78 dollars were used for purposes designated.

Commissioners also approved a $69,519 DEP West Nile Virus grant. 

Community YouTubes:


Hilda Sara VanWinkle Sando Seaman 1st class US Coast Guard WWII


2013 Lebanon Bologna Eating Contest


Womans Club History

January 17, 2013

Area Agency on Aging Director Michael Kristovensky is retiring after 39 years of service.  Thanks, Mike!

Maple Street Senior Center Lease  YouTube

Mayor Capello presented the Maple Street Senior Center lease for approval.  Commissioner Litz asked the Mayor to remove the clause stating, “The Mayor of the City of Lebanon shall approve any and all possible tenants prior to the County entering into any type of agreement with the tenant.”  The Mayor stated she wanted to keep all senior related services in the building.  Rightly, with this lease, the Senior Center of Lebanon Valley AND Independent Fire Company are guaranteed certain space in the building.  However, Commissioner Litz said that the Commonwealth places certain duties with the County and certain duties with the City.  Based on Purdons Statutes, Caring for our Aging population is the duty of the County, and the County should determine their tenants.   In the past, the United Way and Blood Bank occupied space in the building. 

The County would follow all federal, state, County, and City laws, or it would break the lease.  In lieu of rent, the County will manage the building and pay a minimum of $100,000 in upkeep to the building annually.  Out of the gate, the City has asked the County to pay a $50,000 elevator repair bill.  In addition, the County is responsible for snow and leaf removal, the parking lot, roof repairs…. 

Litz pointed out the uncertainty of the State budget.  AAA could take a cut, and Children and Youth could increase in size due to the Sanduskey trials.  If no tenant serving the aging is available, it would make sense that since the County already maintains the Maple Street building, the two offices share the space. 

Also, elections are not guaranteed, and the potential four-year lease could be up to a new mayor.  Leasing the space could become a political hot potato. 

Commissioners adopted Ordinance 47, which was advertised, establishing assessment appeal fees.

For approval, Jim Holtry presented $1,053,443.10 in IV-E Adoption Assistance and Placement Maintenance; Act 148 funding; TANF; and Medicaid.

Commissioners provided a letter of support to the Lebanon Valley Conservancy for a Heritage Trails grant.

Municipalities contributing to the Farmland Preservation fund are S Annville $21,000; S Lebanon 7,000; N Lebanon $5,000; S Londonderry $10,000; Swatara $3,000; Bethel $5,000; Annville $100; Jackson $10,000; N Cornwall $10,000; N Annville $5,000; N Londonderry $1,000; E Hanover $8,000; and miscellaneous $707.  Commissioners provided a 50% match or $42,500.  The total certified for farmland preservation came to $128,407 for 2013.  Commissioners took the match from $113,000 in Act 113 Marcellus shale funds.  An account was recently opened to accept the State Act 113 check.

Signatory authority was approved for the Area Agency on Aging Director to process civil service papers.

Randy Tice was appointed to the Health Facilities Authority.

Mervin Horst, Gary Lentz, and Pat Kreiser were appointed to the Ag Preservation Board.

Gail Shiner and Alletta Schadler were appointed to the Library Systems Board.

Lowell Brogan was appointed to Lebanon Transit’s Board.

January 16, 2013

Cedar Haven

Census:  88 male, 221 female; 309 total

In this new year, meetings will start at 10AM.

Because there were nine confirmed cases of the flu, Cedar Haven was closed to visitors for two weeks.  Currently, restrictive visitation is allowed providing visitors wear provided face masks.  At a cost of $30,000, all residents received a Tamiflu shot.  The bill was submitted to the insurance company for reimbursement.  In addition, every resident and employee were provided with shots, or they too must wear a mask. Five chose masks.

Concerning our 42 kitchen employees, four have retired; 8 transferred to other jobs within Cedar Haven; 2 resigned; 1 did not apply for anything; 1 person was terminated; 1 supervisor was offered a position, but refused; 14 are new hires by the vendor; and 11 workers still need to be placed.

An EZMar system allows computers to assist with dispensing of medications.  This procedure eliminates re-writes.  Therefore, some duties will be reassigned. 

Commissioners approved a $1200 land lease  to grow crops on the County Farm by Reist.

An $111,614 ROSA Victim Witness grant was accepted.

CAP received approval to add Scott Beard as a contract driver.

Prison Board

Bob Phillips was elected chairman, Bill Ames vice-chairman, and Robert Mettley secretary.

In this new year, meetings will start at 11:30AM.

Community YouTube:

Major Parks & Colonel Fike award Cadets, Airplane repairs tests

January 3, 2013

Commissioners held their reorganizational meeting.  Commissioner Ames was elected chairman.  Commissioner Phillips was elected vice-chairman.   Commissioner Litz was elected Secretary.  While Solicitor Snelling was reappointed as the solicitor, she has tendered her resignation effective January 7, 2013.  Assistant Solicitor Tom Long will serve until a replacement is selected.

Liaison assignments will remain the same as 2012:





Ag Extension Agency

Area Agency on Aging

Building & Grounds

Children & Youth

City of Lebanon

Central PA Energy Consortium


Community Action Partnership

Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development

Conservation District

Emergency Management & Long Term Disaster Recovery

Drug & Alcohol

Housing & Redevelopment

Lebanon Transit

Geographic Information Sys

Mental Health/Retardation

Tourist Promotion Agency

Management Information

Renova Center

Southcentral Local Elected Officials (pending)


Women's Commission

United Way

Veterans Affairs

Ames will Chair the Assessment Board, and Litz will serve as vice-chair.

Litz will Chair the Election Board.

Phillips will Chair the Prison Board

Meeting dates were established on the first and third Thursday of each month at 9:30AM  Three additional meetings were scheduled:  February 16 for a special meeting at the 200th Anniversary of Lebanon County, August 1 at the Lebanon Area Fair, and December 26 to adopt the budget.

In addition commissioners will meet the third Wednesday of each month at 10AM at Cedar Haven, then at 11:30 AM at the prison

Also, commissioners have scheduled 1:30PM work sessions each Wednesday

Commissioners voted to advertise Ordinance No. 47 establishing graduated Assessment Appeal fees similar to other counties to help cover additional administrative expenses. 


$50 for residences with up to 4 rental units;


$150 for farms and Act 319 Clean and Green appeals;


$150 for commercial appeals under $1 million, and for apartments with more than 4 units; and


$300 for commercial appeals valued over $1 million.


Interim, 40-day, and non profits are all exempted. 

Assessment Hearing Dates:


January 17


February 21


March 21


April 18


May 16


June 20


July - October as needed


November 21


December 19

Commissioners accepted a $50,000 DCED Emergency Solutions Grant for Community Action Partnership to help cover the cost like financial assistance, rental assistance, child care, counseling, and transportation.

Finally, Commissioners approved a $10,000 Liquid Fuels request submitted by Jonestown Borough for portions of E Martin St and various patch projects.

Depository Banks were approved.

Community YouTubes:

Happy New Year 2013 from Lebanon PA

Candles Across Lebanon County for Sandy Hook 12 21 13

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