Commissioners address MCCF concerns

Hiring of Book as warden questioned

LEWISTOWN — Questions about new Mifflin County Correctional Facility Warden Michael Book and future plans for the facility arose during the public comment period of Thursday’s Mifflin County Commissioners meeting.

Karen French of Juniata Terrace expressed concerns about hiring an out-of-county resident for the job when there are serious employment concerns for local individuals. She also referred to a county policy that she said stipulates the warden be a resident of Mifflin County within six months of being hired.

The commissioners said they were not aware of any such policy and would look into the situation moving forward. With regard to Book’s hiring, Commissioner Lisa Nancollas stated, “We interviewed quite a few people and he was the most qualified.”

French then commented on a rumor she heard that plans were being made to expand the correctional facility in order to be able to house state and federal inmates in the future. To that, Commissioner Steven Dunkle replied, “I can assure you there are no plans to expand the prison. When it was built, construction of an additional floor could be done for the future. There are no plans for that.”

In other business Thursday, the commissioners:

¯ Approved an agreement with Juniata County to house their inmates at the Mifflin County Correctional Facility for the period Jan. 1, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2019. Commissioner Kevin Kodish said the agreement calls for a per-day rate to house prisoners at $64.89 for year one, $66.49 for year two, and $68 for year three.

¯ Approved an agreement between Granville Township, the Mifflin County Commissioners and the EADS Group Inc. to provide engineering and design services for CDBG funded projects for calendar years 2016, 2017 and 2018.

¯ Re-appointed the following to three-year terms on the Agricultural Land Preservation Board: Frank Bonson of Milroy, William Haughwout of Belleville, Michael Ammon and Raymond Snyder of Lewistown.

¯ Approved a purchase of service agreement with BMZ Law, PC, for county solicitor and counsel for Children & Youth Services for the period Jan. 1, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2017 in the amount of $72,762.04 annually to be paid in monthly increments.

¯ Approved a resolution appointing Dinsmore & Shohl LLP as bond counsel and Boenning & Scattergood Inc. as managing underwriter to advise and assist the county regarding its debt financings.

¯ Approved the 2016 liquid fuels allocation to Lewistown Borough in the amount of $7,135.72.

¯ Approved the appointment of Jason Cunningham of Lewistown to a four-year term on the Mifflin County Planning Commission.

¯ Approved the appointment of Cyle D. Vogt of Lewistown to a four-year term as an alternate member on the Mifflin County Planning Commission.

¯ Re-appointed Daniel Dunmire of McVeytown and James Spendiff of Lewistown to four-year terms on the Mifflin County Planning Commission.

¯ Approved the hiring of Christian Rothrock as a GIS/Assessment intern effective Nov. 22.

¯ Approved the hiring of Duane McMullen Jr. as a field assessor effective Dec. 5.

The Mifflin County Commissioners regularly meet at 9 a.m. on each of the first four Thursdays of each month at the Mifflin County Courthouse in Lewistown.