Suicide prevention work continues in county

Work is continuing in the county with the Susquehanna County Suicide Awareness Initiative (SAI) focused on the prevention of youth suicides as the commissioners adopted a proclamation on the SAI.
Katie Connelly of the Advocacy Alliance spoke at the Wednesday, Feb. 8 county commissioners meeting. Connelly said the steps being taken now is the follow up to the work presented in March 2016.
She said SAI came out of a series of youth suicides in the county in 2015. A needs assessment called for the development of a program.
The group is also looking to open an office in Montrose; and the program is funded and supported by Lackawanna – Susquehanna Behavioral Health/Intellectual Disavilities/ Early Intervention Program, and facilitated by the Advocacy Alliance.
Youth suicide has neen noted as a major public health concern in the county; with the rate of suicide in the county more than double the national average, and high among males who are at greater risk, according to literature handed out at the meeting.
The program seeks to support and expand school-based and student-driver efforts; and promote community awareness.
In other business, the commissioners acknowledged and ratified the resignation for purpose of retirement of William Strong from the position of Drug Taskforce Coordinator/ DUI Coordinator, effected Feb. 1, and approved Strong’s transfer to a part-time position on an as-needed basis.
The commissioners also ratified the application for the 2017 Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant and funding commitment to the Department of Public Safety building project, in conjunction with the Progress Authority.
The Progress Authority handles the day-to-day economic development matters for the county.
Commissioner Alan Hall said the county is applying for a $4 million for the new 9-1-1/Dept. of Public Safety building.
He said no property has been purchased yet for the potential project that is still in preliminary stages.
The commissioners also ratified change orders to the current courthouse renovation project that amend the 2014 performance contract with Johnson Controls and the county.
Margaret Beigert, of Susquehanna, was appointed to serve a three-year term on the county’s economic development advisory board, through Dec. 31, 2019 with all commissioners sounding a “yes” vote; Craig Benson, of Ararat Twp., was also appointed to the board for a three-year term ending Dec. 31, 2019; with Hall and Commissioner MaryAnn Warren voting “yes” on the appointment; and Commissioner Elizabeth Arnold voting against the appointment.
Tax collectors were exonerated from collected the county’s 2016 delinquent tax returns in the amount of $426,211.89.
Hall, and County Treasurer Jason Miller noted that the amount of delinquent returns is lower than in recent years.

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