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Centre County will use Penn Stater on Election Day

BELLEFONTE — The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center is once again part of Centre County’s Election Day plans.

On Tuesday, Centre County commissioner Michael Pipe confirmed that the county will use the site to count mail-in ballots, but on a much smaller scale.

“Much smaller,” Pipe said. “In 2020, we had about 275, 300 individuals over the course of two days. This election, we’re looking at about 70 people. So it’s much, much smaller. We’re bringing it down to scale. We’re going to be able to enhance some of the things that we’ve done in the past to make sure that it’s transparent and open. Folks can come in to look at it. It should be a good process.”

Election Day 2021 will not draw the crowds that 2020 saw, since it’s not a presidential election. However, with COVID-19 numbers on the rise once again in Centre County, mail-in ballots are a safe and effective way to cast votes.

“We do have about 10,000 applications for mail-in ballots as of this morning,” commissioner Steve Dershem said.

Secure dropboxes will be located throughout the county, Pipe said.

“Drop off boxes were installed over the last few days, so they’ll be opened once ballots start going out. That will be this week,” Pipe said.

Election Day is right around the corner — Tuesday, Nov. 2. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. that day. Voters casting mail-in ballots can use the U.S. Mail. They can also deliver them to the main entrance of the county’s Willowbank Building, 420 Holmes St., in Bellefonte, or to any of eight secure drop-box locations around the county until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

In other business Tuesday, the commissioners:

— Issued Proclamation No. 33 of 2021, which proclaimed October 2021 as “Cyber Security Awareness Month” in Centre County.

— Watched as county administrator Margaret Gray opened responses for the RFP — Information Technology Managed Services. The RFP was tabled until Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021.

— Approved a contract with Centre Communications to provide microwave battery maintenance at ten tower sites to include battery capacity upgrades at two sites, and a backup battery charger and rectifier at one site. The contract total is $90,158 for the period of Oct. 19, 2021 to Feb. 28, 2022. The contract was moved to next week’s consent agenda.

— Received a quotation from Centre Communications for decommissioning and removal of the tower at the Centre Hall site. Centre Communications will decommission and dismantle the tower and remove all steel from the site. The county will be responsible for removing concrete foundations, piers, anchors and other items below ground level. The total quote is $9,360. The quotation was moved to next week’s consent agenda.

— Approved a contract with Helen Stolinas, Esquire of Mazza Law Group PC to provide legal services. The contract total is $7,500, which is funded as follows: State ($6,000) and county ($1,500) for the period of July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. The item was moved to next week’s consent agenda.

— Approved a contract renewal with Pathways Adolescent Center to provide residential/transitional living services for dependent/delinquent youth.

The contract total is $250,000, which is funded as follows: State ($200,000) and county ($50,000) for the period of July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. The item was moved to next week’s consent agenda.

— Approved a contract renewal with Pressley Ridge to provide residential services for dependent/delinquent youth. The contract total is $37,500, which is funded as follows: State ($30,000) and county ($7,500) for the period of July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. The item was moved to next week’s consent agenda.

— Approved a contract renewal with Adelphoi Village, Inc. to provide foster/residential services. The contract total is $295,000, which is funded as follows: State ($236,000) and county ($59,000) for the period of July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. The item was moved to next week’s consent agenda.

— Approved a contract renewal with Centre County Youth Service Bureau to provide residential services for dependent/delinquent youth. The contract total is $1,702,000, which is funded as follows: State ($1,361,600) and county ($340,400) for the period of July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. The item was moved to next week’s consent agenda.

— Approved a fourth amendment to the lease agreement with Fred R. Wood and Denise M. Wood d.b.a Together Investments for the premises located at 1524 West College Avenue, State College for the Centre Region MDJ Office. The contract total is $284,418.60 for the period of Jan. 1, 2022 through Dec. 31, 2027. The item was moved to next week’s consent agenda.

The Centre County commissioners will meet again at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19 at the Willowbank Building. The meeting is open to the public and masks are required. The meeting will also be televised live via C-NET.

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