People Above Politics

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

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

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

I've been here for you.

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

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

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

Keep Litz doing the People's Business.

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

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

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Campaign/Rail Trail Map Postcard.pdf

Home Up 2008 2007 2006 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 14 2015

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Meeting Highlights

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

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

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

LitzOnLebanon

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

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LINKED IN Jo Ellen Litz

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

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

Taking Action, Getting Results.

Lebanon PA  17046

644-4698

NEED HELP?  Try one of these resources:

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Human Services 2015 Directory

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

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Public Officials Directory prepared by LC Planning Department 

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

to Team Litz  using PayPal

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely, Jo Ellen

People Above Politics

Team Litz:  Treasurer, Cathy Garrison

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

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

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

Swatara Watershed Association

 

 

www.nlrotary.com 

 

ABWA Homepage link

American Business Women's Association

Lebanon County Commission for Women

https://www.facebook.com/LCC4W

 

Women's Democratic Club of Lebanon Valley

https://www.facebook.com/WomensDemocraticClubOfLebanonValley

Woman's Club of Lebanon

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

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Web site paid for by Jo Ellen Litz. 

Meeting Highlights

Votes taken by the Lebanon County Commissioners 2006:  Redistricting    Liaison Assignments   10,000 Acres Preserved 

2:40 iVontronic voting machine lesson    General Election Ballot

December 28, 2006

Brett Lentz introduced Jeffrey and Teresa Zechman for presentation of a check for the conservation easement to place their 115.37-acre South Londonderry Township farm into preservation.

After being duly advertised, Ordinance 33 passed joining Lebanon County with six other counties to form a Northern County Health Insurance Purchasing Cooperative.  During 2007, there will be no increase in health insurance.  The purchasing "pool" will help to insulate Lebanon County from “shock” claims of more than $50,000.

Robert Mettley presented recommendations for the Retirement Board, including:

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Interest payable to employees at the rate of 5.5%;

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Adopting the 1/80th class;

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Engaging the Hay Group to complete statements at a cost of $1.75 each;

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Approving a 90% Cost of Living Allocation, which will cost the plan $714,234;

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Acceptance of refunds paid to former employees; and

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Paying pensions to current retirees.

Wanting to reassure employees and the public that the County pension fund is sound, Commissioner Litz stated that:

¨      Lebanon County has a fiscally responsible retirement plan that is comparable to what a business offers.  

¨      We do not try to compete with the State retirement plan.  It’s what we can afford.  

¨      Everything we do is at an open meeting during one of our regular commissioner’s meetings.  

¨      Our records are open for public inspection.  

¨      Our employees contribute up to 7% of their pay.  

¨      All employees, including the commissioners, are on the same plan.

¨      It takes five years to be vested in the plan.  

¨      Lebanon County’s pension plan is decent, but not exorbitant.

After a twenty-day public review process, Commissioners adopted the 2007 budget with no tax increase.  The total budget of $88,157,373 includes State and federal funds and a $31,167,650 General Fund ($17,961,257 from real estate taxes).  In 2006, due to new legislation, the County paid constables $29,000 over budget.

Commissioners approved an Application for County Aid for bridge maintenance contracts.  This includes an encumbered allocation of $160,000 for next year.

December 20, 2006

Cedar Haven:

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Census is 319—83 men and 236 women.

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The Snowflake bazaar netted $1500 profit.

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Roman Shahay, Renova Center, received approval to increase monthly payments by $150 to Myerstown Family Practice for the medical care of residents during a fifteen-month period from April 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008.  They visit Renova Center to make rounds weekly, and are on-call 24 hours a day.  There has been no increase in ten years.

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Beginning January 1, 2007 at a rate of $1388.33 monthly, Mike Folmer will lease a 980 square foot district office at the courthouse in Room 101. 

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Lebanon County will pay $2000 in Assembly dues.

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Library board appointments were made:  Rose Kays Palmyra; Lettie Schadler, Fredericksburg; and Gail Shiner, Myerstown.

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Connie Hoffer and Sue Bowman were appointed as Conservation District board members.  Director Betty Conner indicated that she has other obligations mid-year.

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Commissioners reviewed Growing Greener II applications.

Prison Board:

Census is 563—499 males and 64 females; 205 unsentenced inmates; 105 on work release; 49 State sentenced inmates; 33 incarcerated on parole violations; 33 on domestic bench warrants/sentences; and 15 inmates are in other counties on writs.

CRC made a presentation on administering methadone to inmates who were receiving treatment prior to incarceration.  A policy decision will be made next month.

December 21, 2006

Regular Commissioner’s meeting:

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Since all of the mobile homes that went up for Sheriff’s sale due to tax claim did not sell, Dennis Firestone requested permission to sell two mobile homes to Lakeside Park owner Jessie Ryder for $1 each.  Commissioners approved the request.

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A $181,680 HAVA certificate of maintenance effort to conduct elections was approved.  Actual expenses were $202,308.46.

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Farmland Preservation:  Eugene and Sylvia Hoffman were present for the preservation of their 51.14-acre farm, which contains Ft. Zellers, the oldest fort in PA.  Next week, the Zechman farm will be presented.  Twenty more farms are in the process of preservation.

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Growing Greener II grants:  Commissioners released proposed funding for their $1.39 million allocation of the Growing Greener II funds provided by the State.  A formal grant application will need to be submitted to the appropriate State agency—DEP, DCNR, or the Department of Agriculture by each group.

Growing Greener II Lebanon County Allocation $1.39 million
Project  Requested  Funding Recommendation
Fountain Park  $      4,700.00  $       4,700.00  
North Lebanon Lions Park  $      8,030.00  $       8,030.00  
Rain Garden  $     12,270.00  $     12,270.00  
Heidelberg Township  $     28,001.00  $     28,000.00  
North Cornwall Township park  $     36,000.00  $     36,000.00  
Quittie Wetland water & sewer  $     36,500.00  $     38,300.00  
Northern Lebanon Fitness Trail  $   136,650.00  $     50,000.00  
Governor Dick forest  $     79,225.00  $     74,200.00  
Historical Society-Union Canal  $     97,000.00  $     76,000.00  
Newmanstown Water Authority  $   175,000.00  $     87,500.00  
Rails to Trails  $   117,000.00  $   100,000.00  
Fredericksburg Sewer & Water  $   332,000.00  $   100,000.00  
Millcreek Richland Pump  $   105,185.00  $   100,000.00  
Swatara Township  $   200,000.00  $   100,000.00  
North Lebanon Sewer Repairs  $   220,350.00  $   100,000.00  
Coleman's Park  $   457,700.00  $   125,000.00  
Farmland Preservation  $   725,000.00  $   350,000.00  
Total  $2,770,611.00  $1,390,000.00  

Metropolitan Planning Organization:

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A court decision on the 11th Avenue Railroad Crossing is one year away.  Therefore, a budget amendment will move allocated funds to the Ramona Road crossing.

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A 2006 fiscal Report Card showed Lebanon County receiving $1,969,114 or 120% for the target allocation for roads and bridges.  The additional 20% was possible due to reallocation of money not spent in other State MPOs.

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Among others, TIP Modifications included a 50’ wooden footbridge across Quittapahilla Creek; a traffic signal, left turn lanes, paving, storm water improvements and pavement markings at the intersection of PA 72 and West Crestview Drive in North Cornwall Township; the Grant Street Bridge project deobligated federal funds of  $77,252, which allowed transfer to the Bridge Reserve line item; a bridge replacement on SR 4011 over a tributary to Swatara Creek in North Londonderry Township; Mountain Road and Asherminer Road in East Hanover Townships; and mill and resurface, drainage work, guide rail improvements, and sink hole repair on Route 422 from Green Street to Killinger Creek and SR 72 from I78 to Fisher Avenue in North Londonderry and Union Townships.

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The MPO reviewed a crash report for the Western end of Route 22 in Lebanon County.

Assessment Appeals Commissioners heard one commercial appeal.

December 14, 2006

Recognizing the demands placed upon row officers, former Treasurer Diane Rhoads voiced her support for the new salary structure. 

Because of a vacant secretary position in the public defender’s office, commissioners voted to compensate Myrna Garcia for overtime, which totals 6 to 10 hours.

Commissioner’s also increased the starting rate of pay for correctional officers to $11.05 per hour.

Clyde Flickinger and Mike Burke, with Big Brothers Big Sisters, presented commissioners with Bowl for Kids Sake t-shirts.  March 24 at Cedar Lanes, the 2007 Bowl will encompass the entire facility.  Lane sponsorships are $250.  Sponsor logos appear on the t-shirt awarded annually to participants.

To secure services as the County’s agent through 2011, on behalf of Lebanon County Christian Ministries, Troy Williams presented the Emergency Food Assistance Program contract for commissioner’s signatures.  670 families at three sites—250 S 7th Street in Lebanon, St. Paul’s UCC in Schaefferstown, and Trinity UMC at 98 Fisher Avenue in Lickdale—received one bag of government surplus food like peanut butter or cheese

monthly.  Eligibility is based upon income guidelines like a maximum annual salary of $14700 for an individual, $19800 for a husband and wife, and $24900 for a family of three.  For more information, call 272-4400.  The LCCM also runs an emergency food program, emergency prescription program, and emergency utility assistance program for people in need.  Food drives also support LCCM—350,000 pounds from businesses, 53,000 from a Boy Scout drive, and 10,000 pounds from a Post Office drive.  Twenty Thanksgiving and thirty Christmas dinners are distributed.  245 families are registered in the food bank, and 110 free meals are provided daily.

Dauphin County Industrial Development Authority presented a request for an IRS required Certificate of Approval supporting their $13 million refinancing of nine multi-family housing properties including Walnut Manor in Jonestown.  Support does not create an obligation with respect to the payment of the bonds, jeopardize Lebanon’s bond rating, or increase our debt load.

Appointments to the Children and Youth board include:  Mark Hess, Keith Shields, Edgar Werner, Sue Werner, Kim Miller, and Glen Essler.

November 7, 2007

Elaine Ludwig provided HAVA grant reports covering accessibility, materials and signs for signatures.

Commissioners approved the first reading of the $88,157,373 - 2007 budget, which reflects 15.5 mills—no tax increase.

Brett Lentz presented the 115.37-acre Jeffrey & /Teresa Zechman Farm located in South Londonderry Township for a farmland preservation right-to-be-heard hearing.  The value of the conservation easement is $1590 per acre.

Commissioners approved Ordinance #33, which authorizes Lebanon County to join the intergovernmental Northern County Health Insurance Purchasing Cooperative for a three-year term.  Other counties in the cooperative include:  Clinton, Clearfield, McKean, Susquehanna, and Tioga—all 6th class counties—as well as Schuylkill, which is a 4th class county.

By resolution, Lebanon County Emergency Management is authorized to connect and monitor alarm systems within Lebanon County utilizing an alarm device connection agreement set at $80 per circuit and $150 per year.

Commissioners will meet Monday, December 11, 2005 at 6:45PM in the Commissioners’ office, room 207 of the Municipal Building to set the salaries for elected officials who take office in 2008.  By a previous board of commissioners, the Register of Wills, Sheriff, and Jury Commissioner salaries were approved for a 6% increase in 2007, 3.5% for 2008, and 3.5% for 2009.

November 29,2006

To help decide how the County's $1.39 million State allocation should be spent, from 10:30AM until 5PM, Commissioners listened to nineteen Growing Greener applicants.  Rails-to-Trails, Governor Dick, the Union Canal Tunnel Park, Fountain Park in Schaefferstown, sewage systems, camps, schools, an Historic hiking and biking trail,... all outlined their needs or visions for improving the environment or recreation in Lebanon County.  The largest request, $725,000, came from the Conservation District to preserve farmland.  A discussion ensued whether or not to increase the $1500 allocation per acre.

November 22, 2006

Commissioners met at the Governor Dick Nature Center in Mt. Gretna.  Trustees Ray Bender and Chuck Allwein greeted everyone.

Upon the request of Gary Robson, Commissioners adopted a revised Sexual Harassment policy, which was reviewed by the solicitor, our insurance company, and the unions.

In addition to the Treasurer’s report, Sally Neuin presented a Records Management Plan for approval.  The vote was unanimous to adopt a resolution in accordance with Act 8-98 concerning fees collected by the Recorder of Deeds and administered by the County Commissioners.

Because parts are no long available for repair, Commissioners discussed an upgrade to the existing telephone system at the courthouse.  Ken Bachem received a firm bid of $38,000, which is split 70/30 between the County and City.  The City will be approached to discuss a plan for their portion.  The County will take one-half from this year’s budget and one-half in 2007.  This is possible due to on-call or on-demand repairs verses a service contract for what has been deemed an obsolete system.

Former Commissioner Ed Arnold requested consideration of an increase in the per acre payment for the farmland preservation program Lebanon currently pays farmers $1500 per acre, and any appraised value over that sum may be able to be used as a tax write-off.  Farmers should consult their accountants for details.  Commissioner Litz promised to provide a comparison of counties throughout the Commonwealth.  The document was distributed at the County Commissioner’s Association of PA Energy, Environment, and Land Use committee meeting at the conference in Hershey this past week.  Even though we could be considered a smaller county, with 95 farms and 11,464 acres, Lebanon places 7th in the State for their farmland preservation program.

Commissioner Stohler addressed a question concerning Clean and Green.

November 15, 2006

Cedar Haven:

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Census:  317 consisting of 233 females and 84 males

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98.5% occupancy rate

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This Saturday, there will be a bazaar from 10AM-3PM.

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12/13 is an employee tea from 1-3:15

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Without revision, the Department of Health approved plans for the sprinkler system.

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The Department of Health also cleared all deficiencies for the facility.

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John Locker was approved for admission to Renova Center bringing the round-the-clock care facility to a full capacity of 25.

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Should the replacement option be the most practical and so that a cost estimate can be established, Mark Wilson provided three sketches of the County owned Inwood bridge for input from the Commissioners.  Replacement would require archival photographs, but use the same footprint, which reduces or eliminates hazardous waste, wetlands, and endangered species concerns.  His next meeting will be with DCNR who owns the land around the bridge.  The other two options include repair or rehabilitation of the 14’ wide historic structure.  If replaced, Penn DOT mandates a marketing program.  The "old" bridge would have to be taken apart and reassembled elsewhere.

Prison Board:

Census:  564

34 State Sentenced Inmates; 222 Unsentenced Inmates; 113 on Work Release; 23 on detail.

November 16, 2006

Regular Meeting:

Commissioners met with the Records Improvement Committee.  Treasurer Sallie Neuin presented a Record Improvement Plan for review.  Sheriff DeLeo, Register of Wills Resanovich, and Prothonotary Arnold were also present.  A final plan for approval will be presented at next week’s Commissioner’s meeting.

Jim Holtry and Karen Alonzo received approval on Children and Youth invoices: 

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IV-E placement maintenance, $221,454.51, which includes $13,303 Random Moment Time Study (RMTS) pre-placement cost.  The conflict with the State and Federal government is not resolved.  The State must pass a review prior to release of funds.  If not released, the State will pay $9834, and the County $3469.  Overall, RMTS puts the maintenance contribution about $44,000 less from the federal government.

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IV-E adoption assistance, $42,381.98, which is $34,000 less than last year;

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TANF, $55,263.63;

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State transitional grant, $88,903; and

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Medicaid, $1197 for a total of $409,200.12.

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Area Agency on Aging’s Mike Kristovensky and Joe Lecisko presented a 5-year MA Waiver agreement for approval.  6/07-10/11 = $235,648 per year for a total of $1,178,240 for five years.

The original Waiver Program started in July 1999 to provide in-home community based services to consumers who were determined medical assistance eligible for a nursing home. 

Drug and Alcohol’s Sue Klarsh and Mental Retardation’s Brenda Mettley provided $56,273 in Supportive Concepts for Families contracts for approval.  A client moved from Berks to Lebanon County, and his dollars followed him.  \

A contract renewal between the five Counties (through an Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement, and HealthAssurance HealthAmerica for the HealthChoices Behavioral Health Program was proved.  Seven other counties in the State have duplicated this program.

