County budget holds line on taxes

The county’s proposed 2019 budget holds the line on taxes for the 14th straight year. The budget will be considered for adoption at the Nov. 28 meeting of the county commissioners.

The county budget totals about $38 million – a figure that includes pass-through and Act 13 funds.

The county’s actual operating budget is about $20 million, Commissioner Alan Hall said. The 2019 total is about a one percent increase over last year’s budget because of additional county revenues and grants.

The county salary board approved changes to the structure of the Department of Public Safety/911, eliminating two job titles and replacing them to positions that acknowledge the certifications for those positions.

The commissioners approved the transfer of Nancy Tator, of Gibson, to the newly created position of Deputy Director of Public Safety/911 Training and Quality Assurance Supervisor, effective Oct. 24.

Also approved was the transfer of Ryan Tator, of Montrose, to the newly created position of Deputy Director of Public Safety/911 Operations/ Systems Manager, effective Oct. 24.

Hall said the changes should be the last of the reorganization in the Department of Public Safety.

The commissioners accepted, with regret, the retirement of Deputy Planning Director Eleanor Kurosky, effective Thursday, Nov. 1. Kurosky has worked in the county planning department for over 30 years and is currently the longest serving county employee.

In the salary board meeting, Hall said that with Kurosky’s retirement, the county would be next looking at the structure of the Planning and GIS departments.

The commissioners reappointed Joe Andre and John Kameen to three-year terms on the county’s Economic Development Advisory Board. The term runs from Jan. 1, 2019 through Dec. 31, 2021.

The county will receive just of $2,400 in a settlement payment from Avanco International Inc. stemming from security violations in the Child Accounting and Profile System. The settlement is part of a class action, Hall said, due to a system breach. Although Susquehanna County was not affected by the breach, users of the system are receiving a pay-out.

The county is looking to redesign its website and is advertising for bids.

Commissioner Elizabeth Arnold noted that Susquehanna County Interfaith still has some remaining funds for people affected by flooding.

Hall provided an update on road work in the county, stating that some work had been done by PennDOT since the last meeting but advised residents to continue calling 1-800-FIX-ROADS to report conditions.

Work on the courthouse is nearly finished. The scaffolding was coming down last week and fascade trim and gutters were being installed. Lights will be mounted to shine on the clock tower. Hall said the updates and improvements “should last at least 50 years before anything major needs to be done.”

The county’s pension board reviewed the cost-of-living rate and opted to not increase it for retirees.


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