Commissioners save money on natural gas
POTTSVILLE — Schuylkill County will be saving money on its natural gas bill starting in November, as the commissioners on Thursday approved a threeyear contract with a Berks County company to supply fuel to the courthouse and prison.
Under the terms of the pact with UGI Energy Services LLC, Wyomissing, the county will pay $3.359 per decatherm for the gas.
“We get competitive pricing. We go with the best price. That’s why we locked in today,” County Administrator Gary Bender said of the pact, which starts Nov. 1 and runs through Oct. 31, 2021. “That represents a significant savings from what we’re paying now.”
The county currently has a contract with Direct Energy, Houston, under which it pays $4.285 per decatherm for natural gas. That contract expires on Oct. 31, Bender said.
Bender said the new contract does not deal with supplying natural gas for the Human Services and Children & Youth buildings on North Centre Street in Pottsville. He said a new agreement will be reached soon concerning those buildings.
However, he said the pact for the courthouse and prison is the big one.
“The prison and the courthouse use the most” natural gas, according to Bender.
Also on Thursday, the commissioners approved a grant agreement for the Emergency Management Agency to receive $18,560 under the Hazardous Material Emergency Preparedness Program. The commissioners said the money will go toward financial assistance for hazardous materials planning and/or training, with the federal government providing 80 percent of the money and the county 20 percent.
Additionally, the commissioners approved a one-year internship agreement between McCann School of Business & Technology and the Adult Probation and Parole Office for internships for criminal justice students. Bender said four or five students will be able to take advantage of the program during the next year.
Also, the commissioners approved contracts with 11 people to act through Dec. 31 as site supervisors for juvenile probation officers. The 11 are: Trent Barnes, Pottsville; Joseph Costa, Frackville; Kolby Kleckner, Pottsville; Jenna Porter, Orwigsburg; Mitchell Robinson, Pottsville; Eric Rooney, Shenandoah; Luke Rossi, Pine Grove; James Sperherly, Pottsville; Marissa Szcyglak, Shenandoah; John Toomey, Pottsville; McKayla Workman, Minersville
In other business, the commissioners:
• Voted to advertise for bids for renovations to the Human Services Building, 410-420 N. Centre St., Pottsville. Bids will be accepted until 3 p.m. June 18 at the controller’s office, publicly opened and read aloud at 9 a.m. June 20 in the commissioners board room and reported at the commissioners work session at 10 a.m. that same date. The tentative bid award date is June 27.
• Promoted Linda Deatrich, Schuylkill Haven, to chief county clerk. The Salary Board voted to set her hourly salary at $20.5752.
• Issued proclamations setting 2018 as the centennial anniversary of 4-H in Schuylkill County and June 21 as National Dump the Pump Day. The latter also marks the 13th National Dump the Pump Day, an effort to promote pubic transportation, and the Schuylkill Transportation System will be offering free rides that day.