Board highlights car safety for children

MIFFLINTOWN – The Juniata County Commissioners are encouraging area residents to wear a seat belt and buckle up “every trip, every time.”

The board on Tuesday approved a proclamation to designate the week of Sept. 15 to 21 as Child Passenger Safety Week and Sept. 21 as National Seat Check Saturday.

According to the proclamation, motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in the United States, and tens of thousands of children are injured each year in motor vehicle crashes. Today, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories have laws requiring the use of child safety seats and seat belts for children traveling in motor vehicles, the proclamation states.

During Child Passenger Safety Week, there will be hundreds of certified child passenger seat technicians available to complete free child seat safety at locations across the country, the proclamation states. Dave Toohey, of the North Central Highway Safety Network, said the state police offers child safety seat checks monthly at the Lewistown barracks in Arch Rock. Lewistown Hospital also performs checks, he said.

In other new business, the board approved the Juniata County Housing Rehabilitation Program Phase IV Professional and Technical Services agreement with SEDA-Council of Governments.

“This is the fourth grant you’ve received,” said Mike Fisher, of SEDA-COG. He said grants total $500,000 and fund home improvement projects for eligible families.

SEDA-COG representative Tim Brickley said 65 percent of funds must be used within Fermanagh Township and Mifflin and Mifflintown boroughs. He said the agency has already started interviewing families for eligibility and need.

“It was eight or nine years since we’ve started to do this … it has done a tremendous amount of good in this community,” acknowledged Commissioner Teresa O’Neal.

Also during the meeting, the board approved the county’s video tour agreement with CGI Communications. Commissioner Jeffrey Zimmerman said the program is a renewal of the videos on Juniata County’s website. The videos can be accessed by anyone, he said, and offer advertising for local businesses. O’Neal said there will be new availability of advertising space for non-profit organizations too.

The term of the contract will last for three years.

In other business, the commissioners:

Reviewed the following information items: August 2013 Summary of Collections Report – Fines and Costs, submitted by Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline T. Leister; the county treasurer’s report for August 2013, submitted by Treasurer Sandra F. King; and the Juniata County Adult and Juvenile Probation Department August 2013 monthly report, prepared by Chief Probation Officer Michelle A. Beaver.

Approved tax exonerations for Lack Township.

Approved a contract between Juniata County and L.R. Kimball to assess and develop a plan of action and upgrade the ArcGIS Server system, enabling the sharing of GIS data between county departments.

Acknowledged the hiring of Jayme Hile as Juniata County probation officer, effective Sept. 23. Funding for the position is through the Juniata County Intermediate Punishment Program grant, subgrant number 2013-IP-SI-24591, which was approved during official action on July 23. The position will be discontinued when grant funds are depleted.

Approved the following purchase of service agreements between Juniata Children and Youth Services, the Juniata County Probation Department and the entities listed: The Bair Foundation of Pennsylvania Inc., Children’s Aid Society of Franklin County, NHS Youth Services Inc. and NHS Pennsylvania. Proposals were prepared and submitted by Children and Youth Fiscal Assistant Robyn Ventresca. The agreement will be in effect through June 30, 2014.

Approved checks Nos. 38,386 through 38,430 in the amount of $32,993.98.