Board OKs facility study

MIFFLINTOWN – An ongoing effort to evaluate and update county buildings will continue in Juniata County with a department and facility study conducted by J-Way Architectural at a cost not exceeding $25,000.

The project was approved with a 2-1 vote Tuesday morning at a meeting of the Juniata County Commissioners. While the board was entirely in favor of a facility study, Commissioner Teresa O’Neal expressed concerns about the process by which the board selected a contractor.

“I think this facility study is absolutely critical,” she said, “My problem with this is the way that we got to this point.”

O’Neal said the board approved a $25,000 budget during earlier discussions, which was clearly identified in talks with J-Way Architectural. Now that the board is presented with a proposal in that amount, she said it is not responsible to commit taxpayer dollars without soliciting bids from others.

“I don’t fault J-Way Architectural,” she urged, while recognizing the company for their previous assistance with relocating the county’s 9-1-1 center under challenging conditions.

However, she opposed the motion to approve the project without soliciting bids.

Commissioners Jeffrey Zimmerman and Robert Reynolds voted in favor of the motion to retain J-Way Architectural to conduct the study. The motion passed.

The duration of the project is expected to be approximately nine months. Reynolds said the study will offer the board a better sense of the possibilities going forward.

Also during the meeting, the commissioners approved two reports of personnel transactions for two retiring employees. Patricia K. Stong and Helen W. Henry plan to retire from Juniata County Children and Youth Services this spring on March 29 and April 19, respectively. Zimmerman said the approvals are with regret, as both women served the county for long terms.

Zimmerman also announced that the calendar for primary elections has been updated and is available online at

In other new business, the commissioners:

Ratified CDBG-IDIS checks No. 1,159 in the amount of $1,274 and No, 1,161 in the amount of $9,854 to M and E Construction for housing rehabilitation projects. The commissioners also ratified check No. 1,160 in the amount of $3,255 to SEDA-Council of Governments for administrative costs.

Approved the purchase of service agreement between Juniata County Children and Youth Services and Jeremiah Underhill, esquire for guardian ad litem services, at an hourly rate of $50, as submitted by Helen Henry, Children and Youth director.

Approved tax exonerations for Port Royal Borough as per material provided.

Ratified Juniata County Hazardous Materials check No. 1,148 in the amount of $75 to the Bucks County Public Safety Training Center for a hazmat class.

Approved the Designation of Agent Resolution for Tropical System Sandy DR4099, as submitted by Allen Weaver, emergency services director.

Approved checks Nos. 36,884 to 36,928 in the amount of $35,170.28.

The board also reviewed the following informational materials:

January 2013 Juniata County Children and Youth statistical report, submitted by Henry;

January 2013 Summery of Collections Report – Fines and Costs, submitted by Jacqueline Leister, magisterial district judge;

Juniata County Sheriff Department’s January 2013 monthly report, submitted by Thomas Lyter, sheriff;

Juniata County Treasurer’s January 2013 monthly report, submitted by Sandra King, treasurer;

January 2013 Vehicle, Crimes Code and Miscellaneous Income Report, submitted by Barbara Lyter, magisterial district judge;

Juniata County Adult and Juvenile Probation Department January 2013 monthly report, prepared by Michelle Beaver, chief probation officer.