County taxes hold steady; $32.4M budget approved

The Susquehanna County Commissioners adopted a $32.4 million budget for the coming year, with property owners seeing no increase in taxes in 2018.
The millage rate held steady at 10.5 mils for general real estate and .33 mils for the library funding, bringing the total millage in at 10.83.
The county has held the same tax rate since at least 2012, according to documents posted online by the Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau.
County Commissioner Alan Hall said there was a decrease of about $250,000 budgeted for the pension fund. The savings in that line item is being used to offset other budget increases, such as utilities, salaries and benefits.
Hall said he expects the pension fund will require no budgeting of local taxes in 2019.
The Retirement Board set the rate of regular interest for 2018 at four percent to be credited to the member contribution accounts in the county retirement plan.
Salary increases for non-union, non-elected employees were set at two percent for 2018 by the salary board.
The commissioners also approved the 2018 Miscellaneous Compensation schedule for the coming year. The schedule sets the pay rate for various services, included jurors, row office solicitors, and election officers.
The hiring of a new Deputy Sheriff by Sheriff Lance Benedict was ratified and acknowledged by the commissioners. Janniel DeJesus joined the department on Dec. 11.
Alison Montone was also hired by Benedict to the position of Civil/Criminal Clerk in the Sheriff’s Office.
The transfer of Cambria Ely to the position of Director of Domestic Relations was acknowledge, per the recommendation of President Judge Jason Legg, effective Dec. 13.
Raebelle Taylor, who announced her plan to retire earlier this year, moved to the temporary position of Director of Domestic Relations through Dec. 31.
The commissioners approved the reappointment of George Conner, Bill Kelley and Debra Dissinger to the county’s Economic Development Advisory Board, effective Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2020.
The commissioners approved the transfer of just over $29,913 from the Marcellus Legacy Fund to the general fund for Agricultural Land Preservation.
Several maintenance and service agreements were also approved:
*Maintenance agreement with Guyette Communications Industries for maintenance of the telephone system at the Recycling Center at an annual cost of $144;
*Service agreement with Frontier Communications for telephone service at the county jail, at a rate of $209.02 per month;
*Maintenance and support agreement with Creative Info Systems for the SMSTurbo system at the Recycling Center, at an annual rate of $995. The software is used to track tonnage at the center;
*Maintenance agreement with Reed’s Generator Service for annual maintenance on seven county generators at an annual rate of $1,610;
*Agreement with Tyler New World for computer aided dispatch software, hardware and maintenance at a rate of $324,937.

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