Program Manager Mark Tesh, salesman Jim McGee, and engineer Brian Munsen from MA/Com met with Commissioners to provide an update on the EMA Radio System upgrade.  Sighting a good performance, MA/Com stated that Lebanon is the first, or one of the first, county(ies) in the State to complete interoperability with the State system.  They stated that fire fighters have not yet received their radios, only policemen.  Since Annville lies in a “low spot,” Lebanon Valley College is being contacted for permission to place a tower on the third floor addition near the White Oak Street and Route 422 intersection.  Other areas where service was predicted to be light includes the second mountain around Cold Spring as well as Cornwall and Millcreek, which are surrounded by mountains.

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95% promised mobile coverage countywide; delivering 99%

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90% promised outdoor portable coverage; delivering 95%

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95% promised Building Penetration along the Route 422 corridor; delivering 99%

When inside a building, twelve frequencies are available.  The 3-watt radios must be set to talk-around-mode and utilize a chief at a command point outside of the building to relay calls for more equipment….

Leather cases and software upgrades are included at no charge on the radios.  To tweak the radios, input from users will help to identify spots that need filled in.  Using the "tweak method" will help to keep costs for hardware to a minimum.  Put another way, rather than over-building hardware, human input from the field will raise the element of trust with the system.  To guarantee 100% coverage, it would have been cost prohibitive to place a tower every one-tenth mile.

Election Board:

Voter Registration Chief Elaine Ludwig and Sharon Long said that no outcomes of elections changed due to adjustments in the vote count.  Yesterday, the minority inspector and judge of elections from Jackson West reconvened with Elaine and Sharon to recount the paper ballots.  Three sets of votes need added together for a final tally—from the first machines that worked for an hour; from the paper ballots; and from the replacement machines that went live around 4PM.

Assessment Appeals Board:

Commissioners heard one appeal, a trailer.

November 9, 2006

A five-year EMA union contract was signed with 20 telecommunicators represented by Tom Newman and Robert Snyder and the Chocolate Workers union, Dennis Bomberger.  To more fairly compensate dispatchers, the starting rate of pay will go from $10.44 to $11.34 per hour.  Increases will occur at the percentage of 6/7/4/4/4 over the five-year period ending in 2009.  A $200 individual and $400 family medical deductible and $10/$25 prescription deductible will also be implemented. 

Members of the Wellness Committee consisting of Deb Harchuska, Mary Ann Reppert, Jennifer Moehlman, and Shem Heller received a proclamation for the 30th Anniversary of the Great American Smoke Out.  The team is encouraging smokers who want to quit smoking to turn in their cigarettes for the day.  In return they will receive a “Quit Bag” from Lebanon Family Health and a chance to win a dinner gift certificate to a local smoke-free restaurant.

Archie and Mike Battistelli and Steven Greenhut presented a 3rd quarter update on retirement investments.  Fund balance is $88,100,000.  In a global economy, a small portion of the portfolio extends to the International market when American companies expand overseas or local companies like Bayer and Schott Pharmaceutical are owned by foreign companies.

On a Stohler/Carpenter motion, $5306.25 was cut from the Conservation District budget.  Stating that Stan Alekna and Mr. Nolte, president of Spring Hill Acres Association, attended the Conservation District meeting where they agreed to a 15% service charge, which was also agreed upon and later confirmed by Cornwall Borough Council President Carl Hilton, Litz voted against the motion.  With 1294 acres and paying for almost half of the spraying, Cornwall Borough is the largest of eight impacted municipalities.

As prescribed by law, and assisted by Election Bureau staff--Elaine Ludwig, Sharon, Joan, and Jo Ellen, the Commissioners sat as the Election Board to complete computations on Friday, November 10 at 9AM.  Two percent of precincts needed a complete review.  Write-ins were counted.

NOTE:  Due to the THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY, the Commissioners meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 at the Clarence Schock Memorial Park at the Governor Dick Environmental Center beginning at 9:30 a.m.

November 2, 2006

Phyllis Holtry presented a Homeless Assistance Program pre-expenditure budget amendment of $3864 from the Department of Welfare, which was used to increase rental assistance in the amount of $3478 and administration fees in the amount of $386.  Further, Commissioners approved $147,838 in Community Services Block Grant contracts; $103,876 in Supported Engagement/Supported Work; $54,000 in Supportive Housing; $114,725 in Homeless Assistance; and Medical Assistance Transportation Program grants based on time spent in the program.  Finally, Commissioners signed a $276,000 contract with Philhaven.

Susan Klarsch, Carol Davies, and Melissa Heisey received approval for an Advanced Treatment Systems contract amendment allowing monthly billing on a fiscal rather than calendar year basis.

Warden Bob Karnes accompanied Linda D. Witters, who is retiring as a correctional officer from the County prison after 25 years of service.  Linda received a resolution and congratulations from Commissioners.

Commissioners singed a union agreement that will expire December 31, 2009 with Teamsters 429 covering sixty court-related employees in the Sheriff’s, Public Defenders, and Prothonotary’s offices.

Commissioner Stohler moved, and Commissioner Carpenter seconded, a motion to notify the Conservation District that their County funding is at risk should they charge a fee to administer the gypsy moth spraying program for municipalities.  Because prior to today’s meeting, the District was in negotiations with townships to correct the 15% proposal, Commissioner Litz called the vote premature.  The motion passed with Commissioner Litz voting against the action.  Using Commissioner Stohler’s reasoning of not charging for services, the County should not charge DPW a 10% administrative fee for the Homeless Assistance program (above)….  Similarly, County departments charge a fee to administer sewage and building inspections, GIS….  (Editorial comment:  To single out the Conservation District for punitive punishment seems both harsh and unfair.)

The State’s charge for gypsy moth spraying is $25 per acre.  If federal funds are awarded, refunds will reduce both the municipal and County shares.  In fact, the State does not charge Conservation Districts with the “duty” to administer the gypsy moth program.  Other departments or a private firm can be hired to perform the task of going into the field to identify and count gypsy moth sacs, send out notices, collect and remit fees….  Past practice in Lebanon County is that the District administers the program for a 15% fee to cover mileage, office space, insurance, audits, stamps and stationary,…, which was previously based on $7.50/acre.  Admittedly, staff discovered a math error, which was already in the process of being corrected.  Tonight, at their regularly scheduled 8PM meeting, the District is prepared to discuss the issue. (The corrected payment schedule follows.)

Gypsy Moth Spraying        
      15%  
Municipality Acres Cost/Acre Muni Share Muni Admin Total
Cornwall Boro 1294  $   25.00  $16,175.00  $  2,426.25  $  18,601.25
West Cornwall 544  $   25.00  $  6,800.00  $  1,020.00  $    7,820.00
South Annville 284  $   25.00  $  3,550.00  $     532.50  $    4,082.50
South Londonderry 80  $   25.00  $  1,000.00  $     150.00  $    1,150.00
Gretna Boro 106  $   25.00  $  1,325.00  $     198.75  $    1,523.75
South Lebanon 37  $   25.00  $     462.50  $       69.38  $      531.88
Heidleberg 365  $   25.00  $  4,562.50  $     684.38  $    5,246.88
Millcreek 120  $   25.00  $  1,500.00  $     225.00  $    1,725.00
         
Totals    $35,375.00  $  5,306.25  $  40,681.25
      Service Fee  $  40,695.40
         
In off-years, staff spent time in the field, which has not been reimbursed.
Last sprayed in 2002 when a 15% service fee was charged on the total fee--with no complaints.  The spraying cost was $7/acre.
Justification for Administrative costs:      
  Mileage 456 miles @44.5 cents = $202.92  
  Office 150 sq'@$20/sq'  $     175.00  
  Bulk Mail $.16 @ 1500 pieces  $     240.00  
  Salary 105 hours @ $31/hr  $  3,255.00 includes benefits
        $3,872.92  
Secretarial support, equipment, GIS, miscellaneous $1,433.33  & off-year administration and training.
         $  5,306.25  
In future years, to remain sustainable and offer a quality level of service, the Conservation District will continue to recover costs of administration for all programs

October 26, 2006

Judge Eby recommended that Sally Barry be allowed to attend graduate courses that are 100% reimbursable from the State.  Sally would attend classes on her own time during evening hours.  A precedent was set in 2003 when classes were 100% reimbursed under these same circumstances.  PA only offers this program to Adult Probation.  Commissioners unanimously approved the request.

Kevin Schrum, Melissa Heisey, Shem Heller, and Carol Davies presented $199,129 in Mental Health/Mental Retardation contract modifications for approval.

Commissioners approved board appointment requests provided by Attorney Fred Wolfson to the Health Facilities Authority: David Etter, Andrew Marhevsky and Paul Dunkleburger.  

Commissioners also approved a proclamation congratulating Laura Kale for achieving the Gold Award, the highest recognition a Girl Scout can receive.

Elaine Ludwig received approval and signatures confirming a total of 75,028 voters in Lebanon County—21,534 Democrats, 43,812 Republicans, 446 Libertarians, 129 Green, 92 Constitutional, and 9,015 other party voters.

***
    Solicitor Penny Snelling rendered an opinion stating that Commissioners Litz and Stohler did not violate the Sunshine Law. Previously, soon after taking office in 2004, Commissioner Litz researched the Sunshine Law with the County Commissioner Association of PA’s executive director, Doug Hill.  He said that the Act (65 Pa.C.S.A. 701 ff.) sets a general standard that all meetings of covered agencies at which agency business is transacted are open to the public, unless closed for some reason specifically stated in the law.
    While the law creates a standard that all meetings are open, it does not create a presumption that every time commissioners gather it constitutes a meeting.  Rather, 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.
All three tests, each of which is clearly delineated, must be met before the meeting is considered to be open under the provisions of the act, and failure to meet any one of them places the meeting outside the statute.  For example, the common practice of new or newly-reconstituted boards of commissioners meeting with agencies under county purview or related to the county to receive information on agency functions and projects does not satisfy the definition of meeting, since the simple gathering of information meets neither the standard of deliberation nor any of the four standards of official action.
    Even if all the tests are met, it should be noted that the law at section 707 provides three clear exceptions to the meeting standard, including executive sessions, conferences, and certain meetings of auditors.  The conference exception includes “any training program or seminar, or any session arranged by State or Federal agencies for local agencies, organized and conducted for the sole purpose of providing information to agency members on matters directly related to their official responsibilities.”
    Last, it is important to note that the act also recognizes the unique nature of county government, in which the governing body has both legislative and administrative functions.  The issue is dealt with in the Act’s definitions of “administrative action”, “agency business”, and “official action”:

§ 703. Definitions
        The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
        "Administrative action."   The execution of policies relating to persons or things as previously authorized or required by official action of the agency adopted at an open meeting of the agency.  The term does not, however, include the deliberation of agency business. (Emphasis added)
* * *
        "Agency business."   The framing, preparation, making or enactment of laws, policy or regulations, the creation of liability by contract or otherwise or the adjudication of rights, duties and responsibilities, but not including administrative action.  (Emphasis added)
 
* * *
        "Official action."
(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.
(4)         The vote taken by any agency on any motion, proposal, resolution, rule, regulation, ordinance, report or order.

The Act requires that all official action, and deliberations leading to official action, must be held in an open meeting.  Official action includes “agency business”, but the definition of agency business specifically excludes “administrative action”, so the conclusion is that administrative action is not official action, and hence not subject to the statute’s open meetings requirement.

This is in fact an issue we lobbied when the bill was under consideration in the Legislature.  Given the dual roles of county commissioners (and the fact that any time two commissioners are together there is a quorum), we felt it important to distinguish between their legislative and their executive/administrative roles.  The legislature agreed, and addressed the issue as described above.

Note that there are no cases we know of that give more guidance as to what constitutes “administrative action”, but there are a number of cases that show the other end of the spectrum regarding what constitutes “official action”.  Your solicitor can begin by reviewing the cases cited following 65 Pa.C.S.A. 703 in Purdon’s.

I hope you find this information useful.  You can find more information in the DCED publication on open meetings, found by going to the Departmental website at www.inventpa.com, clicking on “Communities in PA”, then on “Center for Local Government Services” and finally on “Publications.” Note that this letter reflects our experience with the statute and its genesis, but should not be construed as legal opinion.

10/18/06

Cedar Haven:  320 residents, 83 male and 237 female.

¨      9/26, sprinkler bids went out, and the final designs are in the review process.

¨      11/1 Flu vaccines administered at Cedar Haven

¨      12/13 Christmas Tea at 2PM 

Prison Board:  527 inmates, 450 male and 77 female; 209 unsentenced (some parole violations); state-sentenced inmates 16.

10/19/06

Regularly scheduled meeting:

Commissioners approved a 100th anniversary proclamation for the VFW Post 23 .

Tammy Hartman-Hankins presented modifications to VOJO (Victims of Juvenile Offenders) grants.  Cross-training of personnel will allow coverage when an employee is absent.

Commissioners approved a PCCD one-time $10,000 grant application to provide assistance to victims.

Commissioner Carpenter questioned the legality of two commissioners attending a Firemen's meeting earlier in the week to learn about radio and pager issues.  Commissioner Litz responded that the intent of the law is not to keep us from becoming educated.  Carpenter then asked Solicitor Snelling to research when commissioners can attend meetings under the Sunshine Law.

Commissioners also met with the Records Improvement Committee.  The account balance totals $308,369.20.  Commissioners requested a written plan to implement scanning of records for storage.

Board of Assessment Appeals: took place in the afternoon.

October 12, 2006

Stephanie Harmon, Watershed Specialist with the Lebanon County Conservation District, and manager Chuck Wertz were on hand to help announce that applications for the County Environmental Initiative Grants through Growing Greener II will be available through November 9th!  Commissioners have three years to distribute $1.39 million dollars for capital improvement projects like construction of buildings and facilities or land purchases with an average useful life of about twenty years.

Here is a general interpretation of how this grant process will work:

Ø      Applications due to County Commissioners November 9th.

Ø      Applications will be reviewed and hearings will be held for applicants to speak to Commissioners about their applications (late November or December).

Ø      Commissioners will select projects and submit their choices to the Governor's office (by the end of December).

Ø      The Governor's office will submit applications to the appropriate agency (DCNR, DEP, DCED. etc.).

Ø      Appropriate agency then reviews and decides whether or not the project submitted is eligible and awards grants.  ***Should you receive funding, you will be required to complete that agency's FULL APPLICATION.  The application submitted to the County Commissioners is for their use only.

Commissioners recognized Victoria Groff of Annville who attain her Girl Scout Gold Award.

Commissioners approved a COLT contract for Medial Assistance Transportation Program.  Further, Commissioners approved a $103,000 DVI pass through contract.

James Holtry, Children and Youth, presented an $88,903 State Transitional Grant, which is 100% State funds to offset TANF and ACF revenue.

At a cost of $11,620, Ken Bachem presented a Cedar Haven roof bid award for approval to low bidder Richard Sensenig, Ephrata.

Debt Service payments are due October 15.

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Move $952,968.75 from the General Fund to the 2003A General Obligation Bond account at Fulton Financial;

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Move $516,634.38 from the General Fund to the 2004 General Obligation Bond account at Fulton Financial;

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Move $39,149 from the General Fund to Wachovia to pay interest only on the first year of the loan.

October 5, 2006
Lee Beamesderfer submitted a request for $35,712.50 to match township contributions for the purpose of spraying 2,857 acres with BT in infested gypsy moth areas in Cornwall Borough (1295 acres), West Cornwall (544 acres), South Annville (284), South Londonderry (82), Gretna Borough (8), South Lebanon (6), Heidelberg (6), and Millcreek (7) Townships. Commissioners will review the request during budget hearings in two weeks.

A secretarial position in the Penn State Ag Extension Office will be filled.

