Comms to apply for grant to house domestic violence victims

Lycoming County commissioners agreed to apply for a grant to help provide emergency housing for people fleeing domestic violence at Thursday’s meeting.

The $52,475 state Department of Community and Economic Development grant would come with matching funds from the Lycoming County United Way, according to Mya Toon, county chief procurement officer.

The YWCA, which provides housing for domestic violence victims through its Liberty House program, is looking for additional residential units.

People in need of housing would remain in the units until they become self-sufficient.

Commissioners Tony Mussare and Jack McKernan voted in favor of the grant application. Commissioner Rick Mirabito was absent.

In other action, commissioners approved a $51,850 state Department of Environmental Protection grant agreement for five projects covering streambank repairs from flooding.

Commissioners approved an amendment to an agreement for the domestic relations office to reimburse sheriffs for their work carrying out bench warrants.

The contract is good through 2020.

Commissioners tabled a resolution giving their opposition to changes being made to the medical assistance transportation program.

McKernan noted that rural counties with transportation programs such as STEP Inc. operate without third-party brokers as is now being proposed.

“STEP runs it (transportation program) now and runs it well,” McKernan said.

Dan Merk, program manager of STEP Transportation, told the commissioners he appreciates their support.

Commissioners are expected to take up the matter next week.

In a personnel matter, Larry Stout was appointed to the Lycoming County Library System Board. He replaces Louise Eakin who resigned.

Commissioners commended local law enforcement personnel for their work during President Donald Trump’s visit to Lycoming County last month.

Montoursville Police Chief Jeff Guyrina noted how smoothly the day went, despite having about a week to prepare for the President’s stop at Williamsport Regional Airport.

“It was a kind of organized chaos. We didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I think it went very well.”

Commissioners paid tribute to retiring county employees George Heiges and Ron Snell.

Heiges, director of county veterans affairs, was saluted by McKernan for his eight years of “selfless approach to helping vets.”

Heiges has served in the position for eight years.

Snell, it was noted, is a 15-year employee with Lycoming County Resource Management.

He is retiring July 5.

At the beginning of the meeting, a moment of silence was observed for Angel McLaughlin, a former Montgomery police officer and emergency medical technician. McLaughlin recently passed away after a battle with cancer.