County Gets FCCD Update
Fulton County Conservation District (FCCD) Manager Seleen Shives recapped her organization’s activities for the months of May and June, telling the county commissioners Tuesday the district has been busy with environmental education and recycling efforts.
County recycling coordinator and environmental education specialist Greg Reineke headed the annual tire recycling event on May 5, according to Shives. The event collected just over 32 tons of tires and has been well received, like the ongoing electronic recycling held countywide.
In connection with electronics recycling, Shives noted the district is in the process of establishing a restricted fund account. For every trailer of electronics turned over for recycling, the district receives approximately 2 cents per ton. That money will be placed in the restricted account to help offset some of Reineke’s expenses.
May and June highlights in the area of environmental education included assisting at the Franklin- Fulton County Envirothon competition at Cowans Gap State Park; leading two nature hikes and a pond survey for Mc- Connellsburg sixth graders at Camp Sinoquipe; field outings for Camp Cadet and Girl Scout day camps; and assisting with the state Envirothon competition at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
Shives pointed out through the district’s Watershed Conservation Program, Scott Alexander hosted and assisted the Standing Stone Trail Club and Keystone Trails Association with their five-day work camp along the Standing Stone Trail. The group has held their work week in county over the last three years with approximately 30 volunteers coming from across the state to work on the 75- mile trail from Cowans Gap to Greenwood Furnace State Park.
Shives gave the commissioners an overview of a recent trip to Susquehanna County where she and fellow Conservation District staff from across the state had the opportunity to tour Marcellus shale well pads owned by the Cabot gas company based in Texas. The tour included a question and-answer session with gas company officials, who were reportedly able to dispel some myths about environmental concerns.
Shives did indicate that Marcellus shale in the northeastern part of the commonwealth is different and much purer than what is found in the southwest. As result, the environmental issues are not as prevalent in the northeast. Road and infrastructure issues remain a hot topic, however, as truck traffic can be seen 24 hours daily.
Cabot officials told Shives and other district staff their company has pumped money back into the communities where they are located, helping through careertechnical centers and hospitals. Furthermore, seven out of 10 individuals employed by the company are Pennsylvania residents, a survey from Cabot states. The Marcellus shale industry has reportedly created 83,000 jobs across the commonwealth.
In other business, the commissioners, along with special projects coordinator Karen Hann, conducted an 11 a.m. bid opening for the county government buildings upgrade project. The commissioners told the “News” the proposed project entails the construction of a new ramp at the old domestic relations office that will be used by Magisterial District Judge Wendy Mellott in the future.
Also on-hand for the bid opening were Brandon Gelvin of Gelvin and Son LLC of Hustontown and Maynard Bard from TMS Excavating LLC, McConnellsburg. A bid from Gelvin & Son was recorded by the commissioners at $12,850, while TMS Excavating submitted a bid totalling $17,900. Both bids were tabled for further review by the solicitor and Hann, who oversees the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
Following the hearing, Hann updated the commissioner on the status of the Belfast Township/ Needmore Water Supply project, which is currently out to bid. The projected bid opening is slated for August 14. In addition, a bid opening has been scheduled for August 21 for the Todd Township sewer project.
Hann is slated to submit a biannual expense report to Help America Vote Act as approved and signed by the commissioners. The document outlines expenses accrued by the county to date in regard to voter registration and elections, which could include but are not limited to ballots, ballot preparation, postage, advertising and equipment maintenance contracts. Expenses expended through June 30 have been tallied at $24,979.92.
Commissioner Irvin Dasher noted in open discussions he had attended a Fulton County Planning Commission meeting the week prior and inquired into the possibility of extending the sidewalk at the end of South Second Street in the McConnellsburg Borough to Giant Food Store. It is possible the proposed project could be funded through transportation project funding due to its close proximity to Great Cove Road. Approval or an acknowledgement of the project would likely be needed from Ayr Township and McConnellsburg Borough. Hann added she would get a cost estimate for the outlined project.
Business manager Tim Stanton and Monica Seville, county treasurer, sat down with the commissioners on Tuesday and reviewed multiple invoices that were approved for payment. Among those were several checks to Dennis E. Black Engineering, including $225 for the curb cutouts in the borough; $678 in connection with the Todd Township sewer project; and $2,896 and an additional check totalling $2,189 for the Needmore Water Supply project.
The commissioners authorized a $715 budget transfer that will cover a contract penned the week before with Amanda Kendall, who will be performing law librarian work for the county on a temporary basis. The contract is slated to run a period of 90 days at an hourly rate of $11 per hour.
The commissioners reviewed an inventory list of construction items currently remaining in the sheriff’s office. Items that were duplicate parts are being stored in the attic of the courthouse, and the commissioners agreed to view the remaining items in person Tuesday afternoon to decide their fate. Among the items to be looked at are ceiling tiles, fluorescent lights, electrical supplies and door hardware.
The commissioners and Stanton also discussed a leak found in the courthouse attic. In reference to fixing the roof leak, Commissioner Rodney McCray said there was no reason the problem could not be fixed as money has been put aside to tackle the project.
The group also met behind closed doors for 45 minutes in executive session. No action was taken upon reconvening.
Last Tuesday, the commissioners met with Dan Swain, chief clerk and director of project development, pertaining to the status of the stormwater project. The group decided a portion of the work will be completed in 2012, while excavation and paving will be finished the following year.
The commissioners signed off on multiple documents such as the Financial Statement of Funds Expended by Adult Probation Services from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012; State Offender Supervision Fund Renewal Agreement for the 2012-13 fiscal year; and the Grant-In-Aid Continuing Program for Improvement of Adult Probation Services for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
In addition, the commissioners authorized service provider agreements with Fulton County Center for Families, 1 Step Detect Associates and the Center for Arson Research Inc.
Several individuals were appointed to three-year terms of office on the Fulton County Library’s Board of Directors retroactive to July 1. Those receiving appointments were Angela Adams, Chanin Rotz-Mountz and Kenneth Keebaugh.