Because of no reforestation, other than one hardwood seedling, on the 300-acre property, Raymond Bender and Chuck Allwein, members of the Governor Dick/Clarence Shock Memorial Park board, requested that the Lebanon County Commissioners approve a deer hunt commencing November 29, 2006 for four days.  Last year, 55 deer were harvested with 100 permits issued.  This year, the request is for 60 permits.  Fifteen alternates will be drawn.  If statistics hold true, another 30-35 deer may be harvested.  While Martin Barondick, Ebenezer, spoke out against the hunt, Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the hunt.  Timeline:
· 11/7 Applications are due in Treasurer Sallie Neuin’s office;
· 11/9 A drawing will be conducted at the Commissioner’s meeting;
· 11/10 Successful applicants will be notified;
· 11/18 Between 8AM-11AM, successful applicants can pick up their permits at Governor Dick (Alternates will be called if any of the first sixty drawn do not show up);
· 11/29-12/2 At no fee, Doe may be hunted.  This way, deer will be harvested at first opportunity, not passed over, waiting for trophy antlers.  Only shotguns, bows and flintlock muzzle-loading rifles will be allowed, thus limiting the trajectory of high power ammunition.

Only one application per person is permitted.  Further, no member of the trustees or the Park Board may participate in the hunt.

March 24, 2007 DCNR will conduct a school to teach students how to complete a deer density study by checking for droppings, browse, and new growth in a four-foot square every 100’.

Also, volunteers are sought to manage 25’ x 25’ plots by removing invasive species and planting seedlings.  The areas will be surrounded by 7’ high fencing, which will remain in place for about ten years to establish new trees.

Representing the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Ray Bender requested and received permission to administer $99,548 in Community Development Block Grants for the County and $46,400 for South Lebanon Township.

Ken Bachem opened bids to replace a roof on Cedar Haven.  Spotts Brothers, Schuylkill Haven bid $14,375 and Sensenig, Ephrata bid $11,620.

Commissioners awarded a $369,252.20 County bridge maintenance bid to Bill Anskis Co., Elysburg.  $150,000 in funding will come from 2006 Liquid Fuels; $99,052.50 from 2007 Liquid Fuels taxes; $90,000 from FEMA aid; and $30,200 from Myerstown Borough for Railroad Street bridge repairs.  In random order, bridges scheduled for repair include:  Red Rock;  Heidleberg; Reilly Road; Mill Avenue; Levan’s Iron bridge, Swatara; Jonestown Road; Valley Glen, North Annville; Syner Road; Yorty’s; Golf Road; and Cemetery Road.  The Inwood Bridge is scheduled for replacement.

September 28, 2006

Susan Klarsch, Melissa Heisey, and Kevin Schrum presented contracts for the Caron Foundation at $200/day for Adolescent Extended Care and $240/day for Adolescent Rehabilitation. Further, the Capitol Area Behavioral Contract will transfer to CABHC 1.75% of the HealthChoices sub-net revenue.  In the past CABHC received 2.25%.  This reduced percent allocates additional funds for medical claims.

Looking for a figure in the $267,900 range, Kevin Bachem and Mark Wilson opened bridge maintenance bids for 13 of the County's 14 bridges:

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Doug Lamb, Elizabethtown $373,007

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Mar-Allen, Ephrata $398,952.55

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Lobar, Dillsburg $377,698.58

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Bill Anskis, Elysburg $369,252.50

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Jay Fulkroad, McAllisterville $385,152

Archie Battistelli, Steve Green, and Joe Battapaglia, from Ryan Beck, provided a Market Forecast. 

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On residential mortgages, the high sales prices can shift downward, but the debt load won't.  Commercial property is in good stead.  Vacancies are low. 

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Crude oil should drop to between $40 and $60 per barrel, which means gasoline prices should drop to $2 per gallon.  However, prices could rise to between $50 and $70 per barrel if there are threats of terror.

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Commissioner Stohler asked what makes Lebanon County a desirable place to do business.  Battapaglia replied that we have low-cost real estate, benign regulations, excellent highway access, and quality communities with good schools.

Elaine Ludwig received approval for the ballot layout in both English and Spanish.

Further, commissioners approved Watchers' guidelines and $910 to engage ES&S to create audio files for hearing impaired voters.

September 21, 2006

Commission Carpenter was absent for back surgery.

Based on a Commonwealth Court opinion, Elsie Garcia was reinstated as a fulltime general clerk in the Register of Wills office.

For approval for Children and Youth, James Holtry presented a $219.03 per day contract with Beacon Light in Bradford.

Commissioners voted to allocate $73,595 in Liquid Fuels funds to Palmyra Borough for installation of 540’ of pipes to storm inlets.

September 14, 2006

Commissioner Litz was absent to attend Academy of Excellence mandated certification classes with the County Commissioner’s Association.

Jeff Achey presented an Emergency Management Agency grant application for approval.  EMA will purchase a $479.98 Dynamed Med Bag and an ALS Access Kit.

Michael Kristovensky, Joe Lescisko, Faye Fox, and Belva Charles-Reame announced a Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Pre-Enrollment Event on October 25, 2006 at the Senior Center of Lebanon Valley on Maple Street, Lebanon

Further, Commissioners approved a $2,306,442 Fiscal year 2007 Area Agency on Aging budget requiring $20,000 in County funds.

Also, Commissioners approved a $260,648 in-home community based services Waiver Program for consumers who were determined medical assistance eligible for a nursing home. 

Two draws of $265,696,500 each will be received for a Nursing Home Intergovernmental Transfer.

A resolution passed for Louise Heffelfinger who is retiring from the Redevelopment Authority with 44 years of service.

Wilfred “Willie” Erb, owner and Chief Executive Officer of E&E Metal Fab, Inc., will also receive a proclamation.  Further, Friday, September 22, 2006 was declared “Willie Erb Day: in Lebanon County.

September 7, 2006

Bryan Klunk and Jessica Nee presented results of a utility use verification report.  Adjustments were made to a new boiler that excessively cycled in and out.  After six years, total cost avoidance was $907,933 or $23,581 net energy saving as a result of improvements like led lights in emergency exit signs.

In light of new technology and deregulation of electricity, which could see escalating rates, Commissioner Litz suggested that a new energy audit be conducted.  All commissioners agreed.

James Holtry and Karen Alonzo, Children and Youth, provided $324,959.51 in fourth quarter invoices and contracts for approval.  Further, a contract with Today Inc was approved for short-term care at $157; moderate, $167; and halfway, $78 per day.  Finally, a budget amendment due to under and over amounts in the categories of “Community Based” and administration revised the $7,037,072 budget by a total of $443,064.

Commissioners approved a $269,893 fourth quarter Medical Assistance Transportation Program report, which includes administrative costs not to exceed 18%.

Commissioners signed a Penn DOT contract for overage in five-year bridge inspections by providing a resolution for contracts.  The money was already spent and was submitted for reimbursement.

Controller Mettley received approval to award a $5200 tobacco audit to Reinsel, Kuntz, and Lesher.  The tobacco funds will cover the audit cost.

August 31, 2006

Pam Tricamo, director of Habitat for Humanity, addressed Commissioners concerning the 7th & Mifflin Street property in the City of Lebanon.  She relayed that Habitat inquired about affordable housing for the site in May of 2005, but that the property was not available.

Ray Bender and Betsy Bowman received approval to submit a $500,000 HOME Application to assist first time home buyers with the American Dream Down payment as well as housing rehabilitation for low income homeowners, some elderly and some female head of household (53%).  In the program, an average home costs $81,500; maximum $99,000.

Ken Bachem opened a single bid for the purchase of the obsolete mechanical voting machines.  Brandywine Recyclers offered 3.5cents per pound delivered to their yard.  The 135 machines weighing 600 pounds each will net approximately $2800.  However, the cost to pickup and transport the machines from voting precincts could exceed income.  Therefore, Commissioner Carpenter asked Ken to request a truck with a lift-gate from Brandywine, and then use prison labor to retrieve the machines.

Susan Klarsch, Stan Kastrava, Carol Davies, and Melissa Heisey presented a $1,219,494 - 4th quarter Drug and Alcohol report for approval.

James Holtry, Kevin Schrum, William Sullivan, Susan Klarsch, and Shem Heller provided an Integrated Children’s Service Plan for approval.  For 15 years, departments have worked toward a unified front.  Recently, the State requested a centralized intake.  Staff pointed out that they have developed a successful model to accomplish a similar task.  Therefore, the County plan was submitted to the State for consideration.

Mark Wilson, Bill, and Matt delivered an engineering report on the Inwood Bridge across Swatara Creek.  The 160’ long, 107-year-old iron bridge has severe structural damage, and the current reduced 5000 pound rating is no longer valid.  A computer model will not even register a 3000-pound rating.  Therefore, by PennDOT rules and regulations, Title 75 of the PA Vehicle Code, Chapter 49, Mark had to recommend closure, effective immediately.  While commissioners concurred, Commissioner Litz asked Mark to evaluate use as a pedestrian bridge, and place a single vertical post/bollard in the center on either end.  Until an evaluation can be made, five feet of stone will be placed on either end of the bridge.  Bridge replacement is on the MPO schedule for 2009.

Further, Mark recommended that Yordy’s bridge remain closed until repairs to a wing wall are completed during an upcoming maintenance contract.

Commissioners signed a contract requested by Charles Blankenship, LVEDC director, to amend the TIF for Schott Pharmaceutical.  The amendment allows payments twice each year rather than monthly.

Frank Kocher was reappointed to the Workforce Investment Board.

Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss personnel issues.

August 24, 2006

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Spring Hill Acres Homeowner’s Association representative, Stan Alekna, asked commissioners to include gypsy moth spray funds in their October budget.  Traditionally, the County matches funds donated by municipalities and homeowners.

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Tammy Hartman-Hankins presented the District Attorney’s Victim Witness Grant Renewal applications.  Commissioners signed a $63,994 Victims of Juvenile Offenders (VOJO) grant and a $117,151 Rights and Services Grant (RASA).  No county match is required.

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John Leahy presented a $36,475 Sobriety Checkpoint grant for approval

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From affordable housing funds, Commissioners approved $100,000 to the City for their first time homebuyer and low income property owner repair programs.

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A discussion on development of the 7th and Mifflin Street property ensued.

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Commissioners met in Executive Session to discuss personnel.

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In the afternoon Commissioners convened as the Board of Assessment Appeals to hear fifteen residential appeals.


August 17, 2006

Abigail Jarboe read a letter from an inmate, and inquired about blocked plumbing.

Richard Rabuck attended the commissioner’s meeting, but did not comment.

Earl Meyer, Michelle Brummer, and Lee Meyer presented a Comprehensive Plan update, and by September 8, requested input from commissioners on the Historic Resources and Energy Conservation profiles.

Mayor Anspach and Ray Bender requested $175,000 from the County’s Affordable Housing fund, which stands at $1.9 million.  The Mayor pointed out that rehabilitation of many of the homes, perhaps by installing new roofs, helps elderly citizens to remain in their homes.  In fact, of the fourteen homes scheduled for rehabilitation in 2006, senior citizens own eight homes.

No funds were awarded in 2005, but on August 19, 2004 Mayor Robert Anspach and Betsy Bowman, from the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, requested up to $175,000 from the County’s Affordable Housing funds for the first time homebuyer program in the City of Lebanon.  Five years prior, Mayor Jackie Parker requested and received up to $50,000 in similar funding.  Since some of the tax collected comes from 770 City deeds and 1520 mortgages, and providing the funds were used by the end of 2004, at that time commissioners voted unanimously to grant the Mayor’s request.  The funds are paid back as the mortgages are repaid or homes are sold.

The County runs our own first time homebuyer program, and some funds were used to sprinkler Cedar Haven.  Stating that we need to maintain good housing to sustain a sound tax base for the City, County, and School Districts, Commissioner Litz made a motion to lend the $175,000 to the City, again with the stipulation that the funds are repaid through mortgages or when the residence is soldIn general, City housing stock is older than houses found in most municipalities.  Therefore, the City's need for housing dollars is heightened.  The motion died for lack of a second. 

 

Commissioner Stohler asked the City to put up a 50% match.  He thought that home sales will drop, and refinancing will stop.  Commissioner Carpenter asked that the motion be reconsidered next week. 

 

To help avoid erosion and conflicts between trail users, Ray Bender then informed commissioners that the SICO board would like to divide the twelve miles of trails in Governor Dick into one of three categories:  footpath, multi-use, or ADA accessible usage.  Commissioners agreed to the use designations.  New signs will mark the trails, and no motorized vehicles, other than wheelchairs, are allowed on the trails.

 

Commissioners voted to sign an amended quarterly reimbursement and performance report for a Help America Vote Act grant.

 

On behalf of Lebanon County Christian Ministries, Troy Williams informed commissioners that LCCM does not want to sign a State food contract for the coming year.  They found no advantage of purchasing through the State’s vendor.  They are able to purchase food from local vendors in required quantities, distribute it on a daily basis, and store it at their facility efficiently.

August 10, 2006

James Holtry, William Sullivan, and Karen Hess presented the $1,644,768 Children and Youth Needs based budget for approval. 

Archie Battistelli and Steve Green from Ryan Beck and Company presented an overview of the County retirement investments.  The Lebanon County Employee Retirement Pension Plan monitors investment results and ensures that the investment policy is being followed.  The Plan’s objectives are based on a ten-year investment horizon so that interim fluctuations should be viewed with appropriate perspective.  Investments are diversified with the intent to minimize the risk of investment losses.  Not more than 5% of the total stock portfolio valued at market may be invested in the common stock of any one corporation.  Not more than 25% of stock valued at market may be held in any one industry category.  

The board currently balances risk and return in accordance with the targets for each asset class as follows:

Asset Class

Range/Asset Weightings

Target

Equity-Domestic

50-60%

55%

Equity-International

0%

0%

Fixed Income

30-40%

35%

Cash

0-10%

5%

Real Estate

0-10%

5%

Over a rolling five year period, the investment objectives for this portfolio shall be to achieve an average total annual rate of return that is equal to or greater than (1) Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 6 percentage points, and (2) the Plan’s stated actuarial assumption.  The Board acknowledges that actual returns may vary significantly from these targets on a year-to-year basis.

Our Investment Consultant shall compare the investment results on a quarterly basis to appropriate benchmarks, as well as market index returns in both equity and debt markets.  Examples of benchmarks and indices that will be used include the S&P 500 Index for large cap equities, Russell 200 Index for small cap equities, MSCI Europe, Australia, and Far East Index (EAFE) for international equities, Lehman Aggregate and Intermediate Duration Bond Index for fixed income securities, and the US 91 Day T-Bill for cash equivalents.

The August 10, 2006 report has an ending market value of $81,012,893.

Portfolio Managers

Allocation

Asset Value

Accruals

Total Value

ABN AMRO

2.7%

$2,176,783

$1564

$2,178,347

Global Capital

2.8%

$2,302,241

$308

$2,302,549

Kensington Inv

7.9%

$6,414,383

$19,987

$6,434,369

Linked Broker

33.3%

$26,811,653

$197,589

$27,009242

Linked Broker

22.5%

$18,174,075

$18,830

$18,192,905

McHugh Assoc

14.9%

$12,029,001

$11,575

$12,040,577

Sovereign Asset

15.9%

$12,846,572

$8,332

$12,854,904

Pam Tricamo received funding approval for Habitat for Humanity projects.

Relief house parents, youth center, and Reading placement rates were approved.

Phyllis Holtry received certification for the $265,881 Human Services Development Fund.  Also, a contract was signed with DCED for the supportive work program.

Bonnie Loy was appointed to Drug and Alcohol.

Barbara Heckard was appointed to fill a vacancy on the COLT board.

Litz moved to write a letter to Governor Rendell and the PA Department of Transportation supporting a multi-county Route 81 corridor study.  Route 81 is a tremendous economic engine providing jobs and growth, but it also has challenges and problems.  A larger/regional planning effort can deal with the national component of the issues.  Greater coordination and cohesiveness can be accomplished with investments to transportation infrastructure.  Working together, seven counties along Route 81 (Franklin, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, Schuylkill, Luzerne, Lackawanna, and Susquehanna) will have additional political clout to secure transportation funding.  The motion died for lack of a second.

