Board approves KOZ program

MIFFLINTOWN – After a week-long hiatus, the Juniata County Commissioners met Tuesday morning to take action on a number of new business items.

At the last meeting, the board tabled a request for approval of Resolution 2013-3, extending the Keystone Opportunity Zone Program in Juniata County. During the July 30 meeting, Commissioner Robert Reynolds said the program designates a 10-year extension on tax abatements and credits for eight vacant lots at the industrial park. The board requested clarification on conflicting real estate tax information provided in the resolution and an attached letter.

On Tuesday, the board voted to approve the resolution extending the KOZ program.

The commissioners also gave an update on Juniata County’s facility study during the meeting. Commissioner Jeffrey Zimmerman said the study was included as a part of the 2013 budget and the initial phase has been completed. Commissioner Teresa O’Neal said the process emphasized safety, location of staff and customer service in all county facilities including the courthouse, annex, Bousum Building and former prison.

The next step is to look at what has been done and make changes, said Reynolds.

Also during the meeting, the commissioners recognized Devin Goodling, student at East Juniata High School, and Shania Taylor, student at Juniata High School, as 2013 recipients of the Nestler College Scholarship.

In other new business, the board:

Reviewed the Juniata County treasurer’s July monthly report as submitted by Sandra F. King, treasurer; the July Summary of Collections Report – Fines and Costs as submitted by Barbara M. Lyter, magisterial district judge; the Tax Claim Cash report for April, May and June as submitted by Brenda J. Varner, tax claim director; and the July Change in Assessment Report as submitted by Jeff Haines, chief assessor.

Approved tax exonerations for Beale and Susquehanna townships.

Approved a request for liquid fuel funds for Milford Township in the amount of $1,345.88.

Ratified the county Children and Youth Social Service Programs Certification Statement of receipts and expenditures for July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013, as prepared by Robyn Ventresca, fiscal assistant.

Adopted the County-Wide Policy with Respect to Use of Volunteers for Specified Functions document as submitted by the district attorney’s office and reviewed by the county solicitor.

Approved the purchase of one Dell Optiplex 3010 computer system at a cost of $799.98 for the sheriff’s department. Funding will be provided through the Juniata County Records Improvement Fund.

Approved the Medical Assistance Transportation Program report for the quarter ending June 30, 2013, as submitted by Jenaya L. Mellinger, Call-A-Ride service director of finance.

Appointed Larry E. Woodling Jr. as deputy chief assessor, effective Tuesday.

Acknowledged the completion and submission of the 2012 County Auditor’s Report.

Acknowledged the resignation of David C. Bardell as Juniata County planning director, effective Aug. 18.

Approved the appointment of Bradley W. Kerstetter to the position of planning director, effective Aug. 19. He has served as associate planner since April 1.

Approved the appointment of Bardell to the part-time position of associate planner, effective Aug. 19. Total hours for the position will remain at 22.5 per week, and the position will continue to be eligible for retirement benefits by exceeding the 1,000 hours-per-year threshold as outlined in the Juniata County Employee’s Retirement System Summary Plan.

Acknowledged the following informational items regarding all Juniata County non-bargaining unit employees: Employee premium contributions for those covered by the county’s health insurance plan shall be 6 percent of the county’s monthly premium in 2013, 7 percent in 2014, 8 percent in 2015 and 9 percent in 2016; Wednesday afternoon closures will be phased out as follows: Jan. 1, 2013-September; Jan. 1, 2014-August; Jan. 1, 2015-July; and Jan. 1, 2016-June; Earned compensatory time must be used within the first month or the next two months of earning.

Ratified checks Nos. 38,159 through 38,185 in the amount of $58,424.34.

Approved checks Nos. 38,186 through 38,229 in the amount of $13,381.59.