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Local officials discuss voting surveillance

Commissioner reminds residents of ballot box in foyer of Mifflin County courthouse

LEWISTOWN–The Mifflin County Commissioners met for their regular meeting Thursday morning in Lewistown. During the public comment portion of the meeting commissioner Rob Postal took the time to remind voters that there is a ballot box in the foyer of the Mifflin County courthouse. “It is under constant surveillance not only by the deputy sheriffs there but there is a camera on it.” Postal said, “It’s there for the convenience of the voters so they don’t need to empty their pockets and go through the x-ray machine to walk down the hall a couple of feet to drop off their ballots. Although they are welcome to do that.” Postal also reminded voters that the deadline for absentee or mail-in ballot applications is October 27th. “That is just a week before the election so we urge people that if they do intend to vote absentee or mail-in that they do it as soon as possible.”

The first item under new business the commissioners approved the application for Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program Grant for the period of January 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 int he amount of $172,778.00. All of the police departments in the county are participating with in the application process for the grant. If the grant is received it then depends on each municipality with respect to their boards their abilty to come up with the additionaly money to match the grant funds. All the municipalities are activly persueing the grant and are in the process of optaining quotes on the purchase of body cameras.

Also under new business the commissioners approved the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency award notification for the Mifflin County Co-Responders Program Grant for the period October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021 in the amount of $117,251.00. The Co-Responder Program is a result of a colaboration between Juniata Valley Behavioral & Developmental Services, Lewistown Borough Police Department and Mifflin-Juniata Human Services to partner with the agency Center for Community Resources to provide a physician to be housed in the Lewistown Borough Police Department. The main goal of the position will be to do social work aspects of the job that police are not trained or equiped to do.

Another goal of the program is to divert individuals into treatment rather than into the criminal justice system. This is to lessen the stress on the criminal justice staff and reduce the financial burden associated with incarcerating individuals with severe mental illness or intellectual disabilities. The program would help to free up police responses and would no longer need respond to multiple crisis that would be better served by a social service model.

The commissoners also approved another round of CARES Act Fund grants for the following: Small businesses: Dan Pierce Outdoors Shop – $8,090.00, East End Coffee Co. – $20,000.00, Shade Mountain Naturals – $35,000.00, Short Bus Brewing – $20,000.00, Stef’s School of Dance – $8,348.00, Super 8 Motel – $25,000.00, H&H Truck Repair – $25,000.00, and Miles Chiropractic – $3,421.92; Non-profits: Brooklyn Hose Co. – $8,525.00, Community Partnerships – $31,745.00, Mifflin County Library – $35,000.00, St. Vincent de Paul Society – $3,383.00, Yeagertown Fire Co. – $20,000.00 and Evolution Arts – $2,536.00; Municipalities: Granville Township – $3,126.22 and Derry Township – $7,745.00; and Broadband: Centre WISP – Not to exceed $224,229.90.

The commissioners also took action on the following items:

¯Approved the request for exoneration of rollback taxes for Parcel No. 19,02-0108–,000, and relieve Treasurer Civitts from collecting this tax – county portion $1,773.17.

¯Approved the Request for exoneration of 2020 county real estate tax bills and relieve the Tax Collector from collecting these bills: Parcel No.’s 17,26-0219 and 17,12-0334 located in Granville Township – parcels are exempt as of January 1, 2020 per a Court Order- $494.39 and 745.92.

¯Approved the Memorandum of Understanding with Tuscarora Intermediate Unit II to provide adult education and workforce services to the inmates at Mifflin County Correctional Facility for the period July 1 ,2020 through June 30, 2021 – $7,500.00.

¯Approved the 2020 State Homeland Security Grant Program-Grant Agreement-South Central Mountains Regional Counter Terrorism Task Force for the period September 1, 2020 through August 31, 2023 – $505,540.00.

¯Approved the application for County Aid – 2020 Liquid Fuels Allocation: Granville Township – $6,370.27.

¯Approved the Change order No. 1 with Lobar, Inc., for the Annex Project to combine plumbing and fire protection contract No. 3 with Contract No. 1 – $213,162.25.

¯Approved the Letter of Amendment to the RACP Work Statement No. 4 with Delta Development Group to extend the agreement for an additional twelve months, beginning October 1, 2020 and ending September 30, 2021 for $2,500.00 per month.

¯Approved resolution No. 58 of 2020 of the Mifflin County Commissioners and on behalf of Brown, Derry, and Granville Township Supervisors and Lewistown Borough Council to approve the Federal Fiscal Year 2020 CDBG Application.

¯Approved the hiring of Jakob Eby for a Case Aide in the Children and Youth Department effective October 19, 2020, the promotion of Kelsie Hauser from Children and Youth Caseworker I to Caseworker II effective October 19, 2020, and the hiring of Blaise Erzar for a Caseworker in the Children and Youth Department effective October 19, 2020.

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