Delinquent taxes decrease in county

BY STACI WILSON

Municipal tax collectors were exonerated by the county commissioners, from collecting the delinquent 2013 county returns.

Delinquent county taxes for the past year were $529,230 – a decrease from the 2012 amount when over $600,000 unpaid county taxes were handed over to the Tax Claim Bureau for collection.

Nearly $137,000 is available for the purchase of agricultural conservation easements.

The county commissioners signed the certification of the available funds appropriated for 2014 at the Feb. 12 meeting.

Cheryl Matulevich, an active member of the Susuqehanna County Farm Bureau, said she was happy the county is continuing its support of the ag-easement program.

Commissioner Michael Giangrieco said it was important to keep the farms in the county together.

Matulevich added that a farm uses fewer resources than a housing development on the land would use.

The Susquehanna County Conservation District administers the Susquehanna County Agricultural Land Preservation Easement Purchase Program – commonly referred to as the ag easement program.

The program was developed at the state level to protect farmland from being lost and enables the state and county to purchase conservation easements through a joint fund.

To be considered for the ad easement program, the farmland must be located in an agricultural security area; have at leasr 50 contiguous acres; contain 50 percent of more capability class I-IV soils; and have at least 50 percent of the acreage in current use as harvested cropland, pasture or grazing land.

Deb Dissinger, of Hallstead, was appointed to serve on the Economic Development Board for a three year term, effective Jan. 1 and running through Dec. 31, 2017.

The county is looking for a new phone system to be installed in the Courthouse, County Office Building, the Montrose District Court (Old Jail), and the 88 Chenango St. building which houses the County Conservation District and the Penn State Extension Offices.

Sealed bids for the phone system will be opened at the Feb. 26 commissioners’ meeting and are due into the Chief Clerk’s office by Feb. 25.

The commissioners also signed a service agreement with Cobra Telelink to work in conjunction with the current phone provided at the county jail.

The county is offering a used oil furnace up for sale, for the best price obtainable after a 10-day posting period.

Samantha Premo, of Montrose, was hired as the Head Real Estate Clerk in the Assessment office.

The commissioners accepted two resignations: Wilma, Schuler, Assessment office, effective Jan. 29; and Elizabeth Farringer, Children and Youth, effective Feb. 14.

The appointment of Ruth Harden to the position of First Deputy Treasurer by County Treasurer Cathy Benedict was acknowledged by the commissioners. Harden will permanently be appointed to the position on April 4. She is moving into the position from the Second Deputy Treasurer’s position.

Sue Blaisure will move into the Second Deputy Treasurer position and will also permanently be appointed on April 4. Prior to moving to the treasurer’s office on Feb. 6, Blaisure worked in the Domestic Relations department.

The county also signed an agreement with Avanco International Inc., of Farifax, Va., for access to the Child Accounting and Profile System (CAPS), help desk support, data security and backup and recovery services, July 1, 2013-June 30; as well as a consulting agreement and fee schedule with the company for the same contract period; and an upgrade agreement for the CAPS program.

The commissioners also signed a one-year maintenance and service agreement with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys’ Institute for the SAVIN software used in the district attorney’s office and the county jail.