August 3, 2006

Phyllis Holtry presented a $192,891 Homeless Assistance Program pre-expenditure plan for approval and filing with the PA Department of Public Welfare.  Further, Commissioners approved a $297,672 Medical Assistance Transportation Program.

Daniel Seaman presented four assessment decisions for veterans.  Servicewomen Nancy Skeens, Elsie Mutek, Mildred Kline, and Lydia Newman received approval for exemption from real estate taxes.

Commissioners voted to provide a letter of support to Radio Omega for their application with the Federal Communications Commission.

 

Gypsy Moth - Lymantria dispar - maleLeigh Beamesderfer, forester with the Conservation District, presented an overview of the status of gypsy moths in Lebanon County.  To qualify for BT spraying, 60% of a forest must contain oak, hickory, birch, hemlock, and/or aspen, have a high count of gypsy moth sacs per residential acre, and contain at least 25 contiguous acres.  Not to be confused with webs from other caterpillars, sacs are 1-2” tall, light in color, fuzzy, almost cloth-like, and cling to tree trunks, homes....  Each sac can produce 500-1000 caterpillars.  The female moth does not fly.  Residents can scrape off occasional sacs and dispose of them or spray them with Raid or some other insecticide.  If a homeowner sees clusters of sacs, it is important to report the infestation to the Ag Center.  A bacterial release has helped to control gypsy moths, but inspection of Spring Hill Acres confirms infestation.  In 2001, the last spray took place in the northern end of the county.  The last serious infestation took place in 1995-96.  The cost for spraying increased from $7 to $40 per acre, which may have to be shared by the County, Townships, and homeowners.  The State often provides a 50/50 match, and is considering a cost share for spraying, which must occur prior to October 1.  Residents Stan Shay from Spring Hill Acres and Tom Sheridan from Iron Valley were on hand for the presentation. 

July 27, 2006

To support the 4H Fair, Commissioner’s met at the Lebanon Valley Exposition Center, 2120 Rocherty Road Sue Werner, Fair Chairman, welcomed everyone to the Fair and introduced Samantha Eckenrode, Fair Queen.

Sallie Neuin’s Treasurer’s report was presented and approved.  Likewise personnel and seminar requests presented by Gary Robson and Melissa Light were approved, including a 100% reimbursed casual clerk position at $7.50 per hour, up to 20 hours per week, to assist Sandy Hall with a 4-county Better Kid Care program at the Ag Extension Office.  This program conducts classes for childcare workers who must meet educational requirements for licensing, registration, and maintenance of this legal status.

Dan Kauffman, director of the Lebanon County Emergency Management Agency, and Jeff Achey, EMA staff, announced a Reverse 911 call test for 5PM on July 31, that will be conducted in the South Londonderry Township, Campbelltown area, which covers the 10-mile TMI radius in Lebanon County.  Residents who receive the call will be asked to complete a survey by pushing buttons on their phone.  The responses will provide needed feedback for the new system.  Lebanon County is a pilot program for the south-central region of Pennsylvania.  The $90,000 price tag is covered by the Counter Terrorism Task Force.  The program has the capability to take over and randomly call on sixteen County court house phone lines2500 homes per hour can be notified with emergency instructions.  If a large-scale emergency evolved, the system has the capability of drawing in lines from neighboring courthouses.  If no person or machine answers after two calls, no further callbacks will take place.  The County can call an isolated area geocoded on a map, which will eventually be interfaced with the County Geographic Information System (GIS).

Upon a State recommendation, with letters of support from the heads of various departments—the Court Administrator, MHMR, Drug and Alcohol, the Prison…, Sally Barry, Chief of Adult Probation, presented a request to submit a grant application to help form a Criminal Justice Advisory Board for Lebanon County.  The board will communicate in solving joint problems among municipalities and agencies.  A grant writer will help to seek funding to implement identified projects such as a juvenile detention center.  Noting that there is no cost or liability to the County for at least one year, and the County can discontinue the grant writer if successful grants are not written, Commissioners Carpenter and Litz voted yes.  Commissioner Stohler voted no. 

Grant-in-Aid funds were also requested for the 33rd consecutive year from the PA Board of Probation.  Awards usually range in the $80,000 range.

Charles Blankenship, Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation, received approval from Commissioners for a $100,000 Penn DOT grant application, which will improve a railroad spur at the Newmanstown Brick Plant.  The new spur will be utilized by 7-D Wholesale.  Jim Dell was on hand as a representative of the firm. 

Administrator Jamie Wolgemuth presented a DCED grant for $48,751 for approval.  The funds will be directed to the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation for administration.

Cherie Prentice-Brown and Pete Harman demonstrated the new GIS system implemented in the County Assessment office.  The visual mapping system allows users to zoom to a Lebanon County parcel by number, name, or a point and click location on a map.  For $2, users can then print out an 8.5 x 11” copy of their map.  Further, Commissioners approved a Distribution Policy for Services and Products to municipalities and others.  While a land based ‘read only’ data set will be distributed quarterly to taxing authorities free of charge, customized maps will cost $50 per hour, with a 1-hour minimum charge.  Printing is available:  8.5 x 14” for $3; 11 x 17 for $4; 17 x 22 for $8; 22 x 34 for $12; or 34 x 44 for $15.  Data is updated weekly and posted each Monday.

Chuck Wertz and intern Michelle Campbell updated commissioners on the farmland preservation program.  Based on a grant written by Mark Chegwidden and Bret Lentz, $404,000 in Federal Farm Bill funds will be available for match to purchase easement rights for preservation.  Currently, there are 95 easements totaling 11,310 acres of preserved farmland in Lebanon County.  Another 21 farms with 2400 acres are in the process of preservation. 

Chuck also announced that with 40 registrants, the “Ag Camp” is full. 

Further, August 16 from 11AM-2PM, a Municipal Ag Summit will take place at the Municipal Building Auditorium to educate department heads, municipal officials, and interested partners like banks on the farmland preservation program, storm water issues….

Seventeen people called to participate in the Gypsy Moth spraying program.  Leigh Beamesderfer will provide a more detailed report next week.

Jose Morales resigned from the Workforce Investment Board.  He recommended Tim Shenk, IU 13, as his replacement.  Commissioners approved the appointment.

The meeting closed with a joint presentation from Dennis Grumbine EXPO manager and Harry Bachman of the EXPO board.   Grumbine stated that quarterly hotel taxes have increased from 8 to 14% in the first quarter of 2006.  He also shared that the TPA’s web site had 30,000 hits.  Bachman described two new picture hangings in the welcome center—a 1912 Fair held near the site of the current North Cornwall Township building, and a certificate presented to participants.

After a brief recess, Commissioners returned to the Metropolitan Planning Organization board meeting with other members of the board—Mayor Bob Anspach; Terri Guirantano, COLT; Harriet Faren, Chamber of Commerce; Supervisor Paul Fetter, Heidelberg Township; and Supervisor Ed Brentzinger, North Lebanon Township.  Jamie Wolgemuth and Jeff Werner, members of the Technical Committee were also present.

Melody Caron and Brian St. John from McCormick Taylor Engineers and Planners briefed the board on the US 422 Congested Corridor Improvement Program findings.  The study covers 422 from east Railroad Street in Palmyra through Center Street in Cleona.  Eight percent of Route 422 traffic is from trucks.  Because of numerous developments planned along the corridor, current and future (2016) traffic data collection numbers were shared:

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Center St—17,800 to 24,300

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White Oak St.—18,000 to 23,900

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Apple Blossom Road—19,000 to 27,500

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Railroad St.—16,600 to 25,900

The 6.7-mile corridor can usually be traveled in 12.5 to 16.5 minutes.  Improvements will be necessary to maintain flow.

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With a scheduled completion date of August 25, a $303,000 emergency contract was awarded to Pennsy Supply to start repairs on Gravel Hill Road

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Likewise, an emergency contract was approved to remove debris from the Harper’s Tavern bridge.

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Yordy’s Bridge debris removal and inspection is complete.  Minor scouring of the peers occurred.  Once the wing wall is corrected and the road repaired, this artery will also reopen to the public.

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The 15th Avenue railroad crossing is complete.

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The Schaefferstown Bypass is sill in review.

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A hearing on the 11th Avenue railroad crossing will take place in the Keystone Building in Harrisburg on August 1.  Both sides will argue their case before an administrative law judge for a ruling.

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A required administration document for all MPOs--Title VI/Environmental Justice Implementation Plan and Status report--was approved.

After the meeting, the board and guests toured the Fair and had lunch consisting of local favorites like homemade milk shakes, fresh-cut French fires, bologna sandwiches, and chicken noodle or ham and bean soup.

July 20, 2006

Commissioners Stohler and Litz presided.  Commissioner Carpenter was away.

A Mobile Disaster Recovery Center will open in Ono, East Hanover Township, Lebanon County, on July 21 through July 24.  FEMA, PEMA , and LEMA will provide a single location, the Ono Fire Company, 10805 Jonestown Road, Ono PA, where people are able to talk face-to-face with recovery specialists.  Penn State Ag Extension Agency Director Winifred McGee is one of those experts who can help you with mold and mildew, West NIle virus, and other flood-related problems.  In addition, information on homeowner’s insurance, health and welfare assistance, housing assistance for families displaced from damaged homes, US Small Business Administration disaster-loan information, grants for those who are ineligible for loans, crisis counseling, senior citizen services and disaster food stamp eligibility are available.  Hours are as follows: 

¨      Friday              1PM-7PM

¨      Saturday            10AM-5PM

¨      Sunday            10AM-5PM

¨      Monday            10AM-7PM

You can begin the application process by calling toll-free 1-800-621-FEMA between 8AM and 8PM seven days a week until further notice.  Multilingual operators are also available.  Internet users can visit www.fema.gov .

Kristopher Troup, Planning Department, addressed Commissioners concerning an escrow balance of $6435 on eleven townhouses built at West Main and Peach Streets in Millcreek Township by Vincenzo Giannotti.  Commissioners authorized County Planning to request the funds from Sovereign Bank to complete the project by uncovering water meter boxes under macadam, acquiring as-built drawings, and dedication. 

July 19, 2006

Cedar Haven

Commissioners Stohler and Litz presided.  Commissioner Carpenter was away.

Drug and Alcohol Director Sue Klarsh reported on the newly opened Methadone Clinic through Commissioner Stohler:

We admitted three yesterday, bringing our census to 51.
We have 39 Lebanon County residents, 23 are County funded.
We have 4 Lancaster County residents.
We have 4 Berks County residents.
We have 1 Schuylkill County residents.
We have 2 Dauphin County residents.
We have 1 Cumberland County resident.

All county funded clients are employed and have a monthly liability, with an average liability of $98. The remainder are private pay and Medical Assistance. Most of the out of County residents are from border towns, some of them we initially thought were Lebanon residents because their address could have been a Lebanon address (many border towns have two counties such as Grantville, Lawn, Manheim, etc.) Lebanon clients have consistently had priority. A clinic opened in Lancaster the same week our clinic opened

Stohler also reported that through the County Firemen's Association, a donated pumper would be sent to a needy fire company rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.

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Census at Cedar Haven stands at 98% or 312 with 234 female and 78 male residents.

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Frank reported sewage backups, and recommends a ‘muffin monster,’ consisting of several grinder pumps, be installed.  Approval was granted.

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The Department of Health is scheduled to complete an inspection. 

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Budget reviews will take place with department heads.

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50% of the sprinkler design is complete.

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CPR instruction continues on a five-six week cycle with five to six people from Cedar Haven and/or Renova Center taking the class each time.

Commissioners accepted $93,744 in STOP grant awards.

Prison
Population stood at 515, with 452 males and 63 females.  200 inmates were unsentenced.  21 inmates were state sentenced.

Carl and Abigail Jarboe addressed commissioners.

July 13, 2006

A ten-year agreement, which will harvest methane to produce electricity, was reached between PP&L and the GLRA.  PP&L hopes to sell the energy, 3200KW, for 4 cents per kilowatt.  This is enough energy to feed 4000 homes.  The economic impact on the Lebanon Valley could reach one million dollars.  The GLRA will net $85,000 annually from PP&L.  Commissioners endorsed a $500,000 PEDA grant application titled “A Closer Community with Green Power” to construct an environmental education center.  The new Center, which will generate three times the energy with the same amount of gas, should be completed by June 2007.

Amy Mazzella di Basco asked commissioners to accept a $61,245 recycling grant to supply 4000 recycling bins to the remainder of the 17 municipalities with curb side pickup and to produce two publications—a newsletter and Scoop Compost to 55,000 households.

EMA Chief Dan Kauffman and FEMA Public Information Officer and reservist Rita Kepner provided a flood damage report totaling $1,134,978 in damage to municipalities for debris removal, emergency protective measures, roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, public utilities, and parks and recreation facilities.  The Myerstown Wastewater plant repairs will cost $500,000; Millcreek Richland Joint Authority $99,500; County of Lebanon expenses for debris removal at Yordy’s bridge and to repair the Rail Trail will total $59,950; East Hanover $38,000; Palmyra $18,760….   Next week, a Disaster Recovery Center will set up in Jonestown.  Residents will be able to receive assistance to report flood losses at the center.  Further, uninsured and under-insured Pennsylvanians in the designated counties can call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or apply online at www.fema.gov/assistance/index.shtm for disaster assistance. 

Dan reported that on an average day, 140 phone calls are answered by EMA telecommunicators, but on June 28, 2006, 450 calls were answered.

Kepner commended Kauffman for his prompt and efficient handling of the flood, and referenced the Stafford Act, which applies common sense to review each case individually and do everything by need.  Examples include:

  1. Find and assist people where there are unmet needs;
  2. Take care of our tax dollars;
  3. Think about the next time.

Under all circumstances, flood victims should register with FEMA.  Referencing the Stafford Act, a couple registering for disaster relief with FEMA may fall into one of three categories:

  1. $0 awarded because they have full homeowners and full flood insurance.  Victims can return to their previous lifestyle.
  2. A low interest loan is awarded to someone who has homeowners insurance but no flood insurance.  A condition is that flood insurance becomes mandatory for future years.  Loan decisions are based on ability to repay, not income.  Again, victims can return to their previous lifestyle.
  3. A grant is awarded to someone without either homeowners or flood insurance.  The grant will only address serious unmet needs.  If there were two toilets in the home, only one toilet will be repaired.  If the couple does not have any children but has three bedrooms, only one bedroom will be repaired.  This is the only program that will consume taxpayer dollars.  Victims will not automatically return to their previous lifestyle.

Conceptually, the same rules are followed to award dollars to municipalities.

Previously, 82 homes were reported as affected by flood damage; 9 destroyed, 19 with major damage, and 64 with minor damage.

Julie Holland, US Department of Agriculture, provided a farm report:

¨      About 75% of the wheat in the county has or will suffer quality losses (which results in lost income) due to flooding and/or excess rainfall during the past two weeks.

¨      Approximately 210 acres of corn will be or is lost from the flooding.

¨      Approximately 100 acres of soybeans has been lost from the flooding.

¨      A few alfalfa fields were damaged but will recover. Some quality loss for one cutting is most likely.

¨      Some fences were damaged and need to be repaired or replaced.

¨      Debris remains in fields after the flood waters subsided.  (ex: tires, trash, etc.)

¨      The Financial impact is a loss of more than $250,000

Administrator Wolgemuth presented fixed liquid fuels requests for approval--$2036 to South Annville.

Two Intergovernmental Transfers will take place to move $9,800,000 in Medical Assistance funds during a moment-in-time transaction that will yield the County $20,000 for administration. 

Resolution 713-06 enters into a contract with John Riegle of Annville to remove approximately 3000 cubic yards of debris at Yordy’s Bridge at a cost of $25,000.  The logs will be chipped on site and given to East Hanover Township for use in their parks.

 

July 6, 2006

Commissioners Carpenter and Litz presided.  Commissioner Stohler was on vacation.

