Com­mis­sion­ers chal­lenged over trees

Shade Tree Com­mis­sion wants to plant at Chil­dren & Youth park­ing lot

The Republican Herald - - LOCAL - By Peter e. Bort­ner STAFF WRITER

POTTSVILLE — City of­fi­cials want the Schuylkill County com­mis­sion­ers to plant shade trees in one of their park­ing lots and sent a rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the board’s Wed­nes­day meet­ing to make sure they know that.

Diana Beau­sang, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the city Shade Tree Com­mis­sion, told the com­mis­sion­ers they should plant trees in the park­ing lot of the Chil­dren & Youth Build­ing, 324 N. Cen­tre St.

“Putting trees in the ... park­ing lot will not only en­hance the park­ing lot aes­thet­i­cally, but trees also lessen the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of the vast ex­panse of ma­cadam,” she said.

Fur­ther­more, ac­cord­ing to Beau­sang, the com­mis­sion­ers had promised to plant the trees there, and it would im­prove the ap­pear­ance of the park­ing lot.

“The Chil­dren & Youth park­ing lot is a gate­way to the city,” she said. “Cur­rently, it is an eye­sore. We urge you to re­mem­ber your re­spon­si­bil­ity and your prom­ise to be good neigh­bors to the city.”

The com­mis­sion­ers took no ac­tion on Beau­sang’s re­quest, al­though Chair­man Ge­orge F. Hal­co­v­age Jr. and Com­mis­sioner Gary J. Hess each said the board would dis­cuss the is­sue in the fu­ture.

Fur­ther­more, County Ad­min­is­tra­tor Gary Ben­der dis­puted Beau­sang’s state­ment that the com­mis­sion­ers had agreed to plant trees in the park­ing lot and said it would not be a good idea.

“There was no agree­ment in place,” he said. “The trees gen­er­ally push up the as­phalt.”

In other busi­ness, the com­mis­sion­ers:

• Ap­proved a fee for ser­vice con­tract with Ad­vo­cacy Al­liance, Scran­ton, for care­giver check cut­ting, guardian­ship and nurs­ing home tran­si­tion. The con­tract cap is $17,830 per fis­cal year.

• Ap­proved a fee for ser­vice con­tract with Pre­ferred Meals, Berke­ley, Illi­nois, for $3.78 per meal, with a con­tract cap of $501,228.

• Ap­proved bud­get ad­just­ments for 2018 of $53 for the pub­lic de­fender’s of­fice, $100 for the drug and al­co­hol pro­gram, $600 for the recorder of deeds of­fice and $61,919 for the do­mes­tic re­la­tions of­fice. County Direc­tor of Fi­nance Paul E. Bu­ber said each trans­fer is be­tween

line items and no new spend­ing is in­volved.

• Ap­pointed Keith A. Baker to the Luzerne/Schuylkill Work­force In­vest­ment Board. His term will run through June 30, 2022.

“They feel he’s go­ing to be an as­set to the board,” Hal­co­v­age said.

• Ap­proved the pur­chase of two po­lice in­ter­cep­tor ve­hi­cles from Ko­vatch Ford, Nesque­hon­ing, for the do­mes­tic re­la­tions of­fice.

• Ap­proved a con­tract for $29,600 with Ron­nie C. Folk Paving Inc., Shoe­mak­ersville, for the county prison paving project.

• Ap­proved agree­ments with lawyers James G. Conville, Schuylkill Haven, and Karen Ris­miller, Pottsville, for le­gal ser­vices for Chil­dren & Youth. Conville will be paid a monthly re­tainer of $3,782.25 and $75 per hour for any other nec­es­sary ser­vices, while Ris­miller will be paid a monthly re­tainer of $2,506.65 and $100 per hour for ap­peal, cus­tody and TPR hear­ings.

• Opened bids for the wa­ter­fall devel­op­ment project for Sweet Ar­row Lake County Park. Con­struc­tion Masters Ser­vices, Read­ing, bid $477,650; Spotts Brothers Inc., Schuylkill Haven, bid $492,000; and Miller Bros. Con­struc­tion Inc., Schuylkill Haven, bid $517,706.

• Hired Mary Beth Heffner, Pottsville, as an of­fice sup­port/sec­re­tar­ial em­ployee with the hu­man re­sources depart­ment, at an hourly salary of $13.44, ef­fec­tive June 25.

Con­tact the writer: pbort­ner@re­pub­li­can­her­ald.com; 570-628-6014

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