The county is moving forward with plans to build a new Public Safety building. On Wednesday, Oct. 25, the commissioners approved a $1 sales contract with Singh Realty for 15 acres of land in New Milford Twp.
In addition to the Department of Public Safety – which includes the county’s 9-1-1 department, Emergency Operation Center and the GIS office – the proposed building will also house the Coroner’s office and a District Magistrate’s office.
The property is located near the current Pennsylvania State Police, Gibson barracks on State Route 848, near Interstate 81.
County Commissioner Alan Hall said an architectural rendering of the proposed facility should be ready in one to two months.
The county’s proposed 2018 budget is available for public review and will be considered for adoption at the Dec. 13 commissioners’ meeting.
Hall said the budget is about $32 million, and has no major changes from the 2017 budget.
The commissioners approved a total of $14,700 – to be paid in quarterly installments of $3,675 – to the Northern Tier Regional Planning and Development Commission for workforce, community and economic development activities in 2018.
The purchase of a 2017 utility police interceptor was approved, at a cost of about $35,000 under the CoStars program, and using LEPC Hazmat Funding. The vehicle will be used in the Public Safety Department.
Chris Caterson, Richard Franks and Nancy Hurley were re-appointed to the County Planning Commission, for four year terms, effective Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2021.
Once again, the commissioners discussed groups actively working in areas of Lyme Disease and other tick-borne illnesses.
It was suggested that a meeting of the three groups be arranged and efforts be combined.
At the end of the meeting, Hall took aim at Harrisburg, noting state lawmakers’ role in creating uncertainty in certain positions, including Penn State Extension.
Hall said Susquehanna County is without a 4H Educator, and noted the position wasn’t advertised until October, although notice had been given in July from the previous person who held that title.
“I’m upset again that Susquehanna County is being taken advantage of,” Hall said. “It shouldn’t take months to fill that position.”
He said there are over 450 children in the county who participate in the 4-H program.
But, he said, Penn State does not hold all the blame in the situation. “It goes back to the legislature,” Hall said. “It’s the end of October and there’s no state budget again.”
Hall said people leave those positions because of the uncertainty.
“We’re committed to this program,” he said.