By CHERYL R. CLARKE
WELLSBORO - After many years in the basement of the courthouse, Tioga County Commissioners are looking into possibly moving the 911 communications center to a new location, away from potential damage from flooding.
"The complex is housed in the basement. If we take on water, it affects expensive equipment housed there," Commissioner Erick Coolidge said.
During their meeting Tuesday, the commissioners approved a proposal from MCM Consulting Group for the study and design of a 911 communications center complex for $58,396 for six months.
Commissioner Mark Hamilton noted another reason to seek a new location is space.
"Because of our call volume, we may need to have another dispatch position created and we don't have room in our current facility for that," Hamilton said.
The money for the study comes from the 911 system, not the general fund, Coolidge noted.
"We are looking at a building that may be available in the system, and if it can be retrofitted. It won't happen if it is an exorbitant cost. We are looking ahead and we can't do it without having a plan to see what the cost might be," Coolidge said.
Commissioners also announced changes in the state funding of its human services administration will go into effect July 1, if the Governor's budget passes in its current form, which according to Coolidge, is a good thing for the county and those served by the system, even though the county could get 20 percent less money than in the previous year.
"Block grant funding will create a different approach allowing the flexibility of the county administrators to make sure those that need the funding get it," Coolidge said.
Human Services Administration director Max Harrison explained that the block grant will be comprised of 7 categories of services meant to provide flexibility by reducing the amount of paperwork from four reports annually down to one.
Though the grant will not be competitive, the county will have to apply for the funding annually, he added.
"This will provide for a reporting mechanism that will be less strenuous, staff will spend less time on reporting efforts, and this will put more money toward the needs of the clientele, rather than the administration process," Coolidge said.
*Rejected 2 bids for the paving of the Community Services dirt road leading to the ropes course, because both were over $25,000, so it would have required labor for the project be hired at prevailing wage, making the total cost of the project at least 40 percent higher.
*Approved Northern Tier Solid Waste Authority's 10 year plan.
* Accepted Frontier Communication's 4 year contract for 4 cents per minute for long distance calling, which results $5,132 savings per year.
* Announced that there will be no parking in the Tioga County Courthouse parking lot for anyone but county employees, who will display a parking permit in their vehicles. The rule, effective July 16, will be enforced by the sheriff's department and non-employees found to be parked in the lot will be ticketed and fined $5 per violation.
*Awarded county aid from Liquid Fuels funding to 8 municipalities including $2,844 to Blossburg Borough for tar, chip and oil; $3,016 to Covington Township for pipe replacement; $1,091 to Knoxville Borough for paving; $2,485 to Morris Township for cinders; $441 to Liberty Borough for tar, chip, street; $3,687 to Union Township for anti-skid; $4,166 to Liberty Township for stone; $6,265 to Richmond Township for pipe replacement.
*Announced its next meeting will be an "on the road" meeting at the Osceola Township building June 26.