County asked to intervene on elementary school closing

MIFFLINTOWN – Noting the southern end of the county will suffer greatly if the Lack-Tuscarora Township Elementary School is closed, a group of citizens approached the Juniata County Commissioners Tuesday asking them to intervene with the recent school district decision to close their school and merge others.

Speaking on behalf of a group calling itself Citizens From Lack-Tuscarora, Dave Clayton said the recent decision to close Lack-Tuscarora will impose great hardship on both students and teachers alike, and asked the board of commissioners to contact State Representative Adam Harris and request him to seek counsel from the state attorney general’s office on the situation.

“We want to tell the Attorney General this is child abuse,” Clayton said, adding the closure will make it more difficult for people to move to the southern end of the county because of the length of bus rides for students, especially kindergarten. “Our properties will be damaged. No one will buy a property in the southern part of the county,” he stressed.

Clayton also reported on a recent meeting of concerned citizens from the affected area, noting hundreds showed up to come up with ways to fight the school board’s decision. “Lack-Tuscarora Township will have a charter school, no doubt,” he said.

Following Clayton’s presentation, Commissioner Alice Gray thanked him for relating the group’s concerns and stated, “We accept your request.”

In other business Tuesday, the commissioners:

¯ Approved the annual “Medical Assistance Transportation Grant Agreement” and “Assurance of Compliance” for fiscal year 2018-19. The grant is in the amount of $101,441.

¯ Acknowledged the resignation of Glenn S. Kerstetter from his position as a part-time 911 telecommunicator effective July 2.

¯ Ratified the following Juniata County Hazardous Materials checks: $1,811 to Witmer Public Safety Group for a case commander system; $668.37 to Witmer Public Safety Group for airpack service; and $261.22 to Wex Bank for the purchase of fuel.

¯ Ratified a CDBG Home Housing Rehab Project check in the amount of $12,500 to Rick Schannauer for a rehab project.

¯ Approved a request for fiscal year 2017 liquid fuels allocation from Spruce Hill Township in the amount of $1,402.03.

¯ Approved contracts with the following individuals for Title IV-D Attorney services pertaining to the Juniata County Domestic Relations Section: Donald K. Zagurskie and Benjamin R. Yoffee.

¯ Approved payment of bills in the amount of $198,767.40.