2013-08-15 / Local & State

Commissioners

County Tackles Varied Agenda
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

NEWS EDITOR

Fulton County commissioners Rodney McCray, Craig Cutchall and Irvin Dasher attended to a varied agenda Tuesday, tackling several contracts and rental leases as well as speaking on the future of the county retirement fund.

Following last week’s bid opening, the commissioners unanimously agreed to reject both bids submitted in connection with the proposed McConnellsburg Borough curb-cut project. The commissioners noted the rejection was based on the bids being “technically nonresponsive and incomplete.”

A contract was approved with A.J. Doyle Construction in the amount of $11,751.19 for basement renovations at the former Shelly and Witter building located at 122 West Market Street. The commissioners went on to approve an additional contract with Redland Bricks. The company will repair and flash the porch roofs on the old jail for $1,150.

A lease was approved with Huntingdon County Employment and Training Inc. for office space located in the Shelly and Witter building

The commissioners attended a public hearing regarding the 2013- 14 Implementation Plan & Budget and the 2014-15 Needs-Based Plan and Budget as they pertain to the Services for Children and Juvenile Probation offices. County human services administrator Jean Snyder pointed out one challenge identified in the plan is the abuse of prescription medication, which was also addressed in other community planning meetings. Additional challenges, according to Snyder, include staff turnover with difficult positions such as caseworker, a high county unemployment rate, lack of public transportation, closure of the state Health Center and access to mental health and drug and alcohol programs.

Snyder added Services for Children is currently over budget as a result of child placements, which marks the first time this has occurred in nearly 40 years. As a result, a request has been sent to the state to reimburse the county for the 6.2 percent shortfall. It is possible a response from the state could be years in the making.

Additional goals or priorities that will require addressing in the future are child safety, expansion of the Independent Living program, reducing child placements and adding a caseworker position in 2014-15.

A second public hearing was also held for a possible modification of the scope of work for the Knobsville sewer project. No public was received, and the hearing ended with the commissioners approving the modification to include various upgrades such as purchasing and installing additional pumps, a blower and storage building for chemicals.

Business manager Tim Stanton updated the commissioners on the progression of updating county employee job descriptions and salary schedule. He and the commissioners also discussed possible changes with the county retirement fund that is currently overseen by C.S. McKee. The commissioners will be meeting with officials from Conrad Siegel and F&M Trust in the near future to hopefully obtain a “more personalized portfolio” in comparison to a “cookie cutter approach.”

Commissioner Irvin Dasher suggested to the business manager the creation of an unappropriated fund where money could be set aside to address future equipment issues, depreciation and capital improvements. It was noted any unused money could be reverted back to the budget’s general fund.

According to county code, county commissioners are able to allocate up to 5 percent of their annual budget for a capital reserve account. The business manager was instructed to move forward with setting up an account.

The commissioners met privately with Stanton in executive session regarding a water intrusion that involved personnel. No formal action was taken upon reconvening.

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