Administrator Wolgemuth reported that to date, the President has not included Lebanon in the FEMA list of designated disaster counties, which would release federal funds to help individuals and communities recover from the severe storms and flooding that began June 23, 2006.  When a County is designated, money can be used for repair of a home to a safe and sanitary living or functioning condition.  FEMA may provide up to $5400; then the homeowner must apply for a Small Business Administration disaster loan for additional repair assistance.  FEMA will not pay to return a home to its condition before the disaster.  Flood insurance may be required if the home is in a Special Flood Hazard Area.  Lebanon County’s damage assessment is complete, and today Dan Kauffman is in the field with FEMA representatives.  A report is forthcoming.  Criteria may have changed, but if I recall correctly, a state or national disaster could be called when a community sustained $12.4 million in uninsured damages.  The Small Business Administration provided low interest (1.2%) loans when 25 or more impacted homes and/or businesses were 40% underinsured and 100% destroyed

In a disaster, if a person can return to their home:

¨      Within 30 days, the disaster is classified as minor.  In general, in a flood, water does not reach the first floor.

¨      In more than 30 days, the disaster is classified as major.  In general, the first floor is also flooded.

¨      Never—the classification is destroyed, and residents cannot move back in.

Commissioners accepted an arbitration award for 57 Court-Related Non-Professional employees:  clerical in the Sheriff’s Department, Pubic Defender, Prothonotary, Register of Wills, and District Attorney’s offices.  Sheriff’s on-call deputies will qualify for a $200 per week on-call payment.  Health insurance will duplicate non-union employees, and wages will increase 1.5% plus 30 cents per hour for three years and 4% in the fourth year, which averages 3.6% per year.  The contract expires December 31, 2009.

June 29, 2006

Wednesday, due to flooding, Commissioners declared a state of emergency for Lebanon County.  Myerstown received 13.5 inches of rain since the 21st.  Their sewage treatment plant is inoperable.  34 people were placed in temporary housing, and a shelter was set up by the Red Cross at Youth for Christ on Grace Avenue.  Hundreds more residents are staying with family and friends.  Twelve people called for federal financial assistance.  In Lebanon County, twenty (20) state roads were closed during the peak of the flood.   Today, there are still eight roads closed.  Yordy's Bridge (a County owned bridge) has wing walls collapsed and buckled macadam.  A full assessment of the bridge's stability can only occur after waters recede.  The emergency declaration will allow debris removal to start on July 5.  Using Harper's as an example, according to USGS records, this flood takes third place in historic crests, following a June 1, 1889 crest at 25.6 feet; and Agnes on June 23, 1972 cresting at 23.72 feet.  Moved down one notch to fourth place is the 1933 flood on August 24, which crested at 17.53 feet followed by Ivan on September 19, 2004 cresting at 17.36 feet.  September 27, 1975 also had significant cresting at 17.24 feet.



At 8:30AM, Commissioners met in executive session with Attorney Tom Long to discuss a provider contract.

At 9:30AM, the regular meeting commenced.  James Holtry presented 63 Lebanon County Children and Youth Provider contracts for approval.

Susan Klarsch presented Lebanon County Drug and Alcohol contracts, including Health Choices, a collaborative effort with Dauphin, Lancaster, Cumberland, and Perry Counties and the Department of Department of Public Welfare.  Lebanon County was selected by OMHSAS as one of five (5) counties across the state to participate in a pilot project measuring readmission rates for persons defined as having a serious mental illness...who have been readmitted to the hospital within thirty (30) days of discharge.  To date, utilizing support services, readmission rates successfully dropped from 45 to 34.3%.  On another note, Health Choices is being proactive in meeting State reporting requirements by expanding tracking to include new categories such as events requiring the services of the fire department, law enforcement activity; medication errors....

Further, the base rate for a ten-year lease for New Perspectives at White Deer Run increased from $5.47 per square foot to $7 per square foot. The rate will be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index.  Lebanon County residents will continue to receive priority placement.

Kevin Schrum presented $1,827,866 in Lebanon County Mental Health/Mental Retardation contracts.  Rather than renewing one contract, Commissioners approved an extension of an existing contract.  Total County funds required to cover this budget are $725,864 ($460,322 County Allocation and $319,532 deficit).

Sally Barry presented an electronic monitoring contract for 40-50 bracelets with Global Positioning Satellite capability.  Current bracelets cost $3.75 per day, but only help to enforce curfew.  The new contract will cost $5.50 per day, but will monitor probationers in real time, even alerting authorities if someone would go into a restricted school zone or violate a protection form abuse order.  Based on their salary, clients reimburse the County at a minimum rate of $8 per day.

Daniel Kauffman presented a Lebanon County Emergency Management Agency Act 165 HazMat report for approval.  Included in the report is an analysis of the current threat to facilities, chemical facility threats, and transportation threats; activities to counter the hazardous material threat; the annual audit; and unmet needs.

At 11AM, the Lebanon County Metropolitan Planning Organization

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Comments and responses for the 30-Day Comment Period for the Long Range Transportation Plan, the 2007-10 TIP, Air Quality Conformity Analysis and other documents were approved.

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The 2005-2030 Long Range Transportation Plan was approved.

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The 2007-1010 Transportation Improvement Program, Modification Procedures, Transit Financial Capacity Analysis, and TIP Environmental Justice Summaries were approved.

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Both an MPO Self-Certification Statement and Air Quality Resolutions were approved.

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To complete necessary studies, Palmyra and the Londonderry's are on a three-year schedule to transfer into Lebanon's MPO from the Harrisburg-Hershey MPO.  A white paper will outline pros and cons of the move for the municipalities.

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The next MPO meeting will be held on July 27, 2006.  A modeling demonstration will take place by McCormick/Taylor on traffic lights between Cleona and Palmyra.

At 1PM, commissioners met in executive session with Attorney Scott Feeman to discuss a union contract.

June 22, 2006

Commissioners Carpenter and Stohler presided.  Commissioner Litz was on vacation.

A Certification for the Supported Work/Engagement Program funded by DPW and DCED were approved for the Housing Authority Social Services, which prepares and assists TANF clients to obtain unsubsidized employment and six months of vocational educational activities to seek employment.

Elaine Ludwig presented a $4,174.74 third quarter report for HAVA.  Further, the Certification of County Maintenance Effort was signed.  Finally, a Survey of Polling Place Accessibility for the Elderly and Persons with Disability for our 55 polling places was certified.

June 15, 2006

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Michael Kristovensky and Dean Mease, Area Agency on Aging, presented the Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging Farmers’ Market check plan for eligible seniors living in Lebanon County.  The program provides seniors with fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables and increases sales to help sustain local farmers.  Income limits apply:  $18,130 single and $24,420 couple.  Each person may receive four-$5 checks one time during the year.  A grant of $25,000 was received, so when the 5,000 checks are gone, the program will close.  Distribution will begin on July 19 at Maple Street Senior Center; July 11 at Townhouse Apartments; July 12 at Stevens Towers; July 14 at Myerstown Center; July 17 at Poplar Terrace; July 18 at Willow Terrace; July 19 at Washington Arms; July 21 at Annville Senior Center; July 24 at Northern Lebanon Center; July 26 at South Lebanon Center; and July 31 at Palmyra Center.  A list of farm stands is provided.

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Charles Blankenship, Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation, received approval to draw $350,000 from a $3,000,000 Tax Increment Financing pool.  Funds will be used to replace/repair roads in South Lebanon Business Park.  Previously, $925,000 in infrastructure improvements were completed using the TIF.

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In addition, Charles will coordinate, in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Lebanon Emergency Management, an Economic Recovery Plan for Lebanon County.  Annual drills will follow.  Traditional recovery plans involve beans, blankets, bandages, and beds.  An Economic Recovery Plan will complete a loss assessment for businesses; secure temporary locations for business operations; and seek recovery loans.

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Sally Neuin received a resolution to open an EMA Haz Mat grant account at Commerce bank.

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Sandra Parker Hall was appointed to the Commission for Women.
 

June 8, 2006

Commissioners accepted a $103,000 DCED Emergency Shelter grant, the third and final installation for repairs to the Domestic Violence Intervention shelter.  Phyllis Holtry will administer the grant.

Controller Mettley presented a request for direction for Archie Battistelli concerning two Canadian and one Netherlands company stocks.  On a three to one vote, with Commissioner Stohler dissenting, to uphold a “Buy-American” policy, the foreign stock will be sold.  By investing in American stock, the policy goal is to retain jobs for Americans.  As questions arise, the companies are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss personnel and labor negotiations.

June 1, 2006

For approval, Kevin Schrum and Brenda Mettley presented a Prioritization of Urgency Needs for 202 consumers on a waiting lost for supports and services.  Due to the lack of expansion funds, the PUNS list continues to grow.

James Holtry received approval for a $230 per day contract with the Wings Of Life Residential Program for delinquent females.

Martin Barondick addressed the commissioners about deer.

Commissioners signed reports certifying compilation of votes for the 2006 primary election.  In the 102nd district, Rose Marie Swanger received 107 and Frank Bergman 90 write-in votes.

May 25, 2006

On June 2 at noon, drawing numbered balls will break primary election ties.  Candidates are welcome to participate.

Rick Rhoade and Marta Evans received a proclamation for the 15th year in a row on behalf of Children’s Miracle Network.  All money raised on June 4 during a telethon on WGAL TV8 will stay local.  Rick encourages everyone to tune in from 12-1PM.  Last year, a record $2.4 million was raised. 

James Holtry and Karen Alonzo, Children and Youth, presented $280,490.43 in third quarter invoices for approval of IV-E maintenance, adoption assistance, and Medicaid.

Finally, Commissioners approved and signed a letter for our federal legislators asking to have Title IV-E funds reinstated to PA.  $137.8 million was withheld from the State for in-home services since January, but the State continued to reimburse counties.  If they do not receive funding, the State will stop county reimbursement for this mandated service, and may even collect $820,000 from Lebanon County for what has already been spent for services.

Previously, $400,000 in TANF funds was lost. 

Dan Kauffman received approval for $9321 in PEMA grants to purchase a Decon shower station in the event of a nuclear incident, two laptop computers, decontamination foam….

Michael Kristovensky and Dean Mease presented a June menu prepared by Pittsburgh Companies North for senior centers.  Meals will leave the facility at 180 degrees, and arrive at sites at a temperature of 140 degrees.

Commissioners approved contracts to continue MHMR services with the Department of Welfare for the next year.

May 18, 2006

For signing, Gary Robson presented a Master Agreement between the County Detectives and the County of Lebanon.

Commissioners adopted Ordinance # 32 providing rules and regulations for Governor Dick (as outlined in a 4/27 vote to advertise the same).

To maintain roads and bridges, Swatara Township will receive a fixed allocation of $3695 from the liquid fuels funds.

A countywide burn ban expires Friday, and will not be reinstated.

Lebanon County’s safety committee, chaired by Jamie Wolgemuth, received certification by the Department of Labor and Industry.  This certification will save 5% or $16,000 annually on insurance.  Commissioners commended each member of the safety team for their dedication to this achievement.

Commissioner Stohler presented his version of an Avian flu task force for Lebanon County.  He designated Dr. Yocum as chairman, as well as himself, Dr. Rugh Henderson, Robert Longenecker, Dr. Joe Kearnes, Kim Crossan, Rosemary Birt, Dr. Gregory Martin, Chris Miller, and Dan Kauffman to serve on the task force.  Commissioner Litz voted no.  While these appointments are all fine individuals, Litz stated, “Based on outbreaks in countries like Vietnam and Thailand, preparation and planning for a pandemic is essential.  We need to be forward thinking with our long-range planning.  We also need to put a capital “Q” in the quality of whatever we do. 

It was 1983-84 when 450 poultry flocks or 117 million birds were lost to the avian flu.

If a human pandemic breaks out locally, we will have limited bed capacity at hospitals, limited refrigerated storage facilities for vaccines, and limited quarantine and isolation areas.  Therefore, I believe the vision of today’s proposal is inadequate.  We need to think regionally.  Wild birds transmitting viruses don’t respect county boundaries.  We should be working together with our neighbors to the east, west, north, and south to support each other in the event additional food, shelter, or hospitalization are needed.  We will also need regional GIS tracking of the spread of the disease.  In short, in my opinion, a regional task force to coordinate with commissioners from the south central region is essential.” 

May 11, 2006

Gary Robson presented personnel transactions.  Commissioners accepted an arbitrator’s award for the County Detectives beginning January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2008.

Further, the starting pay for correctional offers in 2006 is $10.83 per hour.

Phyllis Holtry presented $231,389 in Community Services Block Grant funds from DPW and  $272,089 in Human Services Development Funds from DCED for approval.

Susan Klarsch presented a Contract Amendment for PA Counseling Service at $16.08 to add computer data entry as well as Waivers for approval

Mike Kristovensky and Joe Lescisko presented $6044 in budget amendments for the Area Agency on Aging.  Commissioners also signed off on a PDA cooperative agreement; support of the Aging Block grant area plan; and a $126,848 pre-admission assessment program.

Archie Battistelli and Steven Green reviewed the Retirement Funds for the County of Lebanon.    The current balance is $85,275,000.  In a consolidated report, they presented performance by ABN AMRO, McHugh, Kensington, and Sovereign Asset Management groups.  Commissioners agreed to send a letter to CS McKee informing them that they should cooperate and work with our advisors to integrate their report in a codified presentation for the County.

Phil Hall reviewed the West Nile Virus program, and Skeeter Skool.  Dead bird samples, no chickens, five per month maximum, will be tested.  Contact Phil at 270-4391.  When collecting, wear rubber gloves to handle dead birds.  Bag the bird.  Then, wash your hand thoroughly.  Die-offs in excess of five birds will be referred to the Game Commission 610-926-3136.  One in five people with West Nile virus develop symptoms like fever, headache, body ache, swollen glands, fatigue/weakness, minor loss of coordination, stomach problems, eye pain, or a rash.  Phil recommends using larval control agents like Bti or Pre-Strike.  To reduce mosquito bites, use repellants containing soybean oil, IR3535, Picaridin, or DEET.  Avian flu questions are handled by the Department of Agriculture. 

Skeeter Skool lasts 1.5 hours at the Ag Center, 2120 Cornwall Road.  Call 270-4391 to register for June 8, 9, or 10.  Class times are 7PM, 10AM, and 11AM respectively.

Commissioners approved Liquid fuels for North Lebanon, $6489 fixed and $7150 special, and North Cornwall, $3335 fixed.

Frank Eichler was reappointed to the board of Clarence Shock Memorial Park.

A proclamation was approved for presentation at Sertoma.

A proclamation was issued for Aubry Rittle, who received a Gold Award from Girl Scouts for her candle light night at the Isaac Meyer Homestead.

Commissioners then met with members of both the policy board and technical committee for the Metropolitan Planning Organization.  A draft 2007 Highway/bridge transit and Interstate Management TIP was approved for a 30-day public comment period and open house.

Terri Guirantano mentioned that COLT is looking at the purchase of a hybrid bus.

May 4, 2006

Gary Robson asked Commissioners to accept an arbitration award for Correctional Officers and Corporals at the prison for the years 2005-2009.  The bargaining unit works under a no-strike clause, and Act 195 allows binding arbitration.  AFSME represents 70 people in this unit.  In pay increases, employees will receive 3%/3%/3%/3.5%/then a wage reopener between 2005-2009.  A $200 individual and $400 family medical deductible and $10/$25 prescription deductible will also be implemented.  Further, the arbitrator removed a step increase.

Also signed was an agreement with John Leahy, Chief Detective, on how he will receive pay increases.

Robert Longo, Stephanie Thompson, Karen Geiser from the Good Samaritan Hospital; Ana Mell MD and Margaret Cromper from the VA Medical Center; and Bett Martin from Philhaven, were on hand to receive proclamations for Nurses week and Hospital week, “where miracles happen.”  Dr. Mello noted nurse’s strength, commitment, and compassion.  Nurses Carolyn, Monica, Judy, and Irene were on hand for the occasion.

