EMA, 911 under one head

BY STACI WILSON

The county’s 911 department was brought under the helm of emergency management in a move Wednesday, Dec. 12 by the county’s salary board.

The move by the salary board, comprised of the three county commissioners and the county treasurer, modified the emergency management coordinator’s position and job description. Robert Stoud currently holds the position. He was hired by the county earlier this year.

The new job title of Director of Public Safety/Emergency Management Coordinator carries an annual salary, which was also established at Wednesday’s meeting, of $49,000, with no pay increase in 2013.

Commissioner Alan Hall said that with the modification, 911 department head Art Donato would report to Stoud.

The board also took up the previously tabled issue of the salary paid to part-time county solicitor Thomas Meagher.

The salary was increase to $35,000 per year due to increased job responsibilities, with no increase in pay in 2013. The position does not receive county benefits.

Commissioner Michael Giangrieco abstained from the vote. All others on the board cast aye votes for the increase.

The board set the starting salary range for the Head of Maintenance at $35,000-$40,000, effective Dec. 26 with no 2013 increase for the position.

Dennis Landis, of Susquehanna, was then hired by the commissioners at the highest end of the range, $40,000 per year, effective Dec. 26.

The commissioners signed a lease agreement with the Northeastern Telephone Company for a portion of a property containing a 9’x9’ building, and leased by the phone company from Elk Mountain Ski Center, Inc.

The lease runs from June 2012 to May 31, 2017 with an annual rent of $1,800.

The Tax Claim Bureau was exonerated by the commissioners from collecting delinquent taxes on a trailer in White’s Trailer Park, Clifford Twp., and listed in the name of George Seeger.

The trailer had been exonerated as gone by the assessment department. The total amount of taxes exonerated was $55.84.

The commissioners also signed a five-year memorandum of understanding, dated Dec. 12, with the County Conservation District addressing district operations, functions and responsibilities as they relate to both state law and county government.

Only one company submitted a bid to provide the county courthouse and other county properties with bottled water for the next two years. The bidder was the current provider, J&J Springs.

The bid was opened for review and the prices for the service and cooler rentals will be verified before the bid is awarded.

Audience member Craig Stevens questioned the county’s need for bottled water.

“Is the water here not good?” Stevens queried.

Hall said the county had always used bottled water at its properties.

Giangrieco asked, “Do you drink the town water?”

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Stevens advised the commissioners to find out where the bottled water comes from. “Along with the bids, you might want to get water test results or the county could have bigger problems if someone gets sick.”

A Fitch Hill, Dimock Twp. resident spoke about compressor stations near his home.

He asked that the county use impact fee revenue to purchase sound equipment and train someone to monitor the noise levels from the stations to see if ordinance requirements were being met.

Library board president Toby Anderson asked if the commissioners would place a copy of the proposed 2013 budget at the library for the public to view.  Hall said it would not be.

The budget is available for public review in the county clerk’s office at the courthouse.

Vera Scroggins invited the three commissioners to take a “citizen’s tour” of the county. She said she conducts these tours on a weekly basis to show people “what it’s like to have a refinery next to homes.”

She received no answer from the commissioners.