Last payment made on Black Log tower

MIFFLINTOWN – The final payment for the Black Log communications tower was approved Tuesday by the Juniata County Board of Commissioners.

That payment came in the form of two checks totaling $203,000 – the result of funding provided through the county’s receipt of state Community Development Block Grants, Commission Chairman Jeff Zimmerman said.

The Black Log tower was completed in 2013, after several years of planning and through the combined efforts of many county departments. The tower was constructed in order to improve radio communication capabilities for emergency services personnel operating at the western end of the county.

In other business Tuesday, the board took the following actions:

Reviewed the September 2013 Juniata County Children and Youth Statistical Report as submitted by Penni Abram, Children and Youth Director

Reviewed the September 2013 Juniata County Treasurer’s monthly report as submitted by Treasurer Sandra F. King

Reviewed the September 2013 Juniata County Sheriff Department’s monthly report as submitted by Sheriff Thomas Lyter

Reviewed the September 2013 “Summary of Collections Report – Fines and Costs” as submitted by Magisterial District Judge Barbara M. Lyter

Approved Liquid Fuel Funds for: Delaware Township, $3,990.61, and Lack Township, $3,207.74

Approved a purchase of service agreement between Juniata County Children and Youth Services and Beacon of Hope Counseling as submitted by Robyn Ventresca, Children and Youth Fiscal Assistant. The agreement shall be in effect from Oct. 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014

Acknowledged the resignation of Abby B. Fohringer as a caseworker in the county’s Domestic Relations Department, effective Oct. 18

Acknowledged the retirement of Brenda K. Clark as a caseworker in the county’s Domestic Relations Department, effective Jan. 1, 2014

Approved the use of the County Records Improvement Fund to purchase one Dell PowerEdge R720xd Server and related peripherals for the Treasurer’s Office, as submitted by King. Cost for the project is $8,855.94. Commissioner Robert Reynolds made the motion to approve, and Zimmerman stepped from the chair to offer a second. Reynolds and Zimmerman voted in favor of the motion, while Commissioner Teresa O’Neal opposed it.

Also on Tuesday, the county’s Salary Board met to consider the starting hourly wage for Benjamin C. Koch as a casual, part-time deputy sheriff.

The position is non-union with a current hourly rate of $11.64, however Sheriff Lyter and O’Neal advocated for Koch’s starting rate to be $12 per hour. Lyter explained Koch has special certifications – such as the use of mace and other non-lethal weapons – that are not possessed by other deputies in the department. Lyter said those certifications will enable Koch to conduct needed training for the department.

After some additional discussion, the $12 rate was approved on votes from King, O’Neal, Zimmerman and Lyter, with Reynolds voting in opposition.

The Juniata County Commissioners meet at 10 a.m. each Tuesday at the Bousum Building in Mifflintown.