John Wengert, accompanied by Engineer Mark Wilson, provided an update on the Mt. Gretna rail-trail spur; information on a Capital Campaign, including a golf tournament; completion of the RJ Corman parcel; and the award of a $10,000 DCED grant secured by Representative Zug to complete a feasibility study for a Northern Extension via the Union Canal Tunnel Park, which would extend the 12.5 mile southern section and 1.5 mile City section by 7 miles and join Swatara State Park.  The previously acquired 10’ wide Trail was signed over to the County.

The extension would elevate the Trail to regional significance passing by local facilities like the Lebanon Valley EXPO, two high schools, and the National Appalachian Trail.  Senator Brightbill stated that, “You need the local leadership, and John has done a terrific job.”   Brightbill had secured a $104,000 Transportation Enhancement grant for the final 2.5 miles on the southern portion of the Trail.  The Mt. Gretna ice cream connection should be completed by June 1, 2006.  To date, citizens have made a $1.5 million investment in the Trail.

Elaine Ludwig received a “certification affidavit” for the County of Lebanon’s General Primary on May 16 declaring a total of 73,979 eligible voters of which 21,110 were Democrats, 43,466 were Republicans, 425 Libertarians, 127 Green, 92 Constitutional, and 8759 other parties.

April 27, 2006

During Student Government day, local high school juniors and seniors shadowed elected officials and department heads.  Josh Sholly, chairman, shadowed Commissioner Bill Carpenter; Brian Snyder, vice-chairman, shadowed Commissioner Larry Stohler, and Amanda Klinger, secretary, shadowed Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz.

Mark Phillips, mentored by treasurer Sallie Neuin, presented the Treasurer’s report.

Clarissa Demederco, an exchange student from Brazil and mentored by Gary Robson, presented personnel transactions.  Melissa Light presented conference and seminar requests.

Kymberly Lebo shadowed Controller Robert Mettley to set salaries for new hires.

John Leahy, Chief County Detective, received approval to apply for a $3950 DARE grant for Northern Lebanon School District fifth graders.  Student government leaders remember going through the DARE program.  Detective Leahy explained that if one child’s life is saved because of the DARE program, it is well worth the effort.

Nate George, mentored by Jim Holtry, received approval for a $23,570 Children and Youth Independent Living Contract, which provides up to $1750 for life skills training, assistance obtaining higher education, services for teen parents, security deposits for permanent housing…for twenty youths.

Susan Eberly and George Christianson received a State required letter of approval for Aspen’s Business Park guaranteeing $1,260,000 will be used for approved road, water and sewer, and storm water retention projects.  Mr. Christianson matches the grant. 

 

Robert Femmer, for Elaine Ludwig, received approval to file a request for $10,000.03 in HAVA working capital and  for a SURE computer, which will reduce staff time researching and verifying registered voters signing petitions by allowing candidates to sign in and use a dedicated PC.  Elaine announced that the iVotronic voting machines arrived on Monday.  A team of individuals worked diligently to assemble and test the machines to make sure that none were damaged during shipping.

Liquid fuels funds were approved for South Londonderry, $3527 and Myerstown, $2438 and $10,000.

Student Government Commissioners gave permission to advertise Ordinance #32, which outlines rules like no smoking, no hunting, no removing flowers, no drinking, no overnight camping, no motorized vehicles, and hours of use for enforcement at Governor Dick.

A $363,482.65 bridge inspection contract was approved with Mark Wilson and Penn DOT.  The contract is reimbursed 80% with State funds and 20% from Liquid Fuels taxes.

Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss union negotiations, specifically, prison arbitration. 

April 19, 2006

As the Election Board, Commissioners attended a hearing on precinct consolidation where Judge Samuel Kline respectfully denied their petition.  Eight people spoke against consolidation, and no voters spoke in favor of consolidation.  In ruling, Judge Kline quoted Justice Ralph Cappy (Ross Township 2/22/88 and reaffirmed by Commonwealth Court in 4/89):  “More polls with fewer voters creates greater convenience and increases significant involvement.”  Therefore, polling places will not be consolidated.

April 20, 2006

Tammy Hartman-Hankins and Beth Hoch received a proclamation for Crime Victims’ Rights Week.  They will issue certificates to groups providing outstanding service to victims, including:  SARCC, DVI, Adult and Juvenile Probation, Children and Youth, and every police department in Lebanon County.

Michael Kristovensky, Joseph Lescisko, Dean Mease, Amy Allwein, Jen Linebach, and Fay Fox were present for the opening of Meals on Wheels bids.  The Atland House contract providing 76,736 meals at a cost of $327,307 expires June 30, 2006.  The new company will be on a trial period from May 1-19.

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Covenco Culinary Center, Middletown, bid $4.07 for each of 24,000 “Center meals” or a total of $97,680 and $4.20 for each of 50,000 individual meals for a total cost of $210,000.   Combined, the meals would cost $307,680.

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Pittsburgh Company North bid $3.86 for each Center Meal and Individual meal.  The 74,000 meals will cost a total of $285,640.  The company has a plant in Akron near Ephrata. 

Fay informed commissioners that Medicare Part D enrollment ends May 15, 2006.  After that, there is a 1% per month penalty assessed to participants.  Anyone with questions or needing assistance can contact the Area Agency on Aging at 710 Maple St., Lebanon, 273-9262.

Mark Chegwidden presented both the 127.86-acre Ivan G. and Gloria H. Burkholder farm in South Annville and the 76.02-acre John D. and Velma S. Brubaker farm in Heidelberg and Jackson Townships for a right-to-be-heard hearing prior to preservation.  Acquisitions will total $191,000 and $114,030 respectively and the County will be reimbursed $112,800 and $70,965 in Federal FRPP grant funds.

Commissioners sat as the Board of Cedar Haven, and Ed Schlegel and Marcia Krause presented action items.  The Wednesday meeting was postponed because of the precinct consolidation hearing. 

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With a total census of 306 residents, Cedar Haven has a 95% occupancy. 

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The Department of Health found one complaint unsubstantiated. 

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A property appraisal report set the value of Cedar Haven at $17.5 million, excluding equipment.  

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The Medicaid rate is $178.74 daily.

Kevin Schrum and Shem Heller received approval on a 2007-2008 Mental Health/Mental Retardation “recovery oriented” Plan.  A mobile response team is on the County wish list for medical assistance funding.

An eight-year District Judge office lease was approved for Palmyra Borough.  Initially the rent is $750 monthly; in two years $775 monthly; and the final two years $800 monthly.

Carol McGlaughlin, who resigned from the board of Governor Dick after serving since its inception in 1999, will be followed by Chuck Allwein who will serve out Carol’s term plus three years.

Dan Kauffman, Howard Kramer, and Scott Bixler presented the results of their meeting to discuss ambulance dispatch.  They agreed to form a committee to improve services across the County taking the system from good to great.  Looking at a broader picture, the Federation will play a key part in breaking down barriers across County lines when another ambulance can provide service faster in a given location.

Liquid Fuels funds were approved for:  Bethel $4861 fixed, Union $3559 fixed, Richland $939 fixed, North Annville $3083 fixed, North Londonderry $2910 fixed, West Cornwall $1363 fixed, and Mt. Gretna $346 fixed as well as $15,000 for a special project.

Commissions passed a resolution urging the reauthorization of collection of fees to the abandoned mine land reclamation fund.  Lebanon County has three AMD sites that leach polluted water into our streams.

Reconvening later in the day, Commissioners approved a DCNR recommended burn ban for Lebanon County.  Open burning; out-of-doors either in a burn barrel, or any similar device, or on the ground is banned.  The use of propane stoves, charcoal briquette grills, or the use of tobacco in any form is not covered under this open burning ban.  Campfires are allowed in fire rings that confine and contain the campfire in state, federal or Department of Environmental Protection licensed campgrounds only.  Penalties are intended to apply mainly in instances where:  open burning has not escaped; Chapter 33—arson, criminal mischief and other property destruction of the crimes code; or Chapter 7—Forest fires, Title 32.  In instances where the fire has escaped, the charge of open burning can be brought, in conjunction with Chapter 33 of the Crimes Code, Chapter 7 Forest Fires.  Police officers should coordinate with all agencies having jurisdiction prior to issuing citations for open burning whenever an escaped fire has occurred.

Commissioners then convened the Metropolitan Planning Organization.  Among other actions,

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Financial support was guaranteed to North Lebanon and the City of Lebanon to keep the 11th Avenue Railroad crossing open.

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Brandy Heilman, director of the SRTP program, gave an overview of activities for south-central counties, including York, Lebanon, Lancaster, Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, and Adams to reduce the number of single occupant vehicles on our roads and offer and encourage other commuter options such as carpooling, staggered shifts, and emergency ride home programs. 

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Then, Barb Zortman, Matt Seller, Doug Bohanon, Tom Kotay and Jon Fitzgee outlined a May 22 driver safety program that will bring five stations to 200 students at ELCO.  An 18-wheeler will demonstrate blind spots for truck drivers, an under-the-influence drive simulation, a railroad-crossing simulator, survival 101 by the State Police, and an EMT presentation.  Representatives from other schools will be invited to assess the day for consideration to expand the program in future years.

Commissioners then convened as the Assessment Appeals Board where they heard two residential appeals.  A Myerstown trailer received a reduction in assessment while a North Lebanon horse farm’s value was increased.

April 13, 2006

Kevin Schrum, Melissa Heisey and Carol Davies received approval for $228,435 in contract changes for services from seven providers:  Community Services Group, DDS, CBHNP, Susquehanna Association for the Blind, Exact Communication, Ed Weaner, and Tina Copeland. There is no net change in funds spent by the County.

Bridget Hoffman and Kathy Snavely introduced TEEN University, a project of the Lebanon Women’s Commission, which will help to enhance decision making skills in 9th grade girls to avoid risky behaviors and focus on setting and reaching goals that will lead to successful employment, financial independence, and positive relations with family, friends, and school/business associates.   The pilot project will begin with Lebanon High School in September 2006 for eight Monday night sessions.  School staff will recommend students to receive an invitation to participate.  Some sessions will focus on peer-to-peer presentations while others will enlist professional women in the Lebanon Valley.  In future years, there are plans to expand the program to county school districts.

Brett Lentz presented the 112.9-acre Wesley Martin Farm in South Lebanon Township for a right-to-be-heard hearing for preservation.  The crop and dairy farm is adjacent to four preserved farms.  With an actual value of $468,120, Wesley’s will receive $169,200 in federal and County funds to maintain their farm in agriculture in perpetuity.

A directive was put on hold to change the Emergency Health Services Federation dispatch protocol adopted by our eight-county region.  Written input from the EMD and an opinion by Solicitor Snelling was requested.  The Lebanon County Ambulance Association may also help to investigate options that will improve the reliability and timely response of ambulances.

Elaine Ludwig presented the primary ballot layout for approval – 2006 Primary Election Sample Republican Ballot  --  Sample Democratic Ballot

$40,080 in contracts for two new 90-pound washer/extractors for Cedar Haven were awarded to CILS of Palmyra.

Administrator Wolgemuth presented debt service obligations for approval.  Interest of $292,968.75 due on the 2003 obligation bond by April 15 will be moved from the General Fund to the Bond Coupon Account at Lebanon Valley Farmers Bank.  Likewise, $116,634.38 interest due on the 2004 GOB will transfer to the Bond Coupon Account at LV Farmers Bank.

Commissioners also approved a resolution certifying Wachovia as the repository to hold the recent $1.81 million loan for distribution.

Cleona received approval for $1421 in fixed liquid fuels funds.

April 6, 2006
 

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Ken Bachem opened bids for a Washer-Extractor at Cedar Haven.  CILS, Palmyra, bid $40,080; PAC, Harrisburg $42,780; and Wholesale Commercial Laundry, Blue Bell $53,244.  Cedar Haven washes 760 tons of laundry annually.

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Commissioners signed a Department of Agriculture agreement for vouchers that will allow purchase of fresh fruit and vegetables at local farm markets.

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A $17,151 Byrne Justice Assistance Grant will help to support finger printing machines in Central Booking.  The City of Lebanon receives one-half of the funds.

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Phyllis Holtry received an Assurance of Compliance with ADA, civil rights, human relations…for the Medical Assistance Transportation Program.

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Liquid Fuels were approved for West Lebanon, $796 fixed and $20,000 special; Cornwall $3044 fixed; East Hanover $4717 fixed; Heidleberg $4694 fixed; Jackson $70,000 special and $5862 fixed; and Annville $3204 fixed.

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Because income is reinvested in non-profit activities, Lickdale Fire Company received exoneration for a rental property.

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Robert Longenecker was appointed to the Drug and Alcohol board.
 

March 30, 2006

Commissioners heard from Leigh Beamesderfer concerning Earth Day activities on April 22 at the Quittie Wetland, an Envirothon on May 10th at Coleman’s Park, and mandatory environmental education training by the year 2008 for grades 4, 8, and 11.

Jenny Murphy Shifflet received a proclamation for Sexual Assault Awareness month.  Unfortunately one rape is reported to police every two hours and 38 minutes.  One in four girls and one in six boys are raped.  Jenny encouraged those present to be a “hero” to intervene and protect our children.  A Town Meeting will be held on April 5 from 7-9PM at HACC.

Charles Blankenship received approval for the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation to draw down $740,000 in grant funds provided that the Hanford’s sign an agreement to reimburse the County for any ineligible costs.  Adding another level of assurance, preliminary review and approval were provided by the State.

Charles also explained how the LVEDC promotes all sites in Lebanon County.  For example, they have a potential tenant for the ALCOA building.  LVEDC does manage the 80 acre Lebanon Valley Business Park; 120 acre Hawk Acres; and 135 acre Lebanon Rails Business Park.  All total, there are approximately 600-700 acres available for development in Lebanon County.  Another pilot project will bring together investors who will purchase land and build to suit for businesses who want to lease space. 

Michael Kristovensky provided an Energy Assistance update.  We’ve been blessed with a milder than normal winter.  Even so, the Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program, including processing of 400 crisis applications, received 2217 applications.  The maximum payment was increased from $300 to $600.  In future years, fire companies and churches will be asked to cooperate with emergency shelter should we have a severe winter, and limited funds.  To qualify for LIHEAP, income maximums stand at $14,355 for individuals and $19,245 for couples.  People aged 60 and over receive priority.  Call 273-1641 for more information.

Elaine Ludwig presented an ES&S purchase order for 265 Ivotronic voting and two master machines.  Further, a Maintenance of Effort report for HAVA compared 2005 spending of $212,789 with $181,000 in spending four years ago.

Liquid fuels applications for South Lebanon, $7615 fixed; Millcreek, $3100 fixed; Jonestown Borough, $645 fixed; and the City of Lebanon, $21,000 fixed allocations were awarded.

Phyllis Holtry received a $104,712 rental assistance grant approval for the Housing Assistance Program and $12,125 for Bridge housing.  A DCED Supportive Engagement Program was also amended to include an extra $11,760 award.

An ARC of Dauphin and Lebanon Counties Mental Retardation Awareness Day proclamation was approved.

Earl Meyer recommended Andy Marhevsky to replace Robert Knoll on the Comprehensive Plan Task Force.

At 1:30, commissioners participated in the preservation of the 10,000th acre of farmland on the Heilbron farm in North Annville.

March 23, 2006

Commissioners Stohler and Litz attended today's meeting.  Commissioner Carpenter was absent.

At a cost of $60,744.67, Commissioners awarded construction of the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail Mt. Gretna spur to Kresge Excavating, Cornwall PA,  

Tracey Clemens was appointed to the Women's Commission.

Al Freed, Tom Brandt, and Linda Jackson were reappointed to the County of Lebanon Transit Authority (COLT).

March 15, 2006
10:30AM Cedar Haven
Census stood at 305 of which 229 are female and 76 are male.  This is a 95% occupancy rate.

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On March 22, CPR classes will be given to 5 LPN’s at Renova Center and 5 nurses at Cedar Haven.

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A volunteer dinner will be held on April 10 and an employee lunch on May 17.

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DPH encouraged the County to implement a no smoking policy for all new residents.  The ten residents who currently smoke will be allowed to continue.

