Hallstead, Great Bend targeted for housing project

BY STACI WILSON

The Susquehanna County Housing and Redevelopment Authority plans to concentrate its next efforts for housing project in the Hallstead, Great Bend area.

The area, explained SCHRA Grants Administrator Bobbi Jo Turner at the Jan. 26 county commissioners’ meeting, is the only area in the county eligible to possibly receive third round funds from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

The commissioners authorized SCHRA is file an application with the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency requesting $553,000 in funding.

The funds are part of the federal 2008 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocated to the state. The grant funding is used to acquire and rehabilitate or demolish blighted properties.

Projects in Forest City and Susquehanna, funded through earlier grant rounds, were done last year, Turner said.

Turner said a funded project could help offset the need for affordable rental housing in the area.

Courthouse carpets also came under review at the meeting.

The commissioners have opted to cancel a rental contract for the entry way carpets in the courthouse. The contract with First Impressions was set to take effect March 31.

The commissioners determined it was cheaper to purchase carpets rather than renting them.

Various locations in the courthouse will also receive new carpeting. The commissioners awarded the carpeting project to Dalton Carpet, of LaPlume, who submitted the lowest qualified bid of $8,885.

The monthly lease amount for the Clifford District Judge’s office increased seven and one-half percent.

The commissioners adopted a lease addendum with the rental price set at $1,160 per month, beginning Feb. 1, for the next 60 months.

Plowing of the parking lot has apparently been an issue on a couple of occasions at that magistrate’s office.

Commissioner Michael Giangrieco said a letter was sent to the property owner’s attorney stating the county would deduct costs from the monthly lease payment if the lot was not plowed.

A medical care agreement for the county jail was signed by the commissioners with Dr. Cama, of Towanda.

The doctor will be paid $3,100 per month, effective Mar. 1, 2011-Feb. 28, 2012, to provide in person, on-site and care coordination and/or physician assistant services to the jail, two times per week, and other days as necessary. The agreement also requires the doctor be available 24/7 for phone assistance.

A maintenance and service agreement was signed between the county, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys’ Institute for the SAVIN software used at the D.A.’s office and at the county jail.

The county’s 50 percent portion of the maintenance agreement is $874.13.

The commissioners acknowledged Sheriff Lance Benedict’s acceptance of Deputy Xaysongkham Phonechang’s resignation, with regret, effective Jan. 29.

Nathaniel Williams, of Susquehanna, was hired by the sheriff as a deputy in the department. Williams began serving in the position on Jan. 25.

Reuben Everitt, of Brackney, and Richard Cottrell, of Ararat Twp., were each appointed to serve a three-year term on the county’s Agricultural Land Preservation Board. The term began Jan. 1.

Jones Kohanski, Certified Public Accountants, Moosic, were hired to perform an independent audit of the county’s books for three years, starting with the 2010 books.

The cost to audit the 2010 books is not to exceed $33,000; cost for 2011 – $34,000; and cost for 2012 is $35,000.

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