Commissioners act on parking, contracts, more

LOCK HAVEN — A new fiscal year means new contracts in front of the Clinton County commissioners.

At Thursday’s meeting, the commissioners acted on contracts for updating the county’s hazard mitigation plan, repairing the parking lot at the county’s new building in the former Piper complex, and garnering more parking near the county building in Flemington.

Two bids came in on fixing the parking lot at the former Piper “blue building” in Lock Haven which the county has purchased and intends to use as office space.

Wolfe Coal & Excavating Inc. made a bid of $13,975, and Rippey’s Asphalt Sealing bid $13,345.25. Commissioner Jeff Snyder made a motion that the county accept the lower bid, from Rippey’s, contingent upon a review by Maintenance Director Mike Duck. Commissioners Pete Smeltz and Paul Conklin agreed.

The board also unanimously approved a rental agreement for more parking in Flemington, near the former elementary school that houses the communications center and other county offices. County activity has picked up in that building, and Flemington Borough Council is concerned about parking, Snyder said.

The county will rent 22 parking spaces from Jason and Rachael Bischof for $150 per month at 527 Sturdevant St. The county will use the lot from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., freeing it up in the evenings for the dance studio that occupies the former church building at that address. The county will remove snow but only on the days it uses the lot.

The contract starts Tuesday and runs through July 31, 2018.

Seven or eight new parking spaces are planned in an alley near the former school, and Frantz said they are being developed.

The board also read three bids for updating the county’s hazard mitigation plan. Amec Foster Wheeler Environment and Infrastructure Inc. bid $44,749, MCM Consulting Group offered $38,790, and Tetratech offered $45,000. Snyder moved to accept the bid from MCM, upon review by Bill Frantz, the county’s emergency management coordinator.

Smeltz, who is commissioner chair, asked Frantz to explain what the update will do for the county. Frantz said the hazard mitigation plan focuses on help during floods, tornadoes, heavy snowfall, and other extreme situations. It is required by law to be updated every five years, according to Frantz. The county has a federal grant to pay for the update.

McTish, Kunkel and Associates has a contract for the proposed Chestnut Grove Park athletic fields at Castanea, and the commissioners transferred the county’s agreement with the engineering firm to the newly created Chestnut Grove Recreation Authority. The county will not ask the authority to pay back the funds spent up until now to develop the athletics complex, Smeltz said. However, once it becomes successful, Chestnut Grove may provide some money for the county, just as Belles Springs Golf Course does, he said. The golf course also is run by a county recreation authority.

The board briefly discussed how much services for the county’s information technology (IT) system are costing.

Conklin raised the topic when county bills, totaling $751,476, were approved, along with payroll of $291,304 for the period ending on July 28.

Snyder replied the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania has been asked to come and analyze the IT bills. The association can do so at a cost of $500 plus travel expenses.

Snyder also spoke briefly about his recent trip to Ohio for the National Association of Counties Annual Conference.

“The national issues are the same issues we face in Clinton County,” he said, having attended 16 sessions at the convention. These issues include drugs, prison issues, broadband services, and marijuana growing facilities, he said.

Snyder also said he has asked the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania to nominate him for the NACO Human Services and Education Policy Steering Committee, as well as the NACO Rural Caucus. Although he probably will not attend all the meetings, he said, he will receive the information from them which should be of benefit to Clinton County.