Geographic Information Data Sets are now completed.  Around June sample data will be available free of charge for municipalities.  Their engineers and others will not be allowed to use the information for purposes other than the municipality they represent.  Neither may they sell the information.

Benecon presented a proposal for a County Health Insurance Purchasing Cooperative.

Area Agency on Aging will be conducting bids for a new noon meal site vendor.  There are issues with the Altland House contract.

Noon Prison Board

Census stood at 535 of which 467 are male and 68 are female.  Unsentenced inmates total 203; inmates on work release 118; and state sentenced inmates29.

March 16, 2006

Commissioners Carpenter and Litz attended today's meeting.  Commissioner Stohler was absent.
Regular weekly meeting of the Board of Commissioners.

Earl Meyer, Lori Books, Mandy Eisenhauer, Gordon Sheetz, and Robert Sentz were on hand to receive congratulations from DEP South-Central Region Director Rusty Diamond and Dave Gates for their administration of the module review process for on-lot septic systems in 23 local governments.  Lebanon County is one of four—Erie, Philadelphia, and Armstrong—counties providing this service in the State.  85 rather than 50% of revenue from fees is received.  In 2004, the program brought in $78,000 to Lebanon County while keeping costs down for boroughs, townships, and their residents. Commissioners voted to reinstate the program for another five-year term.

Claire Lundberg, Jim Holtry, and Sue Klarsch presented a $60,230.50 CTC Sustainability grant and outlined a March 30 Town Hall meeting scheduled for the Lebanon High auditorium from 6:30-8:00 PM on underage drinking. Communities that Care is a process to deal with youth problems from pregnancy to dropouts and underage drinking. Commissioners also proclaimed March 30 as Underage Drinking Prevention Day.

Sally Barry submitted a $704,846 Renaissance Crossroads grant for approval.  Begun in 2001, the program accomplishments include 70 offenders admitted into the program at a 50% state-defined success rate.

Ken Bachem and Kris Troup returned with bids for repair of the storm water retention basin at Jonestown elementary.  At a cost of $36,217, Commissioners approved low bidder Woodland Contractor to complete repairs, which will start within the next thirty days and be completed a few days after that.

Elaine Ludwig carried out the ‘Casting of Lots’ to determine ballot position for County Committee members who volunteer in the Democratic and Republican parties.  Their function is to field and elect candidates to office.  40 Democratic and 132 Republican committee people will appear on the ballot.  There are 165 open slots (3 positions x 55 precincts = 165).  Anyone interested in becoming active in either party can write-in their name for committeeeperson.  Where there is an open seat and no one else writes in a name, it is possible to get elected with one write-in vote.

Annual Domestic Relations Agreement Title IV-D provides 66% reimbursement or $22,834 for Joe Hill’s legal services for paternity hearings.  A $75 per hour conflict-of-interest rate was also approved.

1:30PM Assessment Board:  

Two appeals were heard.  An Amish school was removed from the tax rolls.  In addition, commissioners heard an appeal for a 122-acre farm in South Londonderry Township that had subdivided off two twenty-acre lots in an area serviced by public sewer.

March 9, 2006

Kevin Schrum, Carol Davies, and Shem Heller presented a $369,026 Mental Health/Mental Retardation Direct Care Worker Initiative and $7,186 in contract changes with Dr. Hermann, Tri-County Human Services, International Services Center, and Geisinger Community Health dba:  Living Unlimited.

Kenneth Bachem and Kris Troup opened Jonestown Elementary Storm Water Detention Basin bids.  The original contractor went out of business, and left a basin that pools and draws mosquitoes.  In an effort to come in under the estimated $40,000 repair cost, this is the third or fourth time the project was bid.

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Woodland Contractors $36,217;

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Tru-Line contractors, Perkaskie $91,500;

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B&R Construction Services, Harrisburg $38,398.08;

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Landis Deck, Bernville $37,800.

Susan Klarsch presented a contract amendment from the closed Tink and Peg’s Place to Transitional Evergreen; a 10-year lease agreement with annual increases in the Consumer Price Index for White Deer run; and a 28.67% cut ($86,408) in Tobacco Grant funds.  Commissioner Carpenter requested review of the CPI based on the 2006 square footage charge.

Fred Priebe was appointed to the Drug and Alcohol board.

Commissioners reappointed the Lebanon County Historical Society as the county’s official historical society, which makes them eligible for Historical and Museum Commission funds.

A $65,127 performance grant was awarded by PEMA and accepted by the commissioners.  Funds will reimburse salary for a coordinator and training of officers.

Commissioners signed a $418,869.78 voter registration invoice from Title II and a $175,572.10 invoice from Section 102 to draw down HAVA funds for payment of voting machines.

Girl Scout proclamations were approved for Emily Clemens of Palmyra and Jessica Lane of Annville.  Both girls hail from troop 368.  Emily completed a genealogy project and Jessica completed an awareness game for a carnival benefiting the Children’s Hospital of Hershey.

Finally, six members of the Swatara Creek Watershed Association attended today's commissioner's meeting.  Bob Arnold, Dave McSurdy, and Denise Donmoyer spoke to the commissioners who preferred not to sign a lease on the Bordner cabin.  However, they will give SCWA a letter of support to go back to the negotiating table with DCNR.

March 2, 2006

Elaine Ludwig received approval to move four polling places:

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Millcreek Township—at the request of the fire company, from the Newmanstown Fire House to the Millcreek Township Building;

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Annville Township (from the closed YMCA Allwein Center to the Annville Church of the Brethren.);

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Palmyra Borough, North—at the request of the Borough election board, from the Citizens Fire Company to ShadowStone Community Center; and

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Third Ward—temporarily from Stevens Towers, which is under renovation, to Zion Lutheran Evangelical Church.

Commissioners also took a vote to sign a $929,250 contract with ES&S for voting machines.  Because ES&S did not provide a performance bond at no extra fee, to protect and ensure the County would not be left with additional costs to rent machines nor increased costs if something happened and ES&S could not deliver, Commissioner Litz voted no.

Kevin Schrum, Carol Davies, Shem Heller, and Melissa Heisey received approval on a Health Choices amendment; a $38,109 Mental Health Direct Care Worker Initiative Plan; and an $8,085 Bioterrorism grant.

Dan Kauffman reviewed and received approval for the now combined Act 78 (911 wireline) and Act 56 (911 wireless) Plan proposal, which will initially cost $14,406, and an additional $7203 to update maps, charts, and narrative over the next three years.  Commissioners also approved a $765,486 PSAP Wireless E911 funding application.

Sally Barry received approval for a $90,420 Electronic Monitoring 3-year continuation grant, which will be filed electronically.  As an alternative to incarceration, Electronic Monitoring helps to reduce prison population.  In the next thirty days, ankle bracelets will be GPS activated with the capability of automatically sending an alarm if any of the thirty offenders enter an exclusionary zone like schools or playgrounds.  The majority of offenders are either probation violators or were convicted of DUI.

Commissioner Litz presented a PowerPoint on the Armar Bordner Cabin and Old State Road in Swatara State Park.  Earlier this week, members of the Swatara Creek Watershed Association and supervisors representing both Swatara and Bethel Townships met with Senator Brightbill and DCNR Secretary DiBernadinis in Harrisburg.  DCNR would like to demolish or remove the Cabin and acquire ownership of Old State Road from the Townships. 

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Senator Brightbill asked DCNR to prepare a written plan allowing public access on a predictable basis, without red tape, to Old State Road.

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Rather than demolishing or moving the 67-year old hand hewn log cabin, SCWA proposed to Adopt-a-Cabin and coordinate needed repairs on an annual basis.  The immediate need is a new roof.  (Cabin HistoryThe Senator then asked if the County of Lebanon would be willing to acquire a long-term (99-year) lease with the State. 

Armar Bordner Cabin:  (SCWA Summary Arguments)  If the Master Plan is not to be changed, we respectfully submit that the Bordner Cabin should not be moved or removed.

bulletPage 132 of the Master Plan’s ‘Trails for Travel’ states, "The Heritage Trail is illustrated on figure #11."
bulletThe Heritage Trail figure #11 clearly includes the Bordner Cabin as an interpretive site.  (Figure 1 established the Cabin as a footprint in the Park.)
bulletTherefore, the Bordner Cabin is included in the Swatara State Park Master Plan.  The Bordner Cabin is not included in the Sweet Arrow Lake Master Plan..
bulletThe Cabin is in Lebanon County, and represents a colorful Lebanon County history.  George Washington didn’t sleep here, but a lot of scouts did.
bulletThe Bordner Cabin is consistent with the Master Plan vision of utilizing buildings with small footprints that incorporate wood siding and natural materials found in the area.
bulletIn three short years, the cabin will qualify for National or State historic preservation.  Pictures, blueprints, and newspaper articles help to document the historical significance of the cabin to the Lebanon Area.
bulletUsing grants, this cabin could become a demonstration project by incorporating green technology and energy efficiencies.  For example, by using rubber shingles made from recycled tires, solar lighting to ward off vandals, and off-site composting toilets, the Cabin can be self-sufficient.
bulletAn Adopt-a-Cabin program can be established to both help protect the structure from vandals and assist with maintenance.

Commissioners requested a sample lease, and tabled action until next week.  Both Dr. George Conner and Horseshoe Trail Boy Scouts of America District Commissioner Jay Laser also requested that the cabin remain in place.  Until the leaky roof caused health concerns for the scouts, at a cost of $1 per year, for about ten years the scouts had rented the cabin from the Park. The lease ended about six years ago.

Rather than a bond, Joe Pierce , bond councilor from Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellot, recommended that the County of Lebanon loan the $1,810,100 needed from a bank for an EMA Public Service Answering Point, farmland preservation, voting machine acquisition, elevator repairs, computer equipment, Renova Center beds, prison equipment, and a Sheriff’s van.  RBC Dain Rausher is acting as the County’s financial advisor.  Per Ordinance 31, from Wachovia Bank, Commissioners secured a 15-year loan at a fixed rate of 3.94%.  Nine banks had bid on the loan

Drug and Alcohol board appointments were made.

February 23, 2006

James Holtry presented contracts and invoices for approval.  For Juvenile Probation and Children and Youth, Commissioners approved contracts with Berks County Detention, Clear Vision Residential Treatment, Hempfield Behavioral Health, and Valley Community Services.  Finally, $337,569.80 worth of second quarter invoices were approved for Placement Maintenance, Adoption Assistance, TANF, a State Transition Grant, and Medicaid.

Raymond Bender reviewed proposed distribution of Community Development Block Grant funds.  Seventy percent of the grant must benefit low and moderate-income residents.  East Hanover was ineligible by one person to receive funding to pave Dairy Lane.  The largest distribution, $207,000, will complete sprinkling of Cedar Haven.  Palmyra Borough will receive $53000 for curb cuts; Annville $53,000 for sidewalks; with the balance supplementing programs--$40,000 for HARP; $71,000 for Rehab; $75,000 for Homebuyer; $466,538 for administration; $14,000 for Planning; and $2000 for an audit.

Mayor Bob Anspach highlighted goals of a 15-20 year program known as Blueprint for Communities:

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Establish and complete an Elm Street planning grant;

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Establish a community development corporation;

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Select a developer and complete the 7th & Mifflin Street housing project; and

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Expand the committee.

Progress of the committee is published online at www.blueprintcommunities.com .

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Donna Lutz introduced a “Webstore” contract that will allow online access to the public.  The cost to access your deed is $5, then $2 for the first page, and $.75 per page after that.  The program will not have costs associated for the County.  In fact, one-half of the fees will result in revenue for the County.  Commercial Landex accounts, which generate approximately $2500 per year, will continue to allow a $25 down payment, then $.20 for research. 

Donna is also going to invest funds that are distributed to the County, schools, and municipalities.  Interest should yield $16,000 per year.

Finally, subdivision plans are now all backed up on microfilm.

February 16, 2006
Prior to the regular meeting, commissioners attended an executive session on personnel.

Jenny Murphy Shifflet, Elizabeth Judd, Tammy Hankins-Hartman, and District Attorney David Arnold presented requests for approval to submit both a $93,744 STOP Violence Against Women and $56,095 Victims of Crime Act grant to the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency.  The VOCA grant funds are evenly split between law enforcement, prosecution, SARCC, and Domestic Violence Intervention.

Mark Chedwiggen presented the 141.9 acre Mervin and Louise Horst Farm for a right-to-be-heard hearing concerning preservation.  No comment was heard.  The Horst farm will expand a block of preserved land to 617.31 acres in Millcreek Township.

Earl Meyer, Jon Fitzkee, and Tom Kotay received approval to hire Gannet Flemming to conduct an $89,992.06 transportation congestion management study on routes 322, 72, 501, 934, 422 east of the City of Lebanon, and the Evergreen and Rocherty Roads intersection.  Through the Harrisburg Area Transportation System, Edwards & Kelsey are engaged to complete a study on 422 west.

MPO:  At 11AM, PennDOT officials; Harriet Faren from the Chamber of Commerce; Mayor Bob Anspach; Matt Boyer from Congressman Holden's office; Greg Mahon and Karen Secoges from Senator Brightbill's office; Glenn Wolgemuth; members of the press--Gordon Weise, Al Winn, and John Latimer; Supervisor Paul Fetter; staff Earl and Lee Meyer, Jon Fitzgee, Tom Kotay, and Jamie Wolgemuth were among those who joined Commissioner Carpenter, Stohler, and Litz for a Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting.  A letter from the US Department of Interior questioning  impacts on the historic district in the preferred alternative (#1) will result in a delay in the construction of the Schaefferstown bypass.
 

Assessment Appeals:  At 1:30, the commissioners sat as the Board of Assessment Appeals to hear testimony on three cases, including the Whitmoyer Recreation Area.  The site hosts soccer fields used by the public, but also hosts a private water treatment facility.

February 15, 2006
Prison Board:  The solicitor, prison doctor, and Warden recommended the board adopt and sign a Victims of Sexual Assault policy.  "It is the policy of the Lebanon County Correctional Facility to provide a safe, humane and appropriately secure environment, free from the threat of sexual assault for all individuals.  This will be accomplished by maintaining a training program of prevention, detection, response, investigation, and tracking of sexual assault cases...."

On January 31, prison population was 504.  On February 15,  population peaked at 525, an all-time high.  Pick up of parole violators may have contributed to the spike.  A chart will be constructed.

Cedar Haven:  303 total population; 226 females and 77 males.

All units will pay $190 per day.

Roman Shahay, Renova Center, requested permission to institute a "restraint reduction initiative" by purchasing, at a total cost of $7233, four new beds without side rails.  Commissioners requested a proposal to expedite the restraint reduction initiative by replacing all 25 beds.

A $10,000 MIS study will be completed by Michelle McCaw.

Phyllis Holtry submitted a Housing Authority Medical Assistance Transportation Program "fairs" proposal--$9.75 for City trips and $12.35 for Countywide trips.

Commissioners accepted a $150,000 performance bond for Palmyra.

February 9, 2006

Jamie Wolgemuth presented personnel transactions and seminar requests.

As part of the West Nile Virus prevention program, Phil Hall and Phillipe, his son, presented a grant application to run a tire disposal program for the County of Lebanon.  The event will occur on Friday, March 31 from 8AM to 6PM at the Expo Center and Fairgrounds, 80 Rocherty Road, Lebanon.  The County provides $4000 and municipalities provide up to $8300 to match a State grant.  To help shorten lines, this year citizens may pre-register with the Penn State Extension Office at 270-4391.  From each person, 12 auto or 2 large tires will be taken for free.  Disposal cost is $2 each for excess tires.

Coroner Jeffrey Yocum presented his annual report.  His investigations included 102 natural deaths.  Accidental deaths included one murder, four drug overdoses, one fall, one medication overdose, one train accident, one mower injury, fifteen suicides (9 gun related, 1 carbon monoxide, and 5 hangings).  Statistics do not include people who expire at Hershey Medical Center.

Commissioners signed a mutual aid agreement with the PA Coroner’s Association to participate in mass casualty assistance within the State.

