WELLSBORO - The Tioga County commissioners on Tuesday took action to start the ball rolling on a new emergency communications facility.
They agreed to contract with EADS Group for $28,500 to conduct a needs assessment and develop, plan, design and estimate a project budget for a new building, according to Commissioner Mark Hamilton.
The emergency communications center is in the basement of the courthouse.
"Another group is doing the communications side of it," he said, to determine "how to move it, how to use existing equipment and how to get communications to and from the site," which will be on county-owned property.
The commissioners also passed a resolution changing the way county tax collectors are paid from a percentage of the total collected to $1 per tax bill processed.
The action, according to commissioners, will result in "tremendous savings" but how much those savings will be won't be known until 2014 when they start their new term in office, said Chief Assessor Deb Crawford.
"They used to be paid anywhere from 2 percent to 4 percent depending on the township they were in and the way the tax bill was paid, either early or on time," Crawford explained.
The new pay method will go into effect Jan. 1.
Covington Township resident Leon Kocher questioned the difference in costs between using a tax collector and a lock box, such as the school districts have done. Hamilton said they had looked into it, and there would be a "certain amount of savings," but did not say how much or if the commissioners plan to move to the lock box system anytime in the future.
The commissioners also approved a resolution in favor of House Bill 135, known as the Justice Reinvestment Act, which will change the way money is spent on the criminal justice system, apportioning more of it to the counties, in an effort to control costs, according to the resolution.
"We are sending a letter and a copy of this resolution to the Legislature and the governor urging them to adopt it when they return to session Sept. 24, and the governor to sign it into law," Coolidge said.
The next commissioners meeting will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Roseville Borough office in Roseville.