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Budget to hold line on taxes

Commissioners honor Ellinger for 4-H award

MIFFLINTOWN — Juniata County residents will not be facing an increase in taxes following the Tuesday passage of the 2019 tentative budget by the Board of Juniata County Commissioners.

In a unanimous vote, the commissioners approved a tentative budget in the amount of $10,983,428.79.

“I’m pleased to note that we did not have to increase the millage rate this year,” Commissioner Alice Gray said, noting the millage will remain at the 22.75 rate that it has been since 2009. “I do hope the people will take the time to review this budget.”

Gray said the spending plan will be on display at the commissioners’ office for a period of 20 days. Following that time frame, the commissioners will then adopt the finalized product.

In other business Tuesday, the commissioners, acting as the county’s salary board, approved a three percent salary increase for all full and part-time non-union employees for fiscal year 2019. “These increases are in accord with the raises approved in the union contract,” Gray noted.

Also on Tuesday, the commissioners recognized Teresa Ellinger, 4-H program assistant for Penn State Extension, for receiving an outstanding achievement certificate for her first place specialty award from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Citizenship in 4-H Youth.

“This is a remarkable achievement,” Gray stated, adding, “As you know, 4-H is so extremely important to our region.”

In other action, the commissioners:

¯ Approved a memorandum of understanding between the county, Juniata County Industrial Development Authority and Juniata Business and Industry Inc. regarding the application for and administration of a $2 million grant through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Commissioner Mark Partner said the county received the funding through the assistance of State Senator Jake Corman and State Representative Adam Harris. The money will be used to acquire and develop additional space at the Juniata County Industrial Park in Mifflintown, Partner added.

¯ Ratified a CDBG-IDIS check in the amount of $20,667.70 to Crider Mitchell Construction for project costs.

¯ Approved the following 2018 Liquid Fuels allocation requests: $1,504.69 to Mifflin Borough; and $2,485.87 to Spruce Hill Township.

¯ Re-appointed Jeff Frymoyer of McAlisterville and Eric Brubaker of Mifflintown to four-year terms on the Juniata County Conservation District Board of Directors.

¯ Re-appointed the following to serve as department heads for fiscal year 2019: S. James Bahorik, county administrator/chief clerk; Donald Zagurskie, solicitor; Jeff Haines, chief assessor; Brenda Varner, Tax Claim director; Penni Abram, Children and Youth Services director; Allen Weaver, Emergency Services and 911 Center director; Bradley Kerstetter, planning director; Dennis Hutchings, veterans affairs director; Eva Stong, voter registrar; and Rich Fisher, maintenance director.

¯ Approved the following board and committee appointments for the commissioners: Gray-Call-A-Ride Board, Community Services Block Grant, Council of Agencies, Emergency Food and Shelter Program, Human Services and Development Fund, Local Emergency Planning Commission, Prevention Grant Committee, South Central Investment Board, and State Emergency Food Committee. Todd Graybill-Agland Preservation Board, Chamber of Commerce, Conservation District Board, Juniata Valley Visitors Bureau, Local Emergency Planning Commission, Natural Gas Co-Op, and Prison/Inmate Liaison. Partner-Area Agency on Aging Board, Behavioral and Developmental Services Advisory Board, Local Emergency Planning Commission, Mifflin-Juniata Regional Services Board, Pcorp, PSU Agriculture Extension, SEDA-COG Board of Directors, and Tri-County Behavioral and Developmental Services Executive Committee.

¯ Approved a professional engineering services agreement between the county and Wilson Consulting Group for consulting services related to municipal-owned short span bridges at a total cost of $22,000. The term of the contract is 24 months and will involve the inspection of non-county owned bridges.

¯ Approved a professional service agreement between the county and MCM Consulting Group for services related to updating the county’s hazard mitigation plan as mandated by the state. Cost to the county is $12,500 and the term of the contract is for 16 months.

¯ Approved a right-of-way agreement between the county and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources regarding the Beavertown tower site.

¯ Hired Tanner Stong as a maintenance employee effective Dec. 10.

¯ Hired John Peters as a full-time deputy sheriff at a starting rate of $16.33 per hour.

¯ Approved two week’s worth of bills in the amount of $214,751.14.

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