Commissioners also certified a Liquid Fuels report with a balance of $233,672.

February 2, 2006

Molly Harmes received a proclamation for Boy Scout Expo week February 5-11 at the Lebanon Valley Mall.  Eagle Scout and United Way Director Mark Hoffman will emcee the event.  This year, the Pine Wood Derby will take place in the “Kid in Me” store.  About ten scouts will man each of the 38 booths.

Kathy Andrews, Julie Miksit, Elaine Ludwig, and Diane Miller received a proclamation for “Go Red For Women” to raise awareness that the number one killer of women is heart disease.  Red Dress pins were distributed.

Per Section 801b of the Election Code, for approval, Elaine Ludwig also presented Political Parties for certificationRepublican and Democratic—that received more than 5% of the highest vote in the last General Election.

Ken Bachem opened bids for the Rail Trail spur to the Jigger Shop in Mt. Gretna.  Mark Wilson will review the bids with Penn DOT who will finance the 1000’ long x 10’ wide project.  Lowest to highest bidders were:  Kresge Excavating, Cornwall @ $60,745; Fahnestock Exc, Manheim @ $74,871; BR Kreider & Son, Manheim @ $75,874; Rogele, Harrisburg @ $82,882; Handwerk Contractors, Hummelstown @ $88,328; Jeff Fitser, Harrisburg @ $100,413; EH Hertzog, Denver @ $106,996; and Burkholder Paving, Ephrata @ $117,276. 

At a cost of $27,048 and $1.75 per employee statement, Hay Group was approved to provide actuarial services for the County Retirement Fund.

Commissioners accepted a $16,160 grant award from the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency for the Victims of Juvenile Offenders (VOJO).

Robert DiMatteo was reappointed to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority board.

Commissioner Litz and Stephanie Harmon (alternate) were reappointed to the Capital Area Resource Conservation and Development board.

Commissioners signed a letter of support for the South-central Employment Corporation to administer TANF case management to assist the unemployed reach self-sufficiency.

An alarm connection device to EMA was approved for Sullivan Sullivan & Snelling.

Commissioners issued a proclamation for 100-year-old Sidney Kimmel who resides at the ECC Retirement Village in Myerstown.

January 26, 2006

Because of the availability of ACRE and other sources of funding, Chuck Wertz presented arguments for two position requests, one person to meet increased erosion and sedimentation control demands on both farms and new construction and one person to help administer agricultural needs related to oversight of the lifelong duties of preserved farms, to help administer a nutrient trading program, and to help update a backlog of 500 conservation plans.  The County will be reimbursed 100% for these positions.

Also attending with CD Manager Wertz were staff members Nate McKelvie and Angie Foltz (photographer) as well as board members Betty Conner, Connie Hoffer (president), and Gail Smith.

Karl Kerchner circulated the room carrying a 50-pound slab of porous concrete, which had no sand in the mix.  Placing the slab over an aquarium, Karl provided a bottle of water to pour onto the concrete.  Instead of running off, almost immediately, the water penetrated through the pavement and ran into the aquarium.  Likewise, if porous pavement is installed for parking lots, the ground water can recharge during a rainstorm.  While the porous pavement may cost a few dollars more to install, the need for huge storm water retention basins is either reduced or eliminated all together.

Stephanie Harmon displayed new signs that will be placed on construction sites, farms, and other projects letting the public know that the County Conservation District is “at work” helping to administer activities on the site.  Should people want more information, the CD web site address appears on the signs.

Commissioners certified a maximum of $1,274,100 for farmland preservation in 2006.  $700,000 will come from the federal farm bill, $37,100 from municipalities (represented by Ken Artz), $5000 from the Conservation District Reserve fund, and $250-$500,000 from a bond issue—depending upon State match.

Tim Sheffy, Richard Moore, and Eugene Martin were reappointed to the Farmland Preservation board.

Elaine Ludwig and Sharon Long were on hand to discuss the purchase of new voting machines.  A previously awarded contract with Unisys AccuPoll was withdrawn.  After calling the company concerning a letter sent by AccuPoll to a Texas county, Unysis confirmed AccuPoll’s inability to deliver HAVA compliant voting machines by the primary election.

For inspection and questioning of their company representatives, an ES&S (Election Systems Software) iVotronic voting machine was delivered around 4:30PM on Wednesday.  For demonstration purposes, the machine remained for the commissioner’s meeting.  The State report was reviewed, and an equipment price sheet and ES&S income and balance sheets were available.  The 14-pound machine has the capability of providing color backgrounds, a one-year warranty, a backup battery life of four hours, programming in 14 languages, and a flashing red vote button for people to push at the end of each vote.  Assembled in the United States, US components include the booth frame and shell casing.  Upon arrival, each machine will be tested for quality of performance.  Each machine is capable of holding up to 13,000 votes.  A verifiable paper trail is available, but not State approved at this time.  The touch screens will withstand up to 5 million touches before needing replacement.  Commissioners cast a vote to purchase the iVontronic machines.  Only Cambria, Perry, Venango and Westmoreland are ahead of Lebanon on the delivery schedule.  ES&S assures delivery of the 190 “regular” and 60 machines with brail and audio assistance prior to the primary election, probably by the end of March, and advanced machines for educational purposes will arrive in a few days. 

Quarterly HAVA funding reports were approved and signed.

Commissioners then met in executive session to discuss the Mental Health Mental Retardation, Area Agency on Aging, Children and Youth, and Drug and Alcohol Union contract.

January 19, 2006

Stephanie Harmon invited everyone to hear a Quittapahilla Creek assessment presentation on January 25 at the Annville Town Hall, 7PM.

Brett Lentz presented the 97.49 acre Harry and Ruth Schaffer farm in South Annville and the 80.36 acre Marlin and Gloria Getz farm in Jackson and Millcreek Townships for a right-to-be heard hearing in preparation for farmland preservation.  In addition, Commissioners voted to preserve the Ken and Karen Seller Farm.

Approval was given to proceed with preliminary designs for the Inwood Bridge project.

In anticipation of the bond issue, a resolution passed that was provided by Joe Pierce of Eckerd Seamans to permit commissioners to obligate funds for farmland preservation, voting machines, and EMA.

Elaine Ludwig received approval of a $3192 HAVA grant for accessibility to polling places.

Commissioner Stohler moved, and Commissioner Carpenter second, a motion to move ahead with the consolidation of City precincts.  Commissioner Litz reviewed the results of a precinct survey that was emailed to 700 people in Lebanon County and City and hand delivered to other people at meetings this past week.  She said, "Try as I might, I was unable to get 20 people from any given precinct to say that they wanted their precinct either consolidated or divided.  Until that happens, I can't support the consolidation of City precincts, which, according to Act 25, should be done for the 'convenience of the electors'--not the convenience of the Election Board."  The motion passed on a 2 to 1 vote with Commissioner Litz voting no.  As a result, the Lebanon County Court of Common Pleas will decide whether or not four City precincts will be eliminated by the November 2006 election.

January 18, 2006

CEDAR HAVEN:

The current census at Cedar Haven is 313 consisting of 76 males and 237 females.

Commissioners discussed a tower lease on radio equipment on the roof of the Municipal Building.

For commissioners’ review, Administrator Wolgemuth provided proposed CDBG grant distributions for municipalities.

Delta Development Group reviewed goals for the County Hazard Mitigation Plan and Departmental Continuity of Government Planning.

PRISON BOARD:

For the reorganizational meeting, District Attorney Arnold and Chief Detective Leahy joined the Commissioners, Sheriff DeLeo and Controller Mettley.

Commissioner Larry Stohler will serve as chair; Commissioner Bill Carpenter as vice chair; and Controller Mettley as secretary.  Meetings will be held the third Wednesday of each month at noon at the prison.

The census as of December 31, 2005 was 456 consisting of 401 male and 55 female inmates.  160 unsentenced and 26 state-sentenced inmates are included in the count. 

Reports were presented by Warden Karnes and department heads.

January 12, 2006

Larry Wolfe inquired about the Inwood Bridge.  He was informed that PennDOT approved the design phase.  There will be a public comment period at a later date.

Abigail Jarboe played a tape recording of a call from a Pike County judge’s staff.

Gary Robson and Melissa Light presented personnel transactions and conference and seminar requests.  Dave Arnold joined Gary to ask for acknowledgement of his decision to hire Robert McAteer and Ann Kline as Assistant District Attorneys.  Carl and Abigail Jarboe as well as Eric Wolfe stated their belief that because her husband is a judge, there is a conflict of interest hiring Ann Kline.  Commissioner Carpenter stated that Judge Eby addressed any potential conflict by reassigning Judge Kline to civil cases.

Phyllis Holtry substantiated time spent on the Medical Assistance Transportation Program, the $132,621 Community Services Block Grant invoice, and an amendment to the Supported Housing Reports.

Commissioners approved juvenile probation placement contracts at an hourly rate of $8.75 for Beth Gallarelli as a Girls Group Home houseparent; $175.86 per day for Clear-Vision Residential Program for delinquent females; and $150 per day for Tinks and Pegs Drug Rehab Center.

With his parents, Harry and Sally Cain looking on, Eagle Scout Mark Cain reviewed his “History of the Railroads through Cornwall and Mt. Gretna” and sign project for the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail.   To raise $719.27 for the project, Mark sold railroad spikes and subs.  LVRT president John B. Wengert praised Cain for his dedication to see the project through to completion.

The Survey allowed people to express their feelings on consolidation or division of Polling Places--Wards or Precincts.  Comments returned on Survey.

89%

26%

74%

0.00%

100.00%

21%

79%

No Change

Consolidate Smaller Precincts

Divide Large Precincts

2006

2007

I like my precinct the way it is.

yes

9:30AM 1/19/06

no

yes

no

If changes are made, do it this year. If changes are made, do it next year.

(For your information, 58/42% respondents were male/female; and 40/60% respondents were City/County respectively.  Votes were cast by 53 people representing 36 precincts.  Additional surveys were received, but only signed surveys were counted.)

Redistricting:  Sitting as the Board of Elections, Voter Registration Chief Elaine Ludwig reviewed a Ward Consolidation Analysis prepared for Commissioner Stohler.  While he moved the proposed implementation date to the November election rather than the Spring Primary, Stohler proceeded to outline his reasoning for presenting consolidation of precincts 3 and 6; 4 and 5 west; 5 east and 5 middle; 1 east and half of 1 middle; and 1 west and the other half of 1 middle.  Among other reasons, Stohler said the consolidation would save the County $2,500 annually; relieve the need to seek poll workers in four wards; and reduce the need to further upgrade polling places for HAVA compliance.  Elaine also prepared a map showing the proposal.

Commissioner Litz then presented her analysis of the proposal.  While there is merit in wanting to review precincts, there are mitigating circumstances.  HASTE MAKES WASTE.  Do we want to go through the process twice--City, then County?   There are four County precincts smaller than any individual City precinct.  According to State Law, 24 precincts are "perfect"--more than 100, but less than 1200 voters, and 31 precincts are Too Big, including three City precincts, and according to state law, should be split, which would mean more poll workers and more cost, perhaps $34,100, to the CountyHAVA stands for Help America Vote, not Help Alienate Voters.  Traditionally, the County addresses consolidation or splitting of precincts at the request of residents of a ward.  At the very least, she asked to slow down, and do this right--let the concepts percolate and develop and mature.

The Law--Purdons Statute-Act 25:
3005 The Court shall divide precincts into compact & contiguous districts, and conform with census blocks….
2702-04 No precinct shall be less than 100.  We do not have any precincts in this category.
"Except for good cause shown, election districts so formed shall not contain
more than 1,200 registered electors…."
Precincts shall promote the convenience of electors and the public interests.
Precincts must have clearly visible physical boundaries.

So that the public has time to comment on their preferences concerning City and/or County precinct consolidation or division, the proposal was tabled until next week.  If a proposal is agreed upon, the State would review the request, and then the Courts would rule on the matter.

Commissioners then approved a resolution revision to include Title II Sections 251 PPA and 261 grant funds of $3199.44 and $5453.52 respectively.  Elaine reported receiving the first HAVA check in the amount of $14,000.

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Commissioner Stohler, Fields, Groy, Balthaser, and Gingrich were reappointed to the Renova Center Board.

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Commissioner Stohler, Fields, Miller, Tulnu, and Dierhoff were reappointed to the MHMR board.

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To the property owner in Jackson Township, a trailer was sold for $100 from the Repository of Unclaimed Property.

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Chief Detective Leahy was appointed as the point-of-contact for JNet.

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A $53,011 PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency Victim Witness coordinator and advocate grant was accepted.

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Adjourning to executive session, Commissioners met with Labor Attorney Feeman concerning the Detectives contract. 

January 5, 2006

Reorganization of the County took place:

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William Carpenter, chair;

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Larry Stohler, vice chair;

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Jo Ellen Litz, secretary;

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Jamie Wolgemuth, administrator;

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Penny Snelling, solicitor; and

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All employees were reappointed to County positions.

Meeting dates were established for Thursdays each week at 9:30AM and the third Wednesday at 10:30AM at Cedar Haven, then the Prison.

Treasurer Sallie Neuin presented Lebanon County depository banks for approval.

Commissioner Carpenter will chair; Commissioner Litz will serve as vice chair; Administrator Wolgemuth; Solicitor Snelling; and Dan Seaman as Chief County Assessor of the Assessment Board.

Commissioner Carpenter will chair the Election Board with Larry Stohler as vice chair, Solicitor Snelling, and Elaine Ludwig as Chief Clerk.  The Registration Commission replicates the Election Board.

Commissioners approved District Attorney Dave Arnold’s appointments:  Elizabeth Judd as 1st Assistant District Attorney (ADA); John Leahy as Chief Detective; John Ditzler as an ADA; and Emily Scipioni as a Secretary.

Carpenter will chair the Salary Board with Stohler as vice chair, Wolgemuth as Secretary, and Snelling as solicitor.

The following elected row officers moved to set salaries of employees within his or her office:  Judge Eby, Controller Mettley, Treasurer Neuin, Recorder of Deeds Lutz, Register of Wills Resanovich, Prothonotary Lisa Arnold, and District Attorney Dave Arnold.  Other county employee salaries, including the Sheriff’s office, were set.

Liaison Assignments were approved:

Stohler

Carpenter

Litz

Area Agency on Aging

Assessment Chair

Ag Extension Agency

Emergency Management Agency Chair (new)

Building & Grounds

Conservation District

Children & Youth

City of Lebanon

COLT buses

Drug & Alcohol

Management Information Systems (new)

Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development (new)

Housing & Redevelopment

Planning Department

South-central Employment Corporation

Mental Health/Mental Retardation

Veteran's Affairs

Tourist Bureau

Renova Center

Voter Registration Chair

United Way

Litz will continue to serve as liaison to the Capital RC&D and Women's Commission.

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John B. Wengert and engineer Mark Wilson, who donated designs, discussed the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail updates and requests.  An 848’ long, 10’ wide, 20mph spur from south of Butler Road to Timber Road at the Jigger Shop in Mt. Gretna will run along a 1918 narrow gauge railroad line behind the roller rink and miniature golf course.  Total project length will increase to 11.75 miles.  Commissioners approved advertisement of a bid to complete the project.  As a match to the $155,000 TEA grant, Eastern Enterprises also donated easements for the trail.

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Of note, Eagle Scout Mark Kane researched, wrote narrative, obtained pictures, raised money, and organized installation of two signs, one in Cornwall, and one on an old railroad station foundation.  Described are the old railroad, military encampment…. 

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In addition, at a cost of $165,000, a 2.5-mile extension from Zinns Mill Road to Route 422 is being acquired from RJ Corman Railroad Company on March 1, 2006.  This project will include a pedestrian and bike bridge at Wilhelm Avenue in South Lebanon Township.  $500,000 in funding will come from federal dollars allocated to the Lebanon County Metropolitan Planning Organization.  A private campaign will commence to cover pre-construction activities for survey, design, and engineering work. This segment was in negotiations for 13 years.