County re-ups mental health, early intervention service contract

BY STACI WILSON

Susquehanna County partners with Lackawanna County to bring mental health and early intervention programs to the county.

The county entered into its annual agreement with Lackawanna-Susquehanna Counties Behavioral Health/ Intellectual Disabilities and Early Intervention programs, July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014, at the Oct. 23 commissioners’ meeting.

Director Steve Arnone said the program offers services for behavioral and disability related services for adults but also administers the early intervention program for children age 3 and under.

Susquehanna County will pay $112,300 for the program this year – the same it paid last year.

Arnone said that for the local match, the county receives about $2 million in services from the program’s $11 million total budget. The amount of budgeted services in each county is based on population and the utilization of services. Susquehanna County receives about 17 percent of the total services while Lackawanna County receives about 83 percent of the services but also absorbs more of the cost.

The commissioners tied up some unfinished business from a previous meeting by signing a new memorandum of understanding with the Susquehanna County Conservation District and rescinding one put in place earlier this year.

The understanding, according to the commissioners, defines the agreement regarding the 88 Chenango St., Montrose, property, and also the District’s responsibilities for dams located in Kingsley and Brooklyn townships.

After receiving one bid at the first October meeting for the entrance canopy project, the commissioners voted to re-advertise for bids.

A transportation service agreement was signed allowing for Trehab to continue to provide transportation services for county residents by accepting funding from the state Dept. of Transportation and the Dept. of Public Services for the program.

Three long-time county employees tendered notices of retirement/resignation:
*Paula Mack, Chief Deputy Sheriff, effective end of business Nov. 18.

*Connie Organisciak, Head Real Estate Clerk, Assessments, effecting end of business Oct. 25. Prior to transferring to the assessment office earlier this year, Organisciak worked in the Soil Conservation office.

*Steven Frederick, EMA Training Officer, 9-1-1 Department.

In a salary board meeting, held immediately prior to the commissioners’ meeting, the board created a six to eight week Court Clerk position to begin Oct. 28.

A temporary Waste Management Processing position – expected to last four to six weeks – was created effective immediately at the recycling center.
The salary board also voted to create two additional full-time and one additional part-time 9-1-1 dispatcher positions.

Commissioner Alan Hall said the additions to the staff would alleviate the overtime hours in the department.

In the commissioners’ meeting, three full-time dispatcher trainees were hired.

The commissioners authorized the purchase of a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD work truck from Fairway Motors, Hazelton, for the Emergency Management Department for $44,065.90. The county is utilizing the state’s Co-Stars program for the vehicle. Funding for the purchase is coming from Act 13 and other grant monies.

The county also purchased a 2013 Caterpillar 262D Skid Steer Loader from Cleveland Brothers, Wilkes-Barre, for the Roads & Bridges Department, paid for by the county’s Liquid Fuels funds.

The commissioners issued a proclamation that November is to be recognized as Adoption Awareness Month in Susquehanna County.