2012-02-16 / Local & State

County Gets Conservation Update

Town meetings to begin next month
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz
STAFF WRITER

The Fulton County commissioners sat down with county Conservation District Manager Seleen Shives on Tuesday to hear her agency’s highlights for the month of January.

In her first appearance before the new board, Shives announced “good news in the money department.” She noted Gov. Tom Corbett has signed the local impact fee bill (House Bill 1950) for Marcellus shale drilling, which will result in her organization receiving $57,000.

Shives said she had been “waiting on pins and needles” since last Thursday for the governor to sign the important legislation. Having lost several environmental-related programs in recent years due to cuts in state funding, Shives said the earmarked money could help restore some of these programs and help fund existing employees within the district.

Shives noted the county will not be required to adopt an ordinance on the impact fee in order to receive the money.

In other matters, Shives said field visits have been done in Belfast, Licking Creek and Thompson townships on project proposals for the current round of Dirt & Gravel Road funding. Approximately $14,000 is available for eligible townships, and applications will be accepted through the end of the month.

Looking at the topic of erosion and sediment control, the Conservation District investigated a complaint regarding timber harvesting along Iron Bridge Road in Taylor Township. Status checks were also performed at several locations, including a commercial development project in Ayr Township; timber harvesting on Black Bear Road in Licking Creek Township; replacement of Gem Bridge over Licking Creek in Belfast Township; and the Breezy Point Bridge replacement in Licking Creek Township.

Shives concluded to date there has been “good feedback” on the county’s electronics drop-off program, which is a “win-win,” especially for a county as small as Fulton. All unused electronics can currently be dropped off at collection sheds placed at county recycling locations.

Planning and Mapping Director Mary K. Seville gave a brief overview of ongoing construction in Fulton County as well as upcoming lets. In regards to the replacement of the Breezy Point Bridge, Seville stated there will not be a detour implemented during the project that will get under way in March. The project is anticipated to wrap up in late May.

Resurfacing is scheduled to get started in April along Route 522 between the intersection of I-70 and Flickerville Road, she said. Furthermore, the JLG turning lane project will be completed by September 6, according to reports. Flagging will be done during daylight hours and will start with the relocation of a waterline in late March. Roadway work will begin the following month.

Upcoming lets, Seville stated, will be the replacement of the Harrisonville bridge along Route 30. The anticipated let date for phase construction project is the first quarter of 2013. Work would then be completed by October 2013.

Under the mapping portion of her duties, the director said a total of 30 new addresses were given in 2011. In addition, new home starts totalled 25 with the lion’s share occurring in the southern end of the county.

The commissioners unanimously approved the first resolution of the new year to refinance general obligation notes, (series A and B of 2009) in the amount of $3.7 million and $412,000. Both notes were dated October 6, 2009.

In a follow-up motion, the commissioners modified a loan agreement with F&M Bank for the refinancing of the same notes.

Fulton County Historical Society members Glenn Cordell and Dick Miller appeared on Tuesday to give an overview of the restoration of the exterior of the Sheriff’s Office to the newly-elected Board of Commissioners. After exploring various options, Cordell and Miller said after review of various options, they eventually agreed on the installation of specialty thin- brick system manufactured by Redland Brick in Williamsport, Md. To date the Society has raised just under $30,000 to fund the work.

Miller asked the commissioners if the county would be able to provide necessary funding to finish the project. No decision was made by the commissioners in the matter. He also questioned if the county had plans to restore any of the fireplaces within the office.

Agreements were approved with the Mc- Connellsburg United Methodist Church, which will be using McConnell Park on April 7, July 7 and August 7.

Last Tuesday, the commissioners authorized a memorandum of understand with Fulton County Industrial Development Association for the county to continue providing services, such as clerical, for the year 2012.

A lease agreement was signed with the Ray Koontz Estate Living Trust for use of office space in the former IGA building for Sheriff Keith Stains and his staff. The agreement is slated to last for six months and will conclude on June 30, 2012. Monthly cost has been recorded at $595.

Business manager Tim Stanton provided the commissioners with a list of health, dental and health insurance rates for county employees prior to the start of the open enrollment period. The rates were approved as presented in the final draft.

Stanton also went on to discuss the county’s cash flow, which shows a “healthy balance” and therefore will not require the commissioners to take out a tax anticipation note.

The commissioners spoke via conference call with John Sepp, president of Penn Terra Engineering. The firm is working on stormwater designs for the county. The stormwater issue as well as the repaving of an existing alley were topics of discussion at a recent McConnellsburg Borough Council meeting. As a result, Sepp will be preparing alternate costs associated with resloping the alley so water runoff will be on the eastern most portion and away from the Neighborhood Service Center.

In a follow-up call with Brian Haines, architect with Crabree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, the commissioners learned drawings of the jail’s HVAC were expected to be completed by the week’s conclusion.

Susan Cubbage, director of the Fulton County Food Basket, and the commissioners reviewed recent changes associated with reporting for the Emergency Food Assistance Program. That reporting will now be performed on-line, Cubbage indicated. County projects coordinator Karen Hann was slated to attend a training session to get an overview of how the reporting will now be completed.

Town meetings were scheduled for next month and will include gatherings on March 15, 22 and 29 at the Hustontown, Mc- Connellsburg and Warfordsburg senior centers respectively. All meetings will start at 7 p.m.

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