BY STACI WILSON
The county commissioners approved making a formal request to the Department of Community and Economic Development for grant funds to assist in updating the comprehensive plan.
The application will be made through the department’s Municipal Assistance Program.
Commissioner Alan Hall said the county hopes to receive about $20,000 from the state for the plan update – about half the total anticipated cost – with the county paying the balance.
The comprehensive plan has not been updated since 1993.
Most of the agenda items were comprised of routine personnel and business matters, with approvals of service agreements for Children & Youth; as well as a maintenance and service agreement between the county’s 911 department and KOVA Corp, which handles the recording of calls to the department.
Korn Ferry Hay Group was engaged by the county for actuarial services for the post retirement benefit plan, effective immediately, with the service to be completed by the end of the year.
William Bayne, of Liberty Twp., was appointed to fill a vacancy as a Public Director to the Susquehanna County Conservation District for the remainder of the term which expires Dec. 31 of this year.
September 5-11 was recognized as Suicide Prevention Week.
Commissioner MaryAnn Warren reported that mosquito traps would be set throughout the county by DEP this week in an effort to monitor for both West Nile and the Zika virus.
In public comment, Commissioner Alan Hall responded to the criticisms about the elected officials not taking a public stand regarding a potential incinerator project in the county.
Hall said that as commissioners, the officials needed to protect the financials of the county and any perceived prejudice by the elected officials on an issue they may vote on could be used by companies to bring lawsuits taxpayers would end up paying for.
Hall said the county is an “easy mark to sue” and the only way to raise revenue is through taxation.
Hall said the county is working with DEP and other agencies to see what can and can not be done, and is waiting to receive an official letter from the agency.
Audience member Susan Pipitone said that with the comprehensive plan update, the county has the opportunity to be proactive in its protection of the air, water and land.
Hall said that DEP was conducting air monitoring in the county last week, comparing data from a study done previously.
Audience members also again pushed for commissioners’ meetings to be held during evening hours.
Meetings for the year were advertised in January, and changing those would require re-advertising those meeting times in order to fulfill legal requirements.
Hall also said the meetings would require security, which may require overtime work for sheriff deputies.